Home Music Music Lists

All 274 of Taylor Swift’s Songs, Ranked

From teen country tracks to synth-pop anthems and rare covers, a comprehensive assessment of her one-of-a-kind songbook

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift the celebrity is such a magnet for attention, she can distract from Taylor Swift the artist. But Swift was a songwriter before she was a star, and she’ll be a songwriter long after she graduates from that racket. It’s in her music where she’s made her mark on history — as a performer, record-crafter, guitar hero and all-around pop mastermind, with songs that can leave you breathless or with a nasty scar. She was soaring on the level of the all-time greats before she was old enough to rent a car, with the crafty guile of a Carole King and the reckless heart of a Paul Westerberg — and she hasn’t exactly slowed down since then.

So with all due respect to Taylor the myth, the icon, the red-carpet tabloid staple, let’s celebrate the real Taylor — the songwriter she was born to be. Let’s break it down: all 243 tunes, counted from the bottom to the top. The hits, the flops, the deep  cuts, the covers, from her raw 2006 debut as a teen country ingenue right up to Midnights and The Tortured Poets Department. 

Every fan would compile a different list—that’s the beauty of it. She’s got at least 5 or 6 dozen songs that seem to belong in her Top Ten. But they’re not ranked by popularity, sales or supposed celebrity quotient — just the level of Taylor genius on display, from the perspective of a fan who generally does not give a rat’s nads who the songs are “really” about. All that matters is whether they’re about you and me. (I guarantee you are a more fascinating human than the Twilight guy, though I’m probably not.)

Since Taylor loves nothing more than causing chaos in our lives, she’s re-recording her albums, including the outtakes she left in the vault before. So far, she’s up to Fearless, Red, Speak Now, and 1989 For the Taylor’s Version remakes, both versions count as the same song. It’s a tribute to her fierce creative energy — in the past couple years she’s released an avalanche of new music, with more on the way. God help us all.

Sister Tay may be the last true rock star on the planet, making brilliant moves (or catastrophic gaffes, because that’s what rock stars do). These are the songs that sum up her wit, her empathy, her flair for emotional excess, her girls-to-the-front bravado, her urge to ransack every corner of pop history, her determination to turn any chorus into a ridiculous spectacle. So let’s step back from the image and pay homage to her one-of-a-kind songbook — because the weirdest and most fascinating thing about Taylor Swift will always be her music.

From Rolling Stone US


“22” (2012)

Approximately 22,000 times more fun than actually being 22. The best song about turning the double deuce since Neil Young’s “Powderfinger,” if not the Stratford 4’s “Telephone,” it’s also her first shameless disco trip, with that Nile Rodgers-style guitar flash. But the power move is that “uh oh” into the chorus – the oldest trick in the book, except she makes it sound brand new every time.Best line: “This place is too crowded, too many cool kids.” Listen here.


“Hits Different” (2022)

The bonus track from Midnights is a breezy departure from the rest of the album, with sun-kissed California rock guitar and wildly funny lines about why Taylor is your ultimate Argumentative Antithetical Dream Girl. “Hits Different” sounds like it could be Betty or James a couple years down the line, after one of them skips town like an asshole outlaw. “I never don’t cry at the bar” feels like the truth. But “I don’t need another metaphor” is the funniest lie in the song, since Taylor loves piling up metaphors even more than she loves crying in bars.Best line: “Each bar plays ‘Our Song’/ Nothing has ever felt so wrong.”


‘Slut!’ (2023)

“Slut!” is one of her most hard-hitting vault treasures, up there with “Nothing New” and “Is It Over Now?” It comes from the same place as “Blank Space,” or “Shake It Off,” but lets more of her anger show. As she explains in her new 1989 Prologue,  “I had become the target of slut shaming.” She’s trying to trust in a new romance (“in a world of boys, he’s a gentleman”) but all too aware of the world’s misogynistic disapproval, noting, “I’ll pay the price, you won’t.” Yet she resolves, “If they call me a slut / It might be worth it for once.” It’s a sadly pained love song and a scathing satire at the same time, indexing ways that patriarchy corrupts the heart. Can you imagine if she’d dropped this song on people in 2014? But like so much of 1989, “Slut!” was truly ahead of its time. Best line: “Being this young is art.”


‘Fortnight,’ feat. Post Malone (2024)

“I love you, it’s ruining my life” could be the name of her autobiography. “Fortnight” starts off Tortured Poets with glossy synth-pop, with Post Malone chiming in with sympathetic back-up vocals. Taylor revisits the 1950s bad-marriage theme of Folklore, Evermore, and Midnights, in a suburban environment of cheating husbands and well-behaved housewives on the verge of nervous breakdowns.Best line: “I took the miracle move-on drug / The effects were temporary.”


“My Tears Ricochet” (2020)

What a ghostly scene: a spectre watches her funeral, haunting her enemies, friends, and lovers. “I didn’t have it in myself to go with grace” — maybe not a huge surprise. One of her spookiest Goth Tay ballads, especially when she admits, “I still talk to you,” and the ghost choir adds, “When I’m screaming at the sky.”Best line: “If I’m dead to you, why are you at the wake cursing my name?


“Style” (2014)

Not always a subtle one, our Tay. This extremely 1986-sounding synth-pop groove is full of hushed-breath melodrama, where even the guy taking off his coat can feel like a plot twist. (Why would he keep his coat on? This is his apartment.) And the long-running songwriting badminton between her and Harry Allegedly is pop call-and-response the way it ought to be – no matter how much misery it might bring into their personal lives, for the rest of us it means one great tune after another.Best line: “You got that James Dean daydream look in your eye/And I got that red lip classic thing that you like.” Listen here.


“State of Grace” (2012)

She opens Red with one of her grandest love songs in arena-rock drag, and the U2 vibe makes sense since she’s also got a red guitar and the truth. The acoustic version was always a welcome bonus track on the expanded Red, but it sounds even more autumnal now on Taylor’s Version. If “State of Grace” is her U2 song, what’s the U2 song that sounds most like Taylor? Probably “All I Want Is You,” though you could make a strong case for “A Sort of Homecoming.”Best line: “Up in your room and our slates are clean/Twin fire signs, four blue eyes.” Listen here.


“Willow” (2020)

“Take my hand, wreck my plans, that’s my man” is a great hook from the songwriter who turns plan-wrecking into an art form. “Willow” is the perfect song to introduce Evermore, all rustic guitar and spooky romance, deep in the woods. Taylor really committed to the concept at the Grammys, singing “Willow” on the roof of a moss-covered cabin. In the video, she gazes at her reflection in a pool like Narcissus, and like she once sang, the narcissists love her. Heartbreak: the Nineties trend that always comes back strong. The live version in the Eras Tour movie turns this song into the terrifying horror movie it always deserved to be, a swirl of black capes and glowing orange orbs.Best line: “Show me the places where the others gave you scars.”


“Betty” (2020)

The Betty/Inez/James love triangle is at the heart of Folklore, inspiring three of its best songs. Every aspect of “Betty” sounded designed to explode live, from the “Thunder Road” harmonica to the most shameless lighters-up key change of her career. So one of the big emotional payoffs on the Eras Tour is when she finally gets to trigger that audience chaos when she gets to Yeah I Showed Up To Your Party o’clock. (Her live version at the Academy of Country Music Awards was an arena-rock blast, for the year with no arenas.) Also love how when Taylor steps into the mind of a 17-year-old boy, the first thing she fantasizes about his male privilege is the right to make unchallenged assumptions. If James is a boy, that is. (Taylor takes care to leave it open—but has any boy in her songs ever stopped at a stoplight?) Key question: Was James in his car driving around the party listening to 1989? Because he follows all the advice she gives in “How You Get The Girl” and (surprise) it works. Best line: “Will you kiss me on the porch in front of all your stupid friends?”


“Begin Again” (2012)

“You said you never met one girl who had as many James Taylor records as you,” indeed. Sweet Baby Tay drops a deceptively simple ballad that sneaks up and steamrolls all over you, as an unmelodramatic coffee date leads to an unmelodramatic emotional connection. She’s always been outspoken about her mad love for her namesake JTand Carly Simon, but “Begin Again” could be the finest collabo they never wrote.Best line: “You don’t know why I’m coming off a little shy/But I do.” Listen here.


“Getaway Car” (2017)

One of Swift’s most endearingly McCartney-esque traits is the way she goes overboard with her latest enthusiasm and starts Tay-splaining it as her personal discovery. On 1989, she informed us all what New York is; on Reputation, she breaks down the concept of “alcohol.” (Wait, you can drink beer out of plastic cups? Tell us more!) Hence “Getaway Car,” where Film Noir Tay makes her big entrance, knocking back Old Fashioneds at the motel bar, a femme fatale playing two fall guys against each other. In the glorious final minute, she decides to sell them both out and speeds off to her next emotional heist.Best line: “Nothing good starts in a getaway car.” Listen here.


“Bigger Than The Whole Sky” (2022)

It’s rare to hear Taylor begin a song by admitting she’s at a loss for words — and mean it. But that’s what makes “Bigger Than the Whole Sky” so powerfully understated. It’s a twangy grief ballad, burrowing into the elegiac Mazzy Star vibe of “Sad Beautiful Tragic,” ten years after it was a forgotten highlight of Red. She mourns a goodbye that came too soon, without trying to describe what’s been lost or what kind of future is ending. But Jack Antonoff’s slide guitar eloquently fills in for all the missing details. At the end, she tries to rationalize her loss by shrugging that “it’s not meant to be,” but then rips that cliché apart as a lie she refuses to believe. Some things are meant to be, but aren’t, and those can be the toughest to mourn.Best line: “Every single thing I touch becomes sick with sadness.”


“Cornelia Street” (2019)

A ballad about how scary it is to realize how much you have to lose — how the brand-new-crush tingle of “Holy Ground” eventually turns into the place where you have to build a life. She looks around an apartment where she’s memorized every creak in the floor, a neighborhood full of romance, and comprehends how fast it all could turn into a heartbreak hotel.Best line: “Baby, I get mystified by how this city screams your name.” Listen here.


“Fearless” (2008)

Oh Fearless, it’s easy to take you for granted sometimes. The first time I heard her sophomore record (the record company literally played it over the phone for me because they were so afraid of it leaking) I thought, “Holy cats, this is a perfect pop album. She’ll never top this.” Then she topped it seven times in a row, to the point where it became one of history’s most curiously overlooked perfect pop albums. But Fearless has a whole new mystique ever since she chose it to kick off her remake series. The title anthem gathers so many of her favorite tropes in one chorus—rain, cars, fancy dresses, boys who stare at her while driving instead of watching the damn road, shy girls posing as brave and faking it till they make it—and builds up to a swoon. But it soars even higher now in Taylor’s Version, with all the adult soul in her voiceBest line: “You’re just so cool, run your hands through your hair/Absent-mindedly making me want you.” Listen here.


“Nothing New” With Phoebe Bridgers (2021)

Taylor and Phoebe are the Ghostface and Raekwon of the Sad Girl agenda — two kindred spirits blending their voices for a mournful guitar ballad of getting older, losing your novelty, but still crying in your bedroom. “Nothing New” is the vault track everybody was fiending for from Red (Taylor’s Version) — but it’s even better than we were hoping. The eternal question: “How can a person know everything at 18, and nothing at 22?” As you can tell from Folklore, Evermore, and Punisher, these two know the ingenue blues inside out. Can we please get a whole Taylor-Phoebe duet album?Best line: “They tell you when you’re young/‘Girls, go out and have your fun’/Then they hunt down and kill the ones who actually do it.”


‘Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me’ (2024)

You wouldn’t last an hour in the asylum where they raised her. Taylor makes a luridly comic goth-horror melodrama of girlhood in America, in case you never noticed she’s been singing about this on every album she’s ever made. “Who’s Afraid Of Little Old Me?” is a fabulously hostile highlight of an album where she’s constantly dissecting the “circus life” of gender, with all her Monster on the Hill energy ablaze. It’s the evil twin of “Mirrorball,” filtered through Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. (“I am what I am because you trained me,” the ultimate curse.)Best line: “You don’t get to tell me about sad.”


“Cardigan” (2020)

The sweater left behind under someone’s bed, like the lost scarf in “All Too Well” or the lost glove in “It’s Nice To Have a Friend.” (Or the ex-wife’s dress left in the closet in Fiona Apple’s “Ladies”?) Swift sorts through the memories that go with breathing in the scent of a remembered lover, over brooding piano. “I knew you, leaving like a father, running like water” sure jumps out of the song, as startling as the “careless man’s careful daughter” in “Mine.” The day she wrote this song with the National’s Aaron Dessner, she posted a photo with the caption, “Not a lot going on at the moment.” Why do we ever believe a word she says?Best line: “Chase two girls, lose the one / When you are young they assume you know nothing.”


“Our Song” (2006)

The hit that made me a Swift fan, the first moment I heard it in 2007 – it knocked me sideways in the middle of lunch. (The CW played it as interstitial music between afternoon reruns of the Clueless sitcom and What I Like About You.) “Our song is a slamming screen door,” what a genius hook. I Googled to see who wrote this; it turned out the songwriter was also the singer and – how strange – she was just starting out. I hoped she might have at least another great tune or two in her. This song and that voice have kept slamming those screen doors ever since.Best line: “We’re on the phone, and you talk reeeeeal slow/’Cause it’s late and your mama don’t know.” Listen here.


“Evermore” (2020)

Taylor’s title tracks are usually bangers, but “Evermore” is a pensive piano meditation where she sits alone by the fireside, trying to figure out how it all went so wrong. We know Tay grew up a hardcore Def Leppard fan, so it’s no surprise the piano here echoes “Hysteria,” their saddest and most proto-Swiftian hit. (She sang a fantastic “Hysteria” with them on CMT in 2008.) Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon joins for the call-and-response bridge. Love the half-chuckle in the line “it was real enough to get me through”: the closest she comes to one of her Taylor Laughs in the Folklore/Evermore era.Best line: “I rewind the tape, but all it does is pause.”


“Red” (2012)

The mission statement for Red, this century’s most ridiculously masterful megapop manifesto. Eurodisco plus banjos – the glitter-cowgirl totality Shania Twain spent years trying to perfect, with a color-tripping lyric worthy of Prince Himself, faster than the wind, passionate as sin. Plus, her all-time gnarliest pileup of Swiftian metaphors. (Nitpick: What kind of crossword puzzle has no right answer? What self-respecting puzzlemaster would sign off on that?)Best line: “Lovin’ him is like driving a new Maserati down a dead-end street.” Listen here.


“Is It Over Now?” (2023)

These 1989 (Taylor’s Version) vault songs are a revelation—4 of the 5 would have been highlights on the original album. But “Is It Over Now?” looms over them all—her greatest vault stunner yet. It sounds like it’s part of a trilogy with “The Archer” and “Labyrinth,” as that spooky synth-drone intro leads into a brooding powerhouse mediation on love and loss. (If we’d heard this song in 2014, it might have been less shocking to hear “The Archer” 5 years later.) Taylor travels back and forth in time, finding different angles to look back at a youthful romance that crashed like a snowmobile. The story is full of blue eyes, blue dresses, red blood, blouses, couches, boats, the jet-set distance of “Come Back…Be Here” and the scarlet letter of “New Romantics” and the NYC coffee of “Holy Ground.” This guy turns on the charm for “unsuspecting waiters,” just like the guy in “All Too Well” charms her dad like a talk-show guest. But it all comes down to a heartbreak that these four blue eyes didn’t want to see coming. What a massive song.Best line: “Let’s fast-forward to 300 takeout coffees later.”


“New Year’s Day” (2017)

What a twist: the one-time poet laureate of teen crushdom turns out to be even sharper at adult love songs. “New Year’s Day” is her hushed piano-and-guitar ballad about two people waking up the morning after the party and getting back to the reality they share together. It captures the romance of mundane domestic details – sweeping up the glitter, rinsing out bottles, realizing this total nothing of a day is a memory you will cherish long after you’ve both forgotten the party. This is the kind of song she could keep writing into her forties and fifties.Best line: “Please don’t ever become a stranger whose laugh I could recognize anywhere.” Listen here.


‘Loml’ (2024)

The quiet heartbreaker on Tortured Poets, a piano ballad that hits home because it comes on so ordinary and unmelodramatic. Swift and Dessner don’t go for any fireworks here, just mourning a love that should have lasted years, with that “Evermore”-style piano. It peaks in the hushed moment where she gives the perfectly simple epitaph: “It was legendary/It was momentary.” Best line: “A con man sells a fool a get-love-quick scheme.”


“Last Kiss” (2010)

Toward the end ofSpeak Now, when you’re already wrung out from sad songs and begging for mercy, this six-minute quasi-doo-wop ballad creeps up on you to inflict more punishment.So sparse, so delicate, flattering every tremor of her voice. The original “Last Kiss” seemed too perfect to be improved—but she hits it even harder onTaylor’s Version, with thirteen extra July 9ths worth of heartache in her voice, suffering through every detail of the story.Best line: “I’m not much for dancing, but for you I did.” Listen here.


“‘Tis the Damn Season” (2020)

A Hollywood girl who’s too shiny for her tiny hometown — the loudest woman this town has ever seen — comes back for the holidays, staying with her parents, and falls right back into the arms of the boy she left behind. Dorothea realizes she doesn’t really fit in either place, but she’ll soon be heading back to her bitch-pack of fair-weather friends in L.A. The best U2-style guitar on a Swift song since “State of Grace.” On the Eras Tour, “’Tis the Damn Season” kicks off the Evermore block, and it’s an astoundingly great stadium-quaker.Best line: “The road not taken looks real good now/Time flies, messy as the mud on your truck tires.”


<strong>“Snow On The Beach” feat. Lana Del Rey</strong> (2022)

“Weird but fucking beautiful,” indeed. “Snow On The Beach” is a duet with Lana Del Rey, although it sounds all the way Swiftian vocally, lyrically, and (especially) melodically. The most beguiling tune on Midnights, with pizzicato strings and lines about falling for a lover bright enough to burn out your periphery. That melody is damn near impossible to dislodge from the skull, especially that soft “it’s coming down, it’s coming down” at the end. Best line: “Life is emotionally abusive.”


“Ours” (2010)

Like so many of her songs, “Ours” sounds like it could be channeling the 16-blue mojo of the Replacements’ punk-rock bard Paul Westerberg. (Melodically, it evokes “When It Began,” though it feels more like “I Will Dare.”) Especially the best line, which is possibly the best-est “best line” on this list, and which I sing to myself a mere dozen times a day.Best line: “Don’t you worry your pretty little mind/People throw rocks at things that shine.” Listen here.


“Seven” (2020)

Two little girls in the Pennsylvania woods, trying and failing to understand each other. It’s a lost childhood bond (maybe same one from “It’s Nice to Have a Friend”?), from the perspective of a kid too young to recognize that her friend’s angry dad is the ghost in their family’s haunted house. (The traumatizing fathers on Folklore are a plotline in themselves.) The little girls dream of escaping, running away to be pirate twins, but there’s no resolution — just a mystery that gets more confusing she tries to live with it.Best line: “Please picture me in the weeds, before I learned civility.”


“We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” (2012)

Like, ever. Her funniest breakup jam, because it’s her most self-mocking. She could have made the guy in this song a shady creep—a cheater, a liar, a scarf-stealer, etc. But, no, he’s just a needy little run-of-the-mill basket case, exactly like her, making the same complaints about her to his own bored friends, though his complaints can’t be as catchy as this chorus. And the video is a gem, especially when she’s wearing the Tay Is Seriously Mad Now glasses. Where is that indie-rock bar that still has a pay phone?Best line: “And I’m like, I mean, this is exhausting, OK?” Listen here.


“Coney Island” (2020)

Twelve miles from Cornelia Street, but it feels a lifetime away. “Coney Island” is her duet with the National, trading verses with singer Matt Berninger, for an Evermore highlight that picks up the story from Folklore. “Coney Island” sounds like the “August” girl left her small town, forgot about James and Betty, moved to New York, found a hipster boy, figured everything would be different in the big old city, then found herself stuck in the same old story all over again. When you’re a grown-up, they assume you know nothing.Best line: “We were like the mall before the Internet/It was the one place to be/The mischief, the gift-wrapped suburban dream.”


“<strong>Maroon”</strong> (2022)

A New York romance where all the heartache she feared in “Cornelia Street” comes true, leaving her haunted by a love that was burning red. At first, she’s dancing barefoot, drinking on the roof, asking, “How’d we end up on the floor anyway? / You say, ‘Your roommate’s cheap-ass screw-top rosé, that’s how.’” The lovers celebrate having this big wide city all to themselves. But after it falls apart (in the usual way), she’s surrounded by the wreckage. All the different shades of maroon appear in her dreams—the wine stain on her t-shirt, the sunset, the funeral carnations, the lips she used to call home. “Maroon” has some of Taylor’s most pained singing on Midnights, especially when she sighs, “I awake with your memory over me / That’s a real fucking legacy.”Best line: “When the morning came/We were cleaning incense off your vinyl shelf.”