20 Best Taylor Swift Songs: A Definitive Ranking

best taylor swift songs

Affiliate Disclosure: When you buy a product via our links, we sometimes earn a referral fee. Learn more

In the realm of music, few artists have left as indelible a mark as Taylor Swift. With a career spanning over a decade, she’s dazzled audiences with her songwriting prowess and infectious tunes.

As we embark on a journey through her musical evolution, we’ve distilled her extensive discography into the 20 best Taylor Swift songs, each a testament to her growth as an artist. From her country roots to her embrace of pop, we’ll explore the tracks that have defined her remarkable career.

20. Long Live by Taylor Swift

“Long Live” is considered one of Taylor Swift’s greatest songs, serving as the closing track on her third studio album, Speak Now. It beautifully showcases her storytelling skills as she pays tribute to friendships and memories from her early music career.

Swift’s use of vivid imagery and metaphors transports listeners to pivotal moments in her career, expressing gratitude for the support she received. The song’s anthemic chorus unites audiences in celebrating life’s precious moments, making it an anthem for both Swift and her fans.

19. Dear John by Taylor Swift

“Dear John” is a standout song in Taylor Swift’s catalog, demonstrating her impressive songwriting skills and emotional depth. It’s the sixth track on her 2010 album “Speak Now” and delves into the aftermath of a tumultuous relationship, possibly inspired by her involvement with John Mayer.

The song’s heartfelt lyrics showcase Swift’s vulnerability and honesty, depicting the pain and disappointment of the relationship. It effectively connects with listeners through its narrative, touching on age differences and power dynamics.

The composition, with its slow tempo and acoustic guitar, gradually building into a powerful chorus, mirrors the emotional rollercoaster of a breakup. The nearly seven-minute length allows for detailed storytelling.

18. Fearless by Taylor Swift

“Fearless” stands out in Taylor Swift’s extensive discography as the title track from her second studio album released in 2008. This enduring song resonates with fans due to its catchy melodies and relatable lyrics, remaining relevant today.

The song’s core themes revolve around embracing life without fear, as captured in the lyric, “With you, I’d dance in a storm in my best dress, Fearless.” This sentiment embodies the romantic and adventurous spirit of the entire album.

“Fearless” showcases Taylor’s exceptional songwriting skills, blending country and pop elements seamlessly to create a unique sound. Notable features of the song include its acoustic guitar intro, a strong chorus with memorable hooks, and vivid storytelling in the lyrics.

17. The Story of Us by Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s “The Story of Us,” released in 2010 from her album “Speak Now,” is a standout song in her discography. It portrays the complexity of a broken relationship, showcasing Swift’s maturity and songwriting skills at a young age.

The catchy melody blends country and pop elements, making it relatable to anyone who has experienced love and heartbreak. The lyrics express the pain and regret of a failed relationship, resonating with many listeners.

The song achieved chart success and a Gold certification, and its music video adds depth to its emotional impact. Overall, “The Story of Us” exemplifies Swift’s relatability and talent as an artist, reminding us of the universal appeal of her music.

16. Back to December by Taylor Swift

“Back to December,” released in 2010 expresses regret and sorrow over a past relationship, set to a beautiful piano melody that complements the melancholic tone. The song received critical acclaim, earned award nominations, and peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

“Back to December” remains one of Taylor’s most poignant and heartfelt songs, known for its ability to capture the complexity of breakups and vulnerability, making it a standout in her discography.

15. Enchanted by Taylor Swift

Inspired by a real-life chance encounter at a party, the song beautifully expresses the enchantment of meeting someone new and the desire to get to know them better. Taylor’s genuine portrayal of these emotions resonates deeply with listeners.

The song’s production, helmed by producer Nathan Chapman, captures the dreamy ambiance of the late 2000s with a mix of guitar strumming, lush orchestration, and infectious pop beats. Notable lines like “forcing laughter, faking smiles,” “I was enchanted to meet you,” and “This night is sparkling, don’t you let it go?” highlight the song’s lyrical depth.

“Enchanted” serves as a testament to Taylor’s exceptional songwriting skills, as she penned the entire “Speak Now” album herself. Its enchanting quality lives up to its name, making it a deserving addition to the list of her top 20 songs.

14. Mine by Taylor Swift

This pop-country track tells a relatable story of young love, commitment, and growth. Swift’s poignant lyrics and the catchy melody, featuring acoustic guitar, banjo, and infectious percussion, make it a fan favorite.

The song reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and earned Platinum certifications globally, showcasing Swift’s ability to create universally appealing music while staying true to her narrative storytelling style. “Mine” is undeniably one of Taylor Swift’s top 20 best songs, highlighting her songwriting, storytelling, and growth as a performer.

13. Speak Now by Taylor Swift

“Speak Now” is a song by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. It was released as the title track and the third single from her third studio album of the same name, “Speak Now,” in 2010. The song is known for its storytelling lyrics, a signature element of Taylor Swift’s songwriting style.

In “Speak Now,” Taylor Swift narrates the story of a woman who interrupts a wedding to confess her love for the groom, who she believes should be with her instead. The song is filled with vivid imagery and emotional depth, as it explores themes of love, regret, and the desire to speak up for one’s feelings despite the consequences.

The song received critical acclaim and commercial success, becoming a fan favorite and a staple in Taylor Swift’s live performances. It showcases her ability to craft compelling narratives through her music and remains a memorable track in her discography.

12. Mean by Taylor Swift

The song’s catchy melody and empowering lyrics resonate with listeners, as Taylor confronts her bullies with lines like “All you are is mean, and a liar, and pathetic, and alone in life.” Notably, “Mean” received critical acclaim, winning Best Country Solo Performance and Best Country Song at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards, underscoring its impact.

Over the years, “Mean” has continued to inspire Swifties worldwide, serving as a reminder to believe in one’s worth in the face of negativity and unkindness. Taylor Swift’s ability to craft songs that touch millions of hearts is evident in this enduring track.

11. Delicate by Taylor Swift

On the surface, it may appear as a simple pop song with a catchy beat and relatable lyrics, but upon closer examination, it reveals a beautifully woven narrative of fame and love. The electronic-infused sound adds a haunting layer to the song, mirroring the delicate nature of the emotions it portrays.

Opening with questions about the appropriateness and timing of expressing feelings, the song immediately establishes a theme of vulnerability and uncertainty. The chorus, centered around the recurring question “Is it cool that I said all that?”, is augmented by poignant lines such as “My reputation’s never been worse, so you must like me for me,” encapsulating the song’s essence and securing its place as one of Taylor Swift’s most memorable tracks.

Furthermore, “Delicate” takes the listener on an emotional journey, culminating in powerful imagery of longing and desire, making it simultaneously personal and universally relatable.

10. 22 by Taylor Swift

This catchy tune captures the carefree spirit of the early twenties with its upbeat tempo and unforgettable chorus. Swift’s songwriting prowess shines through in the relatable lyrics and vivid imagery, painting a picture of youthful nights filled with laughter, heartbreak, and dancing.

The accompanying music video, set on a picturesque beach, celebrates friendship and perfectly complements the song’s message. “22” is a testament to Taylor Swift’s enduring talent for crafting memorable anthems that resonate with fans through the years.

9. Wildest Dreams by Taylor Swift

“Wildest Dreams,” released in 2015 as part of Taylor Swift’s “1989” album, is one of her most beloved tracks, showcasing her storytelling prowess. The song weaves a dreamy tale of a fleeting Hollywood romance, marked by memorable lines like “Say you’ll remember me, standing in a nice dress, staring at the sunset, babe.”

Departing from her country-pop roots, “Wildest Dreams” embraces alternative pop and 80’s synth-pop influences, demonstrating Taylor’s musical evolution. The accompanying music video, set in 1950s Africa, adds to the song’s allure with its cinematic visuals and passionate narrative.

8. Style by Taylor Swift

The catchy chorus and pulsating beat from “Style” made it an instant earworm, with lyrics that tell a story of a tumultuous, passion-filled relationship. The song features a mixture of synth-pop production elements, electric guitar riffs, and a drum pattern reminiscent of ’80s pop music. It’s no wonder that “Style” stood out as a fan-favorite on the “1989” album.

Besides its distinct sound, “Style” further reinforced Taylor Swift’s ability to craft deeply personal and relatable narratives. In the song, she explores the complexities and contradictions that often arise in romantic relationships. The lyrics are both honest and raw, conveying the emotions that come with a highly charged and sometimes tempestuous love affair.

7. Red by Taylor Swift

When we think of Taylor Swift’s best work, the album “Red” stands out for its powerful storytelling and catchy melodies. Released in 2012, it marked a turning point in her career as she transitioned from her country roots to a more pop-centric sound. This album gives us the opportunity to highlight some of the incredible songs that still resonate with us today.

6. All Too Well by Taylor Swift

We consider “All Too Well” to be one of Taylor Swift’s most beautifully crafted songs. Released on her fourth studio album, “Red,” in 2012, this song encapsulates the emotions and vulnerability experienced during a heart-wrenching breakup. The lyrics tell a vivid story, making listeners feel the poignant nostalgia and pain of the song’s narrative.

“All Too Well” stands out for its exceptional songwriting. Swift’s masterful use of metaphors and imagery captures the essence of a failed relationship while also resonating with her fans. Lines like wind in my hair, I was there, I remember it all too well evoke strong feelings that bring the listener into the story.

5. I Knew You Were Trouble by Taylor Swift

When listening to “I Knew You Were Trouble,” one thing that stands out is the catchy, anthemic chorus. It not only adds depth to the catchiness of the track but also demonstrates Taylor’s exceptional songwriting skills. The lyrics are a testament to her ability to express complex emotions through her music, as she narrates a story of lost love and the realization of being drawn to destructive relationships.

Another noteworthy aspect of the song is its unique blend of genres. By incorporating country, pop, and even electronic influences, Swift pushes the boundaries of her sound, which has always been a key factor in her diverse music catalog. The use of dubstep-inspired elements adds a fresh twist to her style, reflecting her adventurous exploration of new sonic territories.

4. You Belong with Me by Taylor Swift

The catchy chorus and relatable lyrics make “You Belong with Me” a timeless classic in Swift’s discography. The song’s iconic music video, featuring Swift in dual roles as both the shy, geeky protagonist and the popular girl next door, has become a staple in popular culture. This further solidified the song’s position in the hearts of many.

Swift penned “You Belong with Me” with songwriter Liz Rose, showcasing her ability to weave a compelling narrative in her early songwriting days. The track’s success earned her numerous awards, including the MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video in 2009 – an infamous moment in pop culture history.

3. Shake It Off by Taylor Swift

In “Shake It Off,” Taylor addresses the negative comments and criticism she has faced throughout her career. With lyrics like “I stay out too late, got nothing in my brain, that’s what people say,” she acknowledges these comments while also reminding herself, and her listeners, to not let them drag them down. The empowering chorus encourages everyone to simply “shake it off” and focus on living their own life.

The song’s music video, directed by Mark Romanek, adds a lighthearted and fun visual element to the catchy tune. Featuring various dance styles and a diverse group of dancers, the video showcases Taylor’s quirky sense of humor, as she attempts these various styles with varying degrees of success.

2. Blank Space by Taylor Swift

“Blank Space” is a satirical take on the media’s portrayal of Taylor’s love life. With playful and clever lyrics, Taylor strikes back at the superficial narrative that often surrounds her relationships. This self-aware approach, combined with the catchy melody and captivating beat, solidified the song’s place among her best works.

In terms of musical composition, “Blank Space” features a minimalist production style that highlights the song’s edgy vocals and driving rhythm. It showcases Taylor’s maturity not only as a singer but also as a songwriter, as she fearlessly navigates complex themes and powerful emotions.

The song’s accompanying music video, directed by Joseph Kahn, makes use of cinematic visuals to further underline the satirical tone. Set in a luxurious mansion, it depicts the whirlwind romance and fiery demise of Taylor’s character, only for her to move onto the next conquest. The video, much like the song, garnered critical acclaim and contributed to the overwhelming success of “Blank Space.”

1. Love Story by Taylor Swift

As we explore the best Taylor Swift songs, it’s impossible not to mention Love Story. Released in 2008, Love Story was a breakthrough track on her second studio album, Fearless. The song showcases Swift’s ability to craft heartfelt, romantic, and relatable lyrics that resonate with a wide audience.

The melody and catchy chorus of Love Story create an enchanting musical experience. The use of strings and Swift’s signature acoustic guitar sound blend beautifully, transporting us to a fairytale world. The song’s narrative, inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, touches on the themes of forbidden love, hope, and defying obstacles.

One cannot forget the memorable music video, which perfectly encapsulates the magical and enchanting aura of the song. The video features Swift in a Renaissance-style gown, dancing with her love interest in a stunning castle setting. The romantic appeal and visual storytelling add to the song’s charm and help to highlight its timelessness.

Throughout the years, Love Story has become a defining track in Taylor Swift’s career. The song remains a fan favorite, often featured in live performances and remembered as a pivotal moment in her artistic evolution. Love Story truly secures its spot as one of the top 20 Taylor Swift songs.

Related posts: