The Alchemy

THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT (2024)

“The Alchemy” is track fifteen 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 “The Alchemy,” was revealed a day later.

Live Performance

Taylor first performed “The Alchemy” during her sixth headlining concert tour, “The Eras Tour” (2023-2024). It was the first surprise song during her show on May 12, 2024, in Paris; a show which her partner, NFL football player Travis Kelce, attended. As an extra surprise, Taylor decided to mash up the song with “Treacherous” from 2012’s RED. Before playing the song, she teased:

«Can you believe this is our 87th show of 'The Eras Tour'?»

The audio of the performance was officially released a couple of days later.

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
This happens once every few lifetimes
These chemicals hit me like white wine

[Pre-Chorus 1]
What if I told you I’m back?
The hospital was a drag
Worst sleep that I ever had
I circled you on a map
I haven’t come around in so long
But I’m coming back so strong

[Chorus]
So when I touch down
Call the amateurs and
Cut ’em from the team
Ditch the clowns, get the crown
Baby I’m the one to beat
Cause the sign on your heart
Said it’s still reserved for me
Honestly, who are we to fight thе alchemy?

[Verse 2]
Hey you, what if I told you we’rе cool?
That child’s play back in school
Is forgiven under my rule
I haven’t come around in so long
But I’m making a comeback to where I belong…

[Chorus]
So when I touch down
Call the amateurs and
Cut ’em from the team
Ditch the clowns, get the crown
Baby I’m the one to beat
Cause the sign on your heart
Said it’s still reserved for me
Honestly, who are we to fight the alchemy?

[Post-Chorus]
These blokes warm the benches
We been on a winning streak
He jokes that it’s heroin but this time with an “E”
Cause the sign on your heart said it’s still reserved for me
Honestly, who are we to fight the alchemy?

[Bridge]
Shirts off, and your friends lift you up over their heads
Beer sticking to the floor
Cheers chanted, cause they said
There was no chance, trying to be
The greatest in the league
Where’s the trophy?
He just comes running over to me

[Chorus]
So when I touch down
Call the amateurs and
Cut ’em from the team
Ditch the clowns, get the crown
Baby I’m the one to beat
Cause the sign on your heart
Said it’s still reserved for me
Honestly, who are we to fight the alchemy?

[Post-Chorus]
These blokes warm the benches
We been on a winning streak
He jokes that it’s heroin but this time with an “E”
Cause the sign on your heart said it’s still reserved for me
Honestly, who are we to fight the alchemy?

[Outro]
This happens once every few lifetimes
These chemicals hit me like white wine

General Information
ArtistTaylor Swift
AlbumTHE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT
ReleasedApril 19, 2024
Recorded2023
StudiosConway (Los Angeles)
Electric Lady (New York City)
Prime Recording (Nashville)
Hutchinson Sound (Brooklyn)
Sterling Sound (Edgewater)
GenrePop
Length3:16
LabelRepublic Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Jack Antonoff
ProducersJack Antonoff
Taylor Swift
THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT CHRONOLOGY
The Smallest Man Who Ever LivedThe AlchemyClara Bow
Song Artwork
Live Perfomrance
Lyric Video
Official Audio
Official Live Audio