As Taylor Swift relives her start with the re-release of Fearless (Taylor’s Version), we’re rounding up our all-time favorite Taylor Swift country music songs.
Starting off with the first song I ever heard by Taylor Swift is “Our Song”. To think Taylor Swift was a freshman in high school when she wrote this absolute jam is unbelievable. The chorus is undeniably hooky and clever and holds up many years later.
Taylor’s debut single was “Tim McGraw” and it’s the perfect high school sweetheart love song. The hook of the song is, “When you think Tim McGraw, I hope you think of me”, and in general it captures youth and the feeling of being seventeen very well.
There are few story songs, in country music and beyond, that are as strong and evocative and will stand the test of time like “Fifteen”. A song about the first days of high school and meeting her best friend Abigail, the two navigate friendship, love, first adult decisions, and realizations. “Back then I swore I was gonna marry him someday // But I realized some bigger dreams of mine // And Abigail gave everything she had to a boy who changed his mind // we both cried // …I found time can heal most anything // And you just might find who you’re supposed to be // I didn’t know who I was supposed to be // at fifteen.”
“Love Story” is perhaps one of the most important songs in Taylor’s discography. Based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Taylor swaps a new ending and new story for the very famous play. It’s the perfect pop-country jam; you can sing it with your friends in the car, at karaoke, and more. Sonically, the banjo in the song is spectacular, as is the key change. It truly is a perfect country song.
The pure genius of “Dear John” should not be lost on fans just because it’s almost 7 minutes long. Most likely about her infamous relationship with John Mayer, this is her Dear John letter to him. She channels him in this song and the beginning guitar riffs themselves are inspired by his hit “Gravity”. The lyrics are angry, emotional, and even reminiscent, and it builds into an incredible chorus and even better bridge. “But I took your matches before fire could catch me, so don’t look now // I’m shining like fireworks over your sad, empty town.”
Never Grow Up
One of Taylor’s saddest and most beautiful songs about getting older is “Never Grow Up”. The song takes you through multiple stages of life- being little tucked into bed, embarrassed by your parents as a teenager, and moving away to an apartment by yourself. It’s a picture poignantly painted, and her vocals and delicate guitar arrangements are perfect accompaniments to the lyrics. “Take pictures in your mind of your childhood room // Memorize what it sounded like when your dad gets home // Remember the footsteps, remember the words said, and all your little brother’s favorite songs // I just realized everything I have is someday gonna be gone.”
I have a theory that the second song on any album is actually just as important as the opening track. “Sparks Fly” is a perfect second song. It’s upbeat and fun and makes you want to roll the windows down with your friends and feel infinite. Country music is about a lot of things: life, love, and of course storytelling, but much of it has to do with having fun. And that is just what this song is: a perfect, young summer country song.
“Enchanted” is one of the most magical, almost mysterious songs in Taylor’s entire discography. it feels like an entire movie wrapped into one, it’s so cinematic and dreamy in the best way possible. “The playful conversation starts // Counter all your quick remarks, like passing notes in secrecy // And it was enchanting to meet you.” This song is a fan-favorite for many reasons and it will never get old.
“Treacherous” is one of my all-time favorite Taylor songs. The lyrics are picturesque and so poetic, and the production and her vocal delivery is stunningly serene and intense at the same time. “This slope is treacherous // And I like it.” To me, it walks the tightrope of infatuation and trusting your gut, and it makes for possibly one of her best songs.
I Almost Do
What makes “I Almost Do” a phenomenal, more acoustic country track is the plainly stated vocal delivery and simplicity in its story. “And I just wanna tell you // It takes everything in me not to call you // And I wish I could run to you // And I hope you know that every time I don’t // I almost do”. It’s direct and so honest that it feels like you’re reading a diary entry, and that’s what makes it so effective.
“Begin Again” is a picturesque, thoughtful, and amazing album closer to Taylor’s Red album. The music video takes place in a coffee shop, and that’s exactly what the song sounds like. It’s about meeting someone new after a hard relationship ends. “You say you never met one girl who had as many James Taylor records as you // But I do // We tell stories and you don’t know why // I’m coming off a little shy // But I do.”
All Too Well
“All Too Well” is one of, if not Taylor’s most beloved album cut ever. And rightfully so. The iconic track 5 is dramatic in all the right ways, and if a song sounded like fall, this would be it. “All Too Well” is responsible for one of Taylor’s most iconic bridges. “Hey, you call me up again just to break me like a promise // So casually cruel in the name of being honest”. It’s a song as good to listen to with friends as it is by yourself, focusing on the lyrics. It’s a song that if it wasn’t so great, would be overrated.
Right Where You Left Me
The haunting bonus track on Taylor’s latest album Evermore captures the feelings of being stuck in the past and the melody, banjo, and guitar, as well as stellar lyrics prove to be as country as ever. No matter what Taylor makes, her compass will always point in the direction of one thing, and that’s storytelling.
Check out Taylor Swift’s re-recorded version of her album, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) here.