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It’s Taylor Swift O’Clock: Ranking Every Lyric that Mentions the Lonely Hour of 2 AM

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Winona chapter.

Sleep deprivation: maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s existential dread. 


(NOTE: please read in Maybelline jingle)


It helps to know I’m not alone in my middle-of-the-night musings, especially when the person I share that with is my favorite singer-songwriter, Taylor Swift. In this article, I will dissect every time she mentions 2 a.m. in her lyrics and rank each song from least to most relatable.


  • “Mary’s Song (Oh My, My, My)” from Taylor Swift

Take me back to the creek beds we turned up. 2 am riding in your truck // And all I need is you next to me”


Analysis: This song runs wild with teenage nostalgia about simpler times and summer drives. Unfortunately, I’m not currently with someone who enjoys a good creek canoodle. But, I can definitely get behind the sentiment of needing that special someone by your side and having it hit ~different~ at that 2 a.m. hour.


  • “The Way I Loved You” from Fearless

“But I miss screaming and fighting and kissing in the rain // And it’s 2 am and I’m cursing your name // You’re so in love that you act insane // And that’s the way I loved you.”


Analysis: Once again, I relate to the sentiment of turning someone’s name in your head over and over again instead of counting sheep. This song is also criminally underrated in terms of her discography.


  • “Mine” from Speak Now

“And I remember that fight, 2:30 am, as everything was slipping right out of our hands // I ran out, crying, and you followed me out into the street.”


Analysis: This lyric is not high up there for me. However, when I do engage in a case of the can’t-sleeps, this song’s music video lives rent-free in my head. The emotion, the narrative, the drama! 


  • “Breathe” from Fearless

“It’s 2 am, feeling like I just lost a friend // Hope you know it’s not easy, easy for me.”


Analysis: I’ve had nights like this where a wave of sadness washes over me. I think Taylor intended this lyric more as a reflection of a lost love that hurt more because they were also so close as friends; but, it is more easily applied to myself strictly in terms of friendships. That being said, the rawness in the way this lyrics is delivered keeps me wide awake. 


  • “I Wish You Would” from 1989

*This song makes many mentions of 2 a.m., so they are listed in chronological order*

“It’s 2 am in my room. Headlights pass the windowpane, I think of you… // It’s 2 am in your car, windows down, you pass my street, the memories start… // 2 am, here we are. See your face, hear my voice in the dark”


Analysis: This song is next-level in terms of lyrics to waste away another sleepless night to. My favorite verse is the “headlights pass” one because my favorite pastime on a no-sleep-night is to think about the people on late-night drives and where they’re headed… because it’s almost certainly not to Snoozeville, USA.


  • “Enchanted” from Speak Now

“The lingering question kept me up. 2 am, who do you love? I wonder till I’m wide awake.”


Analysis: This song and this lyric was the catalyst for writing this piece. It is the most perfect use of 2 a.m. in a Taylor Swift song, and it feels like it was plucked from my internal monologue on those nights when my mind is much heavier than my eyelids. It’s incredible, and it made me re-fall in love with this bop-of-a-ballad.


Honorable Mention


  • “Last Kiss” from Speak Now

“I still remember the look on your face, lit through the darkness at 1:58 // The words that you whispered for just us to know // You told me you loved me, so why did you go away?”


Analysis: There’s something about the way that’s it’s just 2 minutes shy of her standard 2 a.m. overthink session that makes this lyric much sadder, in my opinion. It’s like she watched each second tick down for the perfect time to reflect. UGH. Right in the feels.


Next time you’re in the need of a wee hour of the morning jam session, check out some of Taylor’s best lyrics from her finest hour: 2 a.m. 


My name is Hannah Hippensteel, and I like to say I'm a Chicago city-slicker, but I'm actually from the 'burbs. I'm currently a senior at Winona State with a major in mass communication-journalism and a minor in sociology. Catch me enjoying all Winona has to offer: the bluffs, the incomparable Bloedow's Bakery, and not to mention, Minnesota boys. With a goal of working at Teen Vogue, Seventeen or Glamour magazine, I'm soaking up every opportunity to keep my finger on the pulse and share my personal voice!