Some Taylor Swift songs you should listen to


I discovered Taylor Swift when we were both 18, roughly a week after I for the very first time had my heart torn from my chest and served to the rest of the student halls as a side dish to our daily overcooked casserole. From that time onwards we have both been through a lot. Taylor has gone from being insanely successful then to now being on the verge of world domination, and I've got a way better haircut than I did back then.

Anyway, I don't exactly keep my penchant for Taylor Swift under wraps (The other day I overheard someone describe me as "easy" for Secret Santa - "just literally any Swift crap") so quite a few people have asked me to recommend earlier Taylor Swift songs to them because they have enjoyed 1989/the Red singles. So here we go: 6 earlier Swift songs you should listen to if you liked 1989. Not including I Knew You Were Trouble, as I assume you're all already familiar with the fact it is the greatest record of all time.


ALBUM & YEAR: Speak Now, 2010
IN A NUTSHELL: Starting off on an incredibly high note with one of Taylor's classic beautiful six-minuters that just perfectly explain the feeling of meeting someone you really fancy but you probably aren't ever going to be able to see them again. We've all had that, right? Earlier this year I met someone who I enjoyed speaking to so much even though I needed a wee I held on for ages because I didn't want the conversation to end. That's what this song is about. Sometimes the best lyrics of anything are the most simple and the repeated "Please don't be in love with someone else" toward the end really goes for the jugular. 
FUN FACT: Taylor wrote this song about the lead singer of Owl City. I promise this song is good enough that you can listen to it without that ruining it for you. 
OVERALL: This is probably my favourite Taylor Swift song. It is honestly absolutely perfect. It is so good it transcends music and emotion itself. Give it a go.

Tim McGraw

ALBUM & YEAR: Taylor Swift, 2006
IN A NUTSHELL: Throwing it way back to Taylor's very debut single, written before I even knew her(!!). It's a bit more country than the others I've recommended, but I didn't want to completely ignore her first album as it is very nice to have on, especially for long train journeys. This song goes "when you think Tim McGraw, I hope you think my favourite song" - basically it's about the fact Taylor loved [famous American country artist] Tim McGraw and she hopes that the person who she has written this song for thinks of her whenever Tim McGraw comes on the radio. Given that every single person I have dated since 2008 has had to listen to me go on about Taylor Swift all the time, I sometimes wonder whether they think of me whenever she's mentioned, especially now she's everywhere. Got a long list of ex-lovers, they'll tell you I made them watch the entire Taylor Swift videography on the fifth date. 
FUN FACT: Taylor Swift is now pretty objectively much more famous and successful than Tim McGraw. I wonder if he ever thinks of this song whenever he hears her name? 
OVERALL: It's an 8 from me and is my second favourite from her debut album, apart from Mary's Song (Oh My My My). I haven't recommended Mary's Song because it's cheesy and country as ANYTHING and you probably won't all like it but basically it's about two people meeting as kids and then ending up falling in love and being together forever and it's PERFECT and BEAUTIFUL alright????

Sparks Fly

ALBUM & YEAR: Speak Now, 2010
IN A NUTSHELL: The big crossover pop single that never was. This is way better than We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together and I do have faith in the UK public that maybe they would have got on board if this was promoted properly and didn't have a - wait for it - TOUR VIDEO (THE WORST TYPE OF VIDEO!!). Amazing song about fancying someone so much you can hardly stand it with loads of nudge nudge wink wink lyrics: "close enough to hope you couldn't see what I was thinking of" "give me something that'll haunt me when you're not around." The DROP. EVERYTHING. NOW chorus is sublime and the middle 8 is perfect. Honestly reckon this could be on 1989 and no one would even think it was that out of place.
FUN FACT: This song was written when Taylor was 16, before even Tim McGraw came out. Honestly. Amazing.
OVERALL: Ten out of bloody ten, obvs.


ALBUM & YEAR: Fearless, 2008
IN A NUTSHELL: A beautifully written and produced ballad about recognising when it is time to say goodbye to someone you love. I can't breathe without you, but I have to. The I don't know who to be without you around is so honestly delivered. 
FUN FACT: This song was co-written by Colbie Caillat, who also provides some lovely backing vocals.


ALBUM & YEAR: Red, 2008
IN A NUTSHELL: This song has one of the best middle 8s of any song ever. The song starts off slow, a little bland, you're thinking "GOD TAYLOR GET ON WITH IT", but then very slowly without even noticing it's starting to pick up pace a bit. You're humming on to "I, I, I, I like it" and then suddenly the drums come in and:
Two headlights shine through the sleepless night and I will GET YOU I'LL GET YOU ALONE
And then the song does something which every song with a good middle 8 should do and only bloody REPEATS IT AGAIN BECAUSE IT'S SO GOOD:
Your name has echoed through my mind and I just, THINK YOU THINK YOU SHOULD KNOW
Beautiful scenes.
FUN FACT: When my sister and I went to see Taylor Swift, we were sat the row in front of her mother. Whilst this song was playing, we watched two other people in our row get picked by said mum to go backstage and meet Taylor Swift after the show. It was very upsetting give the years we'd dedicated to the cause. Imagine the parallel universe I could have been living in right now. I expect I'd probably be touring the world with her and be her best mate instead of Karlie Kloss, but at least failing that I'd have an amazing Facebook profile picture. 
OVERALL: 10/10

All Too Well

ALBUM & YEAR: Red, 2012
IN A NUTSHELL: This is an absolutely exquisite break up song which shows how wonderful and talented Taylor Swift is as a songwriter. The storytelling throughout this, the focus on the stupid little detail that is the scarf, the use of the nine most beautiful words in the English language - "we danced around the kitchen in the refrigerator light" - this song could not be more perfect. It's strange how a song so specific to someone else's life can be so innately relatable. For me it's not a scarf, it's the lid to my wok I assume I'm NEVER GETTING BACK.
I split up with my ex boyfriend with whom I had shared my home and life for several years three months before I saw Taylor Swift live. The day before the concert I found out he had a new girlfriend. Who was I to care, though? For the past three months I'd been very strong and brave and never cried and was always happy and smiley because of my insane belief that I had to act like Kelly Clarkson would want me to All Of The Time. So I just shook it off and got myself ready for the gig and prepared to get down to the sick beat. Before starting All Too Well Taylor said to us all that sometimes the worst part of a breakup is the fact that you know what? Sometimes the other person wasn't all that awful, and sometimes you do have good memories of them, and you have to come to terms with the fact you had good times too and you miss them before you can even begin to start getting over it. When she played the song I cried for the first time in months and I cried more than I have ever cried at anything. And then the next day I started my real journey to getting over it. Cheers TayTay because now I am quite literally happier than ever.
FUN FACT: I can't watch any film with Jake Gyllenhaal in without thinking about this. The Day After Tomorrow is ruined. (Shut up disaster movies are great).
SCORE: 10/10 (or maybe 11?)

1989 is Taylor Swift's best album. The best song on it is Style which is a 10-going-on-11. Nearly every song is at least a 9.
None of the tracks on 1989 are as good as Enchanted or All Too Well. But that's okay, as neither are most of the songs ever recorded in the history of music.
The ranking of the rest of the Taylor Swift albums are as follows: Speak Now > Red > Fearless > Taylor Swift.
I am excited for more Taylor Swift in the future.
I am never going to write more than two sentences about Taylor Swift at once without descending into a personal anecdote, because, more than any other artist, Taylor IS my personal anecdote.
I have been through a lot in the past six years. A lot of Taylor Swift songs remind me of some of these times, both good and bad. However, they also remind me that right now I am a happier person than I have ever been.


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