Music review: My 13 favorite Taylor Swift songs


Ellen Dieteman, Staff Writer

In honor of Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour, and as a Swiftie, I will take the time to make a list of my current 13 favorite Taylor songs. With 10 studio albums to choose from, this is no easy feat, but here it is.

Number one: “You Are in Love” (1989)

For the past couple of months, this song has had a special place in my heart. As the title suggests, it’s about realizing you are in love with someone. It’s a very sweet and happy song. The lyrics are incredibly vivid and paint a picture with each listen.

Number two: “Haunted” (Speak Now)

In anticipation of Speak Now Taylor’s Version, I have been listening to the album a lot recently. This song stuck out to me right away. The song is about a tumultuous former love that has left Taylor “haunted.” The lyrics and production in this song are so catchy and fun to listen to. I can’t wait for July 7 so I can hear the re-recorded version.

Number three: “Sparks Fly” (Speak Now)

“Sparks Fly” is about a connection between two people that is both attractive yet dangerous, “You’re the kind of reckless that should send/ me running, but I kinda know that I won’t get/ far.”  The chorus is vivid and one of the best from the album. It’s a very upbeat song to sing along to.

Number four: “exile (featuring Bon Iver)” (folklore)

Upon first listening to this album, this song stuck out to me right away. I have been a big fan of Bon Iver for a while now, and I love the emotional duet collaboration on this song. The song is also extremely well-written with the overarching metaphor of going into exile and vivid lyrics such as “I think I’ve seen this film before/And I didn’t like the ending/ You’re not my homeland anymore so who am I defending now?” and “Second, third, and hundredth chances/ Balancin’ on breaking branches.”

Number five: “august” (folklore)

As part of the folklore love triangle, this song is from the perspective of August, who had a brief relationship with James over the summer and believed it was to last, only to find out he loved another, Betty. This song has great use of imagery with lyrics such as, “August slipped away like a bottle of wine/ ‘Cause you were never mine” and “Cancel plans just in case you’d call/ And say, ‘meet me behind the mall’.” The song gradually builds which makes it fun to sing along to, but also voices the hurt and frustration of unrequited love.

Number six: “mirrorball” (folklore)

I love “mirrorball” because it is such a vulnerable and relatable song. Taylor sings about attempting to get the attention and admiration of people by turning herself into a mirrorball. In particular, the lyric, “I’ve never been a natural all, I do is try, try, try” is something most of us have felt at one time or another.

Number seven: “champagne problems” (evermore)

This is one of Taylor’s best lyrical songs. It vividly tells the story of a broken engagement and the way it affects the narrator of the song. The narrator of the song is deeply affected by the ordeal despite referring to it as “champagne problems” which are typically trivial events.

Number eight: “happiness” (evermore)

Despite being called “happiness” this is one of Taylor’s more mellow songs. It is about moving on from a long-term relationship (“I guess it’s the price I pay for seven years in Heaven”) and recognizing the happiness it brought but also the happiness that will come from letting go. Taylor sings in the chorus, “There’ll be happiness after you/ But there was happiness because of you too/ Both of these things can be true.”

Number nine: “‘tis the damn season” (evermore)

Also from evermore, “‘tis the damn season” is a long-time favorite of mine. It’s about the bittersweet feelings between people from the same hometown that have grown apart. The song has great imagery, with lyrics such as, “While I was gone I would have asked you/ It’s the kind of cold, fogs up windshield glass/ But I felt it when I passed you” and “Time flies, messy as the mud on your truck tires.”

Number ten: “The Archer” (Lover)

This is another one of Taylor’s vulnerable songs. Using the metaphor of an archer she sings about her fears of being abandoned by those she once trusted. The lyrics, “All the king’s horses, all the king’s men/ Couldn’t put me back together again/ ‘Cause all of my enemies started out friends/ Help me hold onto you” really stands out to me and drives this point home.

Number eleven: “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” (Midnights 3 am Edition)

“Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” is another very emotional song. Taylor looks back on a former relationship that she deeply regrets using poignant figurative language. In the chorus Taylor sings, “And I damn sure never would’ve danced/ with the devil/ at nineteen.” The emotional climax of the song takes place when she exclaims, “Living for the thrill of hitting you where it/ hurts/ Give me back my girlhood, it was mine/ first,” and reclaims control.

Number twelve: “Bigger Than the Whole Sky” (Midnights 3 am Edition)

This is a very emotional song about grieving the loss of someone. The lyrics, “Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye/ You were bigger than the whole sky/ You were more than just a short time” are repeated throughout the song signifying the importance of the people we have to let go of. This song means a lot to me because it has helped me cope with a loss in my own life.

Number thirteen: “right where you left me” (evermore deluxe version)

I’ve been a fan of “right where you left me” since I first listened to it. It’s an extremely descriptive song about a girl that becomes frozen after a breakup and is incapable of moving on. The lyrics are so vivid and truly tell a story.