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All of the References in Taylor Swift’s ‘The Archer’

Taylor Swift just released a new song, “The Archer,” off her upcoming album, ‘Lover.’ In an Instagram live on July 23, Swift explained this song is not the next single and that there will be no music video, except for the lyric video, which you can watch below.

You may not have noticed the subtle references that this song entails. She usually leaves hints in her music video or songs that make fans come up with crazy theories.

Here are the references we found in “The Archer”:

The Title

Swift is a Sagittarius (December 13th) and the symbol for that sign is none other an archer. This also references the theme of ‘Lover.’ Archers remind us of cupid, which is basically the mascot for love and many of them appeared in the music video for “ME!.”

The “Delicate” tie-in

Fans also discovered that The Archer is a dive bar in east London, where Swift has been spending a lot of time with her boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. “Dive bar on the east side. Where you at?” is also a lyric in her previous track 5 hit, “Delicate.”

Also in the “Delicate” video, she walks into the bar at the end and is handed a note. Maybe fans will finally get to see what the note said. There is also graffiti on one of the poles that read, ‘track 5’, which is very similar to the pin she had on her jacket on the Entertainment Weekly cover.

“I’ve got a hundred thrown out speeches I almost said to you.”

As soon as we heard this lyric, we thought of her debut single, “Tim McGraw” with the lyric, “But in a box beneath my bed Is a letter that you never read from three summers back.” This is her 13th year in the music industry and because that is such a significant number for Swift, we can’t help but think that was a reference to her debut days.

“Easy they come. Easy they go. I jump off the train. I ride off alone.”

Did anyone else feel “Getaway Car” vibes from that line?

“I never grew up. It’s getting so old. Help me hold on to you.”

Anyone remember the masterpiece on ‘Speak Now’ called “Never Grow Up?” This may also be a reference to how some people call her childish because of her fun-loving personality.

“Help me hold onto you” also parallels “Hold on to the memories. They will hold onto you and I will hold onto you” from ‘New Year’s Day.’

“I’ve been the archer. I’ve been the prey.”

We mentioned above about the references to the archer, but this line gives off major “I Know Places” vibes. “They are the hunters. We are the foxes, and we run!”

She’s been the antagonist and people have also seen her as ‘playing the victim (a reference from the “Look What You Made Me Do” video). Track 5 emotional lyrics are back and we are so here for it.

“Who could ever leave me, darling? But who could stay?”

This is a really emotional lyric that flashes back to many songs of Swift’s. “All You Had to Do Was Stay,” “Stay, Stay, Stay’ and “New Year’s Day.” The lyric “Don’t read the last page. But I stay, when you’re lost and I’m scared and you’re turning away” really reflects these lyrics and is actually a parallel to them.

“I wake in the night. I pace like a ghost. The room is on fire. Invisible smoke.”

There is a line in “…Ready For It” that says, “but if he’s a ghost, then I can be a phantom, holding him for ransom.” She also has the iconic song “Haunted,” which could resemble ghosts.

Also, the lyrics “the water filled my lungs. I screamed so loud but no one heard a thing” from “Clean” relates to this line because it’s like the water and smoke are making it hard to breathe, a common cause or anxiety.

This line also seems to be in reference to anxiety, when you see things that aren’t really there i.e. the invisible smoke. Swift has spoken about feeling really low before the ‘reputation’ era and this may be a nod to that.

“All the King’s horses. All the King’s men. Couldn’t put me together again.”

Yes, this is a line from the nursery rhyme, Humpty Dumpty. Swift is one to quote other fairytales and poems. This line also gives off MAJOR “White Horse” vibes. If we don’t get a “White Horse”/ “The Archer” mashup on the ‘Lover’ tour, there may be some tears shed.

“Cause all of my enemies started out friends”

This one is pretty self-explanatory. She was friends with Katy Perry (who now have a rekindled friendship. Thank God.), Kanye West, Scott Borachetta, and others before they weren’t speaking anymore. This could also be a reference to the media and how they tried to break up her “squad.”

“Combat. I’m ready for combat.”

This is how the song begins and ends and it shows how tough Swift is. She is ready for anything that will be thrown at her. It also ends abruptly, so maybe track 6 relates to “the Archer” in some way.

“State of Grace” states ‘You come around and the armor falls. Pierce the room like a cannonball’ and if you are going into combat you need armor.


Knowing Swift, there are probably 100 more references, but these are the ones we found. The song reminds fans just how great of a lyricist she is.

‘Lover’ will be out in less than a month on August 23rd and we cannot contain our excitement!

What do you think of Taylor Swift’s “The Archer?” What references did you find? Let us know on Twitter at @CelebMix.

Written by Brittany Sims

Brittany is a 2019 graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, where she obtained her Bachelor's degree in Journalism. Her love for writing started as a child and grew from there. When she started becoming obsessed with celebrities and pop culture, Brittany decided to start a career in Journalism.

Contact: brittesims97@gmail.com