Down Bad

THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT (2024)

“Down Bad” is track four on Taylor’s eleventh studio album, THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT (2024). It was released on April 19, 2024, through Republic Records.
Table of Contents

Background

Taylor released her tenth studio album, Midnights, on October 21, 2022, to widespread commercial and critical success, becoming the biggest album of the year. Midnights was eventually nominated for six Grammy Awards at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards on February 4, 2024. The morning of the ceremony, Taylor teased the release of an album by changing her profile picture across all social media platforms to a black and white version of the already existing cover artwork of Midnights. This led to her fans speculating online that she was preparing to release reputation (Taylor’s Version), a forthcoming re-recording of her sixth studio album, reputation (2017). Taylor’s website also appeared to have crashed, replaced with the non-existent HTTP status code 321, as well as error code “hneriergrd”, which fans deciphered to be an anagram spelling “red herring”. They also analyzed the source code of her website and found hidden, foreign-language words, which they then translated into English. The words found would be revealed to be words in Taylor’s handwritten note for the album.

Taylor won the Grammy Awards for “Best Pop Vocal Album” and “Album of the Year” for Midnights a few hours later. In her acceptance speech for the former, she revealed a new studio album, titled THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT, and announced its release date of April 19, 2024, which she had been keeping secret for nearly two years. Its cover artwork was subsequently posted on her social media accounts, along with a photograph of a handwritten note:

«And so I enter into evidence / My tarnished coat of arms / My muses, acquired like bruises / My talismans and charms / The tick, tick, tick of love bombs / My veins of pitch black ink / All's fair in love and poetry…Sincerely, The Chairman of the Tortured Poets Department.»

The album’s tracklist, including “Down Bad,” was revealed a day later.

Live Performances

Starting with the European leg, which kicked off in May 2024, Taylor added “Down Bad” to the regular setlist for her sixth headlining tour, “The Eras Tour” (2023-2024).

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
Did you really beam me up?
In a cloud of sparkling dust
Just to do experiments on
Tell me I was the chosen one
Show me that this world is bigger than us
Then sent me back where I came from
For a moment I knew cosmic love

[Chorus]
Now I’m down bad crying at the gym
Everything comes out teenage petulance
“Fuck it if I can’t have him”
“I might just die, it would make no difference.”
Down bad, waking up in blood
Staring at the sky, come back and pick me up
Fuck it if I can’t have us.
I might just not get up
I might stay down bad
Fuck it if I can’t have him
Down bad
Fuck it if I can’t have him

[Verse 2]
Did you take all my old clothes?
Just to leave me here naked and alone
In a field in my same old town
That somehow seems so hollow now
They’ll say I’m nuts if I talk about the existence of you
For a moment I was heaven struck

[Chorus 2]
Now I’m down bad crying at the gym
Everything comes out teenage petulance
“Fuck it if I can’t have him”
“I might just die, it would make no difference.”
Down bad, waking up in blood
Staring at the sky, come back and pick me up
Fuck it if I can’t have us.
I might just not get up
I might stay down bad
Like I lost my twin
Fuck it if I can’t have him
Down bad
Down bad
Waving at the ship
Fuck it if I can’t have him

[Bridge]
I loved your hostile takeovers
Encounters closer and closer
All your indecent exposures
How dare you say that it’s—
I’ll build you a fort on some planet
Where they can all understand it
How dare you think it’s romantic
Leaving me safe and stranded
Cause fuck it, I was in love
So fuck you if I can’t have us.
Cause fuck it, I was in love

[Final Chorus]
Now I’m down bad crying at the gym
Everything comes out teenage petulance
“Fuck it if I can’t have him”
“I might just die, it would make no difference.”
Down bad, waking up in blood
Staring at the sky, come back and pick me up
Fuck it if I can’t have us.
I might just not get up
I might stay down bad
Like I lost my twin
Fuck it if I can’t have him
Down bad
Down bad
Waving at the ship
Fuck it if I can’t have him

[Outro]
Like I lost my twin
Fuck it if I can’t have him
Down bad
Waving at the ship
Fuck it if I can’t have him

General Information
ArtistTaylor Swift
AlbumTHE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT
ReleasedApril 19, 2024
RecordedJune 29, 2023
StudiosConway (Los Angeles)
Electric Lady (New York City)
Hutchinson Sound (Brooklyn)
Sterling Sound (Edgewater)
GenrePop
Length4:21
LabelRepublic Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Jack Antonoff
ProducersJack Antonoff
Taylor Swift
THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT CHRONOLOGY
My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite ToysDown BadSo Long, London
Song Artwork
Taylor on June 29, 2023
Live Performance
Lyric Video
Official Audio