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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


“Last Christmas” (2007)

Tay does the Wham! legacy proud – she should also cover “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.” The ache and quaver of her voice fit the George Michael melancholy; this might be the saddest “Last Christmas” since the original. Plenty of us communed with this version on Christmas 2016, the night we said goodbye to the guy who wrote it. R.I.P., George Michael.Best line: “A girl on a cover but you tore her apart.”


‘The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived’ (2024)

The saltiest break-up song she’s ever written—it makes “Dear John” sound like “Stay Beautiful.” After a couple minutes of overly muted prologue, it really kicks into high gear, with an awesome nasty one-chord rock clang as she spits out her bad-cop interrogation.Best line: “Were you sent by someone who wanted me dead? Did you sleep with a gun underneath our bed?”


“Tell Me Why” (2008)

From Neil Young to the Beatles, “Tell Me Why” songs are tough to screw up, and even at 19, Tay’s too seasoned to let that happen.Best line: “I need you like a heartbeat/But you know you got a mean streak.”


“Epiphany” (2020)

Inspired by her grandfather, a World War 2 veteran who landed on Guadalcanal in 1942. “Holding hands through plastic” is a stark image of the Covid-19 pandemic.Best line: “Something med school did not cover / Someone’s daughter, someone’s mother.”


“All You Had to Do Was Stay” (2014)

A 1989 banger that could have made an excellent single – it sounds a bit like “Out of the Woods,” except with a livelier chorus and a stormier range of electro-Tay sound effects.Best line: “Let me remind you this was what you wanted.”


“You All Over Me,” With Maren Morris (2021)

The first outtake she let slip from the Fearless vault was a proof-of-concept coup. Still just 17, she writes a song about getting clean, but decides to keep it a secret, so she can wait six years to release her classic “Clean,” then wait six *more* years to release this prequel. I do not understand how this mind exists — honestly, it’s just scary.Best line: “Your hands in your pockets/And your ‘don’t you wish you had me’ grin.”


‘Chloe or Sam or Sophia or Marcus’ (2024)

A delicately etched ballad about getting tangled up with an addict, as she sings, “You needed me but you needed drugs more.” It feels like a more downbeat version of “Maroon,” where a love story begins on the floor with her roommate’s cheap-ass screw-top rosé, only to go sour when the drugs take over.Best line: “If I sell my apartment / And you have some kids with an internet starlet / Will that make your memory fade from this scarlet maroon?”


“I Think He Knows” (2019)

Lusty finger-snaps, crushed-out heavy breathing, skipping down 16th Avenue. (Isn’t that underwater in the Hudson River?) “It’s like I’m 17 / Nobody understands” is hilarious considering that when she was 17, she had the world wired to every teardrop on her guitar.Best line: “He’s so obsessed with me, and boy, I understand.”


“Beautiful Eyes” (2008)

If you’re a fan of Swift’s Nineties modern-rock radio jones – one of her most fruitful long-running obsessions – check out this shameless tribute to the Cranberries. (But did she have to let it linger? Did she have to? Did she have to?)Best line: “Baby, make me fly.”


“Dancing With Our Hands Tied” (2017)

“Dancing With Our Hands Tied” has more of Romeo and Juliet‘s actual plot than “Love Story” did. She slips away in secret with a forbidden lover who paints her blue heart gold, over Eighties “Take On Me”-style beats. The saddest line Fiona Apple ever wrote – “I know I’m a mess he don’t wanna clean up” – finally finds a new home in a Swift song: “I’m a mess, but I’m the mess that you wanted.”Best line: “I’d kiss you as the lights went out / Swaying as the room burned down.”


“You Need to Calm Down” (2019)

The first time I heard “Welcome to New York,” back in 2014, I thought people would freak out over the explicit pro-queer lyrics. (“Boys and boys and girls and girls” — she was not afraid to burn her bridges.) But of course, people slept on it. So I love how she just did it a little louder for the people in back. Eighties New Wave synth-pop was one of the gayest musical movements ever, but at the time, it was all hidden — virtually none of the genre’s (many) queer artists were out. So it’s fitting how her New Wave homage foregrounds the music’s LGBTQ roots. When she growls, “Damn, it’s 7 a.m.” we all know Taylor has been up pacing the floor at 2 a.m., because that’s what she does.Best line: “Can you just not step on our gowns?”


“Dear Reader” (2022)

“Reader, I married him” is one of the most famous lines in 19th century novels, from Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, so “Dear Reader” is a suitable flex for Quill Pen Taylor, stretching her lit muscles after “The Lakes.” It evokes the end of the “All Too Well” short film, when Author Taylor appears at the bookstore, with a crowd full of readers under her spell. It’s a clever irony for her to warn, “Never take advice from someone who’s falling apart” — especially since the art of falling apart is her favorite topic for giving advice.Best line: “Dear reader, the greatest of your luxuries is your secrets.”


“No Body, No Crime,” With Haim (2020)

A country collabo with her longtime friends in Haim, for a “Goodbye Earl”-style murder story with a shout-out to Olive Garden. Clever detail: the killer husband reveals his guilt by buying “brand new tires,” continuing Taylor’s recent fascination with shiny wheels. Question: Why did he buy new tires right after committing a murder? Is he the only guy who’s never seen Goodfellas? It’s like Robert De Niro says after the heist: “Don’t buy anything!” What a Johnny Roastbeef mistake.Best line: “She was with me, dude.”


“Drops of Jupiter” (2011)

I mistakenly thought this Train hit was deep-fried garbage until I heard Swift’s version and realized, “Hey, she’s right – this is the best soy latte I’ve ever had!” Props to Tay for bringing out the hidden greatness in this song – the stargazing lyrics and her voice go together like Mozart and tae bo. (The astrophysicist in my life would like me to point out that you can’t “make it to the Milky Way” because that’s the galaxy we already live in. In fact, you couldn’t leave the Milky Way if you tried. Science!)Best line: “Tell me, did Venus blow your mind?”


“The Very First Night” (2021)

An easy Red vault track to overlook, but the dance-pop zoom of “The Very First Night” could have fit right on 1989. It makes a worthy part of the trilogy with “Come Back…Be Here” and “Message in a Bottle.” She’s causing trouble up in hotel rooms with a jet-set rock-star boyfriend — a predicament she’d explore in detail more later.Best line: “Don’t forget about the night in L.A./Dance in the kitchen, chase me down the hallway.”


<strong>“Question…?</strong>” (2022)

A very Taylor dilemma: “Does it feel like everything’s just like second-best after that meteor strike?” She gives a hint about this meteor by opening the song with a sample from “Out of the Woods.” Taylor cross-examines an ex with a slew of questions, although she wishes she didn’t already know the answers. There’s a great flashback to “Betty” in the chorus, when two lovers kiss in a crowded room, in front of all their stupid friends.Best line: “It was one drink after another/Fucking politics and gender roles.”


“Haunted” (2010)

Enchanted to meet you, Goth Taylor. We’ll meet again.Best line: “Something keeps me holding on to nothing.”


“Can’t Stop Loving You” (2019)

When Taylor stopped into the BBC’s Live Lounge, she had a surprise up her sleeve: This Eighties pop aficionado busted out a Phil Collins cover, against all odds. “Can’t Stop Loving You” is a 1970s obscurity that Phil turned into a sleeper hit in 2002. As Taylor explained, “I remember driving around Nashville when I first had my driver’s license just screaming the words to this song.” It’s perfect for her — for one thing, it’s about crying in the back of a taxi. If Taylor wants to keep digging into the Phil catalog, maybe she’ll cover “I Don’t Care Anymore.”Best line: “Got your leaving smile.”


“Electric Touch,” With Fall Out Boy (2023)

This Fall Out Boy duet came out ten years—minus a week—after Patrick Stump joined her onstage in New Jersey, on the Red Tour, for “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark.” At first “Electric Touch” might sound like a horrific mismatch (what, Boys Like Girls were busy?) but it all explodes in the fantastic bridge, when they milk the giant proto-“Treacherous” hook, “It’s 8:05 and I see two headliiiights.” The way she turns “lights” into a ten-second song in itself? That’s our girl, kinda like the way she decides this first date is “forever” before he’s even gotten out of the damn car.Best line: “Your electric touch could fill this ghost town up with life.”