OPINION BY JULIA SWAIN
No matter how you may feel about Taylor Swift as either a person or a musician, I think we can agree that Swift has set the bar for musicians of our world today. She has dominated multiple music genres, won ten Grammy awards, and has produced six number one hits. In honor of her six 2021 Grammy nominations and new album Evermore, I have decided to reveal my top ten favorite songs of one of my favorite musicians of all time.
10. “Sparks Fly” (Speak Now)
“Sparks Fly” makes my top ten list for a multitude of reasons. It provides a fun, youthful energy, the chorus is super catchy and meaningful, and this song will put a smile on anyone’s face. It tells a classic love story and is one of the most underrated songs of hers to date.
Favorite Lyric: Won’t you whisper soft and slow/And I’m captivated by you baby/Like a fireworks show
9. “Picture To Burn” (Taylor Swift)
Picture To Burn is one of those breakup songs that will not make one sad, but rather will aid the post-breakup anger that comes after the wallowing stage. This pop-rock, country classic is a charismatic , upbeat song and is extremely relatable even if you have no past relationship experience.
Favorite Lyric: And if you’re missing me you better keep it to yourself/Cause coming back round here would be bad for your health
8. “You Belong With Me” (Fearless)
“You Belong With Me” is not only nostalgia central, but is also one of her most played songs to date. The music video won a VMA award in 2009 and for good reason. It puts a creative twist on the classic “nerdy girl gets the football star” story, and grabs listeners attention with its catchy chorus and interesting verses.
Favorite Lyric: Walk in the streets with you in your worn-out jeans/I can’t help thinking this is how it ought to be/Laughing on a park bench thinking to myself/Hey isn’t this easy?
7. “Paper Rings” (Lover)
“Paper Rings” ranks number seven for me due to the youthful energy that it provides. It is another song that gets you up and moving, but more importantly, it tells a seemingly perfect love story with zero drama and all joy. This song may not be the most realistic or relatable of her songs, but it sure puts a smile on my face anytime I listen to it.
Favorite Lyric: In the winter, in the icy outdoor pool/When you jumped in first I went in too/I’m with you even if it makes me blue
6. “Tim McGraw” (Taylor Swift)
No, Tim McGraw is not about the country music icon, but rather about a summer romance that has faded. This song is very simple and while most would not include it on their top ten list, I include it on mine for the very reason most would not. The simplicity is actually what made me fall in love with the song in the first place, considering I was about nine when I heard the song for the first time. It is an easy listen, provides a good walk down memory lane, and is certainly not a bad song to listen to, especially on a nice walk, or a rainy day.
Favorite Lyric: When you think happiness/I hope you think “that little black dress”/Think of my head on your chest/And my old faded blue jeans
5. “The Way I Loved You” (Fearless)
This song details being in a relationship with a seemingly perfect guy but being in love with a guy that is the complete opposite. I have always been a sucker for the bad boy/good girl trope, so while that is one of the reasons I love this song, it is not the only reason. The song is kind of in between upbeat and lowkey, creating a unique melody, and the lyrics are creative and really put the listener right into the song. This song is definitely worth a listen and is one of her most underrated songs.
Favorite Lyric: He’s close to my mother/Talks business with my father/He’s charming and endearing and I’m comfortable
4. “Mary’s Song (Oh My My My)” (Taylor Swift)
Speaking of being underrated, this song is my favorite off of her original album, and for good reason. This song tells a love story of two kids that grew up together and fell in love, despite being two years apart. While it may seem that way, this story is not fictional and is in fact a story told to Swift herself at dinner one evening by a woman she met. The story behind the song may seem unrealistic, but maybe that is the reason that it is so appealing to me. I love the sweetness and authenticity behind the song, despite it not even being her own story, and most importantly, I am a happy endings kind of girl, so this song definitely makes my heart happy, causing me to listen to it whenever I have had a bad day.
Favorite Lyric: Take me back to when our world was one block wide/I dared you to kiss me and ran when you tried/Just two kids you and I
3. “Fearless” (Fearless)
A year ago, I never would have thought to include this song in my top ten, let alone my top three, but quarantine brought me and this song together, and I could not be more grateful. This song makes me happy anytime I listen to it, and the bridge is magical and inviting, giving me chills every time I listen to it. Fearless tells yet another beautiful, classic love story about a girl that has always been afraid to take chances and step out of her comfort zone, but this boy that she is dating has made her a little more brave. What I love most about this song is that it is perfect for anyone that is in love or even someone that is not, but needs some cheering up. Even though it is not my favorite song, it certainly comes close.
Favorite Lyric: You pull me and I’m a little more brave/It’s the first kiss, it’s flawless, really something, it’s fearless
2. “Dear John” (Speak Now)
“Dear John” tells the heartbreaking tale of a young girl that has been manipulated by an older man. Its skillful melodies and descriptive lyrics put the listener right into the song, making it one of my favorites. It has this haunting quality to it that breaks my heart in pieces and the way that the song builds up never fails to give me chills. This song comes in at number two for me due to the way that I can relate to exactly how she is feeling with every lyric without even having to experience the event myself and the fact that it feels like a novel with a beginning, middle and end.
Favorite Lyric: But I took your matches before fire could catch me/So don’t look now/I’m shining like fireworks over your sad empty town
1. “All Too Well” (Red)
“All Too Well” is currently the only song that I can listen to over and over again without getting tired of it. It is another heartbreaking story about two lovers that are no longer together and are reminiscing about what they once had. Her storytelling abilities really shine in this song and her heart wrenching melodies and lyrics cause tears to come to my eyes without fail every time. Her voice is strong yet soft, and the bridge is one of my favorite piece of music to this day. This song is something that will go down in music history forever due to the excellence that it provides in every single word.
Favorite Lyric: And maybe we got lost in translation/Maybe I asked for too much/But maybe this thing was a masterpiece/Till you tore it all up/Running scared, I was there/I remember it all too well