In honor of November 10th (a national holiday for Swifties worldwide) I’ve decided to compose a list of my top 10 Taylor Swift songs and what they’ve taught me about life and love.
Mean – Speak Now
I think I was in elementary school, when my group of friends, decided to all tell me that they didn’t want to be friends with me anymore, we were making a sign for the talent show, it was purple and I was cutting out a glittery turquoise star, when they told me they had all come to this conclusion. I’m older now, and I know they meant nothing by it, and I definitely don’t hold it against them, but every time I hear this song I think about that day. Kids are mean, for no reason, and back then I didn’t have a backbone to stand up for myself. Taylor sings, “you, have knocked me off my feet again, got me feeling like a nothing.” How many times in school did we all feel like nothing?! Too often is the answer, and it makes me wish I knew who Taylor Swift was when I was eight years old, but there’s something therapeutic in being able to sing this one and think about those girls who were just mean, and that it had nothing to do with me, or who I am, or what I was like, but they were just mean.
White Horse – Fearless
This is the song for that boy who kept showing up in your life and kept breaking your heart, once again it took me way too long to say “you’re not sorry,” which is exactly what happened to Taylor too. I don’t know how she’s been through everything that I’ve been through, but it makes me confident that we’ve all been through it. It wasn’t enough for him to break your heart, but then he had to show up, after you finally found a little piece of your soul again, and beg for your forgiveness and say he wanted you back. She sings “Say you’re sorry, that face of an angel comes out just when you need it to, as I paced back and forth all this time, ‘cause I honestly believed in you.” He showed up on more than one occasion and tried to tell me how complicated his life was, and how perfect I was, just the timing was wrong; every time I started to get better and become myself again, there he was. Then the day came, where he showed up and I got to tell him that I had moved on, that if you really love someone you don’t do this to them. I’m glad Taylor and I found our strength.
You’re Not Sorry – Fearless
This one is super similar to White Horse, again about a boy who thinks sorry will make me pick up the phone. Taylor sings, “You don’t have to call anymore, I won’t pick up the phone, this is the last straw, don’t wanna hurt anymore.” I remember the day I stopped picking up the phone. It was my 20th birthday and I had a new boyfriend, and he called to wish me a happy birthday, and I remember I was driving home from school and had just pulled into my driveway when I saw that all too familiar number that I refused to save ringing on my phone, and I made a choice. I let it ring, and walked inside, and chose to live a life without him.
We Are Never Getting Back Together – RED
This one is about that old boyfriend that I had when I ignored the phone call from that other old boyfriend. I am so grateful for all my life experiences, as they have led me to where I am and inspired me to become an independent, loving, caring woman, who is incredibly empathetic, but when I heard this song; I wanted to scream it at him! He taught me that there is love after loss, but he also randomly decided to not text me for three days, and I literally thought he was a missing person when I tried to make plans for an event a few months in advance, and the commitment scared him, wait what? Taylor sings “I mean this is exhausting, you know, like, we are never getting back together, like ever.” It was exhausting, all three months, and we’re never getting back together – I’ve got way too much self esteem these days for that.
All too Well – RED
This is my windows down, crisp fall air song, and I’m sure part of it has to do with the song’s node to the Hudson Valley, but there’s something so whimsical about this little pre Thanksgiving road trip. “‘Cause there we are again on that little town street. You almost ran the red ’cause you were looking over at me.” I love the moments when you and the one you love get caught singing all too loudly your favorite song together, or singing and dancing and not paying enough attention to the road, but of course, this one has a sad ending. Taylor loses her scarf and the guy, but still, this one reminds me of a summer romance, or something that you went into knowing all too well that it would be just a brief moment, a fading memory that you think about one day a year.
Begin Again – RED
This is such a beautiful song about what it feels like to be on a first date again, to want to reveal the fact that you’ve got someone else on your mind, and you’re vulnerable, and apprehensive, and to choose to begin again anyway. Taylor sings, “And you throw your head back laughing like a little kid, I think it’s strange that you think I’m funny ’cause he never did.” That was something that I realized after a few heartbreaks, that I’m really funny. I did this thing when I was younger where I tried to be whatever my boyfriend wanted, and now I’ve embraced the fact that I’m quirky, silly, funny, and sometimes a bit awkward, and guess what I found a boy who loves and appreciates all those things about me!
Stay, Stay, Stay – RED
I love, love, love the repetition in this song, song, song. I love how playful and fun this song is; Taylor sing’s “before you, I’d only dated self-indulgent takers, that took all of their problems out on me, but you carry my groceries, and now I’m always laughin’!” I couldn’t think of one sentence that better sums up where I was then and where I am now. I remember the first fight Darren and I ever had thinking for sure he’d walk away, and three and a half years later he never has. I remember dating boys who hated when I expressed a single concern, who completely shut down when I mentioned a slight unhappiness, and Darren is not like that at all, he doesn’t run when I get mad, he laughs and calls me cute, and asks me how to make it better, and I am so thankful for that. Taylor continues, “All those times that you didn’t leave; it’s been occurring to me I’d like to hang out with you for my whole life.” And that’s definitely how I feel about Darren.
Ours – Speak Now
This is another cute playful song. “So don’t you worry your pretty little mind, people throw rocks at things that shine, and life makes love look hard,” Taylor sings. I love this one because I think we’ve all been in a relationship where there comes a point that we decide to ignore what other people think and just love, a lot of times there’s someone on the outside of a relationship that wants to pass judgement or tell you that you’ve changed, or that you’re naive and silly, but sometimes people just can’t know how much you love someone, and maybe it’s after a few days, or weeks, but the heart wants what the heart wants.
The Best Day – Fearless
“I have an excellent father, his strength is making me stronger…I grew up in a pretty house, and I’ve got space to run and hide, and I had the best days with you… Its the age of princesses and pirate ships and the seven dwarfs, and daddy’s smart and you’re the prettiest lady in the whole wide world.” This is my current favorite; I’ve written briefly about the fear of losing my parents, and how devastating it is that your parents can’t be there forever, and this song lets me escape to a simpler age where that was something that never crossed my mind. It reminds me of my Mom hauling my brother and I to firehouse Halloween parties, and going on hay rides. It reminds me of jumping into freshly raked leaf piles, and of when my Dad called me Princess.
Taylor Swift has been there for me through heartbreak, finding myself, and learning to love again, she’s taught me so much about life and love, and I can’t wait to see what she teaches me with next!