Is Charli XCX throwing shade at Taylor Swift and Matty Healy’s relationship in Sympathy Is a Knife?

Verses depicting a girl backstage at her partner's performance might allude to Swift's appearance at a 1975 concert.

Pop Culture & Art June 11, 2024
Image: Reuters/ AFP

Speculations among fans suggest that Charli XCX may have penned a track about Taylor Swift and Matty Healy's relationship on her latest album, "Brat."

"Sympathy Is a Knife" quickly became the focal point of discussions on social media. Based on a Reddit post, the lyrics of this song imply that Charli XCX is alluding to The 1975 band's lead singer, Matty Healy, and Taylor Swift.

Charli XCX’s Sympathy Is a Knife lyrics

The lyrics of the mentioned song are as follows:

“I don’t wanna share the space/ I don’t wanna force a smile/ This one girl taps my insecurities/ Don’t know if it’s real or if I’m spiraling/ One/ voice tells me that they laugh/ George says I’m just paranoid/ Says he just don’t see it, he’s so naive/ I’m embarrassed to have it but need the sympathy

“Why I wanna buy a gun?/ Why I wanna shoot mysеlf?/ Volatile at war with my dialogue/ I’d say that there was a God if they could stop this/ Wild voice tearing me apart/ I’m so apprehensive now/ Don’t wanna see her backstage/ At my boyfriend’s show/ Fingers crossed behind my back/ I hope they break up quick”

According to Vulture, the verses depicting a girl backstage at her partner's performance might allude to Swift's appearance when she sang her popular song "Anti-Hero" at The 1975's concert in January 2023.

The relationship timeline of Taylor Swift and Matty Healy was also highlighted in a report by People Magazine. A Reddit user mentioned that Swift was photographed backstage wearing Healy's jacket.

Charli XCX shades Taylor Swift?

The user commented, “Here is a picture of them backstage at The 1975 show in January 2023 both with Matty’s mom when Taylor came out and debuted Anti-Hero and Taylor is wearing Matty’s suit jacket in the pic. I think it is definitely referencing Taylor but not as shade more about Charli’s insecurity around Taylor.”

Dating rumors between Healy and Swift began circulating in May 2023, with reports of their breakup emerging the following month. Coincidentally, during this period, Charli served as an opening act during Swift's Reputation tour.

Yet, in 2019, she remarked to Pitchfork during an interview, “It kind of felt like I was getting up on stage and waving to 5-year-olds.”


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