Top 15 Underrated Taylor Swift Songs

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know that Taylor Swift released a new single called “ME!”, and it is the first song from her upcoming album. While you would never know it from listening to “ME!”, she is one of the best songwriters of her generation. Taylor’s songs have the ability to make you feel something, and that is the mark of an exceptional songwriter. Throughout her lengthy career, Taylor Swift has released over 100 songs, and her most famous ones (excluding “Bad Blood”) deserve the hype. She has other songs that are equally amazing but don’t get a lot of love because all of her songs are brilliant. Here are my top 15 underrated Taylor Swift songs in chronological order.

Honorable Mentions: “The Way I Loved You” (Fearless, 2008), “Ours” (Speak Now, 2010), and “All You Had To Do Was Stay” (1989, 2014).

  1. 1. “Tim McGraw” (Taylor Swift, 2006)

    I’m throwing it back to 2006 with Taylor Swift’s debut single.  This song is underrated due to the strength of her other albums, but “Tim McGraw” is a beautiful track filled with nostalgia about a high school relationship.

    Best Lyric: “Someday, you’ll turn your radio on / I hope it takes you back to that place”

  2. 2. “You’re Not Sorry” (Fearless, 2008)

    I almost picked “Tell Me Why” because I love how blunt the lyrics are, but that is also the reason why I did not choose it.  “You’re Not Sorry” gets its point across just as well with more nuance. The song is about moving on from a toxic partner, and it is really powerful.  The “CSI Remix” of the song, released in 2009, was an early sign of her future shift to the pop genre, and the musical arrangement in both versions of the track are top-notch.

    Best Lyric: “You used to shine so bright / But I watched all of it fade”

  3. 3. “The Story of Us” (Speak Now, 2010)

    I know this song was released as a single, but it is severely underrated when it should be more popular, especially with college students. “The Story of Us” perfectly describes the breakdown of a relationship; you know it is doomed, but all you can do is watch while it crashes and burns.

    Best Lyric: “I’ve never heard silence quite this loud”

  4. 4. “Haunted” (Speak Now, 2010)

    This song is a gem that no one seems to appreciate, but what is there not to like about it?  The use of violins and other string instruments create an intense atmosphere that matches the strong lyrics, and it continues to build up until reaching an unbelievable crescendo in the final chorus.

    Best Lyric: “But the whole time, I’m wishing he was you instead”

  5. 5. “Long Live” (Speak Now, 2010)

    This is the ultimate nostalgia song.  “Long Live” is perfect for reminiscing about the good times you had with your high school or college classmates.

    Best Lyric: “I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you”

  6. 6. “State of Grace” (Red, 2012)

    I love this song so much; why does it always get overlooked? Maybe it’s because Red has 16 tracks and multiple hit songs, but I refuse to accept people overlooking “State of Grace.”  It is a beautiful song about the beginning of a relationship, and it includes some introspective lyrics that perfectly describe our culture today (“All we know / Is touch and go”).  Sonically, “State of Grace” was a departure from her previous music, and I love the U2 vibes.

    Best Lyric: “So you were never a saint / And I loved in shades of wrong / We learn to live with the pain / Mosaic broken hearts”

  7. 7. “Treacherous” (Red, 2012)

    “Treacherous” is similarly underrated.  It is a beautiful ballad about taking a risk in starting a relationship with someone, even if it might not work out in the end.  “Treacherous” increases in tempo during the masterfully written bridge (“Two headlights shine through the sleepless night” immediately sets the tone).  Try listening to the song during a long drive.

    Best Lyric: “All we are is skin and bone / Trained to get along”

  8. 8. “All Too Well” (Red, 2012)

    This is the best song Taylor Swift has ever written.  It is an epic five and a half minute track, and the music ebbs and flows to match the lyrics in each section of the song.  The bridge is phenomenal; the lyrics are top-notch, and the heartbreak and raw emotion in Swift’s voice makes you feel like you’re the one experiencing the heartbreak.

    Best Lyric: “You call me up again just to break me like a promise / So casually cruel in the name of being honest / I’m a crumpled up piece of paper lying here”

  9. 9. “Begin Again” (Red, 2012)

    This song was released as a single, but I think it is not only underappreciated, but also one of the best tracks on Red.  “Begin Again” finds Swift going on a date after a particularly rough heartbreak, and she unexpectedly finds herself falling for her date.  The song’s power comes from the ending, when she ultimately realizes that life goes on after heartbreak, and it is okay to let people in. This is  a lesson most people could benefit from. Extra points for the breathtakingly beautiful music video filmed in Paris (seriously, watch it!).

    Best Lyric: “But you start to talk about the movies that your family watches / Every single Christmas, and I will talk about that”

  10. 10. “I Wish You Would” (1989, 2014)

    Similar to Red, 1989 had so many hit songs that great tracks were overlooked; this is especially the case for “I Wish You Would.”  The fast-paced music raises your heart rate, and as you listen to the song, it feels like you’re the one waiting for your ex’s car to pass your window in the middle of the night.  The lyrics are brilliant, too.

    Best Lyric: “We’re a crooked love / In a straight line down”

  11. 11. “Clean” (1989, 2014)

    “Clean” is a powerful song about moving on from a past relationship.  The progression from the beginning, when Swift is still licking her wounds, to the final chorus, when she is finally free of the emotional baggage of this previous relationship, is beautiful.

    Best Lyric: “When I was drowning, that’s when I could finally breathe”

  12. 12. “Wonderland” (1989, 2014)

    I’m honestly surprised it took Taylor Swift so long to write a song with an Alice in Wonderland theme, but “Wonderland” doesn’t disappoint.  The melody creates a tense atmosphere, and the lyrics are phenomenal, comparing a short-lived relationship to falling down the rabbit hole.  “Wonderland” was only a bonus track on 1989, but it was better than many of the tracks that made the cut.  

    Best Lyric: “It’s all fun and games ‘til somebody loses their mind”

  13. 13. “New Romantics” (1989, 2014)

    It was bad enough that Swift left “Wonderland” off the standard edition of 1989, but it is an absolute crime to relegate “New Romantics” to bonus track status, especially since it is arguably the second-best song she has ever written.  “New Romantics” encapsulates what it is like to be single in New York City during your early to mid-20s. Listen to it on the subway and you’ll see what I mean.

    Best Lyric: “The best people in life are free”

  14. 14. “Dancing With Our Hands Tied” (reputation, 2017)

    This is my favorite song on reputation, but it is criminally underrated.  “Dancing With Our Hands Tied” is three and a half minutes of electro-pop bliss, and the lyrics are heartbreakingly beautiful.  Seriously, this song is a bop; listen to it right now.

    Best Lyric: “I’m a mess, but I’m the mess that you wanted”

  15. 15. “New Year’s Day” (reputation, 2017)

    This ballad is Taylor at her best, letting the lyrics stand on their own with a simple piano melody.  “New Year’s Day” has special meaning for me, and it never fails to tug on my heartstrings.

    Best Lyric: “Hold on to the memories, they will hold on to you”