Ranked By A Superfan: Taylor Swift’s Top 50 Songs
When I started my own magazine, I didn’t realize the freedom it would bring me. Until there I was, writing down story ideas and realizing I could write about anything I wanted. No rules, no higher up telling me what to do. So, here I am, ranking Taylor Swift’s top 50 songs, ever. It’s my dream come true and what I was made to do. For the sake of this article, I will not be adding any of the vault tracks into this ranking, because they are purely golden and would just completely fill my Top 50. I mean, how does anything compare to the ten-minute version of All Too Well? With that aside, let’s get started on my Taylor Swift song ranking.
50. King Of My Heart
Beyond the amazing display on stage during the Reputation Stadium Tour, this song is insane. Taylor Swift is the only artist who could write a bridge like this one. Every time I hear it, I’m thrown into a blooming relationship with so much excitement.
If you don’t regard this song as one of the best-written tracks in the world, you’re absolutely wrong. Personally, it’s only so high up on my list because I’m not obsessed with it sonically like I am with most of the other songs, but it is still incredible. “Leaving like a father, running like water,” alone is one of the most amazing lines.
48. The Way I Loved You
This song, recently re-recorded on Fearless (Taylor’s Version), is an absolute anthem. If you don’t scream this in your car with the windows down, you’re doing it wrong. It’s absolutely toxic and incredible at the same time.
47. Cornelia Street
The message and the lyrics behind this song bring it to my top 50 with ease, but I’m not a huge fan of the sound. Personally, I’m obsessed with the Live From Paris version because it’s more of an acoustic version. All in all, this song is amazing and hits home so hard, I just wish we had a studio acoustic version.
46. The Archer
This is one of the most underrated Taylor Swift songs ever. This is also one of the deepest, in which we really get a look into the insecurities, anxieties and woes Swift has to go through on a day to day. “They see right through, can you see right through me? I see right through me” is one of the most heartbreaking lines in her entire discography.
45. I Know Places
I’m so sorry to the 1989 stans out there, but there will not be a lot of songs from that album on this list. However, I Know Places is one of my favorites because of its hidden meanings. This song tells the story of Swift, a young pop star who is tired of a life of always being followed and harassed wherever she goes. She tells her lover that she knows places they can hide, where they can be together in private, but at the end of the song… a tape recorder turns off. Meaning they were being watched the whole time!! Mind-blowing.
First of all, have you heard the harmonica in this song? That’s enough to get it up into this list. Besides that, betty tells the story of a high school romance, seen through the eyes of James, a boy who has messed up. Bringing the country sound back, betty is such an amazing tune.
43. Should’ve Said No
I can’t write this list without throwing it back to the classics. This is another song that was written to be screamed, specifically at karaoke night with your best friends. Ever been cheated on? This song is the most therapeutic experience ever.
42. Out Of The Woods
Another song from 1989… shocker! I know! While some people might say that Out Of The Woods is too repetitive, it shows off anxiety like no other song. With the repetition of the question “are we out of the woods?” Swift shows her listeners what it was like to be in a relationship that caused her to ask so many questions. Also… this song has an AMAZING bridge.
41. right where you left me (bonus track)
This is a bonus track, not a vault track, don’t come for me! This song is absolutely haunting and beautiful. I can’t imagine listening to this song fresh out of a breakup because I would be absolutely destroyed. “At the restaurant, when I was still the one you want, cross-legged in the dim light, everything was just right, I could feel the mascara run, you told me that you met someone…” Like, ouch?
40. it’s time to go (bonus track)
These two tracks go hand in hand, but some people might be shocked I placed “it’s time to go” before “right where you left me.” It was a hard choice, but personally, “it’s time to go” hits closer to home. If you’ve ever had to make the hard decision to leave before – whether it was a friendship, relationship, job, opportunity, anything – this song will hit you hard. Sometimes leaving is the right thing for you.
39. no body, no crime (feat. Haim)
The storytelling!!! This song needs to be turned into a Netflix original series. There are many songs in Taylor Swift’s discography that tell incredibly intricate stories but this one takes the cake. The sirens in the beginning, the theatrics, the whispering. It’s everything we needed and more.
I have to be honest with you and let you know that Red has always been my favorite album, even before Taylor’s Version came out and made it even more clear. Treacherous gives me goosebumps! The story, the bridge, the feelings behind the words. It’s perfection.
37. Teardrops on My Guitar
Another classic. I used to listen to this song when I was 10 and had a crush on a boy from church named Drew. I can imagine myself sitting there in my childhood bedroom with my tiny pink mp3 players singing along to this song. It’s a track for the ages.
36. Getaway Car
Once again, I would not be able to create this list without this song on it. Getaway Car is another anthem that I could never live without. I think watching this clip of Swift and Jack Antonoff creating the bridge makes this song just that much better. It’s pure magic, start to finish.
35. Dear John
This song breaks my heart every time I listen to it. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve attached so much personal meaning to it, but it’s such a heartbreaking story. Poor 19-year-old Swift was taken for granted by a 32-year-old man. Insanity, honestly. I was going to copy and paste some lyrics into this but I would have to paste the entire song. It’s brutal, honestly.
34. Come Back…Be Here
Ever been in a long-distance relationship? Even if you haven’t, this song tells the story of how heartbreaking it can be to be away from the person you love. “This is when the feeling sinks in, I don’t want to miss you like this.” This is the song I imagine myself listening to as the plane takes off.
33. White Horse
Just like Dear John, White Horse is another heartbreaking tune in Swift’s repertoire of sad songs. I actually sang this song in the talent show when I was in 7th grade, so I might be a bit biased, but it’s beautiful, and at times, even motivating. In Taylor’s Version, she changed “this ain’t a fairytale” to “this ain’t our fairytale” in the last verse and that blew my mind.
32. the last great american dynasty
The story about Swift’s Holiday House is such an awesome tale. Swift did the research learning about Rebekah Harkness, her life and her legacy. It’s a really cool connection how Harkness was ostracized by her community for throwing too many parties, for being crazy with men and crazy in general. Just like that, so was Swift. The two connect in more ways than their home.
31. Mary’s Song (Oh My My My)
This is one of the most romantic songs ever. Who doesn’t want to grow up next to the love of their life? And have your moms joke about you getting together? Until you eventually do get married? It’s just such a cute tale that Swift wrote for her neighbors when she was young, dreaming of love.
30. The Lucky One
Hearing The Lucky One sang by grown-up Taylor Swift blew my mind on Red (Taylor’s Version). This song has always been one of my favorites because of the way it highlights all the negative and horrible parts of being a celebrity. Years later, after heartaches, heartbreaks, and lots of snakes, this song hits even closer to home.
29. Safe & Sound feat. The Civil Wars
While this song isn’t on any of her albums, Safe & Sound is still in my top 50. From the Hunger Games soundtrack, this is the most hauntingly beautiful song in the world. Even without its ties to the series, I imagine this song being listened to around a fire pit at a cabin.
28. Sad Beautiful Tragic
Much like Treacherous, this song is another one that gives me goosebumps. If you’ve never listened to this song while you’re in a warm bubble bath or while laying on your bed and staring at the ceiling, you’re missing out.
27. Never Grow Up
This is a song I can’t wait to hear rerecorded. It’s all about growing up and how everyone wants to grow up so bad until you do, and then there’s no rewind button. It’s how we all feel eventually. I listened to this song the first night when my parents left me at college and cried. If you’re still young, embrace it.
26. The Moment I Knew
If you’ve heard the ten-minute version of All Too Well, you know this story well. It wasn’t even enough for him to tell her that she was too young for him, but he even stood her up at her 21st birthday party. If you’ve ever waited for someone and been disappointed… this one is for you.
Once again, I can’t wait for Speak Now to be rerecorded. This is one of the first times Swift stepped out of her typical sound and tried out something new. This song absolutely rocks and is such a unique tune. If you’ve never heard this song before, you absolutely need to listen to it RIGHT NOW.
24. Long Live
This song was what inspired me to first start writing. I remember writing down book ideas in a busted spiral notebook while listening to this song as a child. It’s an ode to her fans and the journey we’ve all been on together. Who doesn’t want to have the time of their life fighting dragons?
I feel like this was one of the first times Swift tapped into writing about the sunshine that comes after the rain. Finally, we were given a song about healing from a breakup and I know this song has helped so many of her fans process what happens after a relationship ends.
22. Begin Again
This is one of the saddest happy songs. While the song is about embracing a new relationship and realizing love can still happen after heartbreak, it’s also a song that shows how damaging a bad relationship can be. “I think it’s strange that you think I’m funny, cause he never did.” Put that line to a sad melody and you’ll break hearts.
21. Paper Rings
I know some people hate on Lover, but this is one of the best songs to come out of it. For one, we get to see a different side of Swift’s music that we’ve yet to hear. It’s almost a synthetic pop tune with a fun jingly melody. This song will definitely be incorporated into my wedding.
20. illicit affairs
While Swift has recently dove into many mature topics, this is one of the most surprising songs on folklore. About a spicy secretive affair, illicit affairs begs the question of “who’s fault is it?” It’s unexpected, it’s surprising and it’s heartbreaking (as usual). Though, I do prefer the Long Pond Session version of this song to the original.
You know how some people claim some songs are “underrated?” Well, this one actually is. This is one of the songs from Lover that no one ever talks about!! This song is about self-manipulation in a new relationship when you’re afraid you’ll get hurt so you constantly revolt and end up messing it up yourself. Lorelai Gilmore needed to hear this song, as well as most of us did.
Once more, this is another song that no one ever talks about. Personally, I was going through a friendship breakup (which can hurt way more than a romantic breakup, ok?) and this song absolutely destroyed me. It’s so hard to come to terms that you can reflect on happy memories even if the relationship is over. And even when it’s over, there will still be happiness without them.
17. State of Grace
Once again, RED! The drums, the melody, the bridge, the vocals. This is one of the best album openings in the world. I listened to this song in the shower today and couldn’t help belting out the lyrics. It’s underrated, in a way that even I forget about it from time to time. And then I listen to it again and I remember it’s a masterpiece.
Some say this song is solely about Kanye West and his VMA interruption in 2008. I have such a hard time believing that fan theory. Either way, this song talks about guilt unlike any other I have ever heard. It says that no matter what you’ve done in life, you can still recover, regroup and reinvent. It’s never too late to be a new version of you.
15. Holy Ground
“And for the first time I had something to lose, and I guess we fell apart in the usual way, and the story’s got dust on every page.” Swift is known for her songwriting, and that shines through on this RED track. Along with the drums, of course.
There’s nothing I love more than when artists call back to their own discography. This song is about how Swift realized the concept of true love was different than she originally thought it was. She thought that love would be burning red, but she found out that it was golden. Like daylight.
13. All Too Well
Don’t be mad that it’s so far up. I, just like every other Swiftie in the world, am in love with this song. It’s one of those songs that makes you remember your own past relationships and every single detail of it. Especially with its ten-minute version and a short film, this song is what dreams are made of. But as it stands, without the additional five minutes, Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien, this is where it will be placed.
12. New Year’s Day
All I really need to say for this song is how incredible the line “please don’t ever become a stranger whose laugh I could recognize anywhere” is. But beyond that, this song captures the feelings of being with someone through the good and the bad. You’ll be with them to party all night, but you’ll also help them clean it all up in the morning.
11. I Almost Do
This is the “All Too Well” that no one cares about, which absolutely blows my mind. This song is just as heartbreaking as the other Red tracks but it’s forgotten. Haven’t you ever almost sent a text to an ex or reached out in some way? This song talks about that feeling. “I bet it never ever occurred to you that I can’t say hello to you and risk another goodbye.” Ouch.
10. ‘tis the damn season
Swift is finally writing about relationships that aren’t “official.” I love songs that discuss the unruly grey area that comes with unofficial relationships. In “‘tis the damn season,” the holidays bring together a high school fling once again, and it’s hard to act like everything is normal. If you’ve ever had a “home town” vs “college town” this song will speak your language.
I could write a novel about this song. This song discusses the fragile nature of a relationship with someone who can’t offer you peace. For Swift, that means she can never offer her significant other the chance at a normal life. No matter what, they will always be in the limelight if they are with her. For listeners, this song can be related back to just about anything – including depression. What if, I can never offer you peace because of my mental illness? One of my favorite lyrics ever “I’ll give you my sunshine, give you my best but the rain is always going to come, if you’re standing with me.”
8. Call It What You Want
Pure love!! The reputation album was one of the first times Swift had ever discussed real, pure love. “Call It What You Want” sings to my heart. This song came out near the beginning of my relationship and every time I heard “He built a fire just to keep me warm” I can’t help but smile and squeal for her! It had been so long since she was happy! And she doesn’t care what you think about her or her relationship! “At least I did one thing right.”
7. the 1
This song is also criminally underrated. First of all, the power Swift had in starting out her surprise album with “I’m doing good, I’m on some new shit,” is absolutely mind blowing. Beyond that, this song has such a nostalgic production that makes me want to reminisce for days about what once was and what could have been.
6. invisible string
“Everything happens for a reason” rings true in this song. All of the bad things that have ever happened to you happened for a reason, and Swift reflects on them in this song. “Something wrapped all of my past mistakes in barbed wire, chains around my demons, wool to brave the seasons. One single thread of gold brought me to you.”
While I usually obsess over Taylor Swift lyrics, this song is all about the feeling. I can’t describe it, but every time I listen to this song, it’s like I’m being injected with serotonin. It’s the happiest feeling. I feel free, I feel happy, I feel hopeful.
4. Death By A Thousand Cuts
Have you seen “Someone Great” on Netflix? This song was based on that movie! And the movie and song are both insanely incredible. Heartbreak comes and goes in waves and this song explains the healing process.
3. champagne problems
This song tells the story of a couple. There’s an engagement, an answer and… the answer isn’t yes. This song reminds me of “Gilmore Girls” so much and it’s given me such heartache every time I listen to it. “Sometimes you just don’t know the answer, til someone’s on their knees and ask you.”
Sonically, this is one of Taylor Swift’s best songs. The serotonin that pulses through me when this song plays is insane. It’s like a drug! I’m also obsessed with the storytelling here and the forbidden romance woven into this song. Also, once again, my favorite bridge in the entire world.
She’s done it. She’s written THE love song. She’s truly happy, and she’s found the one that she wants to be with. Maybe I’m absolutely biased by putting this song as number one, but I’ve never heard a song that was so happy and loving. When this song came out, my (now) fiancé and I had been celebrating our third summer together. In the song, it says, “I’ve loved you three summers, but honey, I want them all.” We’ll be dancing to this song at our wedding this year.