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Why Fans Think Taylor Swift’s ‘The Bolter’ Is a Reference to a Viral Joe Alwyn Moment

Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour - Melbourne, Australia
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 16: EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO BOOK COVERS Taylor Swift performs at Melbourne Cricket Ground on February 16, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Graham Denholm/TAS24/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)Photo by Graham Denholm/TAS24/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

Swifties, put on your detective hats. Taylor Swift just announced that a new version of her upcoming album will feature a bonus track titled “The Bolter” during one of her first Eras Tour in Australia on Friday, February 16.

While the Grammy-winning singer revealed that this new version of The Tortured Poets Department is currently available for preorder, fans were more interested in the meaning of the bonus track’s title — and its possible connection to Swift’s ex-boyfriend Joe Alwyn.

Since Swift announced The Tortured Poets Department at the Grammys earlier this month, fans are convinced that the project will serve as Alwyn’s breakup album — especially since the title shares similarities to Joe’s well-known group chat titled, “Tortured Men Club.”

When it comes to “The Bolter,” fans are split over the bonus track’s possible meaning. While some Swifties believe this is a reference to the viral moment when the former couple ran (bolted, if you will) towards a car in order to avoid paparazzi following the MTV VMAs in August 2022, others aren’t as convinced.

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While another joked, “The bolter intro is 2.7 seconds because that’s how long it took them to get into the car.”

Some believe “The Bolter” refers to the 2010 book written by Frances Osborne, titled The Bolter: The Story of Idina Sackville, Who Ran Away to Become the Chief Seductress Oof Kenya’s Scandalous “Happy Valley Set.” The nonfiction book follows the life of Idina Sackville, a woman who flees to Kenya after breaking societal norms by fleeing multiple marriages.

“[T]he bolter is an actual book?? omg,” one fan posted on X, while sharing a screenshot of the book by Osborne.

Swift and Alwyn were together for nearly six years, first sparking romance rumors in 2016. During their time together, the pair were notoriously private and avoided mentioning their relationship publicly.

taylor swift joe alwyn
LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 10: Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn seen attending the Vogue BAFTA party at Annabel’s club in Mayfair on February 10, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by GOR/GC Images) Photo by GOR/GC Images

“If I had a pound for every time I think I’ve been told I’ve been engaged, then I’d have a lot of pound coins,” Alwyn told WSJ. Magazine in April 2022, staying quiet about engagement rumors at the time. “I mean, the truth is, if the answer was yes, I wouldn’t say, and if the answer was no, I wouldn’t say. We live in a culture that people expect so much to be given.”

The Eras Tour performer announced news of her 11th album while accepting the Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album for her 2022’s Midnights. During her acceptance speech, the singer revealed that she has been working on the record for the past “two years.”

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“Okay, this is my 13th Grammy, which is my lucky number. I don’t know if I’ve ever told you that,” she told the crowd. “I want to say thank you to the members of the Recording Academy for voting this way, but I know that the way that the Recording Academy voted is a direct reflection of the passion of the fans. So I want to say thank you to the fans by telling you a secret that I have been keeping from you for the last two years, which is that my brand-new album comes out April 19th. It’s called The Tortured Poets Department. I’m going to go and post the cover right now backstage. Thank you, I love you! Thank you!”

The Tortured Poets Department will hit shelves Friday, April 19.

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