There are many “Taylor’s Version” tracks fans are looking forward to hearing when “Reputation (Taylor’s Version)” is finally released, but one of the most anticipated has to be “Getaway Car.” Taylor Swift wrote the track with her friend and collaborator Jack Antonoff; in fact, an iPhone video of them writing the bridge was featured in the 2020 documentary “Miss Americana” and became a meme in its own right. When Swift finally sang the song during the surprise set of her Eras tour in May, she brought out Antonoff to sing it with her (pictured), a sweet tribute to the song’s genesis. But then there’s the song itself, and who fans think it’s about: namely, Swift’s ex Tom Hiddleston.
The song’s lyrics seem to not only reference Swift’s relationship with Hiddleston — which made headlines in the summer and early fall of 2016 — but also her split from boyfriend Calvin Harris, whom she was with from about March 2015 to June 2016. When Swift was linked to Hiddleston just weeks after their split, Harris was not exactly pleased. And by the time “Reputation” and “Getaway Car” were released in 2017, Swift was in a new relationship with Joe Alwyn and had left Hiddleston in the rearview mirror, too.
Ahead, we break down the lyrics of the song and how they seem to reference the drama.
- “The ties were black, the lies were white / The shades of gray in candlelight / I wanted to leave him / I needed a reason.” — The black-tie event seems to reference the 2016 Met Gala where Swift and Hiddleston first met (Swift allegedly also met Alwyn that night). Even though she was still dating Harris at the time, Swift and Hiddleston raised eyebrows when they hit the dance floor together at the event. Is Swift alluding that she started dating Hiddleston as a reason to leave Harris?
- “You were drivin’ the getaway car / We were flyin’, but we’d never get far.” — Hiddleston and Swift certainly had a jet-setting romance. In the short three months that they dated, the pair were spotted enjoying luxurious “getaways” in Rhode Island, Nashville, the UK (where she met his mom), Rome, and even Australia, where he was filming “Thor: Ragnarok.” Seeing that their romance unfolded amid Swift’s feud with Kim Kardashian, perhaps the singer is saying that she tried to run away from the media with Hiddleston.
- “Shoulda known I’d be the first to leave / Think about the place where you first met me.” — Shortly after the couple split, there were rumors that Swift was the one who called it off because Hiddleston reportedly wanted the romance to be more public.
- “While he was runnin’ after us, I was screamin’, ‘Go, go, go!’ / But with three of us, honey, it’s a side show / And a circus ain’t a love story / And now we’re both sorry (we’re both sorry).” — After dropping a few truth bombs about Hiddleston, Taylor proceeds to bring Calvin back into the picture by talking about how the love triangle blew up in their faces. As many fans remember, Harris went on an infamous Twitter rant about the “Gorgeous” singer shortly after she started dating Hiddleston. He eventually told GQ of the relationship, “The aftermath of the relationship was way more heavily publicized than the relationship itself. When we were together, we were very careful for it not to be a media circus.” Swift references that same circus here.
- “We were jet-set, Bonnie and Clyde / Until I switch to the other side / To the other side / It’s no surprise I turned you in / ‘Cause us traitors never win.” — This lyric is a little tricky. While Swift admits that she and Hiddleston were like Bonnie and Clyde playing games with the media, she seems to allude that she was the one who ended up playing the actor in the end. Is this Swift’s way of confirming that their relationship really was mostly for show? We’ll never know.
— Additional reporting by Victoria Edel