The lyrics, “Say my name and everything just stops/ I don’t want you like a best friend/ Only bought this dress so you could take it off, take it off,” had Swifties speculating that “best friend” was Sheeran, who is also featured on the album’s second track titled “End Game” with rapper Future.
Another lyric, “There is an indentation in the shape of you/ Made your mark on me, a golden tattoo,” was alluded as a reference to Sheeran’s hit single “Shape Of You.”
During a recent Instagram live stream with AugustMan magazine from Singapore, Sheeran was asked about the speculation.
“I don’t think it is [about me],” he said, adding: “I think if you read into it… it’s not… you know, because she mentions someone with a buzzcut haircut, and I’ve never had a buzzcut haircut.”
Swift recognized how her lyrics have become topics of conversations and guesswork about her personal life and addressed the speculation in a letter she included with the album.
“When this album comes out, gossip blogs will scour the lyrics for the men they can attribute to each song, as if the inspiration for music is as simple and basic as a paternity test,” she wrote in her Reputation companion zines.
“There will be slideshows of photos backing up each incorrect theory, because it’s 2017 and if you didn’t see a picture of it, it couldn’t have happened right?” she added.