The True Story Behind Taylor Swift’s “Black Dog”

Taylor Swift left her in awe during her dynamic performance in Singapore, as she announced her forthcoming 11th studio album, The Tortured Poets Department. The highly anticipated album is set to drop on April 19th, with several speculations hinting it might offer an intimate look at her from Joe Alwyn, a relationship that lasted six years and ended in April 2023.

Unveiling the Curtain

With a flair for the dramatic, Swift exposed the intriguing final cover of the album and performed a soulful rendition of a song from it titled, “The Black Dog.” This song's significance may be multi-layered, potentially marking Swift's post-breakup.

The Black Dog in Focus

The colloquialism “black dog” dates back to the 1700s, often serving as a poignant metaphor for depression and its relentless symptoms. The term embodies a state of profound melancholy and a marked absence of vitality. The presence of a “large, intrusive black dog” often reflects an individual's struggle with depressive behaviors. The metaphor extends to the description of a gradual, painful loss of joy in activities one previously relished.

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Addition to the Setlist

In what may be a sneak peek of her new album, Swift delivered a stirring mash-up of “Clean” and “Evermore” right after the reveal of “The Black Dog.”

Treading on Dark Myths

The black dog symbolism escalates further when looked at through the lens of English folklore, where it portends an omen of . This might hint at a connection with Alwyn, who hails from England. This also resonates with Swift's previous song, “So Long, London.”

The Bonus Tracks and a Hollywood Nod

Swift's new album also includes bonus tracks such as “The Manuscript,” “The Bolter,” and “The Albatross.” Interestingly, it features a song titled “Clara Bow,” reminiscent of the late actress. This connection intensifies as Bow not only owned a black dog but also penned a heartfelt three-page eulogy for her canine companion upon his death.

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