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.
30.) “Dear John”—Speak Now
I have always described this song as heart-wrenchingly beautiful, because as sad as it is, this song is lyrically complex and incredible (though, to be fair, not as much as “All Too Well” is). Not to mention written solely by Miss Swift at only 19 years old. This song is powerful and painful to listen to, because you can feel all the emotions that were poured into it.
Favorite Line: “But I took your matches // Before fire could catch me. // So, don’t look now. // I’m shining like fireworks // Over your sad empty town.”
29.) “Paper Rings”—Lover
I loved this song from the minute I listened to it. It reminds me of listening to music from the early 2000s, and honestly makes me smile. I just think that this song takes the serious feeling of “Lover,” and reminds us that love can be really fun. Not only that, but it reminds us that it doesn’t matter when it comes to material possessions, as long as you are with the person you love.
Favorite Line: “Kiss me once ’cause you know I had a long night (Oh) // Kiss me twice ’cause it’s gonna be alright (Uh) // Three times ’cause I waited my whole life (1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4) // I like shiny things, but I’d marry you with paper rings // Uh huh, that’s right // Darling, you’re the one I want”
Least Favorite Line (since for this song, it needs to be noted): “Wrap your arms around me, baby boy”
28.) “Come Back…Be Here”—RED
A bonus track on RED that is far superior to “Girl at Home,” brings us here. “Come Back…Be Here” is a tear-jerker, at least for me. Being far away from the people you love is hard, and being far away while you are trying to build a relationship with someone is even harder. I think this song speaks to me on a much more personal level than most, but it is an incredible song and I’m thankful it was added as a bonus track on RED.
Favorite Line: “Taxi cabs and busy streets, // That never bring you back to me, // I can’t help but wish you took me with you…”
27.) “Mary’s Song”—Taylor Swift
This is certifiably one of Taylor’s cutest songs and makes me smile every time I listen to it. It perfectly captures the want for a love that lasts a lifetime by telling the story of two people who are lucky enough to experience it.
Favorite Line: “And our daddies used to joke about the two of us // They never believed we’d really fall in love // And our mamas smiled and rolled their eyes // And said oh my my my…”
26.) “Our Song”—Taylor Swift
There is almost nothing better than hearing this song, since it is one of the first Taylor songs I ever listened to. Though this song is from her first album, it still has a lyrical sophistication that is virtually unmatched. Every time I listen to his song, I can’t help but smile, which is why it is ranked so high on my list. Also, you can’t tell me that the last line of the song isn’t great, the duality of the words she chose to use is incredible, and you can quote me on that.
Favorite Line: “I was riding shotgun // With my hair undone // In the front seat of his car // I grabbed a pen // And an old napkin // And I wrote down our song”
25.) “You’re Not Sorry”—Fearless
I think this song is really important, since its message is one that I think a lot of people often forget. When someone hurts you the same way over and over again, you don’t have to forgive them. I should say, you can forgive them (and for you to feel better about it you probably should), but you do not have to give them the opportunity to hurt you again. And you certainly shouldn’t give them the opportunity to do it countless times. Know that you are worth someone treating you well, and if someone keeps hurting you and they swear it is an accident, it is probably not really an accident. AND it is certainly not your fault, it is most certainly theirs. Forgive and move on to something better.
Favorite Line: “You are looking so innocent // I might believe you if I didn’t know // Could’ve loved you all my life // If you hadn’t left me waiting in the cold”
24.) “The Moment I Knew”—RED
I am really sad that this song is a bonus track on RED, and not as easily accessible for everyone because it is SO good. While this song might not always sound as clean-cut as Taylor’s other songs, I think it conveys the disappointment and pain that Swift is feeling when she sings this song. We’ve all been there when someone didn’t show up for something you really wanted them at—and this song is the perfect response to those feelings.
Favorite Line: “And it was like slow motion, // Standing there in my party dress, // In red lipstick, // With no one to impress, // And they’re all laughing, // As I’m looking around the room, // But there’s one thing missing, // And that was the moment I knew.”
23.) “Should’ve Said No”––Taylor Swift
I have always loved this song, because I think that it is a perfect culmination of what it feels like to have someone be unfaithful. While this song is obviously about a romantic partner, the feelings can be translated over to other relationships where unfaithfulness comes into play. It speaks on a notion of trust being broken, and I think that this, combined with its incredible appearance on the reputation stadium tour, warrant this song being here on the list. It also takes the blame off of Taylor, and puts it on the party that should be blamed for their actions, which I think is important, especially as a message to young women.
Favorite Line: “And I should’ve been there in the back of your mind // I shouldn’t be asking myself, ‘Why?’”
This song will alway hold a special place in my heart. First, there is absolutely nothing more freeing than listening to this song on the back of a motorcycle winding through back country roads. Second, hearing this song live at the reputation stadium tour was probably the best experience of my life, since I got to sing hallelujah with Taylor and 50,000 other people. I would give anything to turn back the clock and experience this moment over and over again, and for that reason, I have no other choice than to rank this song so highly.
Favorite Line: “Tonight we’ll stand, get off our knees // Fight for what we’ve worked for all these years // And the battle was long, it’s the fight of our lives // But we’ll stand up champions tonight // It was the night things changed // Can you see it now? // These walls that they put up to hold us back fell down // This revolution, throw your hands up // ‘Cause we never gave in // And we’ll sing hallelujah, we sang hallelujah // Hallelujah”
21.) “The Archer”—Lover
This song takes responsibility where other songs have not. Much like “Afterglow,” I think that this song takes a responsibility for what the outcome of a relationship might be. While “Afterglow” is more of an apology, this song is an explanation for being rough around the edges and about how fighting for a relationship to thrive is important in its survival. This song has a different sound, that is almost haunting, and it’s why this is one of my favorite songs from Taylor.
Favorite Line: “I wake in the night, I pace like a ghost // The room is on fire, invisible smoke // And all of my heroes die all alone // Help me hold on to you”
Tune in again soon for the next article in this series: Songs 20-11!