“You’re Losing Me”: “Now you’re running down the hallway / And I guess that’s what they all say / That you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.”Taylor Swift Fans Want to Know What Happened in the Hallway and If It’s Connected to Joe Alwyn-HO

Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour - Singapore
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Fans are noticing a pattern in one of Taylor Swift’s new playlists — and they’re wondering if there’s a connection to her split from Joe Alwyn.

In anticipation of her upcoming album, The Tortured Poets Department, Swift, 34, released five separate playlists on Friday, April 5, representing the various stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Each collection features existing songs from her discography.

The fourth playlist, titled “Old Habits Die Screaming” — the title of a track off TTPD — focuses on the concept of depression.

“[This playlist] the feelings of depression that often lace their way through my songs,” Swift says in a voice message. “In times like these, I’ll write a song because I feel lonely or hopeless. And writing a song feels like the only way to process that intensity of an emotion. And while these things are really, really hard to go through, I often feel like when I’m either listening to songs or writing songs that deal with this intensity of loss and hopelessness, usually that’s in the phase where I’m close to getting past that feeling.”

Upon listening, eagle-eyed fans quickly realized that many of the playlist’s songs feature references to an elusive hallway. In “Coney Island,” off Swift’s 2020 album Evermore, she sings, “Were you standing in the hallway with a big cake? / Happy birthday / Did I paint your bluest skies the darkest grey? / A universe away.”

An incident in the hallway is also mentioned in Midnights’ “Maroon,” another track speculated to be about Swift’s ex. “You were standing hollow-eyed in the hallway / Carnations you had thought were roses, that’s us,” she sings in the second verse. (Continuing with the motif in “Coney Island,” carnations are typically given to celebrate a person’s birthday.)

Lastly, lyrics for “You’re Losing Me,” the most gut-wrenching track off Midnights, reads: “Now you’re running down the hallway / And I guess that’s what they all say / That you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.”

“Coney Island,” “Maroon” and “You’re Losing Me” are all breakup-inspired songs, but ones that take place in a time right before an actual heartbreak occurs. All three songs contemplate whether to stay or leave a relationship that was once filled with love and deep affection. Other songs on the “Old Habits Die Screaming” playlist include “My Tears Ricochet” from Folklore, “Champagne Problems” from Evermore and “Dear Reader” from the 3 a.m. edition of Midnights.

Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour - Sydney, Australia

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“I don’t know what’s with that hallway but they’re all in the same playlist,” one Swift wrote via X on Friday, while another said, “The hallway is an interesting visual because it’s a purgatory of sorts. The space between staying and leaving.”

A third fan pointed out the similarities between Swift’s writing style and that of the classic poets. “A lot of poets (ie TS Eliot) use hallways as a liminal space, a place where you become untethered and isolated between defined areas in life that provide resolution and clarity,” they explained. “I think she uses hallways as a metaphor for describing the turmoil and instability in the relationship.”

But why do fans think all the hallways could be about Alwyn? A color just might hold the answer. The Grammy winner has famously referenced various shades of blue while singing about Alwyn, 32, and “Coney Island” is one of those songs. The track also mentions gray, a color referenced in “You’re Losing Me.”

Although Swift and Alwyn called it quits for good last spring, rumors swirled that the pair had a bumpy relationship for years. In November 2023, producer Jack Antonoff revealed that “You’re Losing Me” was written back in 2021, more than one year before Swift and Alwyn’s official breakup.

At the time, a source exclusivity told Us Weekly that Swift’s fame factored into the split. “Joe is very shy and never liked all the attention that came with dating one of the most popular singers in the world,” the insider explained, adding that Alwyn didn’t “blame” Swift for her A-list status but “didn’t like having to be on all the time.”

Swift has since moved on with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. The pair went public with their relationship when Swift made an appearance at his NFL game in September 2023. They have both since showed up to support each other at public events. Although Kelce, 34, was unable to watch Swift win Album of the Year at the 2024 Grammys for Midnights, he gushed over the upcoming Tortured Poets Department days later.

“I have heard some of it, yes, and it is unbelievable,” he shared during a February press conference. “I can’t wait for her to shake up the world when it finally drops.”

The Tortured Poets Department hits shelves on Friday, April 19

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