“Illicit Affairs” by Taylor Swift

On Taylor Swift’s “Illicit Affairs”, the narrator appears to be romantically involved with a man who is already in a relationship. Due to their affair being an illicit one, the singer introduces the song by revealing the measures they often take to maintain its secrecy.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Taylor Swift's Illicit Affairs at Lyrics.org.

The singer details how they sneak in and out, wear hoodies, meet in parking lots and lie to their close friends. They even go as far as not using perfume in order to ensure that no trace of them is left behind. She also highlights how these affairs usually result in people deceiving the people they love. And in doing so, end up deceiving themselves too only to realize that they may be addicted and can’t leave as easily as they thought. The narrator realizes that all these measures bring some kind of thrill, which is often short-lived and eventually leaves both or one person hurt.

In the bridge and outro, the narrator realizes her folly and the emotional confusion induced by this affair. Although she feels remorseful and angry at her partner, she holds on to the idea that they have shared a bond no one else can create, hence her decision to risk everything to be with him.


The song primarily centers on the “crazy” nature of illegitimate love affairs while recognizing the depth of sadness it can potentially give birth to. The song’s theme is quite similar to Stevie Wonder’s classic “Part-Time Lover“.

“Illicit Affairs” Information

Composition and Production: Jack Antonoff together with Swift
Album: Taylor’s 2020 hit album “Folklore”
Release: July of 2020

Was “Illicit Affairs” a single release?

No. The following are Folklore‘s only single releases:

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