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Taylor Swift Defends Herself & Her Songwriting

For years, men have underestimated and targeted Taylor Swift. Maybe it’s because of her success and pure talent that men feel the need to prey on her, as Marie-Claire Chappet theorized in her Glamour article.

In the latest instance of this, Damon Albarn said in a Los Angeles Times interview that Taylor “doesn’t write her own songs.”

Taylor knows all too well that the only defense she has are her words. In her Netflix documentary, Miss Americana, she says, “I know that without me writing my own songs, I wouldn’t be here.” She has always prided herself on her songwriting and values the craft not only as an emotional outlet but as a way to tell her side of any story.

For Albarn to target her songwriting is unfair and inaccurate. In response, Taylor tweeted, “You don’t have to like my songs but it’s really fucked up to try and discredit my writing.” He then replied on Twitter saying the conversation about songwriting during the interview “was reduced to clickbait.” He went on to “apologise unreservedly and unconditionally.”

Regardless of his intentions, it’s important to set the record straight. Taylor Swift DOES write her own songs.

I’ve compiled a list of all the songs Miss Taylor Alison Swift poured her entire heart, body and soul into.

*The following statistics only include album songs and exclude any different versions of songs

  1. “Back to December”
  2. “Begin Again”
  3. “Better Than Revenge”
  4. “Better Man”
  5. “Change”
  6. “Cornelia Street”
  7. “Daylight”
  8. “Dear John”
  9. “Enchanted”
  10. “Fifteen”
  11. “Forever & Always”
  12. “Girl at Home”
  13. “Haunted”
  14. “Hey Stephan”
  15. “Holy Ground”
  16. “I Almost Do”
  17. “Innocent”
  18. “Jump Then Fall”
  19. “Last Kiss”
  20. “Long Live”
  21. “Lover”
  22. “Love Story”
  23. “Mean”
  24. “Mine”
  25. “Mr. Perfectly Fine”
  26. “My Tears Ricochet”
  27. “Never Grow Up”
  28. “No Body No Crime”
  29. “Nothing New”
  30. “Ours”
  31. “Our Song”
  32. “Red”
  33. “Sad Beautiful Tragic”
  34. “Should’ve Said No”
  35. “Sparks Fly”
  36. “Speak Now”
  37. “Starlight”
  38. “State of Grace”
  39. “Stay Stay Stay”
  40. “Superman”
  41. “The Best Day”
  42. “The Lucky One”
  43. “The Moment I Knew”
  44. “The Other Side of the Door”
  45. “The Outside”
  46. “The Story of Us”
  47. “This Love”
  48. “Today Was A Fairytale”
  49. “You’re Not Sorry”

To put this into perspective, her current discography taps out at 168 songs — meaning about 29 percent of her catalog is self-written.

And how about the rest of her album songs? She has a co-writer credit on every single one of them and most only have one other writer on them. Her songwriting contribution and talent are undeniable. By contributing lyrics to all of her songs she’s become of the most recognizable artists of our generation.

Some of her most popular songs are self-written, like “Our Song,” “Love Story” and “Fifteen.” These songs could be considered classics — everyone knows them and lots of people love them.

Other self-written songs may be less mainstream but feature some of her most gut-wrenching lyrics. In “My Tears Ricochet” on Folklore she writes,

“And I can go anywhere I want
Anywhere I want, just not home
And you can aim for my heart, go for blood
But you would still miss me in your bones
And I still talk to you (when I’m screaming at the sky)
And when you can’t sleep at night (you hear my stolen lullabies)”

Her brilliant songwriting skills even connect her discography together. In the song “Daylight” she writes, “I once believed love would be burning red but it’s golden, like daylight.” This references the title track of her album Red where she repeats the line “loving him was red” over and over.

While her self-written tracks feature some of her best songwriting, they don’t even scratch the surface. In two of her latest albums, Folklore and Evermore, Taylor perfected her ability to work with other writers to tell stories that were not her own. Most of the album tells the stories of characters imagined by Taylor. This new and unique method further proves her ability to turn thoughts into lyrics without restricting herself from collaborating with other writers.

From before her debut album to the present day, Taylor has written her own music.

Caroline McKenzie

New School '25

Caroline McKenzie is a Journalism & Design student at The New School. She focuses on culture, fashion, news, and music but enjoys writing just about anything. For years, she did ballet but recently has been getting into reading and making collages. She also likes to watch TV, especially limited series and mindless comedies.
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