Who Writes Taylor Swift Songs? With Examples
Ever wondered if Taylor Swift writes her own songs? I mean, with so many hits under her belt, is it really possible for a singer songwriter to be so consistent?
This is what we’ll uncover today.
Does Taylor Swift Write Her Own Songs?
While many pop stars are given songs to record and are famous solely for their vocal talent, Taylor Swift is a truly multi-talented star who sings and writes her own songs.
There is not a single song on any of her albums that Taylor Swift did not write or co-write with a collaborator. However, that doesn't mean she works in a vacuum. Instead, many of her songs are co-written with some of the most successful songwriters, singers, and producers in the industry.
What's more, she has even co-written songs with big-name stars such as Ed Sheeran, Kendrick Lamar, Colbie Caillat, Shawn Mendez, Future, and Lana Del Rey. She's also written songs with Aaron Dessner and Bryce Dessner of the band The National and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver.
Frequent Collaborators on Taylor Swift's Music
As Swift's fame and star power has grown, so too has the list of names on her songwriting credits.
It all started with Liz Rose, a songwriter who was an early mentor and collaborator on her earliest albums, such as Taylor Swift, Fearless and Red.
Other artists she has frequently worked with include Jack Antonoff, Max Martin, Shellback, and Ryan Tedder.
These five co-writers have helped in writing many of Swift's hit songs, including “Shake It Off,” “Look What You Made Me Do,” and the ever-popular track “Blank Space.”
Swift has also collaborated with country star Little Big Town on the song “Better Man,” and she even wrote and sang “Sweeter Than Fiction” with British singer Ed Sheeran.
Songs From Top Collaborators
If you want to know more specifically which of these co-writers contributed to her Taylor's top hits, keep reading below.
Liz Rose – whose full name is Elisabeth Wagner – was responsible for helping Swift write a series of songs from her country music days.
She helped write powerful breakup songs like “White Horse” and “Teardrops On My Guitar,” fun pop-country tunes like “You Belong With Me,” and even contributed to the 10-minute masterpiece that is “All Too Well.”
Shellback is a producer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from Sweden who contributed mostly to Taylor Swift's album Red as well as Reputation and beyond.
“We Are Never Getting Back Together,” “Gorgeous,” Message in a Bottle,” and “I Bet You Think About Me” were all co-written by Shellback.
Max Martin is no stranger to hit music, having a history of contributing to big hits such as Britney Spears's “Baby One More Time” and Backstreet Boys' “I Want It That Way.”
He's also worked with Maroon 5, Katy Perry, The Weeknd, and other major artists in the music industry.
A few of the biggest tracks he co-wrote with Taylor include “We Are Never Getting Back Together,” “Shake It Off,” and “Blank Space.”
Jack Antonoff is an American musician, producer, writer, and singer who's contributed to hit songs for many artists, including Lorde, Florence and The Machine, Lana Del Rey, Fifth Harmony, and, of course, Taylor Swift.
His main work with Taylor Swift was on her infamous Reputation album, with shocking, experimental hits like “Look What You Made Me Do,” “This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things,” and “Getaway Car.
Further, he made powerful contributions to Swift's latest album, Midnights, co-writing impactful songs like “Anti-Hero,” “Maroon,” “You're on Your Own, Kid,” “Midnight Rain,” “Bejeweled,” and more. Antonoff was arguably her number-one co-writer for this album.
The one song that Antonoff didn't co-write on the Midnights album (not including the additional songs on her Midnights: 3 am Edition album) is “Sweet Nothing,” although he still helped produce it. Instead, she co-wrote “Sweet Nothing” with her long-term boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, whose pen name is “William Bowery.”
Aaron Desser is a record producer, singer, and instrumentalist, best known for the band The National as well as for his work with Swift.
While Antonoff played a leading role on Swift's Midnight album, Aaron Desser contributed greatly to the additional songs on her Midnights: 3 am Edition album.
Songs like “High Infidelity,” “The Great War,” and “Would've, Could've, Should've” all have Dessner's name on them.
Like many of Swift's co-writers, Ryan Tedder is a huge name in the music industry. In addition to Taylor Swift, he's worked with household names like Miley Cyrus, Ed Sheeran, the Jonas Brothers, Jennifer Lopez, Katy Perry, Ariana Grande, Paul McCartney, Blackpink, U2, Adele, and even Beyonce.
A better question to ask is, “who hasn't Ryan Tedder worked with?” His diverse array of work with big artists has won him three Grammys and granted him the nickname “The Undercover King of Pop.”
His biggest work with Swift was on her 1989 album, a huge commercial success. Both Martin and Shellback were more involved in the album, but Tedder assisted with songs like “I Know Places” and “Welcome to New York.”
Collaborating With Her Own Lover
Another relatively recent collaborator is “William Bowery,” which, as mentioned earlier, is a pen name for her boyfriend, Joe Alwyn.
Swift and Alwyn have written a few songs together for the albums Folklore and Evermore, including “Exile,” “Betty,” “Champagne Problems,” and “Evermore.”
Most recently, he co-wrote “Sweet Nothing” with Swift for her Midnights album.
Fans love the fact that she is not only in what seems to be a good, healthy relationship but also a relationship that has a positive impact on her artistic endeavors.
Songs Written Solely by Taylor Swift
Although Swift has a knack for collaborating with various talented writers and singers, she's also written a long list of songs all by herself.
Some of those songs include the following:
Taylor Swift Album – 2006
“Should've Said No”
Fearless Album – 2008
“You're Not Sorry”
“The Best Day”
“Forever & Always”
“The Other Side of the Door”
“Jump Then Fall”
Speak Now Album – 2010
“Back To December”
“The Story of Us”
“Never Grow Up”
“Better Than Revenge”
Red Album – 2012
“State of Grace”
“I Almost Do”
“Stay Stay Stay”
“Sad Beautiful Tragic”
“Girl At Home”
“The Moment I Knew”
“The Lucky One”
1989 Album – 2014
Lover Album – 2019
Folklore Album – 2020
“My tears ricochet”
Evermore Album – 2020
“no body, no crime”
Fearless (Taylor's Version) Album – 2021
“Mr. Perfectly Fine (Taylor's Version)” [From the Vault]
Midnights Album – 2022
Why Taylor Swift's Songwriting Is So Impactful
Whether you like her music or not, it's undeniable that Taylor Swift has made a huge mark on the music industry and in almost every popular genre.
The instrumentals and production of her songs are outstanding, but what makes Swift stand out from other singers is her emotional, intriguing, poignant, relatable, memorable, and meaningful lyrics.
Often, her lyrics are wrapped in intricate stories that speak specifically to moments of her life, so even when you haven't experienced something like she has – or like she's imagined – you're still able to put yourself in the narrator's shoes and feel what the narrator is feeling.
Her songwriting also draws upon fairy tales and folklore, historical events, personal relationships, and her creative imagination.
As a result of her cleverly crafted stories, Swift has been able to craft an entire world of her own, and it's one that listeners cannot help but immerse themselves in.
Does Taylor Swift Only Write About Love?
Taylor Swift is undoubtedly most known for her songs about love, to the point where it almost feels like she has an obsession with the topic.
And while that may be a bit true, there's much more to her songwriting than that.
Swift touches on other personal topics like family and friendship, mental health, growing up, being tolerant of the LGBT community, and even her own mortality.
She also gives us a peek into the world of dreams and imagination with songs from her Folklore album, which is still about love, but not necessarily her own love life.
Taylor Swift and Love Songs
Taylor does indeed have many, many songs about love, but the reason they're so successful is that they're not one-dimensional. She touches upon each and every nuance that getting into and out of relationships might entail, including but not limited to the following:
- breaking up with someone you regret breaking up with (“Back to December”)
- getting cheated on by someone you thought would stay forever (“White Horse”)
- wanting to interrupt a wedding because you're still in love (“Speak Now”)
- being confused about why your crush is dating an incompatible person (“You Belong With Me”)
- getting excited about the prospect of love after dealing with heartbreak (“Begin Again”)
Who Writes Taylor Swift Songs? Final Thoughts
Most people know that Taylor Swift is a talented singer, guitarist, and pianist, but she's also an incredibly talented songwriter.
If you've ever wondered who writes Taylor Swift songs, you now have an answer – Taylor Swift! – along with many other talented co-writers by her side.
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