- India Yeoh
My Top Ten Favorite Taylor Swift Songs Of All Time
Updated: Jan 18, 2021
Art Credits: Isabela Fraguada
Arguably one of the biggest names in the country and pop worlds throughout the 2010s, Taylor Swift has taken the music industry by storm. Known for her catchy breakup anthems and guitar-heavy love ballads that are both personal and relatable, she has completely changed the way budding singers and songwriters approach their craft. As one of those budding musicians, I began looking up to Taylor Swift at a very young age. The first song I ever heard of hers was the incredibly popular “You Belong With Me,” the third single off of her second studio album, Fearless (2008). She planted herself firmly into my list of favorite artists and has remained there ever since. Watching her explore different genres such as country, pop, and most recently, folk, has been quite a journey. In fact, she has influenced my own musical style more than any other artist.
The other day, one of my friends asked me to name my top ten favorite Taylor Swift songs, and I completely blanked. How could I choose? I completely exhausted myself trying to pick ten, and when I finally narrowed my list down, they were impossible to order. However, I’m never one to back down from a challenge, and besides, I thought it would be interesting to see the final list. So after much deliberation, here are my top ten favorite Taylor Swift songs of all time:
10. Back To December (Speak Now, 2010)
Even though she had already released two studio albums prior to releasing “Back To December,” Swift somehow managed to avoid writing an apology song until the release of this heartbreaking track. The orchestral sound of “Back To December” perfectly complements her heartfelt wishes to go back in time and fix a past relationship that she knows she ruined. The seasonal imagery throughout the song even highlights the progression of her love throughout the relationship. Definitely worth a listen.
9. Wonderland (1989, 2014)
I have to admit, 1989 was not my favorite album. But “Wonderland,” available on the deluxe version, stood out to me. The booming percussion in the chorus contrasts well with the calm repetition of the pre-chorus, and both serve to accentuate the excitement and giddiness of the toxic relationship Swift sings about. And of course, Swift never loses the Alice In Wonderland motif throughout.
8. I Did Something Bad (Reputation, 2017)
Reputation, Swift’s sixth studio album, came as a surprise directly after a small social media hiatus that she took in 2017. When she finally released Reputation, it took on a darker electropop sound that none of her other albums have come close to replicating. “I Did Something Bad” is the pinnacle of Swift’s rebellious phase, and it’s a delightful turn away from the innocent country girl she used to be. Gotta love character development!
7. All Too Well (Red, 2012)
If you’ve listened to “All Too Well” even once, you know just how brilliant it is. Although my emotional attachment to the bridge is quite unhealthy, this song will always hold a special place in my heart. It perfectly highlights Swift’s lyrical brilliance (I could only ever dream of writing lyrics as good as “Hey you call me up again just to break me like a promise / So casually cruel in the name of being honest”) and heartbreaking storytelling ability. If I had the chance to recommend any song on this list, it would be “All Too Well.”
6. Treacherous (Red, 2012)
The bridge in “Treacherous” pushes it up to number 6 on this list. Something about the change in chord progression mixed with Swift using a driving metaphor to parallel her chase after a toxic relationship is incredibly moving. The phrase “Nothing safe is worth the drive” is a perfect way to discuss the risk in such a relationship, and I can say with certainty that this bridge contains one of the best metaphors in her entire discography.
5. I Knew You Were Trouble (Red, 2012)
This is probably one of Swift’s only huge hit singles that ranks anywhere close to the top of my list. No matter how many times I hear it, “I Knew You Were Trouble” is a powerful pop anthem that never gets old. It officially marked Swift’s transition from country to pop by including some elements of dubstep, and people loved it so much that it spent seven weeks at number 1 on the pop charts. Plus, it’s about Harry Styles, which can only enhance the meaning of the song.
4. Enchanted (Speak Now, 2010)
This song, surprisingly, is one of the only songs Swift has written about a guy she hasn’t dated. She discusses the moment she met Adam Young of Owl City, and how she immediately became enchanted by him. The shift from a darker tone in the verse to a lighter tone in the chorus is what makes this song so popular among Swift’s fans, and her eager wistfulness in “Enchanted” is unmatched by any of her other tracks.
3. Haunted (Speak Now, 2010)
“Haunted,” another fan favorite from Swift’s third studio album Speak Now, blends an orchestral string sound with dramatic lyrics to highlight the emotional intensity of Swift’s relationship. Her denial of the fact that the person she loved was no longer in love with her is captured perfectly in the chorus, and she sounds so desperate to figure out what went wrong. The instrumentation of this track is unlike anything Swift had ever released before, and even after five more studio albums, “Haunted” is completely unique and will continue to stand out among the rest of her discography.
2. Sparks Fly (Speak Now, 2010)
Taylor Swift wrote this masterpiece of a track when she was only sixteen years old and fantasizing about her crush at the time. She writes about how difficult it is to stop yourself from falling for someone you know you shouldn’t fall for (“My mind forgets to remind me / You’re a bad idea), and the chorus is as catchy as ever. The chorus details a fantasy scene and highlights her wishful thinking as a teenager, and the lyrics of “Sparks Fly” are still just as powerful as songs she wrote later in her 20s. Maybe this is why she’s considered one of the most talented lyricists of our generation.
1. Mary’s Song (Oh My My My) (Taylor Swift, 2008)
A lot of the other songs on this list are not unusual to see on other people’s top ten Taylor Swift lists. "Mary’s Song," though a little less popular among Taylor Swift fans, definitely tops my list. Maybe I’m just a hopeless romantic, but there’s something about Taylor Swift detailing a lifetime of love with a childhood sweetheart that just feels perfectly nostalgic and honest, like a raw representation of an ideal type of love.
Thank you so much for reading about my top ten Taylor Swift songs, and hopefully you enjoyed (and will go listen to one of these recommendations right now)!