I didn’t fall in love with Taylor Swift when she first started producing albums.
In fact, I really didn’t listen to any of her music until later in the game.
It was actually hearing “Love Story” on the overhead speakers at Michael’s Arts & Crafts sometime, I want to say, in late 2012 that intrigued me. I went home and YouTubed the song, having no idea the addiction I’d just begun.
I discovered her at-the-time newest album RED shortly after, and that beautiful masterpiece took root in my soul. I was going through my own RED relationship, nearly 4 and half years in the making, and almost every single track, from the title song itself to “All Too Well” and “I Almost Do” to “Treacherous,” “The Last Time,” “Sad Beautiful Tragic,” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” it all just swept me away. I was awestruck by the pure POWER and EMOTION that Taylor’s music conveyed, bringing to life the very same feelings, struggles, and emotions that I’d been having. When he and I called it quits for good in August 2013, I fell onto RED and Taylor Swift to carry me through.
She didn’t disappoint. I was born again from the ashes of the best and worst relationship I’d ever known, and I was born a Swiftie.
The summer of 2015 I attended her 1989 tour in Washington D.C. and the summer of 2018 I attended her Reputation tour in Tampa, FL. I, of course, have plans to attend her Lover tour wherever and however I can, and it is because of my impending excitement over her seventh studio album Lover, set to release on August 23, 2019, that I became inspired to write this post.
Taylor Swift has so many good songs. Truly, her albums are filled with more hits than misses, which is rare for any artist to accomplish. And she does it consistently! She also writes songs for movie soundtracks and as collaborations, but rarely do her best songs get the justice or the attention they deserve.
People who don’t listen to Taylor or who always have something negative to say about her have no idea the range of topics she’s covered in her work (no she doesn’t just write break up songs, even though she’s really good at them).
Without further ado, please read on to discover 13 underrated songs by Taylor Swift, selected by a true Swiftie (and man, this was tougher than I thought!)
Warning: I don’t own any of the following images and/or songs & lyrics by Taylor Swift and (c) Big Machine Records.
13. “A Place In This World” Listen/Watch Here
Album: Taylor Swift
This bouncy, introductory song on how Taylor Swift feels about herself is severely overlooked. From the very beginning she told us she was looking for her place in the world, and that she would find it on her own. I adore this description and love listening to it now to compare how far she’s come.
Quotable Lyric: “Maybe I’m just a girl on a mission, but I’m ready to fly!”
12. “Wonderland” Listen/Watch Here
This song touches me deeply because it so accurately depicts the downward and epic spiral of a toxic, yet addictive relationship, very much like my (RED) relationship mentioned above. Taylor Swift is so ably apt at evoking true feelings that thousands upon thousands of girls have felt across the world. Listening to a song that hits your emotions on the nose is breathtaking and chilling.
Quotable Lyric: “It’s all fun and games till somebody loses their mind.”
11. “The Lucky One” Listen/Watch Here
This bittersweet peek into the world of fame shows us that it’s not all glitz and glam. Dark, harsh realities lay behind the curtains, and many times we forget to be grateful for the little things, like privacy, that superstars and celebrities generally must sacrifice for the rest of their lives.
Quotable Lyrics: “And they tell you that you’re lucky but you’re so confused, cause you don’t feel pretty, you just feel used.”
10. “Never Grow Up” Listen/Watch Here
Album: Speak Now
This soft, lyrically genius song makes us sad that we ever had to become adults! It’s such a beautiful wish to see children stay young and protected from the cruel coldness of the real world. It also reminds us to take a step back and appreciate where we are in each step of life. Don’t rush through a single phase.
Quotable Lyrics: “Take pictures in your mind of your childhood room. Memorize what it sounded like when your dad gets home. Remember the footsteps, remember the words said, and all your little brother’s favorite songs.”
9. “Long Live” Listen/Watch Here
Album: Speak Now
The love Taylor carries for her band mates and producers and fans who stood with her as she climbed from being unknown and into the realm of fame is deeply rooted in this heartfelt, reminiscent track documenting the journey. She promises that their accomplishments will live on forever, not only in her eyes but in the eyes of the world.
Quotably Lyric: “Singin’ long live all the mountains we moved, I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you.”
8. “Holy Ground” Listen/Watch Here
Catchy and upbeat, this song is memory, nostalgia, and finding the power to embrace your past with fondness and warmness, rather than hate, anger, or regret. It’s an overall artful combination of lyrics, vocals, and captivating beats that make you grateful for the experiences you’ve lived.
Quotable Lyrics: “And I guess we fell apart in the usual way, and the story’s got dust on every page, but sometimes I wonder how you think about it now, and I see your face in every crowd.”
7. “Clean” Listen/Watch Here
Completely masterful, from the vocals sounding off against the lyrics, to the jingle-jangle back beat, this song evokes a deep, core expression of what it’s like to finally rid yourself of a toxic relationship. My (RED) relationship was a true addiction, and overcoming it was as hard as fighting off any drug addiction.
Quotable Lyric: “When I was drowning that’s when I could finally breath. And by morning, gone was any trace of you, I think I am finally clean.”
6. “Safe & Sound” feat The Civil Wars Listen/Watch Here
Album: The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond
Haunting and soothing from the Hunger Games soundtrack, this song embodies the fears and struggles that come with losing someone close to you, with soft, airy vocals and sharp but tender plucked instruments,
Quotable Lyric: “Just close your eyes, the sun is going down, you’ll be all right, no one can hurt you now, come morning light, you and I’ll be safe and sound.”
5. “The Best Day” Listen/Watch Here
Without a doubt, this is one of my all time Taylor Swift favorites. She wrote this song for her mother and it’s absolutely breathtaking. Topped with the beautiful guitar acoustics, there’s really nothing else to say. The song speaks for itself. At my wedding, I danced with my mom to this song.
Quotable Lyrics: “Now I know why all the trees change in the fall. I know you were on my side, even when I was wrong.”
4. “Eyes Open” Listen/Watch Here
Album: The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond
Another on The Hunger Games soundtrack, this song carries us through the innocence of childhood and falling into the hard, cruel world we face as adults. It’s a warning to watch your back, because the truth is spoken here: not everyone wants to see you succeed. In fact, some people will try hard to make sure you fail.
Quotable Lyric: “Everybody’s waiting for you to break down, everybody’s watching to see the fall out, even when you’re sleeping, sleeping, keep your eyes open.”
3. “New Romantics” Listen/Watch Here
Witty lyrics combined with a unique glimpse into this era’s youth dictate this dance-beat oriented ode to climbing to the top. No matter who or what is trying to bring you down, if you surround yourself with the right people and dance like no one’s watching, nothing can stop you.
Quotable Lyrics: “The best people in life are free.”
2. “Change” Listen/Watch Here
The positivity and strength this song inspires deserves way more love and attention than its gotten. Taylor masterfully combines a powerful message of holding on, pushing through, and fighting for your dreams. She believes in herself, so you ought to believe in yourself!
Quotable Lyrics: “You can walk away, say we don’t need this. But there’s something in your eye say’s we can beat this. Cause these things will change.”
1. “Ronan” Listen/Watch Here
This song touches my soul to its core. So raw, so full of grief, and the fact that it’s written to honor something real is heartbreaking (she wrote the song for a mother who lost her son to cancer three days before his fourth birthday). It makes me cry every time.
Quotable Lyrics: “Come on baby with me, we’re gonna fly away from here. You were my best four years.”
Honorable Mentions: “Haunted” “New Year’s Day” “You Are In Love” “Enchanted” “Getaway Car” “The Moment I Knew” “Breathe” “Crazier” “Last Kiss” “What Do You Say”
What would your list be? Let me know in the comments!