Oh November, I usually dread this time of year as the leaves blow away and the sun’s warmth fades from my memory. But this year I am just SO happy. 2017 hasn’t been the best year for the world, my heart aches every day when I scroll through CNN, but is it wrong to admit 2017 has been a pretty good year for me? One of the best parts of 2017-Taylor Swift announced her upcoming album, Reputation! I actually remember the first time I ever heard a Taylor Swift song! One of my friend’s was over and introduced me to “Teardrops on my Guitar”, on Myspace believe it or not. I have been counting down to Taylor’s new album since..well, I guess since I finished listening to 1989 over three years ago. Now Reputation is a day away and my insides are doing cartwheels.
Initially this post was going to be a list of my top 13 favorite Taylor Swift songs. I thought it would be fun to sit around my apartment listening to all of my favorite Taylor songs from years past while sipping passion fruit tea and simultaneously looking for Christmas gifts on Etsy. I thought about the Taylor Swift songs I’d danced around to with my besties in the wee hours of the morning, I thought about the Taylor Swift songs that had helped me through a broken heart, I thought about the Taylor Swift songs that had helped me grow up and I realized there was no freaking way I could narrow down my list to 13 favorite songs. I just have too many memories and too much emotion tied to her music. Do I sound totally crazy yet?
Well, let me get totally crazy for just a sec. I’ve been known to get in some pretty heated arguments defending Taylor. Is it just me or has Taylor Swift become almost Donald Trump level controversial over the past couple of years? Don’t worry I’m not in the mood to open that can of worms, today is a happy day and I’m not about to taint my love for Taylor with political squabbling. The point is, of the hills I’d be willing to die defending, Taylor Swift’s talent as a musician and a songwriter is the most prominent. Queen of the break up song, Taylor Swift has helped me get through many long nights sobbing in bed and eating Ben & Jerry’s Phish food, she’s been the musical back drop as I’ve fallen in love, and her music has accompanied many of my favorite memories. I might be a bit biased, but my love for Taylor Swift knows no bounds! So, instead of listing my top 13 favorite Taylor songs I thought I would list my top 13 song related memories. Not all of the memories are happy, but, I think both the high highs, the low lows and everything in between help define who we are.
13 Taylor Swift Songs & The Memories that Accompany them:
Favorite Lyric:”All that I know is I don’t know how to be something you miss”
Memory: As cliché as it sounds, I remember sitting in the back seat of my high school friend’s mom’s mini van as she drove us to our first day of high school as we listened to Taylor’s Fearless album. I was nervous as I stared out the window and chattered mindlessly with my friend about our new classes, the upcoming football game, etc.
12. Welcome to New York (Red)
Memory: Truthfully, Welcome to New York is one of my least favorite Taylor songs when it comes to sound quality and lyrics…BUT it has a special place in my heart solely because of my younger brother and sister. A love for Taylor Swift has basically become a family affair! Every time I hear Welcome to New York I can’t help but imagine my four year old sister singing along and clapping just a little off beat, it always puts a smile on my face.
11. The Best Day (Fearless)
Favorite Lyric:“I don’t know why all the trees change in the fall, I know you’re not scared of anything at all”
Memory: A few days before graduating high school I wrote each of my parents a letter to thank them for raising me. I remember listening to this song on repeat, bawling my eyes out as I poured out everything I was feeling in my letters to my parents. Now, The Best Day will forever remind me of the bittersweet feeling of leaving childhood behind.
10. Speak Now (Speak Now)
Memory: Prior to my freshman year of college, my newly assigned roommate and I started texting. We instantly bonded over Taylor Swift, so I knew our living arrangement would work out. Freshman year we traversed five long hours from Pullman to Seattle (and back) in my Honda Civic. The soundtrack for ALL give hours was always Taylor’s latest album “Speak Now”. Now the entire album, but especially the title track, makes me think of my first college roommate (and to this day close friend), Claire.
9. 22 (Red)
Favorite Lyric: “Everything will be alright if we just keep dancing like we’re 22”
Memory: Dancing around a yacht, champagne in hand surrounded by my besties (and unbeknownst to me at the time, the man I would fall head over heels in love with) kissing goodbye 22 and ringing in 23. Could a girl dream up a better birthday celebration?
8. Dear John (Speak Now)
Favorite Lyric: “Paint me a blue sky and go back and turn it to rain, and I lived in your chess game but you changed the rules every day”
Memory: Dear John is definitely one of Taylor’s darker songs. After going through a bad relationship I had to sort through a mess of tangled emotions. I was a bit of wreck but I appreciate that time of my life because I came back stronger and wiser on the other side. I swear I listened to Dear John daily and cried both happy and sad tears for a couple months to move on mentally.
7. Bad Blood(1989)
Memory: Though Bad Blood isn’t actually one of my favorite T.S. songs it does bring up a few wonderful memories! For the 1989 tour my family and friend Nicole all flew down to San Diego to see the show. My cousin, Genevieve, Nicole and I were all inspired by Taylor’s girl gang in the Bad Blood music video so we had fun dressing in Bad Blood inspired outfits. The concert was AMAZING, and I swear we screamed the loudest of anyone in the stadium when Taylor performed Bad Blood.
6. Blank Space (1989)
Favorite Lyric: “So it’s gonna be forever or it’s gonna go down in flames, you can tell me when it’s over if the high was worth the pain”
Memory: I actually have multiple memories associated with Blank Space because it is such a catchy and well written song, however, my favorite has to be Halloween 2015. I am so obsessed with the sassy cynicism of Blank Space, and the way Taylor can take the media’s perceptions of her and turn it into a radio sensation. I also feel like I can relate to the “psycho girlfriend” she plays in the Blank Space music video on a deep, personal level. Somehow I convinced Jordan to portray the couple in the music video for Halloween. I carried a golf club (for smashing his sports car of course) and he wore a tattered suit and a faux black eye. No one at the winery party we attended knew what we were being, but I never felt more excited about a costume.
5. We are Never Getting Back Together (Red)
Memory: After *liberating* myself from a particularly nasty relationship in college, my bestie and I went out to Karaoke. I ended up drinking a few vodka cranberries and singing “We are never getting back together” with a stranger. The last thing I can do is sing, but dang it felt good (and I swear it wasn’t just the vodka talking)!
4. You are in Love (1989)
Favorite Lyric: “You understand now why they lost their minds and fought the wars, and why I spent my whole life trying to put it into words”
Memory: The day after Jordan and I said “I love you” for the first time this song came on as I was writing. The words tugged at my heart strings and it captured the exact way I was feeling. Now when I listen to “You are in love” those initial feelings of falling in love come rushing back to me.
3. Call it what you Want (Reputation)
Favorite Lyric: “I want to wear initial on a chain around my neck, not because he owns me, but because he really knows me”
Memory: I can’t stop listening to Call it What you Want on repeat, it is hands down my favorite pre-release! It’s crazy to admit that the song has become so special to me already, but sharing it with Jordan (real time when it was released) felt like the beginning of a new chapter. I love being able to share my love of Taylor’s lyrical love songs with Jordan as they are released. He definitely thinks of me as an insane Taylor Swift fan-girl but I think he enjoys the crazy fandom (at least I have to think so).
2. Breathe (Speak Now)
Favorite Lyric: “You’re the only thing I know like the back of my hand, and I can’t breathe without you but I have to”
Memory: Of course Breathe has been on every single breakup playlist I’ve ever created. I have spent a good number of hours sobbing on my bedroom floor to this one but shockingly, this song doesn’t remind me of losing a boyfriend! Breathe has recently become the song that makes me think of the night my best friend moved to L.A. In hindsight it sounds a bit melodramatic (but why go through life with the risk you under reacted?), but I listened to Breathe on repeat as I cried and scrolled through hundreds of photos of Nicole and I from over the years. So many of my happiest memories over the past nine years have involved Nicole and knowing that she would no longer be just a couple of miles away wasn’t an easy pill to swallow.
1.All Too Well (Red)
Favorite Lyric: “Maybe we got lost in translation, maybe I asked for too much, maybe this thing was a masterpiece until you tore it all up”
Memory: I think this song is universally regarded as one of Taylor’s most well written ballads, and I couldn’t agree more. I truly CANNOT listen to this song without getting emotional, to me it summarizes the exact feeling of looking back on a relationship after it has ended, it is truly my favorite Taylor Swift song. Watching Taylor perform All Too Well on her Red tour was one of the most spiritual experiences of my life (told you this post would reveal my crazy), honestly. This song brings back an entire montage of memories culminating with Taylor’s performance.
It’s a little surreal thinking about how many meaningful moments of my life have involved Taylor Swift music. It’s fun to think about all of the new memories I have yet to make and the Reputation era songs that will set the soundtrack. Though my list of 13 songs doesn’t contain some of my very favorite songs (like Enchanted, All you had to do was Stay, Everything has Changed and Treacherous) it does encompass some of my fondest (and most difficult) memories.
I cannot believe the new album is out in less then 24 hours! If you need me I’ll be pacing around my apartment listening to 1989, Red, Speak Now, Fearless and Taylor’s first album on repeat in anticipation. Be sure to tweet me with your initial impressions of Reputation. I know I am not the only one with memories associated with music. Do you have any fond memories you associate with Taylor Swift songs or is the soundtrack to your happy memories set to the tune of another musician?
P.S. A few more posts summarizing my love for Taylor Swift: