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All 129 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 through ‘Reputation’ era

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 115 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 ingénue right up to Reputation. Every fan would compile a different list – that’s the beauty of it. 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.)

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.

taylor swift 115 songs ranked list
79

“Crazier” (2009)

Her ballad from Hannah Montana: The Movie, snagging her a cameo in the film. (But the highlight of the soundtrack will always be “Hoedown Throwdown.”) This is where Taylor and Miley crossed light sabers – although they’d meet again. Great title, too – even Taylor might probably admit Miley had her beat in this department, at least until the “Blank Space” video.

Best line: “Every sky was your own kind of blue.”

taylor swift 115 songs ranked list
78

“Innocent” (2010)

Little-known fact: Did you know Kanye West once went onstage to interrupt Swift’s acceptance speech at the VMAs and threw a misogynist tantrum about how she didn’t deserve an award? Strange but true! “Innocent” was her song publicly forgiving him – seven freaking years ago – then they both released brilliant albums, and we all moved on with our lives. Dear Lord, if only this story had ended there.

Best line: “It’s okay/Life is a tough crowd.”

taylor swift 115 songs ranked list
77

“Come Back…Be Here” (2012)

A yearning prayer for a rock & roll boy on tour, weak in the knees as she pleads for him to jet back on any terms he chooses.

Best line: “I guess you’re in London today.”

taylor swift 115 songs ranked list
76

“Tied Together With a Smile” (2006)

An unsung highlight of the debut – a teen pep talk about self-esteem.

Best line: “Seems the only one who doesn’t see your beauty/Is the face in the mirror looking back at you.” 

taylor swift 115 songs ranked list
75

“Last Christmas” (2007)

Tay does the Wham! legacy proud – she should have also covered “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.”

taylor swift 115 songs ranked list
74

“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.”

taylor swift 115 songs ranked list
73

“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.” 

taylor swift 115 songs ranked list
72

“Everything Has Changed” (ft. Ed Sheeran) (2012)

She and Ed Sheeran wrote this duet together in her backyard while bouncing on a trampoline, because of course they did.

Best line: “All I’ve seen since 18 hours ago is green eyes and freckles and your smile.” 

taylor swift 115 songs ranked list
71

“End Game” (ft. Ed Sheeran & Future) (2017)

No trampoline involved in this one. Future shows up in a tribute to her long-running bond with ATLien hip-hop, which goes back to her B.o.B. and T.I. duets. Plus her trusty wingman Ed Sheeran. The most divisive and bizarre Reputation track, for sure, but it feels like a true Swift song, as she offers an update about her lipstick status (still red! good to know) and her relationship with drama. (“I swear I don’t love the drama – it loves me!”) Why is Ed always her best duet partner? Because you can hear he’s really listening to her.

Best line: “I bury hatchets, but I keep maps of where I put ‘em.”

taylor swift 115 songs ranked list
70

“Speak Now” (2010)

In real-life weddings, the preacher hardly ever invites the groom’s ex up to interrupt the ceremony. But if you’re a fan of Tay in stalker mode, this is priceless – crouching behind the curtains in the back of the church, waiting to pounce. “Horrified looks from everyone in the room” – you don’t say.

Best line: “It seems I was uninvited by your lovely bride-to-be.” 

taylor swift 115 songs ranked list
69

“Shake It Off” (2014)

A clever transitional single – great verses, grating 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.” 

taylor swift 115 songs ranked list
68

“Better Than Revenge” (2010)

One of the basic rules of stardom is “never punch down” – don’t go after somebody one-thousandth as famous as you – but rules were made to be broken, and Taylor is the girl made to break them. Here, she goes Bruce Lee on a sexual rival who may or may not be the actress who had Alyssa Milano as her babysitter in the erotic thriller Poison Ivy 2. But as usual with Swift, her self-owns are the funniest part of the song.

Best line: “She thinks I’m psycho because I like to rhyme her name with things.” 

taylor swift 115 songs ranked list
67

“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.”

taylor swift 115 songs ranked list
66

“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?”

taylor swift 115 songs ranked list
64

“Today Was a Fairytale” (2011)

Don’t let the title scare you away – it’s a plainspoken and genuinely touching play-by-play recap of a worthwhile date. In fact, “Today Was a Fairytale” and “If This Was a Movie” should trade titles, since this one feels realer and would make a better movie. It could rank higher, except she hugely improved it when she rewrote it as “Begin Again.” (Docked a couple notches for coming from the soundtrack of Valentine’s Day, which is the most dog-vomit flick Jessica Alba has ever made, and I say that as someone who paid money to see The Love Guru.)

Best line: “I wore a dress/You wore a dark gray T-shirt.”

taylor swift 115 songs ranked list
63

“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.”

taylor swift 115 songs ranked list
62

“Eyes Open” (2012)

Finally, her long-overdue metal move, from The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond.

Best line: “Every lesson forms a new scar.”

taylor swift 115 songs ranked list
61

“This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” (2017)

The most “therein” moment on Reputation. Also the only song (after “Look What You Made Me Do”) devoted to the album’s alleged celebrity-complaints concept, though shrewdly playing it for kicks and giggles. “Therein lies the issue” is some quality Swiftian spite content, but it’s that sadistic tongue-clicking “mmm-mmmm” before the second chorus that really brings the Judgement Tay. “Here’s to my mama, had to listen to all this drama” – has your mom met you? She might be used to that by now.

Best line: “Feeling so Gatsby for that whole year.”

taylor swift 115 songs ranked list
60

“Treacherous” (2012)

“Put your lips close to mine/As long as they don’t touch” – now there’s an entrance line. Taylor braves the ski slopes of love, with a seething acoustic guitar that finally detonates halfway though.

Best line: “Nothing safe is worth the drive.”