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No One Talk to Me, I’m in My Red Era

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Rediscovering myself this last year included listening to my old favorite songs. In the last year, one of my favorite artists, Taylor Swift, has re-released two of her albums, Fearless and Red, which reminded me why I fell in love with her music back in 2012. Although I was in elementary school at the time, I still remember the way her music made me feel. The emotion, the lyrics, the music, everything always stood out to me.

However, as I grew up, I felt ashamed to love Taylor’s music as I was told that she was being, “overdramatic” and, “too emotional” in her songs surrounding heartbreak, so I drifted away from an artist who spoke about love and heartbreak so beautifully. Thankfully, that feeling went away in the last year as I learned to embrace all parts of me, even the “emotional” ones that have been often been downplayed by others due to the stigmatization.

Now as a 19-year-old college student who’s suffered from heartbreak, listening to Taylor speak about pain from romantic relationships, it feels bittersweet relating to her lyrics in songs such as Red or Dear John.

Making this list was challenging, as my love for Taylor expands more to just simply cutting it down to a few titles, but here’s my top five favorite Taylor Swift songs.

  1. Red (Taylor’s Version)- This re-recording is better than the original version in my opinion. Taylor’s voice is still filled with passion and emotion as she recounts a failed love story, and compares her feelings to many colors such as grey, blue, and most importantly, red. The country-pop beat goes so well with this song as it also travels through the stages of forgetting someone who broke your heart. My favorite lyric is, “Touching him is like realizing all you ever wanted was right there in front of you” because it perfectly describes the honeymoon stage of a relationship, where everything feels magical and you often wonder where has this person been all your life. I can relate to Swift throughout the entirety of this song, recalling how intense heartbreak is.
  2. Dear John (Speak Now)– If the “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” makes you detest Jake Gyllenhaal, this song will make you want to beat John Mayer up for playing with Taylor’s heart. Swift makes the 13-year age gap a main point throughout this song as Mayer took advantage of her young age (Taylor was 19 and John was 32 when they first dated) and emotionally wrecked her. As someone who recently had her heart broken by a man four years older than me, I relate to Taylor’s pain and naivety of consistently ignoring red flags and trying to see the good in a person who was clearly not a good person for us. “You are an expert at sorry,” is so far her best lyric in this song for me. Overall, my favorite part is that Taylor and I were both 19 when we got our hearts broken by older men, and I cannot wait for her to re-release this song, and I’m anxiously manifesting it’s also a 10 minute version where she destroys Mayer once again.
  3. Begin Again (Taylor’s Version) (Red)- I cannot explain the feelings of optimism and hope I feel every time I listen to this song. Swift’s voice represents new beginnings and hope when starting a new relationship with someone after heartbreak. When I first moved to San Antonio, this song made me feel so optimistic about meeting people here and leaving behind a hurtful past in my hometown. “I’ve been spending the last eight months, thinking all love ever does is break and burn, and end,” is the lyric I heavily relate to. After I moved here, I gained new hope of a romantic relationship that was about to happen.
  4. Fifteen (Fearless)– Ah, I can still remember listening to this song for the first time and being so excited about high school. The guitar and beat go hand-in-hand going through stages of joy and melancholy. Even though I am no longer in high school, this song is truly speaking to every girl’s high school experience. First love, football games, and the best friends many of us had in high school. This song holds so much special meaning to me, because it reminds me of my high school years, and often creates a feeling of melancholy. From time to time, I long for the worries I had back then, and how I had my friends close to me all the time. Looking back at the pain and heartbreak I went through during this time of life, I realized that Taylor was right about time healing everything. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to be thankful about the hardships I went through during my high school years, and this song is a great way to look back.
  5. I Almost Do (Taylor’s Version)- I believe this is one of Swift’s most underrated songs and just as sad as All Too Well. This song is very specific to my own feelings at this time in my life. Her voice goes with the emotional atmosphere, talking about seeing her former lover in her dreams and how much effort she has to make to not go back to him. “I bet it never ever occurred to you that I can’t say hello to you and risk another goodbye,” is my all time favorite lyric in any song, it reflects the difficulty of wanting to let go of someone and how painful it can be to try to make things work once again. Knowing that Taylor recorded this song while she was also struggling with heartbreak as a way to say goodbye to her former lover is soothing to me. The ending is a great way to say goodbye to a failed relationship, expressing hope that her ex is thinking about her at the end of the day.

As y’all can tell, Red is my favorite Taylor Swift album!

A lover of matcha, Olivia Rodrigo, and all things surrounding astronomy. UTSA '24.
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