National Football League
Taylor Swift's new album references Travis Kelce, Chiefs' Super Bowl win
National Football League

Taylor Swift's new album references Travis Kelce, Chiefs' Super Bowl win

Published Apr. 20, 2024 4:46 p.m. ET

Taylor Swift's new double album "The Tortured Poets Department," is light on references to her current boyfriend, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. But Kelce still appears to figure prominently on two of Swift's latest songs. Let's dive into them.

"The Alchemy"

"The Alchemy" is jam-packed with references to her relationship with Kelce as well as the Chiefs' somewhat unlikely run to winning Super Bowl LVIII and becoming the first team in nearly 20 years to win back-to-back titles. The song title and opening lyrics reference her obvious chemistry with Kelce, as she talks about a feeling that "happens every few lifetimes" and makes a cheeky reference to last fall's "Taylor Swift put Travis Kelce on the map" trend by singing about circling someone on a map. 

The song's chorus then opens with, "So when I touch down, call the amateurs and cut ‘em from the team." The line is not just obviously about football, but some fans even think it's a reference to some of the Chiefs players who notably struggled last season, in particular wide receiver Kadarius Toney

A crucial penalty late in the Chiefs' regular-season game against the Buffalo Bills — with Swift in attendance — negated a play where Kelce bravely threw a cross-field lateral pass to Toney for what would have been a game-winning touchdown if officials had not ruled that Toney was lined up ahead of the line of scrimmage before the play. Toney did not play in the postseason and his future with the team is unclear despite a recent endorsement from head coach Andy Reid. It's also worth noting that several Chiefs teammates, including Kelce, forcefully defended Toney in the days after the pivotal penalty call.


But of course, the Chiefs went on to not only get their revenge against the Bills in the playoffs but also win the Super Bowl, and the bridge in "The Alchemy" clearly alludes to that, even referring to those who doubted the Chiefs' ability to hoist another Lombardi Trophy last season: "Shirts off and your friends lift you up over their heads / Beer stickin' to the floor, cheers changed ‘cause they said / There was no chance trying to be the greatest in the league / Where's the trophy? He just comes running over to me."

"So High School"

The second song, "So High School," is a bit more intimate, referring to Kelce's affable jock-like personality. Swift even needles Kelce in the first verse over picking her onetime rival Katy Perry over Swift in a game of "Kiss, Marry, Kill" back in 2016. Other lyrics reference Kelce opening a car door for her in some of the first paparazzi photos of them together and an apparently hilarious impression he does of his father, Ed Kelce.

Though Kelce's appearances in "The Tortured Poets Department" are memorable, the album as a whole mainly strikes a melancholy tone with much more time spent on Swift processing the ends and negative aspects of her previous two relationships, including her six years with actor Joe Alwyn and a brief fling in 2023 with singer Matty Healy shortly after she and Alwyn broke up. 

One report claims that Kelce's favorite songs on the album are not the ones about him, but rather two others: "Down Bad" and "loml." Swift has also reportedly written even more songs about Kelce, meaning that we can expect to hear more lyrical tributes for "The guy on the Chiefs" in the future.

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