All’s fair in love and Barnumbia.

On Sunday, February 4th, Taylor Swift dropped a bomb during her Grammy’s acceptance speech: her new album, The Tortured Poets Department, is coming out on April 19th. Fans everywhere were shocked, a scream was heard across the Barnard Quad… Ms. Swift would be gifting us with the present of new music once more. What the Grammy’s audience didn’t hear, though, was the call Taylor made backstage after her announcement to none other than Columbia University’s favorite news source, Bwog. She explained to Bwog staffers that Barnumbia actually inspired her album, and each track was an easter egg representing something about the university. Obviously, we had to crack the code. After spending hours upon hours in Lerner 510, we can now finally share with you, our readers, the Columbia and Barnard lore behind each new title of The Tortured Poets Department. Strap in Barnumbia Swifties, this will blow your mind.

Fortnight (Feat. Post Malone)

Looks like Taylor took a trip to the Wallach ESPORTS gaming room over winter break and came back with some ideas! Though, she did misspell one of the biggest video games of our generation. Maybe it took a toll on her, watching Travis listen to Post Malone and play Fortnite in those hard, white chairs. Nevertheless, it got us a new track, and for that, we should be grateful to the gamers.

The Tortured Poets Department

As easily discerned by the title, it is clear this track is about a certain department at one of our lovely colleges… could it be… the English department? At none other than Barnard College? That’s right, readers, Taylor Swift has looked inside the souls of our English majors here at Barnard and realized that being a humanities major at a Historically Womens’ College is not all it’s cracked up to be. Sometimes when an essay draft is too hard to write, or a professor won’t give you an extension for your ten pages, you feel a bit… tortured. In the department that hosts poets, obviously.

My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys

Ever heard of the Barnard Toddler Center? Now you have! A space focused on child psychology, the center allows student researchers to observe toddlers as they play with toys and do other types of activities. Or, in the case of Taylor’s viewing of this center, when a toddler breaks his toys. His favorite toys.

Down Bad

Sidechat users, this one is for you. We know you haven’t felt the touch of another human being in years, please stop posting about it.

So Long, London

This one actually holds a bit of historic significance to it. Swift told us at Bwog that she felt inspired to write the song “So Long, London” not because of her ex-boyfriend Joe Alwyn, as fans assumed, but because of King’s College officially being changed to Columbia University in 1912! Take that, red coats!

But Daddy I Love Him

No, freshmen, you don’t love your four-month-long situationship that you met during NSOP. Please stop telling your parents about them, they miss having actual conversations with you.

Fresh Out the Slammer

This title is more of a metaphor than anything. Remember when you learned that the words “school” and “prison” have the same number of letters? How you would wish for summer vacation in elementary school? That doesn’t stop when you get to college, and we Barnumbia students enter each summer like we are Fresh Out the Slammer.

Florida!!! (Feat. Florence + the Machine)

Taylor knows our spring break plans. And she’s watching.

Guilty as Sin?

That feeling you get when you turn in an essay that is 50% AI-generated with a little bit of tweaking.

Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?

Have you ever realized you could be someone else’s campus celebrity? And even further, a celebrity that they would be scared to talk to? Sometimes you have to wonder if your resting bitch face makes you intimidating to those who may be admiring from afar. When a friend tells you their friend wants to talk to you but is afraid, you have to ask yourself, Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?

I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)

Oh, Barnard girlies… Taylor knows us all too well. She has seen what can happen when one of us bold and beautiful women takes on a relationship with a CC or SEAS man and it is not pretty. You may say you can fix him… but honey, we don’t think you can.


This song perfectly encapsulates how a Barnumbia student feels when a professor does not give an absence limit on a class or require a doctor’s note when a student is sick. Professors like this, you are the loml.

I Can Do It With A Broken Heart

College is hard. And college at an Ivy League school that does not inflate grades like others is even harder. And doing that plus breaking up with your long-term, long-distance, low-commitment, casual situationship on campus is the hardest thing one can do. But we believe in you, Barnumbia students: You can do it with a broken heart.

The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived

Where are the men above 6’ on this campus? Are they hiding? It seems that every male figure that walks these halls is The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived.

The Alchemy

STEM baddies, never fear, Taylor did not forget about you! She sees you struggling in Gen Chem, she knows that the science requirements at these schools are tough, and she empathizes. However, I don’t think she knows that chemistry and alchemy are not exactly the same thing… at least she’s trying though!

Clara Bow

Clara Bow was a 1920s-30s actress who grew up in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. Where is Brooklyn, you may ask? Well, it is in the great city of New York! And where is Columbia University? Also in that city! This definitely is not a stretch at all!

The Manuscript

Unfortunately, we can’t all be perfect, and the title of this track is actually another misspelling on Taylor’s part. It is meant to be called, “The Transcript,” as in the thing we are all submitting to summer internships right now. Hope that clears things up, and Taylor, it may be time to visit the writing center.

Totally real sighting of Taylor and Roaree via Wikimedia Commons and Author