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Who Is Lucy On ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ And Does She Even Go Here?

Like every other Swiftie in the universe right now, I am exhausted, I am overloaded with caffeine, and I am inundated with texts from everyone as their resident Swift expert. I haven’t put this much effort into a literary analysis since high school — scratch that, I used Sparknotes back then. As we binge The Tortured Poets Department, we’re all trying to connect the dots between Matty Healy and Joe Alwyn and Taylor Swift, but maybe there’s someone else we should unmask first: the elusive Lucy. Her name only comes up in one song, but that one song has been enough for Swifties to run wild. The world needs to know: who the fuck is Lucy on “Tortured Poets Department,” and does she even go here?

Who is Lucy In “The Tortured Poets Department”? 

In the titular track of the album, Taylor sings about a budding (ick) relationship between herself and the muse of the song, who has to be Matty Healy. Come on. 

“Like a tattooed golden retriever.” The golden retriever part throws me off as he reminds me more of that scroungy cat that hisses when you come near. 

You smoked then ate seven bars of chocolate.” Of course, he did. Of course, he fucking did. 

“You left your typewriter at my apartment.” Matty has spoken before about how much he loves typewriters, and no one else would be lame enough to bring one over to impress a girlie. It’s giving Morrissey is his favorite artist and he paints his nails with Tippex and then scrubs them raw before Mom comes over.

So in this song SUPPOSEDLY about Matty Healy (suck on that lawyers), one line in specific has the world in a tailspin, and it’s not even the one about Charlie Puth.

“Sometimes I wonder if you’re gonna screw this up with me, but you told Lucy you’d kill yourself if I ever leave / And I had said that to Jack about you so I felt seen.”

Aside from the fact that someone threatening to kill themselves is total emotional manipulation, I guess if they both do it, then it cancels out the damage??? Jack is obviously referring to Jack Antonoff, the producer Taylor keeps chained to a desk who refuses to relinquish hold of the synth. Jack is a well-known friend of both Taylor and Matty, and likes to copy-paste his work for the both of them.

Then there is LUCY.

Is it Lucy Dacus?

Now, Lucy is a common name. There are a hundred Lucys she could be referring to: Lucy Liu, Lucy Hale (she is definitely a PLL fan), Lucille Ball, or Lucy Boynton. But I feel comfortable waging the little in my bank account that she is talking about the one, the only, Lucy Dacus. Also known as depresso singer #2 in Boygenius, she wrote and sang the “Night Shift” song that trended on TikTok for two minutes, but it felt like a year.

How does Lucy Dacus know Taylor Swift?

Strap in, folks. Aside from the obvious answer of “because they’re all famous,” we’ve got a more specific seven degrees of separation for these two singers. Lucy Dacus is in the band Boygenius with Phoebe Bridgers. When opening for the Eras Tour, Phoebe brought out her band as some not-so-subtle promotion. Taylor and Lucy were in the same place and def went out for drinkies or snorties afterward.

Furthermore, your honor, Taylor and Boygenius were photographed together at the Grammys a few months ago. The same night that she announced her new album. They took a Polaroid together, posed for photos, chatted shit, the lot of it. Especially fun is that Tay and the boygeniuses were all matching in white and black with a red accent!!! The Da Vinci Code for sure!

So Taylor Swift does know Lucy Dacus, making it supercalifragilistic likely that this is the Lucy referenced in the song “The Tortured Poets Department” *and breathe*.

How does Lucy Dacus know Matty Healy?

Okay, we’ve established that the timelines for Swift and Dacus overlap, but what about her and Matty Healy, the non-confirmed (wink) muse of the song? The most obvious overlapping of their Venn diagrams is Phoebe Bridgers. She’s in a band with Lucy, and she’s known to be good friends with Matty (somehow). So overlap naturally exists.

But we even have direct connections between Matty and Lucy, only it’s not the most positive interaction. Back in September, Matty Healy tweeted, “I told Lucy Dacus that ‘Boygenius’ had inspired me and George to start a new band called ‘Girlr****d’. I don’t really hear from her that often.”

Sir, please get off the laptop, sir.

Lucy responded quickly with a short but sweet,  “You don’t hear from me at all.”

Within hours, Matty replied “yeah this never goes well does it,” and deleted his account on X. God is a woman and her name is Lucy Dacus. 

So there lies the only flaw in our logic. Why would Matty tell Lucy this then as they’re likely not on the best terms? AHA! But this slay-cident happened in September, while Tay and Matty dated in May. So they were probs still talking then! 

Has Lucy responded to the song?

NOT YET! But best believe I am constantly refreshing the page. Girlie is not much of a social media user, with no tweets and only one Insta post. It’s giving my-job-makes-me-have-social-media-but-im-rebelling. I have high hopes that boygenius will bring their cheeky banter to the situation and reconvene to cover the song, or Lucy will come out when Taylor sings it for that line. I have HIGH HOPES.

So is the song about Lucy then?

No. You’d think that with how much we’re obsessing about the name (quickly glossed over Jack’s mention, I’ll care when he gives up the synth), but it’s actually just a name drop. There are more name drops within the song, including Patti Smith, Dylan Thomas, and Charlie Puth. 

The song is very focused on her relationship with Matty Healy — sorry SUPPOSEDLY— and what it’s like to be in a relationship with a fellow artist. They both like to think of themselves as tortured souls, but in the song, she’s kind of poking holes in that, and looking back with more clarity. 

It seems like their brief relationship was a confusing blend of casual and serious. They were getting high — SUPPOSEDLY — and eating chocolate and playing at tortured lovers, but also, when he slid a ring onto her finger as a joke, she was so excited. Slow Joe never wanted to marry her, I guess, and briefly, she let herself be delulu and imagine that Matty did. 

Brb sobbing. 

Fleurine Tideman
Fleurine Tideman
Fleurine Tideman, a European-based copywriter. She’s interesting (cause she’s from Europe), speaks multiple languages (again, she's from Europe), and is mentally unhinged (despite socialized healthcare). You can find her European musings on Twitter @ByFleurine and her blog, Symptoms of Living, both of which are written to the sounds of unhinged Taylor Swift playlists.