If the song “Fresh Out the Slammer” is about Joe Alwyn, it supports the reports that he and Taylor Swift broke up because they wanted to live their lives differently. Sources told People that Alwyn wasn’t comfortable with being in the spotlight, which was something Swift was reportedly cool with at the start of the pandemic; being in lockdown together helped the couple bond. But once they were free to do as they pleased, perhaps Swift felt that catering to Alwyn’s preference for privacy was like being locked up. “Handcuffed to the spell I was under / For just one hour of sunshine / Years of labor, locks and ceilings / In the shade of how he was feeling,” she sings on the track. When Time named Swift its Person of the Year in 2023, she expressed regret over spending years trying to stay out of the public eye and indicated that hiding is not something she’s willing to do anymore.

One source told People that Swift and Alwyn split up because they realized they “weren’t the right fit for one another.” Swift could be bemoaning that purported incompatibility when she sings, “Another summer, taking cover, rolling thunder / He don’t understand me.” 

If Swift really felt like she was in the clink while tightly clinging to her relationship with Alwyn, it’s a good thing she finally decided to forget the ring and free herself from those metaphorical handcuffs.

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