The Albatross
Taylor Swift Lyrics

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So cross your thoughtless heart

She's the albatross
She is here to destroy you

Overall Meaning

In Taylor Swift's song "The Albatross," the lyrics delve into the themes of warnings, betrayal, and consequences. The first stanza highlights the importance of heeding cautionary advice, as wise men once warned that reckless actions can lead to destruction. The metaphor of a rose being scandalous regardless of its name sets the tone for a narrative about the danger posed by a mysterious figure. The singer chooses to ignore the warnings, depicted as shooting the messengers who try to alert him to the potential threat posed by a woman.

The chorus emphasizes the destructive nature of this woman, referred to as the albatross, symbolizing a burdensome and ominous presence in the singer's life. Despite the warnings and implications of danger, the singer continues down a path of self-destruction, only finding solace in liquor to numb the consequences of his choices. The lyrics paint a picture of inevitable doom as the albatross is portrayed as a force that will ultimately lead to the singer's downfall.

The second verse mirrors the first, this time with the perspective shifted to the woman warning the singer about the dangers posed by others. She presents herself as an alternative, a rescuer in contrast to the albatross figure that threatens his existence. The lyrics suggest that familiarity with demons can be more dangerous than facing unknown adversaries, hinting at the complexities of human relationships and the choices we make in navigating them.

The final stanza brings the story full circle, as the woman reveals her true intentions of protection and guidance. The singer's initial dismissal of her warnings is juxtaposed with the realization of her loyalty and care for him. The shift from the albatross representing destruction to the woman embodying salvation showcases the intricacies of trust and perception. Ultimately, the lyrics convey a message of redemption and support in the face of impending danger, urging the singer to finally acknowledge the true intentions of those around him. The repeated refrain to "cross your thoughtless heart" serves as a reminder to be mindful of one's actions and decisions in the face of adversaries, whether known or unknown.

Writer(s): Taylor Swift, Aaron Brooking Dessner

Contributed by James A. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
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Most interesting comment from YouTube:


To everyone who's studying with this song, here's a little checklist:

• A bottle of water. Your brain works better if it has enough water and drinking helps you to concentrate 💦

• Your charger. You sometimes don't even notice that your device's battery is going down, so better have it plugged in all the time ⚡

• Your headphones. You will be able to focus more
with headphones because it blocks background noises. Also, if it's a late night study session, you won't wake up anyone 🎧

• Tea, coffee, or hot chocolate. Coffee keeps you awake, green or black tea can make you feel more awake as well ☕

• Your study/work stuff: your laptop/tablet/ phone,
a few pens, paper or whatever you need 📚

Remember to take breaks whenever you need along with moving your body around a bit so you're not always sitting! Have a beautiful day/night ✨

All comments from YouTube:


As a folklore and evermore person, this is one of my fave in the album




Same ❤


the instrumentals remind me of willow


Same. Invisible string/willow vibes



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Fun Fact: Albatrosses are considered the most faithful and loyal bird that's ever been studied. They mate for life and are frequently referred to as having the most minimal 'divorce rate' among all birds.


I heard that about swans. I didn't know about albatrosses.


@@winstonknowitall4181they come back down every six years from the sky



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