Up until earlier this year, if you asked me what my favourite Taylor Swift song was, I would have told you ‘Style’ from her 1989 album. I have no other reason besides the fact I think it’s a bop, still do. The only Taylor Swift songs I’d grown up listening to were exclusively those played on radio, TV and in the club. I had never listened to any of her albums from start to finish, never cracked an ‘Easter Egg’, never had an opinion on her lyrics.
All of this has now started to change, because this year I befriended a Swiftie. Revealing my lack of knowledge in a casual manner was met with a dignified disbelief, and a quiet determination to educate me. All too well? I’ve never heard of that one. When did that come out?
With a sparkle in her eye and excitement in her voice, my Swiftie friend proposed she create me a playlist of her favourite Swift songs. Sure, I said, knowing it would give her some joy putting it together. Within 24 hours I was given the curated list, and already I was curious. I recognised the cover art from all the albums, with all but one represented, but certainly not every song title.
It was while on a two week holiday that I made my through this playlist, reading the lyrics with intent and even jumping onto reddit threads to see what the true fanbase had to say. The notes app on my phone got a workout as I typed out my first listen impression to each song, sometimes a simple ‘okay’ or other times a paragraph of what it meant to me.
If there’s one thing that stood out to me, it’s the way Swift can capture a feeling, a mood, a place or a time in your life. The poetic lyrics combined with choice in instrument, the pain, glee or nostalgia in her voice, feels telepathic and in years to come, will prove to be timeless.
So, what did I like? Out of the 50 odd songs on this curated playlist, my favourites were, in no particular order:
- Holy Ground, Red
- This Love, 1989
- Don’t Blame Me, Reputation
- New Year’s Day, Reputation
- Lover, Lover
- Cornelia Street, Lover
- False God, Lover
- Exile, folklore
As I continue on my Swift-aissance and learn more about each album, I have no doubt this list will change and evolve, as my admiration for Swift already has. Oh and for the record, ‘Style’ didn’t make the cut onto my friend’s playlist, though I’ll still think of Harry and dance along.