Is One Direction's "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" About Taylor Swift? We're Not "Out of the Woods" Yet
I have to preface this by warning everyone that I've begun to see signs of Haylor everywhere these days. Haylor is the unofficial name for the former relationship between Harry Styles and Taylor Swift, the last relationship she was in prior to her dating hiatus and the centerpiece around which her amazing album 1989 was framed. The winkwink nudgenudge questions that Styles has been asked about 1989 since the album came out have proven that he has a good sense of humor about the whole thing, but has he replied in song? Maybe. On Monday, One Direction released their new album FOUR and one of the songs on the album, "Where Do Broken Hearts Go," was co-written by Styles. Was it about Swift?
I'm not saying that "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" was a direct response to 1989. FOUR has been in the works for much, much longer than 1989 has been out and I don't believe that Styles and Swift have been in enough contact to exchange notes about what they're working on. There are enough rumors about the 1D member responding awkwardly to the shock of having an entire album devoted to him — though not to Paula levels — that I do at least believe Styles never saw this coming. However, listening to "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" gives me intense flashbacks to the first song Swift released that was rumored to be about Styles: "Out of the Woods."
First there are some similar allusions made. In the first verse, "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" begins with "Counted all my mistakes and there's only one / Standing out from the list of the things I've done," a lyric that fits quite nicely with Swift's first verse line of, "The rest of the world was black and white / But we were in screaming color." Basically, both songs hold up this failed relationship as the one, unique, blinding thing in their world and their lives — for better or worse. Another lyrical match is Styles' "Shadows come with the pain that you're running from" and Swift's "I walked out and said, 'I'm settin' you free,' / But the monsters turned out to be just trees" — a matching allusions to the fact that many of the problems in their relationship was imagined from her own issues. Many, though not all.
Lyrics aside, both songs are also surprising in the fact that they are dance hits despite their painful subject matter surrounding a relationship that doesn't work out. Since these two songs were written independent of each other, I can't help but think their similarities are a clue that they're actually about the same relationship — the Haylor relationship. It may have been short, but if it could inspire Swift to write almost an album full of songs then it's clear that it was very passionate while it lasted. And if "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" is some kind of response from Styles, then I wouldn't exactly take it as a clue that Haylor is about to reunite anytime soon. To be honest, they both seem to have long since moved on from each other, music aside, and Swift's anxiety about dating again in the public eye would make her less likely to get back together with Styles. All eyes are on the two of them right now between her album, his album, and all these songs.
Of course, there's a good chance that Styles didn't write "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" about his relationship with Swift at all. She might be the last woman that he was confirmed to be romantically connected to — all other women in the interim merely being rumors and current rumors of bisexuality aside — but that was nearly a year ago and, contrary to popular belief, a lot goes on in the life of celebrities that we'll just never know about. The song was co-written by Styles with four other songwriters, so it might not be pulled straight from his own life. Still, if I want to listen to "Out of the Woods" and "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" back to back on repeat, that's my business.
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