Taylor Swift's 'But Daddy I Love Him' Is an Ode to Bad Boys

Taylor Swift is pregnant — no, she's not, but you should see your faces. On the much-anticipated "But Daddy I Love Him," off her new album The Tortured Poets Department , the singer delivers a country-tinged ode to dating bad boys and a message for anyone who has questions about it. The man who had something to say spoke.

Swift opens the song by expressing shock at how people can instantly switch from supporters to critics, depending on the man she dates. She made it clear she doesn't need anyone's approval and even teased a wild scene. "I'm having his baby - no I'm not, but you should see your face," she sings.

She stood on the bridge and delivered a poignant message directly to her audience. "I'll tell you something about my good name, it's my own shame," she sings. That is, she realizes on some level that she didn't make the best decision. "No, I haven't come to my senses yet," she sings. "I know he's crazy, but he's the one I want."

Some fans believe the song is an allusion to 1975 frontman Matty Healy, whom she reportedly briefly dated after splitting in March 2023. The two dated for two months before splitting over the summer, but their short-lived relationship sparked criticism, even from Swift's biggest fans.

Taylor Swift will perform on her Eras tour in Sydney, Australia on February 23, 2024. Don Arnold/TAS24/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The song's title is an obvious reference to The Little Mermaid , in which Ariel protests when her father, King Triton, won't allow her to swim to the surface to meet Prince Eric. Swift is a famous fan of the film, which was released in 1989, the year she was born, and even dressed up as Ariel at a 2019 New Year's party.

Just like in the movie, at the end of "But Dad I Love Him," the narrator's father approves of the metaphorical bad boy. But unlike the Disney movie, no one else gave him a chance. "When the heat subsided, we came back and went to my parents and they came over," she sings. “All the wine moms are still hanging on, but screw them, it’s over.”

"But Dad I Love Him" ​​Lyrics

Read the full lyrics to the song below.

I forgot how the West was won, I forgot if it was fun
I just realized these people raised you just to keep you in a cage
Sarah and Hannah, dressed in their Sunday best, clutching their pearls and sighing: "What a mess"
I just learned these people are trying to save you because they hate you
For a simple girl, the horse is too high to surpass it
They closed the door on my whole world, the one thing I wanted

Now I'm undressing and running, screaming, "But daddy I love him"
I'm going to have his baby - no I'm not, but you should see your face
I told him to put it through the fence, no I wasn't awake yet
I know he's crazy but he's the one I want

Dutiful daughter, all my plans are made, tendrils tucked into braids
Early maturation sometimes means not growing up at all
He's chaos, he's orgy, bedroom eyes are like medicine
Soon, the elders held a meeting in the town hall.
'Stay away from her' vandals protest too much
God knows words we've never heard, just squealing tires and true love

I undressed and ran, screaming, "But Daddy, I love him."
I'm going to have his baby - no I'm not, but you should see your face
I told him to put it through the fence, no I wasn't awake yet
I know he's crazy but he's the one I want

I'll tell you something now
I would rather burn my life
Rather than listen to these diatribes and moans for another second
I'll tell you something about my good name, it's a disgrace to me alone
I won't pander to these snakes wearing empathy clothes
God bless the most picky people who say they want what's best for me
Sanctimoniously delivering a monologue I'll never see
Think it can change my heartbeat when he touches me
Counteract chemical reactions and reverse fate
you don't have to pray for me
Me and my wild boy and all these wild joys
If all you want is just gray to me, then it's just white noise, then that's just my choice

There are many people in the city, I repay them with the most fake smile
Scandal makes pride funny, but it brings lovers closer
After the heat subsided we came back and went to find my parents, who also came over
All the wine moms still hanging on, but fuck them, it’s over

Now I'm dancing in the sun in a dress and even my dad loves him
I'm his wife. Oh my God, you should see your face.
Doesn’t time provide some perspective?
No, you can't come to the wedding
I know he's crazy but he's the one I want

I'll tell you something now
You don't have to pray for me and me and my wild boys and all this wild joy
If all you want is gray then this is just white noise and that's my choice
Screaming, "But daddy I love him."
I'm going to have his baby - no I'm not, but you should see your face
But gosh you should see your face