Taylor Swift’s New Song “The Archer” Lyrics, Decoded

By  | 


Taylor Swift JUST dropped a brand new song from her forthcoming album Lover ahead of a livestream with fans. “The Archer” is a smooth and echo-y return to the sort of lyricism that made Taylor a pop icon. But rather than her usually shout-able hooks, “The Archer” is relatively mellow, with the sort of deep lyrics that are a throwback to Taylor’s earlier, more intimate work — typical for her album’s fifth tracks. What exactly is the “The Archer” about? We decoded the song so that you don’t have to.

The song’s title “The Archer” is a reference to Taylor’s star sign — she’s a Sagittarius and their symbol is, you guessed it, an archer. The title comes back around in the chorus when Taylor sings:

I’ve been the archer, I’ve been the prey.

It’s likely an oblique reference to her role as both an antagonist and a victim in various Hollywood feuds over the years.

Throughout the song Taylor indicates she’s aware of how people see her. In the first pre-chorus she sings:

I never grew up, it’s getting so old

That’s Taylor queueing us into the fact that she knows what we say about her. She later continues this theme in the refrain when she sings:

Can you see right through me?
They see right through
They see right through me
I see right through me

Taylor melts her personal anxieties into ones she has about her public reputation, and she seems to think that these will come to taint the relationship she’s currently in.

If the Taylor of the “Blank Space” era was more than happy to have a long list of ex-lovers, Lover era Tay seems worried about her past. She sings sadly:

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

In the final pre-chorus, Taylor once again bring up the feuds that have come to define her career when she sings:

‘Cause all of my enemies started out friends

Is Tay referencing former BFF Karlie Kloss, who seemed to side with Scooter Braun during the drama over Taylor’s master recordings earlier this month?

Despite concerns about her reputation, Taylor ends the song sadly resigned to the fact that she’s going to fight on another day, as the song fades out with a callback to it’s opening lyric:

Combat, I’m ready for combat

Taylor might have retired the dark makeup and the heavy production that defined her reputation era, but the themes of anxiety in the face of her dubious public reputation have carried over to Lover

Listen to “The Archer” here.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login