Taylor Swift’s ‘The Albatross’ Lyrics Seemingly Reveal the Warnings Travis Kelce Got About Her

Taylor Swift gave her boyfriend Travis Kelce two not-so-subtle love songs on The Tortured Poets Department: “The Alchemy” and “So High School.”

However, as fans spent more time listening to Swift’s new album over the weekend, some theorized that Swift snuck in a third track about Kelce and his experience dating her with “The Albatross.”

“The Albatross” explores the public stigma of being attached to Swift, who seem to cast herself and her fame as the albatross around her partner’s neck.

That spotlight was in part what caused her six-year relationship with Joe Alwyn to end, multiple sources said following their spring 2023 breakup.

Taylor Swift's 'The Albatross' Lyrics Seemingly Reveal the Warnings Travis  Kelce Got About Her

One source told People on April 10, 2023, “Joe has struggled with Taylor’s level of fame and the attention from the public. The differences in their personalities have also become harder to ignore after years together. They’ve grown apart.”

Swift begins “The Albatross” recounting the warnings her partner received about her—in this case, seemingly Kelce. She then describes his decision to forge ahead despite them: “Wise men once said / ‘Wild winds are death to the candle’ / A rose by any other name is a scandal / Cautions issued, he stood / Shooting the messengers / They tried to warn him about her.”

She ends the song by portraying those same “wise men” (perhaps the public? or people who have her partner’s ear?) turning on him—and her helping save him. She sings, “The devil that you know / Looks now more like an angel / I’m the life you chose / And all this terrible danger.”

Kelce has spoken multiple times about choosing to be Swift’s boyfriend, despite the harsh spotlight that comes with it. “Cautions issued,” as Swift sings in the first verse, he has literally “stood” his ground.

The Kansas City Chiefs tight end told WSJ magazine in November, “Obviously I’ve never dated anyone with that kind of aura about them…. I’ve never dealt with it. But at the same time, I’m not running away from any of it…. The scrutiny she gets, how much she has a magnifying glass on her, every single day, paparazzi outside her house, outside every restaurant she goes to, after every flight she gets off, and she’s just living, enjoying life. When she acts like that I better not be the one acting all strange.”

Kelce revisited the topic in January at a press conference ahead of the Super Bowl: “As long as we’re happy, we can’t listen to anything that’s outside noise. That’s all that matters.”

He added: “I brought this upon myself, and I do enjoy having fun with it all, and the biggest thing is making sure my focus is right here in this building.”

Kelce said on an April episode of his podcast, New Heights, that being Swift’s partner is “fun.” “I’m having a blast in life, baby, just flying high,” he said. “Enjoying it all. Bringing new lives into the football world, opening the football world up to new things.”

A source told Page Six in December 2023 that Kelce embracing his boyfriend-status has really won over Swift. “She just hasn’t been with a guy who is so excited and proud to be with her in so long,” the insider said. “She’d gotten used to having to hide away and lay low whenever she’s been in a relationship.”

The source went through her romantic history, saying, “Calvin [Harris, the DJ Swift dated in 2015 and 2016] and Joe were BIG on hiding. So she followed their lead. But now she’s finally with someone who is appropriately like, ‘Holy shit, I’m with Taylor Swift! Awesome!’ and she’s so delighted that she gets to be out in the world. Don’t forget, this is a girl who made out with Harry Styles in Times Square [on New Year’s Eve 2012] and posted pictures of her fling [actor Tom Hiddleston, in 2016] wearing an ‘I heart TS’ T-shirt. Low key isn’t actually her preferred vibe. But when it’s been at the insistence of the guy she’s with, she’s gone along with it.”

Cast in that light, Swift’s “The Albatross” lyrics may offer a revealing glimpse at how she sees the commentary around her love life, along with the immense respect she appears to have for Kelce choosing her despite it. Read the full lyrics below:

Verse 1:
Wise men once said
“Wild winds are death to the candle”
A rose by any other name is a scandal
Cautions issued, he stood
Shooting the messengers
They tried to warn him about her

Chorus:
Cross your thoughtless heart
Only liquor anoints you
She’s the albatross
She is here to destroy you

Verse 2:

Wise men once said
“One bad seed kills the garden”
“One less temptress, one less dagger to sharpen”
Locked me up in towers
But I’d visit in your dreams
And they tried to warn you about me

Chorus:
Cross your thoughtless heart
Only liquor anoints you
She’s the albatross
She is here to destroy you
Devils that you know
Raise worse hell than a stranger
She’s the death you chose
You’re in terrible danger

Bridge:

And when that sky rains fire on you
And you’re persona non grata
I’ll tell you how I’ve been there too
And that none of it matters

Verse 3:
Wise men once read fake news
And they believed it
Jackals raised their hackles
You couldn’t conceive it
You were sleeping soundly
When they dragged you from your bed
And I tried to warn you about them

Chorus:

So I crossed my thoughtless heart
Spread my wings like a parachute
I’m the albatross
I swept in at the rescue
The devil that you know
Looks now more like an angel
I’m the life you chose
And all this terrible danger
(This terrible danger)

Outro:

So cross your thoughtless heart
She’s the albatross
She is here to destroy you

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