“The Archer” by Taylor Swift

The premise of Taylor Swift’s “The Archer” is a romantic relationship, as in the person Swift is addressing is apparently a romantic interest. And their romance in and of itself does not appear to have any particular issues. However, Ms. Swift is still wary of her partner and the relationship in general. And logically these suspicions are based on past relationships she has been in which did not work out for the best.

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

Indeed the title of this song is derived from the first lines of its chorus, which read, “I’ve been the hunter. I’ve been the prey.” These are metaphorical statements. And what the singer is actually expressing is that in past romances she has both given and received emotional pain. In fact at the beginning of “The Archer” she states that she is “ready for combat”. This is an expression of her intent to actually initiate strife with her partner for the most part just to see how he would react, as in the process becoming familiar with his “dark side”.

So all things considered, the songstress comes off as an emotionally-vulnerable lover on this track. Her heart has been devastated in the past, which is what she alludes to when she states that she cannot be ‘put back together’. And that reality has led to Taylor becoming a less-than-ideal associate herself, which is why she questions who actually has the wherewithal to endure a relationship with her. But still she is hoping for the best. Indeed she is entreating her partner to “help (her) hold on to (him)”, as she realizes that she needs some tolerance and understanding due to the aforementioned ‘combative’ disposition she is approaching this relationship with.

The lyrics of "The Archer"

Release Date of “The Archer”

23rd July 2019 was the release date of “The Archer”. It was issued as Swift’s third single from her seventh studio album, Lover. On this same album are the hit singles: “ME!” and “You Need To Calm Down“.

The label behind the release is Republic Records. But Swift actually debuted the song herself, on 23 July 2019, in the middle of her Instagram live session

In the process, she has stated that “The Archer” is not a proper single per se, in that she has not “made a video for it or anything”. Rather “it’s just a song (she loves) on the album” and “a glimpse into the another side” of the project that she wanted to share with her fans.


Prior to its release, Swift had been teasing the release of this track via various venues (i.e. her music videos and social media) for months prior to it actually dropping. In other words, wherever you have seen arrows or related imagery (like cupids) depicted in her media recently, it was a tease of “The Archer”.

Indeed the first teasing of the song was during the music video to her track “Me!”, the initial single from “Lover”, which was released at the end of April 2019.

Did Taylor Swift actually write this song?

Yes, she did. As a matter of fact, she wrote the entirety of the song. And she also co-produced the track alongside her regular collaborator, Jack Antonoff.

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