Taylor Swift has sung about romance and spun tales from history. In her latest album, The Tortured Poets Department, Swift explores another theme: fame. As the most famous person in the world, Swift’s experience with fame is unparalleled. She has boosted entire economies, been named TIME’s Person of the Year, and has a devoted fan base. It’s no surprise that the 34-year-old singer addresses her experience with fame at this stage in her career.

In songs like “But Daddy I Love Him” and “Clara Bow,” Swift reveals that fame is not all it’s cracked up to be. “But Daddy I Love Him” is a particularly poignant critique of her fans and fame, with Swift delivering some of her most biting lyrics. Some speculate that these lyrics refer to her fans’ criticism of her rumored relationship with Matty Healy, or to the public’s discussion of her dating history in general. Healy and Swift dated briefly in 2023, following her breakup with Joe Alwyn. Rumors of their relationship were met with criticism, particularly due to comments Healy made on a podcast about rapper Ice Spice’s appearance and heritage. Swift never publicly acknowledged her relationship with Healy. In “But Daddy I Love Him,” she directly addresses her fans: “I’ll tell you somethin’ right now, honey,” she sings. “Stay out of my business.”

The bridge of the song delves deeper into Swift’s criticism. “God save the most judgmental creeps, Who say they want what’s best for me, Sanctimoniously performing soliloquies I’ll never see,” Swift sings of her relationship critics. “Thinkin’ it can change the beat, Of my heart when he touches me, And counteract the chemistry and undo the destiny.” Towards the end of the song, she acknowledges that scandal “does a funny thing to pride, but brings lovers closer.”

“Clara Bow” references the actress who was a silent film star and successfully transitioned to “talkies” during the Great Depression in 1929. Bow was one of the first celebrities to be dubbed the “It Girl” due to her fame. The parallels between Bow and Swift are evident, especially at this point in Swift’s career and with Margot Robbie portraying Bow in a film.

The song begins with Swift seemingly reflecting on her younger self, saying she resembles Clara Bow and questioning if she knew she would be “picked like a rose” for a life of unimaginable fame. “No one in my small town thought I’d see the lights of Manhattan,” she sings, acknowledging the skepticism she faced as she rose to stardom.

Swift goes on to compare herself to Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks, and notes that people doubted she would “meet the suits in LA.” The song ends with her singing, “You look like Taylor Swift in this light, we’re loving it. You’ve got edge, she never did. The future’s bright, dazzling.”