Behind the Meaning of Taylor Swift’s Post-Mortem of a Relationship, “loml”

When we first got the tracklist for Taylor Swift‘s The Tortured Poets Department, “loml” was projected to be a love song. The acronym most commonly stands for “Love of My Life.” Given that, it was shaping up to be a gushing ode to a lifelong partner.

Videos by American Songwriter

Nevertheless, Swift pulled the rug out from underneath her listeners with this track, which is an in-depth post-mortem on said relationship. Swift was thrown similarly off-balance by the relationship she sings about. What we thought was for all time / Was momentary, she sings. Those powerful emotions resulted in this powerful track. Uncover the meaning behind “loml,” below.

[RELATED: Taylor Swift is Bringing a $1.26 Billion Economic Boost to the U.K.—Here’s How]

Behind the Meaning of Taylor Swift’s “loml”

Who’s gonna stop us from waltzing
Back into rekindled flames?
If we know the steps anyway
We embroidered the memories
Of the time I was away
Stitching, “We were just kids, babe”

Swift’s songs are a masterclass in storytelling. This song is particularly astounding. She seems to run through the entirety of a relationship in a few minutes, not missing a single detail or emotional gut punch.

She opens “loml” by introducing the listener to a relationship that was chalked up to be the big one– we’re talking rings and talking cradles. If we’re looking to Swift’s life, we can assume this song is about Joe Alwyn, her boyfriend of six years. In the second verse, she explains where it all went wrong.

Who’s gonna tell me the truth
When you blew in with the winds of fate
And told me I reformed you
When your impressionist paintings of Heaven
Turned out to be fakes
Well, you took me to hell, too

In “Invisible String”–which is also thought to be about Alwyn–Swift sings about a fated relationship and the cosmic ties that brought them together. Hell was the journey but it brought me heaven, she sings in that folklore cut.

She ties that notion into the second verse of “loml.” The crux of this song is that the love she thought was the real deal turned out to be fake. She sings of counterfeit promises and the fake “Heaven” she once thought this relationship took her to. You took me to hell, too, she sings.

Our field of dreams, engulfed in fire
Your arson’s match your somber eyes
And I’ll still see it until I die
You’re the loss of my life

In the final chorus, Swift reveals the plot twist. She turned the familiar acronym on its head. You’re the loss of my life, she sings. In several songs that are perceived to be about the end of her relationship with Alwyn, Swift mentions how impactful this breakup has been on her life.

In “Hits Different,” she finds it hard to move on. She says, though she typically has no trouble picking up the pieces and moving on, this breakup has shattered her. She says as much in “loml” as well. I’ll still see it until I die / You’re the loss of my life, are her final words on the subject in this song.

In many ways, this song feels like the culmination of everything she’s ever said about that relationship, good and bad. As such, it’s an in-depth post-mortem on that period in her life–a damning and overwhelmingly honest one at that.

Revisit the track, below.

(Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Leave a Reply

Lainey Wilson attends the 59th Academy of Country Music Awards at Omni Frisco Hotel at The Star on May 16, 2024 in Frisco, Texas.

Lainey Wilson Looked to Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire to Deal with Being Objectified on Social Media

Photo courtesy of Billy Strings' official Facebook page

Billy Strings Announces Tour and New Album in 2024