Upon its release, fans on both sides of the Atlantic were quick to criticize the Idris Elba-sampling track for the far-flung locations mentioned in its lyrics. While swooning over how much she fancies longtime love Joe Alwyn, Swift name-drops London locales including the West End, Highgate, Camden Market, Brixton, Bond Street, Hackney and Shoreditch — a nearly-impossible number of places to visit in a single day.
“This is supposed to happen over the space of three years,” Taylor explained to host Clara Amfo. “Somebody told me, ‘They think that you’re talking about one day,’ and I was like, ‘Oh no, you’d never make it. You wouldn’t make it. You’d make it in three years!’”
On “London Boy,” Swift also sings the line, “Babe, don’t threaten me with a good time,” which some fans speculated was about British reality TV star Gemma Collins, who often uses the term “babes.” Swift clarified: “No, it’s just something my British friends say all the time, and they say it exactly like that, so forgive the impression.”
The star also performed the track live for the first time during her six-song set for the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge.