Taylor Swift’s 223 Songs, Ranked by a 40-Something Bald Professor

Thanks to my daughter for the image!

[Last updated March 17, 2023 for “All of the Girls You Loved Before”; also updated rankings for Midnights]

Looking for my ranking of Taylor’s albums? Click here!

Want to see how Taylor Swift examples demonstrate each theory in the communication theory textbook I co-author? Click here!

I’m Andrew, and I’m a professor of communication at Texas Christian University. I research interpersonal relationships, enjoy statistics, and am an avid Swiftie.

This list arises from those interests. It currently contains 223 songs. Here were my ground rules for deciding which songs to include:

  1. It must be a song with vocals by Taylor Swift. This excludes songs where she is an author but doesn’t sing (e.g., “This is What You Came For”).
  2. No live versions. Sorry, Speak Now World Tour – Live (but I will say that I do like the “Back to December / Apologize / You’re Not Sorry” medley on that album).
  3. No remixes or alternate versions… unless they bring something significantly new to the song. The only two remixes included right now are “Bad Blood” and “Lover,” which brought in new vocalists. I am including alternate song versions if they appear on the albums (e.g., the acoustic version of “State of Grace” on Red).
  4. I’m not re-rating the Taylor’s Version tracks separately. For the most part they are similar enough to the originals that my preferences between the versions are slight. (Of course, new songs “From the Vault” on Taylor’s Versions are ranked and rated.)
  5. I’m not including tracks on compact discs you can only get from buying a physical CD at a store. Looking at you, Target and “Hits Different.” This shouldn’t be a thing in the year 2022.

Rankings only tell part of the story, so the list below also indicates which songs got a score of 10 out of 10, 9 out of 10, etc. This means that, say, within the 8 out of 10 songs, it wouldn’t be hard to make a case for re-arranging the order.

Throughout, ratings of 1-4 = not very good, 5-6 = decent, 7-8 = good, 9-10 = great, with 10s are reserved for true Taylor masterpieces. Definitely keep that in mind. Songs with low rankings are often great songs, because Taylor’s catalog is just that strong. You have to get deep into the list before encountering songs I actively dislike. I also briefly comment on each song with a one-sentence review… well, OK, one song gets more than one sentence, but it deserves it, and if you’re a Swiftie, you can probably guess which song that is.

If I had to guess one possible point of disagreement with others, it would be this: Sometimes slower, country-ish ballads don’t do it for me, but happy, peppy, and semi-goofy pop songs do. And if you look closely at my ratings, you’ll find that the presence of Jack Antonoff is almost always a plus for me. I own these rankings as reflecting my preferences; feel free to (respectfully) disagree. Please do let me know if you spot any mistakes (e.g., if I’m missing a song).

The list order may change at any time, as my opinions of songs change over time. I plan to add new songs as Taylor releases them, but it may take me some time to make up my mind about a song, so additions may not be immediate. And I’m not going to be a slave to this; I’ll do it when I feel like it, and stop when I want to stop.

Finally, these are offered not in the spirit of a hater that hates hates hates, or someone just trying to be “Mean.” Instead, it’s offered in sincere appreciation and celebration of Taylor Swift’s artistry. Taken overall, her catalog is an absolute masterpiece, a stunning showcase of musical variety, crisp production, and lyrical genius. Her music has brought me much enjoyment over the years, and it’s been fun to give it a closer look.

1 out of 10:

223. Safe & Sound (no album): I like Taylor Swift and I like the Hunger Games, but like ice cream and ketchup, I don’t like them together; this whiny track never finds pacing or tone, and it “wins” my award for my least favorite Swift song.

2 out of 10:

222. Sad Beautiful Tragic (Red): This is one lengthy, anemic, and exhaustingly repetitive song that feels like it lasts much longer than 4:44.

3 out of 10:

221. Macavity (no album): Taylor does a decent job with the material… but, I don’t like the material… yeah, the less said about her involvement with Cats, the better.

220. Hoax (Folklore): By this point at the end of Folklore, if the album is going to serve up another slow, somber song, I’m sorry, it better be amazing; this one isn’t.

219. Invisible (Taylor Swift): I confess that young Taylor can sound whiny to my ear, at times, and she does here; the song is also so dull that halfway through I found my mind wandering.

218. You’re Not Sorry (Fearless): My low rating here may say more about me than Taylor or the song, as this is the kind of folksy, slow country song that I don’t care for.

217. Epiphany (Folklore): Lyrically, the focus on her grandfather’s experience in World War 2 is sweet, as is the tribute to medical personnel fighting COVID-19; but lyrically, it sounds a bit too close to some of the sappy early pandemic car commercials back in April 2020 (though I think this is one song that gets a significant upgrade in the Long Pond sessions version).

4 out of 10:

216. Santa Baby (The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection): I confess I’m knocking this because it just flat out isn’t my favorite Christmas song; like the rest of this EP, it’s all right as background holiday music, but probably grating if you listened to it too much or too closely.

215. Change (Fearless): When it looks like you’re straining to be epic, you’re not actually being epic; and so although Fearless is an excellent album, it doesn’t stick the landing the way most of the upcoming albums do.

214. Tell Me Why (Fearless): I promise, some Fearless songs will rank much much higher, but there’s some forgettable ones here too, and this track feels to me like a step backward rather than a step forward for Taylor.

213. Last Kiss (Speak Now): The only real clunker on this outstanding album, this 6+-minute song might have been decent if it had been about half as long; in other words, Taylor doesn’t pull off another “Dear John” with this one.

212. Last Christmas (The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection): I feel like covering this song is a rite of passage for young female artists, and Taylor’s take is tolerable enough, although I’d pick Hilary Duff’s version if given the choice.

211. White Christmas (The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection): Yeah, this EP is a bit too country for me, almost stereotypically country; this song, like the others, is just OK, not music I’d avoid or music I’d seek out.

210. Christmas Must Be Something More (The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection): The message here, that Jesus should be the focus of Christmas, is one I wholeheartedly agree with myself, but I don’t think Taylor (who wrote the song) would do something like this today.

209. Eyes Open (no album): It’s considerably better than the other Hunger Games track (“Safe & Sound”), but it’s also so distant from Swiftian greatness.

208. Babe [Sugarland version] (no album): This collaboration with Sugarland is a bit too repetitive and a bit too blah; it was written by Taylor but she ultimately rejected it from Red, and Taylor, I think that was the right call.

207. Happiness (Evermore): There’s just a sense that tracks on Evermore give me, one of “yeah, I guess this song is OK,” and I feel that here; the song feels ponderous and I wonder if it would benefit from an increase in tempo.

206. Cowboy Like Me (Evermore): If Folklore’s “Betty” sounds like it belonged on Fearless, this almost sounds like it belongs on Taylor Swift; your mileage may vary on whether you think that’s a good thing or not, but for me this slow country song just doesn’t quite do it.

205. Birch (no album): This is a dash of Taylor Swift in the backing vocals with a lot of instrumentals and a lot of Bon Iver.

204. Glitch (Midnights): So rarely does Taylor’s music grate on me, especially after her early albums, but this one does, and I think it’s the only skip on Midnights.

203. Mad Woman (Folklore): If there’s a consistent weakness on Folklore, it might be the tendency for the lyrical ambitions to outpace the quality of the music, and that weakness is on display in this mediocre entry.

202. It’s Nice to Have a Friend (Lover): Here, on the 17th of 18 tracks on the album, most listeners are probably wanting the plane to come in for the landing; instead, Swift hits our eardrums with maybe the weirdest song she’s ever sung that side of Evermore’s “Closure,” some strange mash-up of Polynesian (?) instruments with a Gregorian-ish chant in high pitch.

201. False God (Lover): I get what Taylor was going for here with the sultry saxophone, but it just doesn’t quite work for me; as great as Lover is as an album, sometimes it feels like Taylor is throwing things at the wall to see what sticks.

5 out of 10:

200. Lover (Lover): I’m sorry, Swiftie sisters, I can see you picking up rocks to stone me; I’ve warmed a bit to this saccharine song over time, but something about the echo-y reverb just puts me off from this song.

199. Gasoline (no album): Taylor’s collaborations with female artists limit them to backup vocals, and she returns the favor to Haim here, but I find this much less interesting than “No Body No Crime.”

198. Half of My Heart (no album): This song is 96% Mayer and 4% Swift, and although it’s decent enough as a Mayer song I suppose, it could’ve been better if John had leveraged Taylor’s artistic strengths.

197. The Outside (Taylor Swift): A pleasant enough song that’s listenable, but also not particularly memorable.

196. Only the Young (no album): Integrating political messaging with musical artistry is always dangerous business, because the former can so easily overwhelm the latter… Taylor masterfully avoids that on the brilliant “Miss Americana,” but here, not so much.

195. Sweet Nothing (Midnights): Lots of people seem to like this one, with its spare lyrics and celebration of the romantic nature of simplicity, and I do like the sweetness, but I confess I find it somewhat boring.

194. I Almost Do (Red): After starting Red with a solid streak of songs, I feel a sense of disinterest when this one starts; really, it’s one of the most unremarkable and forgettable songs in about two albums, if you’re listening to them straight through.

193. Tied Together With a Smile (Taylor Swift): I never think about this older song but when I listen to it, it’s OK enough.

192. Soon You’ll Get Better (Lover): I feel badly giving such a low rating to such a heartfelt song that’s so personally meaningful to Taylor; although this has a place in the collage of songs that is Lover, the use of the Dixie Chicks seems a bit too restrained.

191. You Are In Love (1989): I hear foreshadowing of the themes of “It’s Nice to Have a Friend”; it’s a sweet song, but it doesn’t knock my proverbial socks off.

190. Don’t You (Fearless): This is the least essential of the Vault songs from Fearless (Taylor’s Version), although it’s still listenable enough.

189. Welcome to New York (1989): It’s strange that such a strong album puts such a weak first track forward; the chorus works OK, but I don’t know what she was thinking with the music for the verses.

188. Christmases When You Were Mine (The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection): This heartfelt country tune is an original song, and although it’s far from a classic, Taylor effectively conveys the sense of intimacy that would fuel so much of her future musical identity.

187. That’s When (Fearless): I like the vocals here with Keith Urban, but I don’t think this song is one I would ever seek out.

186. Closure (Evermore): Maybe the strangest song in her catalog, filled with discordant synthesizer noises in the background, it just doesn’t “work” and feels like it is just trying too hard to be novel and cool. 

185. A Perfectly Good Heart (Taylor Swift): It’s a decently OK early Swift song but not much more than that.

184. Peace (Folklore): There’s artistry in the spare use of instruments, and the lyrical sentiment is sweet, but I also just can’t get too excited about this one.

183. Silent Night (The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection): I give Taylor and her team some credit here for injecting some originality into one of the most familiar songs in the world; it also strikes me that this EP is, far and away, the most staunchly country sound she ever produced.

182. Stay Beautiful (Taylor Swift): The lyrics on this one are uncharacteristically indistinct, particularly in comparison to later Taylor (something about a guy named Cory, and a radio? I dunno…), but overall it’s a forgettable song that’s maybe a bit more fun than the other forgettable songs on the debut album.

181. Afterglow (Lover): This bleh song screams, “Hey, in another album era, I would’ve been a thoroughly forgotten bonus track on the deluxe edition.”

180. Forever Winter (Red): This song manages to be poignant but never maudlin as it addresses substance abuse, mental health, and suicide; its presence on Taylor’s Version brings additional thematic depth to “Red.”

179. Bad Blood (1989): “Welcome to New York” suffers from a decent chorus with underbaked verses, and “Bad Blood” has the opposite problem.

6 out of 10:

178. We Were Happy (Fearless): There’s some real energy in the chorus and “talkin’ ’bout your daddy’s farm” sure brings the listener back to country-era Taylor, but this song from the vault is far from essential.

177. Hey Stephen (Fearless): A decent change-of-pace song that sits in between some better songs, but the “shine, shine, shine!” in the bridge is a bit cheesy for my taste (and I say that as someone who likes “ME!” …).

176. SuperStar (Speak Now): This one is listenable enough but also just a touch too saccharine for its own good.

175. Both of Us (no album): Taylor’s rap collab with B.O.B. is a decent song, foreshadowing her rap stylings on “End Game.”

174. I Heart ? (Beautiful Eyes): A fun “I’m over the breakup” song that fits so thematically in the Taylorverse, even if that’s workin time has forgotten it.

173. I’m Only Me When I’m With You (Taylor Swift): The beat, fast pace, and steel guitar make it a bit more memorable and energetic than much of the debut album’s other songs.

172. Run (Red): This duet with Ed Sheeran is just kinda “there,” and with mushy lyrics and blah music, it’s the worst of the “From the Vault” songs on Taylor’s Version of “Red.”

171. You All Over Me (Fearless): I appreciate the lyrical depth of this one and the support from Maren Morris’s backing vocals, but if you like this type of slow country ballad, you might like it more than I do.

170. High Infidelity (Midnights): It feels a bit unremarkable to me, but it’s a solid and listenable song, with that reference to April 29 fuel for Taylor theories.

169. Cold As You (Taylor Swift): Yes, I know it’s the first of the much-lauded “Track 5” songs, but still, I find this one a bit grating and I would probably skip it if it came on Pandora.

168. Holy Ground (Red): On an album of classics, it’s a poster child for an OKish song that’s nobody’s favorite song.’

167. Ronan (Red): Such a sad song of loss and grief, about a four-year-old boy who lost his life to cancer, that accomplishes just the emotional response it seeks.

166. Dress (Reputation): This and the prior track are, in my opinion, the OKish songs on Reputation; they’re fine enough and fit thematically, but when I put on the album, “Dress” and “Dancing With Our Hands Tied” aren’t at the top of my mind.

165. Tim McGraw (Taylor Swift): Her first single ever is a sweet country ballad, establishing a solid foundation for even better ballads later on.

164. Untouchable (Fearless): This Fearless bonus track is decent enough, but also one I never really think about.

163. Lover (remix) (Lover): Maybe this makes some amends for those who don’t like how low I rank the original; I still don’t like how the song is mixed, but Mendes gives it a solid upgrade, and the song’s vibe works better when performed as a duet. 

162. Beautiful Eyes (Beautiful Eyes): I don’t think I’d ever heard this song before, and that’s too bad, because it’s a sweet, energetic “Country Taylor” tune, even if her loose vocal style makes some of the lyrics a bit indistinct. 

161. Bye Bye Baby (Fearless): What impresses me most about this one is how well it fits as an ending song for Fearless–a better ending, I would argue, than “Change” on the OG version.

160. The Way I Loved You (Fearless): I find the lyrics in the stanzas to be a bit labored, but hey, water imagery at 2 AM is vintage Swift.

159. ‘Tis the Damn Season (Evermore): Taylor Swift may not feel like she’s a natural (see “Mirrorball” over on Folklore), but she’s at her best when her music and lyrics feel effortless; here, it feels like she’s pushing too hard to craft a compelling story (although, like other Evermore tracks, it’s grown on me over time and has thus gone up in the ranking).

158. This Is Me Trying (Folklore): “I was so ahead of the curve that the curve became a sphere” is a cool line, but again, the reverb/echoing just doesn’t do it for me (see also “Lover”), especially when combined with the slow pace of the song; the Long Pond Studios session is so much better, though.

157. Christmas Tree Farm (no album): A dozen years after The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection, we get this tune, with part of the charm being Taylor’s youth on a Christmas tree farm; it’s a decent song (if not quite a classic) that bops along with the energy of the Lover era.

156. I Forgot That You Existed (Lover): My feelings about this opening track definitely aren’t hate, not quite love, and a bit more than indifference.

155. Vigilante Shit (Midnights): This dark and brooding tale of vengeance may be polarizing, and although I can see how some would like it and it’s a carefully-crafted song, it doesn’t quite do it for me; it’s one of those tracks that I can appreciate but don’t particularly enjoy.

154. The 1 (Folklore): Taylor doesn’t tend to lead off an album with her strongest songs (see… well… two songs prior on this list), and this is no exception, although it does effectively set the reflective mood of Folklore.

153. Bad Blood (remix) (1989): I rated the original lower mainly because of its underbaked chorus; it’s still lacking, but Kendrick Lamar upgrades this track with a much-needed injection of energy and gravitas.

152. Dancing With Our Hands Tied (Reputation): This song is listenable enough, but never seems to achieve full liftoff; I like the light/fire/water imagery in the bridge, though.

151. Dear Reader (Midnights): I feel the emotion in this one, and particularly like the line “No one sees you lose when you’re playing solitaire,” but the ending feels unfinished to me (although maybe that’s part of the point).

150. Wildest Dreams (1989): I know this is a favorite of many, but it doesn’t do much for me; I wonder if perhaps it’s a song that resonates more with female listeners.

149. Paper Rings (Lover): It’s a fun and energetic song, but I prefer the song that may have inspired it (Hilary Duff’s “Breathe In, Breathe Out”).

148. The Lucky One (Red): A poignant morality tale of the dangers of Hollywood, with themes she would revisit more personally and powerfully three albums later in “The Archer.”

7 out of 10:

147. Ivy (Evermore): One could contemplate what Evermore would’ve been like with a bit more Jack Antonoff, and this song brings a nice burst of his energy, although the focus on marital infidelity limits my enjoyment of the song.

146. Crazier (no album): The song during Taylor’s iconic appearance in Hannah Montana: The Movie is a solid country track, and the reference to it in “Miss Americana” ten years later elevates it to an archetype of Taylor’s early career, and deservedly so.

145. Superman (Speak Now): Yes it’s cheesy, but it sure does have that Speak Now perfect country-pop synthesis that’s such musical catnip to me.

144. Lavender Haze (Midnights): It doesn’t captivate me, but it has a fun beat and effectively establishes the electronic sound of Midnights.

143. Marjorie (Evermore): Throughout its music and lyrics, this song is a beautiful tribute to Taylor’s grandmother, exuding both passion and honesty.

142. If This Was a Movie (Speak Now): There’s some good emotional build-and-release toward the end of the song; maybe this is unfair, but the cinematic focus creates a comparison in my mind to Hannah Montana’s “If We Were a Movie,” and I think the latter is the better song (and A PROFESSOR MOMENT: should “if this were a movie,” given subjunctive tense… yeah, I know…).

141. Dorothea (Evermore): The swinging style of the music complements sweet lyrics about friendship; I’d be curious to hear more songs about friendship from Taylor.

140. Maroon (Midnights): I used to find it a bit labored, but it’s grown on me; the slower pacing of the song fits with the hazy nighttime vibe of the album.

139. Message in a Bottle (Red): This upbeat “From the Vault” track is solid and fun, even if it isn’t quite as catchy as some other catchy Taylor Swift songs.

138. Stay Stay Stay (Red): Taylor goes all in for playful and cute with this one, and it generally works.

137. Fifteen (Fearless): A bittersweet reminiscence of youth and its transience–a theme Taylor picks up again, and sometimes better than she does here.

136. Begin Again (Red): In contrast to the sweepingly epic songs that conclude Fearless and Speak Now, Taylor goes for reflectively thoughtful in the conclusion to Red; it mostly works, although it’s a track I might admire a bit more than I enjoy.

135. Teardrops on My Guitar (Pop Version) (Taylor Swift): Oh look, it’s a slightly different version of a song I’ve already heard on this album; but what “pop version” of a song still has steel guitar in the background?

134. Snow on the Beach (Midnights): There’s a beauty to it, but this one commits a couple of grave errors: A gratuitous profanity in the chorus that seems like it’s only there to look edgy, and (again) burying a strong female collaborator in the background (and underneath vocal distortion effects, too).

133. Look What You Made Me Do (Reputation): Musically there’s about four different songs going on here, and they work well enough together in this vengeful tune, although it was probably a mistake to release this as the album’s lead single; that crazy music video, though, is easily a 10/10.

132. Come in With the Rain (Fearless): The hook at the beginning and echoed at the end elevates this vintage Taylor country song. 

131. Bigger Than the Whole Sky (Midnights):  I totally get why this beautiful song of grief resonates with those who have experienced miscarriage and other kinds of loss.

130. Champagne Problems (Evermore): This one has grown on me over time, although I don’t think it quite reaches the status of the emotional powerhouse it aspires to be.

129. All of the Girls You Loved Before (no album): Well, technically no album, although the Spotify picture is Lover, and to my ear, the smooth audio and affectionate lyrics of this track provide more evidence that the Lover era is underrated.

128. The Best Day (Fearless): As a father of daughters, this sweet song hits me in the gut; your mileage may vary.

127. Starlight (Red): A thematically and musically upbeat song, and after Red, it’ll be awhile in the main album discography until Swift sounds quite this optimistic about romance again.

126. Paris (Midnights): This bright, shiny track brings a dose of levity and fun to the otherwise-heavy 3 AM Midnights tracks.

125. I Think He Knows (Lover): Lover sometimes feels not like an ode to love, but an ode to infatuation, and it’s that sense that prevents this quite listenable track from becoming a sleeper hit.

124. This Love (1989): It’s amazing how this song is both sedate and epic at the same time, and hello water imagery!

123. The Very First Night (Red): If this and “Starlight” are any indication, Swift seems intent on ending “Red” with an upbeat song, and this energetic number is soaring–both in terms of its sonic energy and its lyrics that express a desire to fly; with its reference to a note on a Polaroid, it also points the way forward to the next album, “1989.”

122. We Are Never Getting Back Together (Red): I thought I liked this one more than I do, but after listening again, I think it’s almost a prototypical example of a Taylor song that I like well enough but wouldn’t seek out when I’m looking for a song to play.

121. Renegade (no album): There’s very strong shades of “Long Story Short” here, and although this track doesn’t quite reach that level, it’s an effective continuation of the beautiful musical style of the Folklore/Evermore era (and another solid collaboration between Swift and Vernon).

120. You Need to Calm Down (Lover): It’s one of the most quotable and memeable Swift songs ever, but it’s hard for me to get past the irony that the queen of expressing her opinion now thinks she gets to tell other people to be quiet.

119. It’s Time to Go (Evermore): Whereas Folklore ended with tale of longing for peace and beauty, Evermore ends with a song about respecting boundaries and knowing when it’s time to go; it’s calm yet also unsettling, and a song that’s resonated more with me as time has passed.

118. The Joker and the Queen (no album): One great thing about Taylor & Ed duets is that their sincere friendship just shines through, and that’s certainly the case on this warm, beautiful track.

117. Illicit Affairs (Folklore): This morality tale strives for greatness, particularly in the bridge-that-becomes-an-ending, but doesn’t quite get there; it’s acoustic sound has grown on me over time.

116. Today Was a Fairytale (Fearless): A good, solid, sweet, earnest Taylor track that fits well with the sound of Fearless.

115. Fearless (Fearless): Fearless leaps out of the gate with a dance in a rainstorm in a best dress, effectively setting the theme and tone of the album.

114. The Other Side of the Door (Fearless): This forgotten treasure is so paradigmatically Swiftian it’s verges on parody: pouring rain, throwing rocks at a window, being carried up the stairs, a little black dress, all in the midst of an emotional storm where the girl just wants to feel like she’s wanted.

113. I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (no album): I enjoy this song when it comes on Pandora, and Taylor’s vocals here sound great, but I don’t think I’ve ever sought out this song just to listen to it.

112. Tolerate It (Evermore): It’s a poignant and heart-wrenching tale, but doesn’t quite achieve the level of pathos as some other Track 5s.

111. Karma (Midnights): Maybe the sass crosses over into arrogance, but that said, I appreciate the lyrical creativity and the effective use of the harp-like strum.

110. Should’ve Said No (Taylor Swift): A worthy hit single that aurally and lyrically echoes “Picture to Burn,” but for my money, I think “Picture” is the slightly stronger song.

109. Teardrops on My Guitar (Taylor Swift): A classic Taylor song and a strong example of her country artistry, although I wish it built to a better climax.

108. Blank Space (1989): I know, I can hear some Taylor Swift fans picking up rocks to throw at me, and this track has grown on me over the years, but I’m still left with the feeling that it doesn’t do enough of the emotional build-and-release that characterizes Taylor’s best work.

8 out of 10:

107. Midnight Rain (Midnights): More of an interlude than a song, this contains some of the most unusual and memorable sounds on a Taylor Swift track, and somehow it all works even though it feels like it shouldn’t.

106. The Moment I Knew (Red): This one is better than I remembered, powered by a musically and lyrically solid chorus, and with the existence of the 10-minute “All Too Well” (which tells the same story, it seems), it feels even more vital to the overall theme of the album.

105. Highway Don’t Care (no album): There’s something poetic about Taylor Swift, whose first single was “Tim McGraw,” teaming up with Tim McGraw to produce a solid, rocking modern country tune.

104. Girl at Home (Red): I know the OG version was much criticized, and although I actually will admit I liked it, this is one case where Taylor’s Version is a significant change and a big upgrade; in either version, I like the touch of comedy in the line “it would be a fine proposition–if I was a stupid girl.”  

103. Bejeweled (Midnights): It’s one of the brightest and most playful tracks on the album, and while the ending of the chorus and the bridge feel a tad rough to me, I still like it quite a bit.

102. Babe (Red): It’s hardly my favorite song on Red, but it fits on the album, and the pop instrumentation and refrain “what about your promises, promises?” lifts Taylor’s rendition above Sugarland’s take on the song.

101. Right Where You Left Me (Evermore): This has a rolling beat, a sense of fun, country sensibilities, and potent imagery of Taylor, frozen at the age of 23 at a restaurant. 

100. Willow (Evermore): The opening guitar is great here, and although it doesn’t reach the heights of Taylor’s best work, it effectively opens the album.

99. I Knew You Were Trouble (Red): This song brings a harder edge musically than anything prior, signaling the country-Taylor era has reached deep twilight and the full transition to pop-Taylor is nigh.

98. The Great War (Midnights): Sorry history lovers, it isn’t a musical retelling of World War I, but rather a poetic depiction of love that persevered through severe conflict and has come through to the other side.

97. Better Man (Red): This country ballad is right at home (at last) on “Red,” and although at 5 minutes it feels like it should overstay its welcome, it never drags.

96. Jump Then Fall (Fearless): This is a great Fearless-era platinum edition song that would’ve fit perfectly on the main album.

95. Two is Better Than One (no album): A solid collaboration between Taylor and Boys Like Girls that uses compelling vocal harmony, painting the epic emotional sweep that characterizes so much of Swift’s best work; it’s another forgotten tune, perhaps, and that’s too bad, because it’s well worth a listen.

94. How You Get the Girl (1989): This carefully-paced track might win the award for the most pure fun on the album.

93. London Boy (Lover): A novelty song, yes, and another “ode to infatuation,” yes, but this one is a nice dose of pure fun.

92. Beautiful Ghosts (no album): It’s astounding, the diversity of musical styles she’s tried, and hearing her tackle a musical show tune makes me want to see her in a musical movie that’s actually… um… good (and no I haven’t seen Cats; I am a Taylor fan, yes, but that’s a bridge I’m not gonna cross).

91. Never Grow Up (Speak Now): I intended to rate this one lower, but then I listened to it, and was struck by the simplicity of Taylor with a guitar for instrumentation; if Speak Now were a concert, this would be the song midway through where the singer sits down on a stool with a spotlight on her and chats with the audience for awhile.

90. Anti-Hero (Midnights): I’m not convinced it’s the instant classic it wants to be, but Taylor’s performative vocals lift the track and strike the right mix of playful and serious.

89. Picture to Burn (Taylor Swift): This classic debut album song has great energy and the banjo injects a good dose of fun.

88. Carolina (no album): With evocative lyrics and haunting instrumentation, this song from the movie Where the Crawdads Sing produces a delicious, dark, earthy mood that also resonates with the storytelling and musical style of the Folklore/Evermore era.

87. Red (Red): I like the song as a whole and “driving a new Maserati down a dead-end street” classic middle-era Swift imagery, but for the first time in a couple of albums her vocal tone flirts with whininess.

86. Mastermind (Midnights): As someone who enjoys weaving crazy Taylor Swift theories in his spare time, I appreciate this wink and nod to such fans.

85. Gorgeous (Reputation): One of my rules of music is that I don’t like to hear children speaking in a song; this fun time, which begins with Blake Lively’s kid saying “gorgeous!”, is the one exception I tolerate.

84. Daylight (Lover): I’m a sucker for the “here’s what we learned today!” songs at the end of Taylor’s albums, and this is a strong one, filled with the expansive sense of hope that’s part of a new day (or new era in life).

83. I Did Something Bad (Reputation): Taylor continues her Reputation-era descent into madness in an energetic track that, without a doubt, contains more than a bit of sarcasm.

82. Mary’s Song (Oh My My My) (Taylor Swift): In the debut album she hadn’t quite mastered the art of being epic, but in this forgotten treasure, she’s getting there.

81. No Body, No Crime (Evermore): It aspires to be the next “Goodbye Earl” or “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia,” and it can be forgiven for not quite attaining that status, because it’s still a rocking country tune that contains some of the best storytelling on the album.

80. 22 (Red): “Happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time” is such a perfect way to describe being 22, but one of my daughters diminished this song for me when she pointed out that Taylor often slurs the word “22” so badly that it sounds like “swimsuit” (… and she’s not wrong…).

79. Cardigan (Folklore): This song does so many things so well, filled with regret and pain and passion and also an easy sense of ‘chill,’ all at the same time. 

78. Ours (Speak Now): This track is reflective, thoughtful, and beautiful; I’d enjoy an entire album where she aims for this kind of mood.

77. Innocent (Speak Now): A bit of a sleeper on the album, Taylor’s olive branch to Kanye is sweet–too bad that didn’t last (even if it did spawn one or two good songs later).

76. This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things (Reputation): And here’s the opposite of “Innocent”; Taylor strikes back at Kanye in a raucous number that was surely a crowd-pleaser as the closing song on the Reputation tour.

75. Gold Rush (Evermore): One of the few Antonoff-powered tracks on the album, the music provides a jolt of energy even if the lyrics are mushy (but I do really like the line, “My mind turns your life into folklore…”).

74. Clean (1989): More water imagery (that I think calls back to Fearless in at least a couple of ways) appears in this strong conclusion to a deep, creative album.

73. Long Story Short (Evermore): This delightfully self-referential song contains some of the clearest evidence of personal growth in any Swift song, and it’s good advice: “Past me, I want to tell yourself not to get lost in these petty things; your nemeses will defeat themselves before you get the chance to swing; and he’s passing by, rare as the glimmer of a comet in the sky…”

72. King of My Heart (Reputation): After a brief but reflective pause at the end of “Getaway Car,” this song opens with Taylor perfectly fine and alone; then a new character, the king of her heart, shows up, with the chorus and bridge so powerfully expressing Taylor’s affection for him.

71. …Ready For It? (Reputation): Let the games begin indeed, as Taylor throws down one of the strongest opening tracks on any of her albums.

70. Sweeter Than Fiction (no album): I don’t think I’d heard this one before I gave it a listen for this ranking, which is too bad, because it’s a fun and energetic song; I’ve listened to it a fair amount since, and I’d say it’s a neglected treasure.

69. Forever & Always (Piano Version) (Fearless): I give a very very slight nod to the regular version in this ranking, but the piano version is remarkable for having a different emotional landscape (more reflective) with the same level of awesome.

68. Forever & Always (Fearless): The emotion is intense as Taylor recounts her feelings about Joe Jonas’ famous 27-second breakup call, although I could wish for a bit more inspiration from the bridge.

67. Mine (Speak Now): By Speak Now Swift had established her reputation as a storyteller, and this album’s opening song signals that she’s going to play to that strength.

66. A Place in This World (Taylor Swift): I have the sense that I’m in a tiny minority regarding this one, but what can I say, I like what I like, and I think this is an underrated gem (that always reminds me of its role in the 2010 Ramona and Beezus movie).

65. Would’ve, Should’ve, Could’ve (Midnights): Featuring the weight and sensibility of Aaron Dessner’s production, great build throughout the song, and a bridge that slays (“give me back my girlhood, it was mine first!”), this track is a winning recipe.

64. Betty (Folklore): Revisiting her country style was a bold choice, and it works; this is an instant classic (but sorry, James, I don’t think showing up at a party unannounced and insulting the girl’s friends is likely to win you many points, and “Cardigan” suggests it probably didn’t).

63. Mr. Perfectly Fine (Fearless): Definitely the most essential and memorable song from the Vault on Fearless (Taylor’s Version), with a killer bridge and even a key change; one wonders why it was left off the original album.

62. Everything Has Changed (Red): Another strong duet between Taylor and a male singer (this time Ed Sheeran), but I think “The Last Time” has just a bit more gravity to it.

61. Coney Island (Evermore): Again, I tend to be a fan of Taylor’s duets with men, and this no exception; the spare instrumentation, the hazy lyrics, and blending of Taylor and Matt’s voices creates a magical atmosphere that sometimes eludes this album.

60. ME! (Lover): I’m going to come down on the side of this much-criticized song; it’s energetic, peppy, bright, and cheerful, glowing with the summery brightness of the Lover era.

59. Seven (Folklore): This is an achingly beautiful reminiscence of childhood, filled with equal parts sweetness and melancholy, and laced with beautiful imagery throughout.

58. My Tears Ricochet (Folklore): This follows the track 5 tradition of highly personal, emotionally resonant songs that also serve as album standouts.

57. White Horse (Fearless): The emotional punch at the end really elevates this classic track 5 ballad.

56. The Lakes (Folklore): In a rich synthesis of lyrics and music, this song so beautifully and hauntingly embodies a deep sense of longing for beauty and nature, shared with someone you love.

55. Don’t Blame Me (Reputation): The “crazy Taylor” of Reputation compares her lover to a narcotic, and the explosive chorus really lifts this track.

9 out of 10:

54. Shake it Off (1989): It’s quite deservedly her most iconic song after “Love Story” and therefore one destined for airplay in American culture for the next 40 years, but for me personally, it was so overplayed at its height that it’s the one Taylor track that gives me a “yeah, been there, done that” feeling.

53. Better Than Revenge (Speak Now): I confess this song is a bit of a guilty pleasure since I don’t think it’s a great idea to revel in revenge 🙂, but my appreciation of it is held back by how Taylor overplays her hand–impugning the sexual character of her target was a step too far.

52. Our Song (Taylor Swift): The song that ended the original version of the album is sweet, fun, and catchy, and I confess I enjoy songs that are self-referential (the song concludes with Taylor sitting down to write the song).

51. Labyrinth (Midnights): This track is reflective, moody, wistful, disconcerting, and beautiful, all at the same time, and to my mind it’s the sleeper hit of Midnights.

50. The Last Time (Red): And again, I might be in a minority by giving this one a high score, but I like Swift and Lightbody’s voices together and the strong bridge kicks it up a notch.

49. State of Grace (Red): In this effective album opener with a great rolling beat, we’re far from the epic pageantry of the end of Speak Now, instead crashing into a world of busy streets, traffic lights, pain, and shades of wrong.

48. State of Grace (Acoustic Version) (Red): Wow, this already great song gets even better with the reflective turn in the acoustic version.

47. New Romantics (1989): As an interpersonal communication scholar, I really don’t like the flippant attitude some in our day have toward romantic relationships, but Swift effectively captures that reality in this energetic song that’s filled with the great sound of the main 1989 album.

46. Breathe (Fearless): A bit of a forgotten treasure; allowing the orchestral strings to carry the emotion of the song (rather than a steel guitar, as she might’ve done if this were on the debut album) might foreshadow her shift to pop.

45. Invisible String (Folklore): I’m a sucker for self-referential Taylor, and this is self-referential Taylor that spans her entire career to date; it’s also an unabashed love song, which is a welcome change from the breakup-heavy themes on much of the rest of Folklore.

44. All You Had to Do Was Stay (1989): Taylor’s fifth tracks have a reputation for vulnerable lyrics, and in an album crowded with vibrant songs, it would be a mistake to overlook this one.

43. Question…? (Midnights): I really like the production here, although as is sometimes the case on Midnights, the lyrics seem like they might benefit from one more draft; it’s still a fun listen.

42. Death by a Thousand Cuts (Lover): The music on the verses goes for epic and makes it there, and I enjoy the gently unnerving rhythm of the strings in the chorus.

41. So it Goes (Reputation): Maybe I’m in the minority (I’ve said that before, right??), but I think this is a hidden gem that lyrically and musically expresses the overall tone and atmosphere of the album.

40. Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince (Lover): I love epic Taylor, and this is epic Taylor, and I appreciate the artistry of the political commentary; its symbolism is so much richer and less heavy-handed than “Only the Young.”

39. Call it What You Want (Reputation): As Reputation draws to a close, Taylor lays down her weapons and her armor, seeming to turn away from relational drama and toward a quieter and stronger expression of romantic affection.

38. Delicate (Reputation): In contrast to her tendency for big, bombastic emotions, Taylor goes for understated and a bit coy, and it pays off in what seems like the most successful single from this album.

37. Speak Now (Speak Now): The title track of the album seems relatively forgotten these days, and that’s a shame, because it’s a great example of Taylor Swift storytelling that foreshadows her Folklore/Evermore era fiction (and the giggle in one of the final renditions of the chorus is a great touch).

36. The Man (Lover): Here Swift delivers not only an energetic track, but also punchy and incisive social commentary that I’ll probably mention every time I teach muted group theory.

35. New Year’s Day (Reputation): It’s mainly Taylor and a piano in this brilliant final track, a song that is both totally like and totally unlike “Long Live” that closed Speak Now; her synthesis of both songs in the Reputation tour serves as a powerful illustration of her musical genius.

34. Haunted (Acoustic Version) (Speak Now): It’s a solid acoustic rendering of an outstanding Speak Now song, even if it lacks some of the epic desperation of the original.

33. Nothing New (Red): An outstanding duet with Phoebe Bridgers, Taylor expresses the thoughts of probably every popular young female artist (and also strikes a chord with anyone who has thought about aging); it’s even more poignant when Taylor is in her 30s and those teenage up-and-comers are here now.

32. Dear John (Speak Now): It’s quite a feat that Taylor sustains such powerful emotion over the course of a song that runs over six and a half minutes, and she does it with formidable confidence.

31. Come Back . . . Be Here (Red): This is “Superman” but more mature, dripping with the pathos that characterizes the best songs of the Red era; it’s a crime that this diamond of a song receives such little attention.

30. The Story of Us (Speak Now): I think this is one of the more underappreciated Swift singles, and although I can see how some might not like the “next chapter” transition in the middle of the song, for me it works and fits with the “love is a story” theme that stretches across her early albums.

29. Sparks Fly (Speak Now): With Taylor in the pouring rain, it’s like “Fearless” (the song) version 2.0, and it kicks off maybe the best streak of songs on any Taylor Swift album.

28. August (Folklore): Like “Last Great American Dynasty,” it’s a song with a breezy/beachy vibe, and it’s one of the more memorable songs on Folklore.

27. Evermore (Evermore): Exquisitely paced and deliciously emotional, it transcends song and expresses the cry of the pandemic era: “Can’t not think of all the cost, and the things that will be lost; oh, can we just get a pause, to be certain we’ll be tall again?”

26. I Know Places (1989): This song exudes the sense of being on the run in the dead of night, and the click of the tape recorder at the beginning and end provides great auditory framing.

25. I Bet You Think About Me (Red): There’s a sense on Taylor’s Version of “Red” that she’s trying to make us forget that this was originally positioned as a country album; here, though, she deploys country style and twang strategically in a wry, snarky, and fun ballad (and the vocal support from Chris Stapleton is value added).

24. You Belong With Me (Fearless): A Swift classic that generated an outstanding and cute video, and then her VMA award… with Kanye grabbing the mike and starting their feud, eventually leading to more drama drama down the album road.

23. End Game (Reputation): I once derided this song, but I was wrong; somehow this epic combo of Future, Sheeran, Swift, rap, and pop really works (even though it arguably shouldn’t), foreshadowing the optimistic turn at the end of the album… but first, we’ll have a descent into madness…

22. Back to December (Acoustic Version) (Speak Now): A bit more intimate and constrained in scope, and it hews so closely to the OG that you could be forgiven for confusing the two.

21. You’re on Your Own, Kid (Midnights): Casting a sweeping enough canvas through imaginative lyrics, strong vocals, and crisp pop production, this is just the kind of song I like from Taylor Swift; it has brought to my mind the biblical book of Ecclesiastes, which observes that human ambition is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

20. Last Great American Dynasty (Folklore): Taylor’s storytelling emerges in full force here in a breezy, beachy tune that brings an important punch of positive energy to the album.

19. Haunted (Speak Now): Remember back in “Sparks Fly” how Taylor wanted something that would haunt her when her lover wasn’t around?–well, now he’s gone, and that’s exactly how she feels.

18. Cruel Summer (Lover): The second song on Taylor Swift albums tend to be pretty great, and this one is no exception, even if the verses outshine the chorus just a tad; it is a true shame this never saw release as a single.

10 out of 10!!!:

17. Back to December (Speak Now): In this perfectly-composed song, Taylor demonstrates her capacity for self-reflection, regret, and apology.

16. Mean (Speak Now): This super-fun bop foreshadows track #6 on a future album, when indeed she is living in a big ol’ city and shaking off the hate, hate, haters…

15. Style (1989): If I think “Blank Space” is overrated, “Style” is underrated, but perhaps I like this one because of its strong 80s sensibilities that are like musical catnip to me.

14. Wonderland (1989): For whatever reason, this Taylor/Alice in Wonderland crossover (what??? why, Taylor, why???), as bizarre as it sounds, not only works, but casts one of the most epic emotional vistas of any Swift song; one wonders how she ended up with so much great stuff on 1989 that she also had “New Romantics” and “Wonderland” as equally worthy leftovers.

13. Getaway Car (Reputation): This masterpiece provides a climax and plot twist for the whole album (signaled by a rare key change no less) as crazy Taylor steals the money and the keys and drives away.

12. Treacherous (Red): The song’s worldview is deeply at odds with my own beliefs about interpersonal relationships (no–we aren’t “just skin and bone trained to get along”; yes–it is a choice to “get swept away” into the arms of a lover), but that aside, the haunting chorus (which occurs late enough in the song that you could mistake it for a bridge) really elevates the power of this track.

11. Mirrorball (Folklore): There’s a moment in this song when the instrumentals fade to almost nothing and we’re left with Taylor, describing herself spinning on her tallest tiptoes, and it’s one of the most beautiful moments in any Swift song.

10. The Archer (Lover): Some fans seem “meh” about this one, but I’m ready for combat to defend this track, which contrasts a minimalist style that generates tension with some of the most introspective lyrics Taylor has ever sung.

9. Enchanted (Speak Now): Strong, passionate, sweeping, epic–it’s what I enjoy hearing from Taylor Swift, and on an album full of incredible songs, it’s a standout.

8. Out of the Woods (1989): This muscular, robust song that would’ve been right at home in the year 1986, and if a time traveler slipped it into the radio rotation back then, it’d fit; also, the music video full of elemental imagery is pretty cool too.

7. I Wish You Would (1989): Again, maybe it’s my appreciation for 80s ballads, but I adore this hidden gem that I don’t ever hear anyone talk about; I particularly love the moment two minutes into the song, after the crazy-epic bridge, where most of the synth drops out to highlight Taylor’s “it’s 2 AM” (classic Swift!) vocals.

6. Cornelia Street (Lover): This is such a brilliant song, with the effective build-and-release of tension that often characterizes Swift’s best work; the use of piano here is particularly effective.

5. All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Red): This transforms an elegantly tight and resonantly general song into a purposefully messier and more specific indictment of Jake Gyllenhall (making it feel a tad like “Dear John” over on Speak Now); it generates a sweeping, epic emotional canvas, Jack Antonoff’s production is a welcome twist, and the new lyrics are just as great as those in the OG.

4. Exile (Folklore): This gorgeous, powerful song is (so far) the best duet she’s ever done, and also one of her best songs ever; the version on the Long Pond Studio Sessions is even more impactful than the one on the main album.

3. Long Live (Speak Now): The closing track of Speak Now succeeds where the closing track of the OG Fearless failed, offering an expansive, epic song that sums up the theme of the album, sticks the landing, and yields one of the best Taylor Swift songs of all time.

2. Love Story (Fearless): It remains Taylor’s most iconic song even today, and deservedly so–it’s the moment when she vaults from pretty good to outright amazing, and seldom looks back.

1. All Too Well (Red): Unfortunately, I won’t give this one higher than a 10. But for this song, and this song only, I will break my one-sentence-per-song rule. So many Taylor Swift fans consider this to be her best song. They’re right.

“All Too Well” is a sonic and lyrical masterpiece. First, the sound–from the soft intro and the gentle chord that concludes it, to the subtle lack of resolution in the ending, and everything in between, every instrument and note works purposefully yet carefully to create emotion. And oh does the emotion build, and I love how it catches the listener by surprise. Suddenly you’re no longer in the gentle passion of young love, but instead caught in a maelstrom of betrayal. And in that maelstrom Taylor drops maybe her most powerful lines ever: “Then you call me up again just to break me like a promise! So casually cruel in the name of being honest; I’m a crumpled up piece of paper lyin’ here, because I remember it all too well…” (Yes, I have a sticker on the back of my laptop with this lyric…)

That lyric is great, but I fear we ignore so much other great wordplay and imagery here. That little town street; getting lost upstate; autumn leaves; the embarrassing childhood photo album on the counter; of course, the scarf in the drawer; and one of my favorites, dancing ’round the kitchen in the refrigerator light… the lyrics deliver punch after punch right in the feels.

I so much enjoy every 10/10 Taylor song, but hearing this one is like moving up to another level, like entering another dimension. It’s the perfect fusion of country Taylor and pop Taylor. Not every song can or should be this, but here in this track 5 by which all others are judged, Taylor produced her greatest work so far–and the thing was never even released as a single!! Perhaps someday she’ll top this, but for now, it is the absolute pinnacle and showcase of Taylor Swift’s art. Speak Now may be the better album on balance, but Red has the best song of them all.

As a final note, I am a social scientist who nerds out over statistics. So I couldn’t help but calculate the means and standard deviations for all of the albums:

  • Speak Now: M = 8.76 (SD = 1.48)
  • Reputation: M = 8.37 (SD = 1.13)
  • 1989: M = 8.16 (SD = 1.74)
  • Red: M = 7.68 (SD = 1.74)
  • Folklore: M = 7.47 (SD = 2.21)
  • Lover: M = 7.42 (SD = 1.90)
  • Midnights: M = 7.40 (SD = 1.27)
  • Evermore: M = 7.26 (SD = 1.38)
  • Fearless: M = 6.96 (SD = 1.67)
  • Taylor Swift: M = 6.53 (SD = 1.54)

An analysis of variance (ANOVA; a statistical technique that compares the mean rating of each album) found a significant difference in the means between albums, F(9, 183) = 2.92, p = .003, η2 = .13, and a follow-up test revealed that Speak Now scores above Fearless and the debut album. But the means are close enough that most albums don’t differ significantly from each other. That’s a statistical, geeky way of saying that Taylor Swift has been outstanding throughout her career.


22 thoughts on “Taylor Swift’s 223 Songs, Ranked by a 40-Something Bald Professor

  1. Hi, just wanna say I was so excited to read this ranking because every Swifties would have different ranking. But the slander of my favorite songs with 1 and 3 point made me cringe, lol.
    Isn’t exciting to have multiple Swifties in your family? I hope you guys would have a chance to be in a secret session one day.

    1. Yes, it is fun because different songs hit different people in different ways! I’m glad you enjoy songs that I don’t. That’s variety and it makes the world an interesting place! Just curious, which of the 3-point songs is one of your favorites?

      And yes it is fun to have Swiftie family. One time on a recent road trip, 10-minute All Too Well came in and we just stopped talking and listened. Wonderful.

      Thanks for stopping by and checking out the list!

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed this! I’ve been a faithful Swiftie since I was 18 years old! I just had to read your list as I think it is so interesting that you are a middle aged male. That’s super cool to me! My personal list would be pretty close to yours (minus Lover being so far down the list). But this was fun to read! Also, I’m a chemist and enjoyed your statistics included to rank her albums lol! Thank you this!

    1. Ah, thank you so much! Yeah, I feel bad ranking “Lover” (the song) so low… I know so many love it, and hey, that’s great! Glad you appreciate the stats too. Thanks for taking the time to look at the list!

  3. What a great ranking. I am a 38 male Swiftie, and agree with so much of your commentary (especially with Blank Space being overrated, and Style being underrated). My only significant deviations would be raking Epiphany and Welcome to New York way higher. Bravo!

  4. Fellow TCU Swiftie here! My best friend is in one of your classes and sent me this and I was very excited to read your ranking.

    Very valid 10/10s. I would argue that Maroon, You Are In Love, False God, and happiness also belong in that category. I do appreciate how high you ranked ME! and Shake It Off, though – I think those are some of her most fun songs but people often hate on them for being too basic, too pop-y, etc. IMO, people who hate those songs just hate fun.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to look at the list and to share your thoughts, fellow TCU Swiftie! For whatever it’s worth, Maroon has grown on me and it might grow on me even more over time. “Carnations you thought were roses, that’s us” is a good line I think; pretty solid lyrics in that song.

      And YES YES YES to what you wrote regarding the “fun songs.” I mean, to each their own… but I worry that the backlash against such fun songs mean we won’t get more of them. Whenever “ME!” comes on, it just gives me a jolt of energy and happiness (and the music video is great)… doesn’t at all deserve the criticism it gets IMO.

    1. Yes I have, and that is a great point! The clean version is just better lyrically, I think, with that change. The song has grown on me as I’ve listened to it… maybe it’ll move up the list. I’m curious to see if Taylor releases a version where Lana sings more…

  5. When I was sent this, I was really excited to look at what you thought about certain songs. Overall, I think that I would say the same about most of the songs. However, I was shocked when I saw that Welcome to New York was so low. While I would agree that it isn’t a good song to start the album with and that the lyrics aren’t Taylor’s usual poetic and artistic style, it is very upbeat and sets the tone of the album and it generally makes you feel more positive. I was also a little confused why The Lakes was so low because it very poetic, catchy, and it flows nicely. In my opinion it should be, at least a 9 out of 10, but it isn’t my ranking. Other than those two songs, I would say that, if I were to make my own ranking, it would be very similar. I had a very good time looking through and seeing another swiftie who didn’t think that lover was on the worse end of her albums.

  6. Thanks for taking the time to look over the list and offer comments! Regarding The Lakes, I think it’s a great song. On the list, at #55, it’s classified ‘behind-the-scenes’ as an 8.5 of 10, and it’s close to the 9 of 10 group (which starts at #53). So I don’t think our opinions on that song are far off. It’s such a great conclusion to Folklore, and the only reason it appears ‘low’ is because the top of the list is just that crowded–too many awesome songs vying for top 50 status. And on Lover, I just listened through the album the other day, and yes, it’s definitely underrated. Yeah there’s some filler, but so much of that album is just incredible. Miss Americana? Cornelia Street? The Archer? Cruel Summer? Some of the best stuff in her discography, IMO.

  7. Loved reading this even when i disagreed with some of your opinions lol! I’m not a math person bu based solely on this article i would probably love your class!

    1. Thanks for taking the time to look over the list! My students do get a number of TSwift references in class… and I’m glad that even if a song doesn’t do it for me, it still brings joy to someone else!

  8. This is not intended to be rude. I am just a dramatic person haha.

    I must admit, I started to videotape my reaction to this list the second I saw Mad Woman at #203 and my jaw dropped to the floor. As I was picking my jaw off the floor, I saw False God at #201 and my eyes popped out of my head. I then began to think that the list was backwards; however, I knew Safe & Sound could never in a million years be #1, so I kept scrolling.

    After somehow gaining my composure, I absolutely lost my mind not even a second later after seeing Lover at #200. You are telling me there are 200 Taylor songs better than Lover? Tears in my eyes.

    There are too many rankings I would like to discuss with you lol, so I will just point out what genuinely shocked me. You have these two songs (1) ME! and (2) Shake It Off well above the following songs (1) London Boy, (2) Wildest Dreams, (3) Champagne Problems, (4) How You Get The Girl, (5) Daylight, (6) Clean, (7) Forever and Always Piano. SHOCKING CHOICES.

    Anyway. How do you feel about my top 10? I ranked based on lyrics, popularity, composition, and overall sound aesthetic.

    My top 10 are:
    1. August
    2. Champagne Problems
    3. Dear John
    4. Style
    5. Lover
    6. Would’ve Could’ve Should’ve
    7. State of Grace
    8. Out of the Woods
    9. Getaway Car
    10. All Too Well 10
    Honorable Mentions:
    1. Ivy
    2. The Great War
    3. Clean
    4. Mirrorball
    5. Daylight

    1. Not taken as rude at all! I enjoy hearing the perspective of other Swifties, and I do not claim this list is anything more than my perspective. And I know I have some hot takes on here, “Lover” maybe being the hottest of them. And… yeah. I stand by it. The song just doesn’t do it for me. I kind of wish it did, because I feel like I’m missing something. But, having listened to the song twice just today (the Shawn Mendes remix and the Paris live version) as part of a pre-Eras listening journey, I just don’t connect with it. And at this point I think I’ve tried. I guess not every song is for everyone, but the upshot is that we get rich styles of music appealing to diverse tastes (and what artist is more diverse in her style than Swift?).

      “ME!” is probably the other controversial one. (Why my controversial picks cluster in the Lover era, I don’t know. Maybe it’s because that album was helping me process some challenges during the time after its release. Regardless, I’ve come to really appreciate that album… underrated, IMO.) I just like how fun it is, and I have a deep appreciation for things that are goofy, even to the point of being cheesy. So I get how others might not like it if that’s not their thing. Seeing the songs you listed, though, made me wonder if I have “Daylight” too low. I adore that song.

      “Shake It Off” … one of the hardest songs for me to evaluate on the list. It was on radio and in the culture a lot when it first came out, and it’s maybe the only Taylor Swift song that to me has been overplayed so much that it’s hard for me to make up my mind about it. I fell on the side of ranking it higher so as to mitigate against that. But, it’s not my favorite one to listen to. I don’t necessarily skip it when it comes on, but I don’t seek it out, either. Hmm. I’ll reconsider it next time I do a significant update on the list.

      And I think your top 10 list is great! (Minus “Lover,” but enough said about that. I’m in the minority, I know.) “August” is one of my oldest daughter’s very favorite songs and it’s just outstanding. Very defensible as a #1 song, IMO. I love seeing Swift just have fun with it in the Long Pond session. Most of your top 10 rate as at least 8+ on my rating scale and often higher, so I think we have a good bit of common ground. There are so many great Taylor Swift songs that any list like this gets crowded at the top… I can be deep in the triple-digit rankings and it’s a song I very much enjoy. Her catalog is just that packed with quality.

      1. Well said! Now I want to go back to college and have you as a professor for every single one of my classes haha! Love that you are a Lover fan! That album is in my top 3 and is criminally underrated. Thanks for the entertaining post!!

  9. hello, Epiphany (foklore) is about Taylor’s grandfather who passed away, I mean this in the best way but it seems very disrespectful what you said about it, I feel like if Taylor saw this she wouldn’t appreciate it very much, maybe leave it out of this 🙂

    1. Fair point. I stand by the song’s low ranking and rating on the list, but I think you’re right, my original comment was too flippant. I’ve edited it to distinguish between Epiphany’s lyrics versus its sound, and also now acknowledge that the Long Pond version is an improvement. Thank you for your feedback; I appreciate it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s