53 Best Taylor Swift Songs

Country-pop star Swift has risen to the top of the music industry with her songs about love and heartbreak. She’s a performer who sells out arenas and continues to stay on top.

Whether you’re a veteran “Swiftie” or have never heard of her, here are the best Taylor Swift songs.

1. “You Belong With Me”

If there’s one song that epitomizes early Taylor, it’s this one. The classic trope of unrequited teenage love is fully displayed in the music video, picturing the cute and popular boy whose attention Taylor tries to get for months before they finally meet at the homecoming dance.

There’s almost no one who knows pop music and doesn’t recognize “You Belong With Me.” Adorable and magical, it’s some of her best writing of all time.

Song Year: 2009

2. “Blank Space”

This tune won an American Music Award for “Song of the Year,” an MTV Music Video Award, and an iHeartRadio Music Award for “Best Lyrics.” It’s loved by fans and critics alike for its glamorous and inspiring imagery, catchy rhythms, and tongue-in-cheek message of a crazy potential girlfriend.

Bonus: “Blank Space” is a virtually perfect karaoke song, whether shouting about your ex or scaring off a new flame.

Song Year: 2014

3. “Teardrops On My Guitar”

This song is reminiscent of Swifties as an iconic tune from when she was still a country singer. It was Swift’s first top-15 single on Billboard and helped her self-titled debut album stay on the Top Country Albums chart for 24 weeks.

Tender heartbreak mixes with inspiration with a soft-rock lilt that makes you want to hear every sentimental story Swift has to tell.

Song Year: 2006

4. “New Romantics”

This track from 1989 is one that got less radio play than some other singles but lives on as a timeless fan favorite. An energetic driving beat propels the message, one of Swift leading a new generation of hot-blooded, rebellious youth.

The partying in the song she refers to resonates with listeners everywhere. They’re too busy having fun to be worried about setbacks in life for long.

Song Year: 2014

5. “Shake It Off”

Taylor’s no stranger to public criticism, and this song puts the haters to shame for it. You can’t help but dance when you hear the momentum and brass sampling in “Shake It Off.”

Whether a global celebrity or the girl next door, this tune inspires you not to let external pressure get you down. Its lyrics motivate and uplift, while the music video entertains with fashion, fun, and more than a hint of silliness.

Song Year: 2014

6. “Willow”

The evermore album crept modestly onto the music scene during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its reception was anything but quiet, with some reviewers calling it the sound of the era.

“Willow” is the first track ushering in this new Swift aesthetic, with a chill instrumental groove, finger snaps, and lyrics as easy as a summer breeze. Put this one on repeat, and it seems to get better with every listen.

Song Year: 2020

7. “Anti-Hero”

The much-anticipated Midnights album arrived in 2022, and Swifties were equally enthusiastic and disappointed. “Anti-Hero” didn’t come in blazing like some of her past firecrackers, but it’s a solid offering from what we’ve come to expect from Tayor.

Musings on life, love, psychology, and growing up all vie for space here. The hard-hitting lyrics rest against an electro-pop background that is very on-brand for the era’s most prominent songwriting princess.

Song Year: 2022

8. “Lover”

There are arena anthems, and then there are intimate ballads, and Swift handles them both with aplomb. This lush and melodic tune arrives in 12/8 time, so you can sway with the beat, reminiscing on a former love or anticipating the next time you see a current one.

“Lover”s simplistic structure belies its status as a Grammy Award winner for Song of the Year. It was the lead single from the album with the same title.

Song Year: 2019

9. “Love Story”

One of the most beloved Taylor songs is this fairy-tale story of a young couple who fall for each other, plan to marry, and finally get the blessing from the girl’s father. It’s a little bit pop but mostly old-fashioned country, complete with tasty fiddle licks and just enough twang to remember where Swift got her start.

Critics liked this one too, awarding it multiple honors from the Country Music Association.

Song Year: 2008

10. “The Last Great American Dynasty”

Before evermore was folklore, the pandemic album that spawned the “cottagecore” movement. This tune combines history, fantasy, and legend to weave a tale of a Rhode Island widow who passes from reality to myth when her husband mysteriously dies.

What makes this song all the more compelling is that the widow in the narrative used to own Swift’s mansion. It’s clear that she has close ties to her songwriting subject.

Song Year: 2020

11. “Christmas Tree Farm”

Sparkles, sleigh bells, and strings outline this cheerful holiday melody. Though it’s often relegated to a superficial Christmas song, fans who know about Swift’s childhood know it’s so much more.

Her parents owned a Christmas tree farm and had enough footage of her playing as a toddler for Taylor to create a music video to accompany the song. Nostalgia and sweet nods to her upbringing round out the warm fuzzies.

Song Year: 2019

12. “Dear John”

Speculation about Swift’s romantic relationships has been a part of her career since the beginning. In “Dear John,” the subject is presumably John Mayer, who she briefly dated, much to the public’s glee.

A soft, blues-rock ballad lays down a blanket of heartbreak laced with regret. The tight male harmonies on the chorus ensure this song would be an unforgettable part of her musical canon.

Song Year: 2010

13. “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve”

There’s a noticeable link from this song to “Dear John,” but the tone here is different. Twelve years later, Swift points out that there was an age-inappropriate facet to what happened between her and her former flame.

The intrigue continues with the fact that “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” was a bonus track on her newest album, Midnights. Is she hiding, confessing, or calling him out? Maybe all three.

Song Year: 2022

14. “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”

The lead single from Red became one of Taylor’s most popular songs in her portfolio and serves as an anthem for post-breakup females everywhere.

The music video is filmed in a continuous style as the singer moves through various scenes at a party. The guests’ energy combines with the upbeat music for a positive spin on what’s usually a pretty miserable time of life, giving singles the fortitude to say what they need to say to their ex.

Song Year: 2012

15. “Delicate”

Mellower than most of Swift’s big hits, “Delicate” also offers a different message from her usual fare. Themes of vulnerability and anxiety in a new relationship come to the forefront as she wonders whether her love interest will mind her public status and questionable reputation.

The addition of a vocoder, tight harmonies, and electronic background vocals add to the uniqueness of this house-pop favorite.

Song Year: 2017

16. “Cardigan”

The cottagecore nature of this song is complete with imagery of woods, a rustic cabin, and the sea. “Cardigan” is the lead single from folklore and saw massive success for its surprisingly intimate tone.

Betty, one of Swift’s fictional characters, narrates this tune as she sings about the coziness and safety of a beloved article of clothing.

Song Year: 2020

17. “Fearless”

After a public rift with music exec Scooter Braun in which Swift lost the rights to much of her material, she began re-recording her music as an empowering clap-back. “Fearless” is one of the songs that became prominent as “Taylor’s Version,” the collection of songs that she re-did for herself and her fans to regain her artistic output.

This one is originally from the album of the same name, recorded in 2008 during the days of her still-nascent fame.

Song Year: 2021

18. “Maroon”

While some Swifties were thrilled with the chill aesthetic of the Midnights album, others didn’t love the lackluster energy. “Maroon” is a perfect example of this controversial sound, with a deep-house groove and echo effects for a hint of nostalgia.

The message deals with the passage of time and how life can look in retrospect. The color maroon is now how Taylor views her Red album, a darker and more meaningful experience.

Song Year: 2022

19. “Bad Blood”

This is Swift at her high-tech, cinematic best. A lengthy music video accompanies the tune, which already hits hard enough on its own. The lyrics show attitude, regret, and disappointment in a former friend or lover with whom she had a falling out.

The addition of Kendrick Lamar with rap vocals on a 2015 remix only upped the ante on this big-budget, power-packing song.

Song Year: 2014

20. “Fifteen”

Before her sleek, arena-pop image, Swift was still a modest country songwriter. “Fifteen” is one of the best examples of this era, with a hint of Jewel packaged into a slick pop crossover sound.

Though only a teen herself when she wrote it, Tay scrutinizes the formative years with all the ups and downs with maturity and balance.

Song Year: 2009

21. “I Knew You Were Trouble”

This tune has been a karaoke favorite for as many years as it’s been around, and for good reason. The music goes hard, and so do the lyrics. Swift’s classic theme of a hard breakup reflects in an extended monologue at the beginning of the music video.

A quick-tempo track with tasty bass drops and chorus screams outlines her frustration.

Song Year: 2012

22. “White Horse”

The early concept of fairy-tale love reemerges here as Swift regrets a relationship that didn’t work out as she hoped. The white horse references how a prince could ride in and sweep her off her feet.

Acoustic guitar, piano, and cello meet for a bittersweet ballad that sounds timeless.

Song Year: 2009

23. “Better Than Revenge”

Electric guitars and heavy drums make their way to the stage, please! More Avril Lavigne than classic Taylor Swift, “Better Than Revenge” is a rare morsel of pop-punk amid Taylor’s early writing.

Though the lyrics are about romantic competition with another girl, some critics didn’t love the message, even going so far as to label it “slut-shaming.”

Song Year: 2010

24. “The Story of Us”

A harder-edged sound continues here, as Swift uses the metaphor of a book to describe how awkward she feels around an ex. Her wish to turn the page reflects in the relentless dance-pop beat and loud guitars.

“The Story of Us” is an interesting mesh of hard rock, pop, punk, and dance, a sound that Swift handles so well. The inspiration for this song came from an unfortunate incident at an awards show when she ran into someone she dated and didn’t know how to react.

Song Year: 2011

25. “Ours”

Light and bubbly, “Ours” has a more positive spin than the last few songs on this list. The singer experiences new relationship energy with a love interest that helps buoy the monotony of the rest of their life.

An office setting for the music video serves as an entertaining lead-up to the end when she finally returns to the home life that fills her with happiness.

Song Year: 2011

26. “22”

Fun and careless, “22” remembers an age where we’re unaffected by the cares of the world and can party the night away.

This is the perfect tune to let yourself zone out and be carried away by memories, but it works just as well as a summer anthem for a lake trip with your friends.

Song Year: 2012

27. “Picture to Burn”

From a time when Tay was firmly entrenched in country music, “Picture to Burn” injects some Chicks’-style attitude into a message of rejection and frustration. A banjo adds some flavor to its electric-guitar arena-rock feel.

There are two versions of this song, and Swifties seem to prefer the original lyrics before it was re-recorded.

Song Year: 2006

28. “Mirrorball”

The Long Pond Studio Sessions gave yet another dimension to the already-complex folklore album. But the original tracks stand alone as consummate Swift writing, with deep lyrics and evocative imagery.

Here, she tells a lover that she’ll reflect what he gives her. It also might refer to her self-image of fame and her inability to hide from anyone.

Song Year: 2020

29. “Back to December”

“Back to December”

This sweet ballad won a Teen Choice Award for Break-up Song, adding to the growing list of her early career honors. It’s notable to her fans that it remains her only song in which she admits she was wrong and offers a rare musical apology.

The country-pop sound combines harmonies, steel guitar, mandolin, and a rich string texture.

Song Year: 2011

30. “Mine”

We know the modern, high-tech Taylor who sells out the world’s biggest venues. But it’s always refreshing to return to her teenage songwriter roots, where she’s young and vulnerable and still trying to discover her feminine strength.

The message here is a classic story of looking back on a past relationship with fondness and regret. Creative lyrical play and a driving country track are the highlights of “Mine.”

Song Year: 2010

31. “Haunted”

The musical production in “Haunted” is interesting because it’s not Swift’s typical fare. The basic undercurrent is of a country band, but there are also layers on top of gothic-rock bells and strings a la Evanescence.

The musical complexity mirrors her conflict as she deals with a love interest dropping her, leaving her questioning whether she genuinely knew them when they were together.

Song Year: 2010

32. “Sweet Nothing”

Introspective reflections on domestic life, poems, and the intimacy of a romantic connection are the themes of “Sweet Nothing.” Swift’s wordplay in this song is interesting because it takes on a less melodic tone in favor of a quick, pattering sing-speak.

The artistic mix is thoroughly electro-pop but leaves the dance drive behind. Keyboard synth and other effects in a high register lay a groundwork of precious moments, providing little twinkles that perfectly fit the song’s name.

Song Year: 2022

33. “Midnight Rain”

Another track from Midnights continues playing Tay’s new favorite game: putting out a track and mixing it up numerous times. The “3 am edition” of this tune features a secondary voice on each chorus, leading fans to speculate who is the mysterious singer. (The prevailing theory is that it’s her own voice, pitched lower for the sample.)

Intrigue and regret mix in the lyrics as she contrasts her chase of fame with the broken lover’s desire to have her closer in their life.

Song Year: 2022

34. “Don’t Blame Me”

This dark and defensive track from Reputation features a slow electro-synth groove with club effects that tease whether it will stay modest or explode into a full-on banger. At each chorus, the intensity kicks up with a satisfying bass drop before returning to a sparse texture in the following verse.

The lyrics focus on how love can make you crazy, using drug references to make her point. Whichever ex inspired this song must have reached deep into her psyche.

Song Year: 2017

35. “Stay Stay Stay”

“Stay Stay Stay” is another prime example of a tune Swift released early and then reclaimed after the industry controversy as “Taylor’s Version.” The cute and bubbly lyrics show her naive conflict as she wonders whether a little argument with a sweetheart is worth leaving, finally deciding to stick around and work it out.

According to the liner notes of the Red album, where this song was first released, “Stay” isn’t about any one person in particular. Rather, it’s her musings on a hypothetical love and dating situation.

Song Year: 2012

36. “Mean”

Taylor’s never been one to resist calling someone out if they don’t treat her right. In “Mean,” she takes on a country flair (and some Appalachian vocal stylings) to assert her self-confidence and distance herself from someone who does not pass the vibe check.

As with many of her early hits, the music video for “Mean” is goofy and entertaining. It also shows a neat image of her playing in a bluegrass-style band while giving her audience plenty of amusing faces and a middle-finger attitude.

Song Year: 2011

37. “You Need to Calm Down”

Another karaoke favorite of Taylor Swift fans is “You Need to Calm Down.” It’s sassy, fun, and easy for anyone to sing, even without a great sense of pitch.

The theme here is evident in the title, with the pop princess telling someone to back off with their offensive behavior. The accompanying music video won an MTV Music Video Award for Song of the Year when its album, Lover, hit the airwaves.

Song Year: 2019

38. “No Body, No Crime” (feat. HAIM)

Most of the songs from folklore are intimate and experimental. Not the case with “No Body, No Crime,” which follows the story of another one of Swift’s fictional characters.

Written like a murder mystery, it speculates on the whodunnit question amidst a backdrop of banjo and harmonica to create a plodding country-rock track. Entertaining and spooky, this song makes the perfect inclusion on a Halloween soundtrack.

Song Year: 2020

39. “Question…?”

For fans of Taylor’s indie-alternative sound, “Question…?” is a chill track with a mid-tempo beat ideal for listening on the spectrum of housework to a house party. It samples woodwind timbres and incorporates reverberant harmonies, but there’s also an intriguing Easter egg: Swift samples another one of her songs (“Out of the Woods”) at the beginning.

The theme of lovers who find themselves inextricably connected is one that most listeners can resonate with.

Song Year: 2022

40. “Getaway Car”

Another high-octane offering from Reputation, “Getaway Car,” has a groovy beat and catchy syncopated riffs. To some, it might sound like another breakup song, outlining what went wrong with tinges of regret. But if you listen closely, the creative lyricism encourages those who have suffered broken relationships to remain open to new romantic experiences despite their pain.

In the music video, there’s an introspective monologue for the first two minutes that leads into the beginning of the song. Footage of major stadium shows will delight fans and entertain the Taylor-curious.

Song Year: 2017

41. “I Forgot That You Existed”

Sassy and bouncy, this song is the perfect tune to set your phone alarm in the morning, though it works just as well on a summer pool playlist. Finger snaps throughout the duration, as well as a jaunty cello sample, complement Swift’s signature vocal pattern.

The message tells of letting go of a former love interest because they weren’t worth her time or energy. The tone strikes the exact right balance of carelessness, almost flippancy, to tell her ex that she is indifferent about his presence in or out of her life.

Song Year: 2019

42. “Gorgeous”

The initial sampled voice you hear at the beginning of this track is that of James, the 3-year-old daughter of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds. After a youthful introduction, “Gorgeous” continues with buoyant effects, including bubbly pipes and an uplifting electro-pop tone.

Swift fans love this music video for its historical value: it’s essentially a running montage of key moments from other videos she’s put out over the years. All the favorite wardrobe choices, hairstyles, and heartthrob actors appear as Taylor sings about her fluttery feelings for a new crush.

Song Year: 2017

43. “Mary’s Song (Oh My My My)”

The mandolin texture at the beginning of “Mary’s Song” signals that it’s an older tune of Taylor’s. The country effect becomes complete with guitars, classic harmonies, and her early hint of a vocal twang.

This sweet piece of nostalgia is pure storytelling, with a small-town girl-meets-boy setup culminating in their marriage and starting a family together. According to Swift, her next-door neighbors were the inspiration for the writing.

Song Year: 2009

44. “Paris”

A preteen musical paradise, “Paris” tells about the conflicting feelings of youth. Romance and wistfulness combine for an ethereal production full of imagination. Bubblegum pop aesthetics, such as light percussion and high-register vocals, create a pastel listening atmosphere.

Interestingly, the lovers in the song aren’t in France. Instead, Swift uses Paris as the metaphorical setting for their romance to blossom, explaining that the feelings between them seem as though they’re in a dreamy location across the world together.

Song Year: 2022

45. “Our Song”

Taylor channels Barbie in this music video, one of her earliest hit singles. “Our Song” made it to #1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs the year her debut album hit the shelves.

Evocative of teen sweethearts, the story describes two kids who fall for each other and have to sneak around behind their parents’ backs to see each other. The narrator mentions that they don’t have a song that they can call their own, to which her boyfriend says “their song” is all the familiar sounds of their covert romance (such as a screen door slamming).

Song Year: 2007

46. “ME!”

This song blew up as fans hotly anticipated Taylor’s upcoming album, Lover. She sings of her admittance that she is a little crazy but promises she’ll never bore her love interest even if she’s high maintenance.

Swifties lost their minds when she included Brendan Urie, frontman of Panic! at the Disco, as her duet partner. He also poses as her significant other in the music video, with the two of them dancing around a mansion and eventually performing onstage together.

Song Year: 2019

47. “Christmases When You Were Mine”

One of two original tracks on The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection, this sad tune departs from her joyful feel on the rest of the album. No sleigh bells ring or Christmas decorations sparkle here as she strums a guitar and shares her remorse that a past love is no longer in her life.

The texture is unusually sparse, incorporating only a solo voice and guitar. The lack of bombastic energy that is present in the rest of Taylor’s musical canon (especially the Christmas tunes) draws a stark picture of her loneliness.

Song Year: 2007

48. “Look What You Made Me Do”

The lead single from Reputation stirred a lot of controversy amongst both Swifties and industry critics. The change of direction from her previous output, with a noticeable lack of melodic content and slick, electro-pop stylings, thrilled some and turned off others.

English band Right Said Fred received songwriting credits on this song, as the vocal patterns on the chorus borrow from their 1991 hit “I’m Too Sexy.”

Song Year: 2017

49. “Out of the Woods”

A magical forest is the natural setting for this song, which uses dark, dense woods to draw a correlation between how Swift feels entangled in a difficult relationship. She cites past fights as well as present-day confusion for feelings of conflict and hopelessness.

The music is a production throwback to the 80s, complete with heavy synthesizers, echoing vocal effects, and an indietronica sound.

Song Year: 2014

50. “All Too Well”

This creative initiative from the Red album became quite a project. Beyond a simple five-minute song, which is how it appeared in its original form, “All Too Well” evolved into a video feature that was doubly long and earned the name “All Too Well: The Short Film.”

The lengthy cut set industry records, becoming the longest song ever to reach #1 on the Billboard charts. Swift first performed it at the 56th Grammy Awards, with the music video sparking a fan debate on which celebrity the featured scarf belonged to.

Song Year: 2012

51. “The Lakes”

“the lakes” (stylized lowercase, like many songs from this era) is a bonus track from folklore. The cottagecore feel reigns strong as Swift sings about her semi-retirement in England and the lush nature that surrounds her as she writes and relaxes.

With every album this artist records, she seems to reinvent herself. From the arena-pop anthems of the 2010s, folklore took a significant step into quieter and more introspective territory. This feeling reflects in the sound of thick string textures at a piano dynamic, with Swift’s vocals resting gently over top.

Song Year: 2020

52. “Christmas Must Be Something More”

Holiday tunes and country music don’t always go together, but Taylor could have you fooled. Her songwriting talent transcends convention, using a country-rock aesthetic to encapsulate the feelings of love during the holiday season.

She even questions the meaning of Christmas in a new way, using traditional imagery of angels and boxes but painting modern pictures of skepticism regarding their place in the season.

Song Year: 2007

53. “The 1”

There’s a gray area somewhere between dance-pop and acoustic ballad that Swift blends so well. In “The 1,” piano chords layer over a chill beat that might be acoustic or perhaps electronic, and the fact that we can’t tell is part of the magic.

Ultimately it doesn’t matter what she chooses to do production-wise when the lyrical writing is this good. Her message of self-reflection and growth resonates with anyone who first heard this track during the quiet days of the pandemic when folklore stole onto the scene.

Song Year: 2020

Top Taylor Swift Songs, Final Thoughts

From puppy love to breakups, small towns to big cities, and tender emotions to biting sarcasm, Taylor Swift is the true definition of a songwriter with broad appeal. Her timeless messages reach across genres and generations to propel her fame around the globe, with an electrifying stage presence to support it. There’s no danger that this megastar’s talent is going to fizzle out anytime soon.

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