tHE arcHEr
Taylor Swift Lyrics


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Combat, I'm ready for combat
I say I don't want that, but what if I do?
'Cause cruelty wins in the movies
I've got a hundred thrown-out speeches I almost said to you

Easy they come, easy they go
I jump from the train, I ride off alone
I never grew up, it's getting so old
Help me hold onto you

I've been the archer
I've been the prey
Who could ever leave me, darling?
But who could stay?

Dark side, I search for your dark side
But what if I'm alright, right, right, right here?
And I cut off my nose just to spite my face
Then I hate my reflection for years and years

I wake in the night, I pace like a ghost
The room is on fire, invisible smoke
And all of my heroes die all alone
Help me hold onto you

I've been the archer
I've been the prey
Screaming, who could ever leave me, darling?
But who could stay?
(I see right through me, I see right through me)

'Cause they see right through me
They see right through me
They see right through
Can you see right through me?
They see right through
They see right through me
I see right through me
I see right through me

All the king's horses, all the king's men
Couldn't put me together again
'Cause all of my enemies started out friends
Help me hold onto you

I've been the archer
I've been the prey
Who could ever leave me, darling?
But who could stay?
(I see right through me, I see right through me)
Who could stay?
Who could stay?
Who could stay?
You could stay
You could stay
You





Combat, I'm ready for combat

Overall Meaning

In this song, Taylor Swift is reflecting on her fears and struggles with relationship insecurities. She acknowledges her desire for love and connection, but is also aware of the potential for hurt and the harsh realities of love. She uses the metaphor of an archer, describing herself both as the archer and the prey, highlighting the idea of vulnerability and the risk of being hurt.


The first verse talks about the fear of being hurt, but also the temptation to engage in the cruelty and drama that often surrounds relationships in popular culture. She has many things she wants to say to her partner, but is holding back. In the second verse, Taylor is searching for the flaws in her partner, but realizes that maybe she is the one who needs fixing. She struggles with her own self-image and past mistakes, and the way they impact her current relationships.


The chorus repeats the idea of her being the archer and the prey, questioning whether someone could ever truly love and value her despite her fears and insecurities. She acknowledges that people can see through her facade and see her imperfections, but also asks for someone to help her hold on and not lose faith in love. The final lines of the song express the hope that someone could stay with her and help her overcome her struggles.


Line by Line Meaning

Combat, I'm ready for combat
I'm ready to face any struggles or challenges that come my way


I say I don't want that, but what if I do?
I act like I don't care, but deep down, I might actually want it


'Cause cruelty wins in the movies
In movies, the cruel characters win, and it seems to be the trend in real life too


I've got a hundred thrown-out speeches I almost said to you
I have many things to say to you, but I keep holding back


Easy they come, easy they go
Things that come easy, leave just as easily


I jump from the train, I ride off alone
I prefer being alone and independent, chasing my own goals


I never grew up, it's getting so old
I don't want to grow up and face adult responsibilities


Help me hold onto you
I need your support and love to stay grounded


I've been the archer
I've been the one taking aim and making the first move


I've been the prey
I've been the victim of someone else's actions or feelings


Who could ever leave me, darling?
I can't imagine someone not wanting to be with me


But who could stay?
But I also understand that I can be difficult to be with long-term


Dark side, I search for your dark side
I look for your flaws and imperfections, perhaps to feel better about my own


But what if I'm alright, right, right, right here?
But what if you're actually a good person, and I don't need to pick you apart?


And I cut off my nose just to spite my face
I sabotage myself and my own feelings just to prove a point


Then I hate my reflection for years and years
I regret my actions for a long time, and can't forgive myself


I wake in the night, I pace like a ghost
I can't sleep and have nervous energy that I can't get rid of


The room is on fire, invisible smoke
I feel like everything around me is burning or collapsing, but it's only in my head


And all of my heroes die all alone
Even the people I look up to and admire are ultimately alone and isolated


They see right through me
People can see past my exterior and know that I'm struggling inside


Can you see right through me?
Can you see past my facade and know that I need help?


All the king's horses, all the king's men
No matter how many resources or powerful people I have on my side, it might not be enough


Couldn't put me together again
I feel like I'm broken and can't be fixed


'Cause all of my enemies started out friends
Some of the people who have hurt me the most were once my closest friends


Help me hold onto you
I need someone to anchor me and keep me from spiraling out of control


Who could stay?
Who can stick around and support me, even when it's hard?


You could stay
Maybe you could be the one to stay and help me through all of this




Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Written by: Jack Michael Antonoff, Taylor Alison Swift

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comment from YouTube:

@ClairDeLume

i know most people dislike this song, but it holds a very special place in my heart.
my crush’s middle name is Archer, i love him so much. and the reason why this song is so special to me is not just cause it has his middle name in it, but this album also released around the time i met him.

i had horrible separation anxiety, i was terrified to be away from my family. i was failing school as well, and my parents decided to put me in a class for after school. and my crush’s mom was the teacher of the class, and that’s how i met him.
my mom had just left me there outside the building, and i was sitting outside crying on the sidewalk in the summer heat, he saw me through the window and came over and gently said “hi, are you okay?”
and i just shook my head, still crying.
and he just hugged me.

the reason why this was such a big deal was because i was having an absolutely horrible year. i hit puberty, i had no friends, and i was failing school.
and nobody ever hugged me like he did then, i felt actually cared for in that moment.

he took my hand and led me inside, and his brother was just sitting at one of the tables.
and we went over and sat down, and he introduced me to his brother.
and all of us from then on became best friends.

the only reason i have an appreciation for 2019 is because that’s when i met him.
and honestly i’m so thankful that i was put in that class, because if not i wouldn’t have ever met him.

i love you, jackson. <33



All comments from YouTube:

@Zoe_LaRynn

I'll never forgive this fandom for ignoring this song's existence after the album came out

@coolsimmer6104

True

@mahakpunjabi4814

Same

@finnrogue9435

saaame

@viniciuslaborde8947

Ill never forget a track 5 hahahahah

@swethaganesh9422

Exactly

70 More Replies...

@savvymarie7882

“Cause all of my enemies started off friends”
That one hit me hard Taylor

@fatimajamil3857

Me too man 💔

@newromantics2254

OMG sameee💔

@ALANPOULOSE1729

Me too!!

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