The first concert I remember was Taylor Swift's Fearless Tour in Dallas, TX. I was nine years old and was incredibly excited to see my favorite artist sing live. Now that I'm 21, I’ve continued to be a Swiftie through and through.
I created a list of my top five songs as a lifelong fan of Miss Swift. But, as any Swiftie knows, this is a daunting task, so I have to explain how I picked my favorite songs. First, I picked my top five albums, and within those albums, I picked one favorite song. I also chose the Taylor’s Version album over the original because she deserves that. Now, let’s get into my favorite albums/songs (in no particular order).
My top five albums are Speak Now, Red (Taylor’s Version), 1989, reputation, and folklore. This can change based on Midnights, being released on October 21, but currently, these are my favorites.
Starting with Speak Now, this album brought us iconic tracks like “Back to December,” “Dear John,” and “Mean.” But, when I first heard this album, I knew “Enchanted” was my favorite song. “Enchanted” brings in a fairy-tale romance through the lyrics matched with her iconic country-rooted guitar and drums in the background. I think everyone’s favorite part of the song is when Swift sings, “Please don’t be in love with someone else / Please don’t have somebody waiting on you,” during the bridge that immediately builds back into the chorus with the drums building up in the background. This song always makes me feel so content and wonderstruck as Swift would say, wonderstruck.
Moving into fall, I’m playing Red (Taylor’s Version) to get back into sad girl fall. The re-release brings us back to 2012 with “I Knew You Were Trouble (Taylor’s Version),” “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (Taylor’s Version), and of course, “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version).” But, my favorite song is “Everything Has Changed (feat. Ed Sheeran) (Taylor’s Version).” Maybe it’s the nostalgia or the lyrics themselves, but this song always reminds me of growing up. The harmonies Swift and Sheeran offer in this song is beautiful, especially with the cello in the background during the second verse. I immediately smile when I hear Sheeran say, “You good to go?” at the beginning, and that smile stays for this four-minute masterpiece.
Let’s move on to the pop album itself, 1989. In the album named after her birth year, Swift writes about moving to New York, relationships, and finding herself in this Grammy-winning album. Some popular songs from 1989 include “Shake It Off,” “Bad Blood,” and “Blank Space.” But, yet again, one song stands out to me, and that is “Clean.” This song became my favorite when seeing Swift live on the 1989 World Tour and heard the message of allowing yourself to heal after leaving a relationship. The instrumentals are interesting because the song includes a mbira, a thumb piano used as the percussion. The background vocals are breathy, almost like Swift is trying to live for the first time after leaving the relationship. It’s the perfect ending to the album.
The old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now because we’re in the reputation era. This album is sometimes the underdog in her discography, but it’s one of my favorites. We got “Look What You Made Me Do,” “...Ready For It?” and “Getaway Car,” along with all of the snake-filled drama from reputation. My favorite, though, is “I Did Something Bad.” The song is the epitome of reputation, discussing being unfairly persecuted and mistreated within the industry in recent years. The darkest Swift has gone thus far, and it is the best song to scream and sing in the car. The chorus is my favorite part of the song; with swift yelling, she did something bad, yet it feels so good.
Lastly, we have the masterpiece that came out of the pandemic, folklore. This grammy-winning album allowed us all to escape in 2020 with songs like “cardigan,” “august,” and “exile (feat. Bon Iver).” Recently, my favorite song from this album has been “mirrorball,” which discusses being broken and still wanting to appear perfect for someone. The song reminds me of coming-of-age movies like Perks of Being a Wallflower with both the instrumental and lyrics. Swift discusses looking good to impress someone, yet feeling broken like a mirror when becoming a mirrorball. The harmonies in the song are ethereal and fit perfectly with the rest of the album.
So, in summary, my top five songs are “Enchanted,” “Everything Has Changed (feat. Ed Sheeran) (Taylor’s Version), “Clean,” “I Did Something Bad,” and “mirrorball.”