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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


‘You’re Losing Me’ (2023)

“You’re Losing Me” debuted as part of her Midnights Late Night Edition, which was available only as a physical CD, and only for sale on-site at the Eras Tour that weekend in New Jersey. (The song was later briefly available as a download.) It echoes “Epiphany,” with medics at a battlefield trying to find a pulse, except instead of a wounded soldier, it’s a dying love affair. But it all works, from Taylor’s sad sigh at the start, to her pained Joni Mitchell proverb: “You don’t know what you got till it’s gone.”  “You’re Losing Me” sounds even tougher in 2024—it sounds more anything like a dry run for The Tortured Poets Department.Best line: “I wouldn’t marry me either / A pathological people pleaser.”


“Better Man” (2021)

Taylor gave this one away to Little Big Town, who turned it into a massive 2016 country hit. “Better Man” came to loom large in her legend as a writer, so it was worth the wait to finally get her own proper version. “Better Man” hits even harder with Taylor wailing her tale of adult regret, confessing to the mirror, “The bravest thing I ever did was run.”Best line: “I gave to you my best/And we both know you can’t say that.”


“Shake It Off” (2014)

A clever transitional single – great verses, grabby chorus, pithy lyrics with a shout-out to her obvious inspiration, Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own.” As a lead single, “Shake It Off” might have seemed meager after 1989 came out – she was holding back “Blank Space” and “Style” and (Lord have mercy) “New Romantics” for this? But “Shake It Off” got the job done, serving as a trailer to announce her daring Eighties synth-pop makeover.Best line: “It’s like I got this music in my mind, saying it’s gonna be all right.”


“Bye Bye Baby” (2020)

One of the top-notch Fearless (Taylor’s Version) vault tracks. Like so many of her songs from this era, it has a giant Oasis-style hook: “You took me home, but you just couldn’t keep me.” Plus a bonus one in the bridge when she sings, “I’m so scaaared of how this ends!” What does it mean that the best Oasis songs of the past 20 years are Taylor songs?Best line: “You’re all I want, but it’s not enough.”


“High Infidelity” (2022)

A highlight of the Midnights 3 A.M. Edition. “High Infidelity” goes deep into the perils of musicians dating musicians, from “Put on your records and regret me” to “Put on your headphones and burn my city.” Taylor uses audio distortion as a metaphor for a bad romantic connection, a la Elvis Costello’s “High Fidelity,” though Midnights collaborator Zoë Kravitz also starred in the reboot of the classic High Fidelity. As for the question of what she was doing on April 29, 2016…listening to Lemonade and crying over Prince, like the rest of us?Best line: “There’s many different ways that you can kill the one you love/The slowest way is never loving them enough.”


“Back to December” (2010)

One of the rare ballads where she goes crawling back to an ex she treated like dirt – and she’s surprisingly effective in the role. Although breaking into the guy’s house is a little extreme. (If she’s blocked by the chain on his door, that means she already picked the lock, right?) And sorry, but you’re seriously dreaming if you think I’m bothering to Google the name of that Twilight guy, don’t @ me.Best line: “It turns out freedom ain’t nothing but missing you.”


“I Almost Do” (2012)

We’re already at the zone on this list where every song seems like it should be ranked even higher, except it’s just so crowded at the top. For almost any other artist, “I Almost Do” would have been a career peak. A Red slow jam that could have worked even better sped up into a punked-out rocker — though it’s plenty affecting as is.Best line: “Every time I don’t, I almost do.”


‘I Can Do It With a Broken Heart’ (2024)

“Lights, camera, bitch smile!” The only time Taylor goes for a dance-floor synth-disco banger on The Tortured Poets Department. It’s the flip side of “Mirrorball,” where she’s a super trooper hiding her tears from the audience because the show must go on. Jack Antonoff soups it up into an explicit homage to Vince Clarke, the synth-pop wizard of Depeche Mode, Yaz, and Erasure. As Antonoff once said, “Modern pop music should just write Vince a check for like a billion dollars for ripping him off all day long.”Best line: “I’m so depressed, I act like it’s my birthday.”


“Welcome to New York” (2014)

People sure do love to complain about this song – in fact, the most authentically New York thing about it is how it sends people into spasms of mouth-foaming outrage. An explicitly queer-positive disco ode to arrivistes stepping out in the city that invented disco – “You can want who you want, boys and boys and girls and girls” – that will be bugging the crap out of you in rom-coms for years to come. (It made me throw a napkin at my in-flight screen during How to Be Single, when Dakota Johnson’s cab is going the wrong way on the Brooklyn Bridge – and I love this song.) Bumped up a few bonus notches for pissing everyone off, since that’s one of this girl’s superpowers.Best line: “Searching for a sound we haven’t heard before/And it said welcome to New York.”


“Wonderland” (2014)

Why did it take her five albums to get to Alice in Wonderland? Needless to say, Taylor Alison Swift fits right in on the other side of the looking glass, with white rabbits and Cheshire cats. Feed your head!Best line: “It’s all fun and games till someone loses their mind.”


“We Were Happy” (2021)

This Fearless outtake would have made quite a highlight on the album. How did she let this one get away? Was it just too damn sad, even by *her* standards? To think of all the years we missed out on being traumatized by “You threw your arms around my neck/Back when I deserved it.” “We Were Happy” has both Liz Rose *and* Aaron Dessner in the credits, making this the perfect storm of Taylor weepers.Best line: “Oh, I hate those voices telling me I’m not in love any more.”


‘Peter’ (2024)

Swift returns to the story of Peter Pan and Wendy, the girl who kept waiting for him to grow up. This couple already appeared in “Cardigan” on Folklore, where Taylor sings, “Trying to change the ending, Peter losing Wendy.” But in this song, Wendy’s not trying to change him at all—she’s just moving on, the lost girl ready to find herself.Best line: “You said you’d come and get me, but you were 25/The shelf life of those fantasies has expired / Lost to the ‘Lost Boys’ chapter of your life.”


“Mad Woman” (2020)

“They say ‘move on,’ but you know I won’t” — yes, we know. She’s always had a knack for songs about unrepentant old ladies, ever since her teens, and this “Mad Woman” could be Betty or Inez a few years down the line. But she could also be the heroine of “Dear John” or “15,” all grown up.Best line: “Women like hunting witches too / Doing your dirtiest work for you / It’s obvious that wanting me dead has really brought you two together.