Another day, another Taylor Swift song that's full of hidden references. Taylor Swift released the full audio for her new song, "...Ready For It?" on early Sunday morning after teasing it late Saturday night. The song definitely has fans buzzing, since not only does the song appear to be about her current boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, but also because, in true T-Swift fashion, "...Ready For It?" features a few references to Taylor's exes.
In the intro, Swift raps, "Younger than my exes but he act like such a man, so." As users on Genius have already pointed out, this sounds like it's a reference to two of her most recent exes, Calvin Harris and Tom Hiddleston, as well as a reference to her new beau Alwyn. Harris and Hiddleston are both 33 and 36, respectively, while Alwyn is 26. The "but he act like such a man, so" part of that line could be a subtle dig at the level of maturity of her exes in comparison to Alwyn when it comes to the privacy of their relationship. Swift's breakup with Calvin Harris inspired a pretty nasty fallout that resulted in the DJ going on a now-deleted Twitter rant basically asking Swift to stop "trying to tear your ex bf down for something to do." It's possible that the line is a small reference to how Harris handled the aftermath of the pair's breakup.
She also raps in the first verse, "Some boys are tryin' too hard, he don't try at all though." Again, this one sounds like it's a comparison between Alwyn and one of her ex flames. Swift has been very quietly dating Alywn for some months now, and the two have barely been photographed with one another since it was discovered that they were an item back in May. On the flip side, one can probably recall the flashy nature of Swift's relationship with Tom Hiddleston (that infamous "I <3 T.S." t-shirt, their many foreign trips together, etc.). Here, she could be taking a jab at all of the things Hiddleston did to impress and show his affection for her.
By the second verse, Taylor makes a reference to her history of high-profile relationships while also taking a jab at herself and how she's used many of her past boyfriends as songwriting material. She says, "Every lover known in comparison is a failure/I forget their names now/I'm so very tame now." This seems to be another proclamation that "the Old Taylor is dead," as claiming to be more tame and forgetting the names of past lovers means that she's finished publicly discussing old relationships.
With Reputation, we may be in for a completely new era of Taylor Swift, but if the small references and subtle jabs in "...Ready For It?" say anything, it's that the Old Taylor isn't all the way gone — at least not yet.