If you have been following my writing over the past four years, you know that I have done album reviews (reputation, Lover) and album rankings, but taking on Taylor’s 117 song discography is something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time. So here it goes, every Taylor Swift song ranked (from her 7 studio albums), from my least favorite to my favorite and the reasons to match. Some of the factors taken into consideration were overall sound, lyrical complexity, placement on albums, amount of times skipped, musical composition, and tone. Since this list is clearly extensive, I’ve taken the time to split it up into multiple different articles linked below so you are not scrolling forever.
40.) “I Forgot That You Existed”—Lover
This song is one of Taylor’s better openers, probably second to the one and only best opener “…Ready For It?” The reason? Because this song is a song of healing and growing. This sets the tone for Lover’s bright and, well, loving persona. Being hung up on an ex, or bogged down by something that you need to heal from can make it hard to remember how to love someone else, and this song does a good job of talking about the healing process of forgetting the things that people did to hurt you, and no longer letting them bother you. “It isn’t hate, it isn’t love, it’s just indifference,” really signifies the importance of differentiating these feelings, and realizing that it isn’t a binary structure. There can be feelings other than hatred or love, there can also be no feelings at all—just indifference.
Favorite Line: “Lived in the shade you were throwing // ‘Til all of my sunshine was gone, gone, gone”
Least Favorite Line: “It isn’t hate, it’s just indifference // It isn’t love, it isn’t hate, it’s just indifference // So, yeah” (specifically the last one of the song)
39.) “Cruel Summer”—Lover
This song is an amazing summer bop to blast out your windows all season long. I must admit, while originally not one of my favorite songs on Lover, “Cruel Summer” has grown on me in the way of making me happier and happier with each listen. Though, if we are being honest, the best part of the song is the one line where Taylor sings: “He looks up, grinning like a devil.” The sound of her voice in this moment is something I haven’t heard from her, and proves that even on her seventh studio album, she is still trying to hone and master her craft in new and interesting ways. While they might not always work out (*Cough* “False God” *Cough*), this one certainly does.
Favorite Line: “I’m drunk in the back of the car // And I cried like a baby coming home from the bar (Oh) // Said, “I’m fine,” but it wasn’t true // I don’t wanna keep secrets just to keep you // And I snuck in through the garden gate // Every night that summer just to seal my fate (Oh) // And I scream, “For whatever it’s worth // I love you, ain’t that the worst thing you ever heard?” // He looks up, grinning like a devil”
38.) “Tim Mcgraw”—Taylor Swift
This song—Taylor’s first song—deserves a lot of credit. I really love this song, and I think that you can really feel the love story here even though it is not fully told. While you know that there was sadness here, there is also an appreciation for the other person who was in this relationship. Even though the relationship might be over, it’s a remembrance and celebration of the good times that the pair had when they were together, as well as a way to catch up with each other.
Favorite Line: “It’s hard not to find it all a little bitter sweet // And lookin’ back on all of that, it’s nice to believe // When you think Tim McGraw // I hope you think my favorite song // The one we danced to all night long // The moon like a spotlight on the lake”
37.) “Back to December”—Speak Now
This song is a masterpiece, and there is no other explanation for it. As I have said about other songs, we have all been in a place where we have had to accept that we made a mistake, and this song—much like “Afterglow,” takes the blame for someone else’s pain. I think there is a level of emotional maturity to this song that not a lot of people have at the age of 19—so this song deserves a lot of props for being able to convey the importance of accepting when you are wrong, and not assuming that you can change someone’s pain by being nice. It’s always good to admit that you would change things if you could, but when you can’t, you have to own your mistake like Taylor does here.
Favorite Line: “You’ve been good, busier than ever. // We small-talk, work and the weather. // Your guard is up and I know why. // Because the last time you saw me is still burned in the back of your mind. // You gave me roses and I left them there to die.”
36.) “Death by a Thousand Cuts”—Lover
This is one of my favorite Lover songs, since it takes all the crap that the media threw at Taylor and proves it wrong. Many people said that she wouldn’t be able to write music the way she has in the past since she is in a happy and healthy relationship now, but Taylor proved that inspiration does not only come from your own relationship, it can come from a variety of different sources. In this case, it can even come from a movie. Swift is the queen of break-up hits, but that doesn’t mean that she needs to ruin a good relationship just to further her career—she is capable of writing songs about many other topics, as well as keeping inspiration about relationships in sources other than her own.
Favorite Line: “I see you everywhere, the only thing we share // Is this small town // You said it was a great love, one for the ages // But if the story’s over, why am I still writing pages?”
35.) “Wildest Dreams”—1989
This song is also one of the best on 1989. This song is super unique since Taylor actually incorporates her own heartbeat in the background of this song, and the fact that it’s included is one of the coolest things she could have done—and did do—with this album. Other than that, this song has a great sound to it and it’s one of my favorites to listen to. Not to mention the “Wildest Dreams” / “Enchanted” mash-up on the 1989 world tour—if you know, you know.
Favorite Line: “Say you’ll remember me // Standing in a nice dress // Staring at the sunset, babe // Red lips and rosy cheeks // Say you’ll see me again // Even if it’s just pretend”
34.) “The Story of Us”—Speak Now
This song is great, and the fact that it uses a book as its metaphor makes it even better (clearly my publishing major is showing here). Also, this song recently came back into the spotlight when Taylor changed every single banner on spotify except this song right before she dropped her newest album Lover. This song is 4 minutes and 26 seconds long, and says “next chapter” coincidence? I think not (hello, it’s Taylor, there are no coincidences, only easter eggs).
Favorite Line: “Oh, a simple complication, // Miscommunications lead to fall-out. // So many things that I wish you knew. // So many walls up I can’t break through.”
33.) “Stay, Stay, Stay”—RED
Everyone is always hating on “Stay, Stay, Stay,” but I really love this song. I think this song gets a bad rep because of its cutesy style, but really, this song is embodying the happy parts of love. It’s about being able to make jokes to help mend a relationship and communicate through the issues you are having. It’s about the importance of not acting irrationally when you are upset, and taking time to cool off to realize what you really want.
Favorite Line: “You took the time to memorize me: // My fears, my hopes, and dreams. // I just like hangin’ out with you all the time. // All those times that you didn’t leave; // It’s been occurring to me I’d like to hang out with you for my whole life.”
32.) “The Other Side Of The Door”—Fearless
“The Other Side Of The Door” is a song that I’ve loved since the moment I heard it. I think that this song really encapsulates what it means to be prideful, and how if you aren’t sure how to handle a situation, that can get in the way. Particularly referencing my favorite line (see below), “when I left I wanted you to chase after me” is something I feel to the core. I’ve been known to walk away from things in the heat of the fight because I want to know that someone is passionate about our relationship—romantic or otherwise. It isn’t a good thing, but something I’ve been working to overcome, and I think that this song is a reminder that walking away isn’t the answer, and that someone giving you space isn’t a sign that they don’t care. This is really just a long way of saying that sometimes we make mistakes, but we shouldn’t let our pride come between us and the things that make us happy.
Favorite Line: “Me and my stupid pride are sitting here alone // Going through the photographs, staring at the phone // I keep going back over things we both said // And I remember the slamming door and all the things that I misread // So babe if you know everything, tell me why you couldn’t see // When I left I wanted you to chase after me”
31.) “King Of My Heart”—reputation
“King Of My Heart” is a song that has grown on me over time. At first, I really wasn’t sure about it, but the more and more I listened, the more I saw the deeper beauty behind it. This song is an exploration of being in love, while still being guarded to the rest of the world. It speaks to the feeling of being in love without knowing if it is safe to be in love with that person, or before you know if they feel the same way about you, which really adds a depth to the song that is hard to come by.
Favorite Line: “Is the end of all the endings? // My broken bones are mending // With all these nights we’re spending // Up on the roof with a school girl crush // Drinking beer out of plastic cups // Say you fancy me, not fancy stuff // Baby, all at once, this is enough”
Tune in again soon for the next article in this series: Songs 30-21!