Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Top 10 Taylor Swift Songs

Yes, I am aware of how premature it is to make a Top 10 list of songs for an artist who has only been popular for a couple years and only has two official albums. But, I’m going to do it anyway. And that is because I love Taylor Swift’s music. It was the summer after my senior year when Taylor’s first single “Tim McGraw” came out. That song exemplified everything I thought summer romance should be. And like others with the romanticism of a thirteen year old, I was hooked.

I’m really glad that Taylor Swift didn’t fade into obscurity after her first album. And at the rate things are going now, she should have a couple more successful albums before she inevitably switches to adult themes and gets shunned for it. But until then…here are my Top 10 Taylor Swift Songs.

Rank: 10 
Title: Mary’s Song (Oh My, My, My) 
Original Appearance: Taylor Swift (2006) 
Interpretation: Two childhood friends grow to love one another and get married.

Comments: I’ve always had a thing for childhood romance. It’s probably because of “The Wonder Years.” And this song is reminiscent of that show…you know, but a lot happier. I remember this was one of the first Taylor Swift songs I heard on late night radio. I loved the way she portrayed a life-long small town romance. Even though I’ve moved on from that ideal, this song reminds me of what I once wanted.
Listen to “Mary’s Song (Oh My, My, My)” here.

Rank: 9 
Title: “I’m Only Me When I’m With You” 
Original Appearance: Taylor Swift: Deluxe Edition (2007) Interpretation: A girl only feels at ease with one of her guy friends who may be more than that.

Comments: This is an upbeat song that shows Taylor’s versatility. She can write a touching love ballad and then a fun friendship song. This one also romanticizes small town life and feels very honest.

Watch the music video for “I’m Only Me When I’m With You” here.

Rank: 8 
Title: “Our Song” 
Original Appearance: Taylor Swift (2006) 
Interpretation: When a girl claims she and her boyfriend have no song, he says it’s the various sounds of summer.

Comments: This is another upbeat and lively song about the innocence of first love. You put a teenage boy acting romantically in a song, you are bound to have a hit on your hands.

Watch the music video for “Our Song” here.

Title: “Change” 
Original Appearance: Fearless (2008) 
Interpretation: A girl refuses to give up on her dreams because she is certain things will change for the better.

Comments: If there is one thing all Taylor Swift songs have in common, it’s hope. Keep holding on. Don’t stop believing. Tomorrow is another day. These things will change. Certainly, she writes about heartache, but even if some bastard breaks her heart, Taylor knows she’s better off without him. “Change” is not necessarily a romantic song. It can be interpreted as such (like by yours truly) or it can refer to something like sports, which is why this song was featured on the “AT&T Team U.S.A. Soundtrack” for the Olympics.

Watch the music video for “Change” here.

Rank: 6 
Title: “(When You Think) Tim McGraw” 
Original Appearance: Taylor Swift (2006) 
Interpretation: A girl reminisces about a summer love who has left for college and wants him to think of her when he hears her favorite Tim McGraw song.

Comments: Ahh…summer romance in a small town. How many damn songs are there about this topic? So many. Taylor tends to repeat themes, which for folks like me, is fine. All through my adolescence, I wanted a summer love like the one portrayed in this song. Like “Mary’s Song”, this song brings me fond memories of what I once wanted.

Watch the music video for “Tim McGraw” here.

Title: “I’d Lie” 
Original Appearance: Unreleased 
Interpretation: A girl will willingly release information about a guy but will lie if asked if she loves him.

Comments: Okay, here’s another one of Taylor’s favorite themes: secret unrequited love. This also happens to be a favorite theme of mine. This is another upbeat Taylor song in which she is in love with anti-romance friend of hers. Still, the overall mood of the song is hopeful and she will hang on until the bitter end.

P.S. I really don't know what the deal is with song. I found it on Youtube, but it hasn't been released on any official Taylor Swift CD's...which is odd because it's studio quality.
Listen to “I’d Lie” here.

Rank: 4 
Title: “White Horse” 
Original Appearance: Fearless (2008) 
Interpretation: After the ending of her relationship, a girl realizes she wasn’t living a fairy tale romance and will find someone far better than the guy she held in such high regard.

Comments: I’ve been there. In fact, I feel like I could say that about most of the songs on this list (with the exception of the summer romance ones, of course). Interestingly, this song was released on the tails of “Love Story’s” popularity which shows Taylor’s opposing views on relationships. She’s not simply a hopeless romantic spewing references about Romeo and Juliet (Sorry. Lyrically, I don’t like “Love Story”). Anywho, like all Taylor songs, this one ends on a positive note despite dragging fairy tale romance through the mud.
Watch the music video for “White Horse” here.

Rank: 3 
Title: “You Belong With Me” 
Original Appearance: Fearless (2008) 
Interpretation: A girl in love with the boy next door pleads for him to understand that he belongs with her and not his stereotypical girlfriend.

Comments: And here is the second unrequited love song on the list. Like “I’d Lie,” it’s exceptionally upbeat even though the guy doesn’t notice the narrator. This time it’s because of a girlfriend. An unappreciative girlfriend. I won’t beat around the bush. I love this story line. I always have and I probably always will. The song leaves the ending open, but the music video gives us the ending we all want.

Watch the music video for “You Belong With Me” here.

Rank: 2 
Title: “The Way I Loved You” 
Original Appearance: Fearless (2008) 
Interpretation: Even though a girl is in a steady relationship with a “perfect” guy, she misses the extremes of a past love.

Comments: One of the darker Taylor songs, because it does not contain the tradition happy resolution. Usually, Taylor is portrayed as the wronged girlfriend or hopelessly devoted best friend. She is never the “bad guy” but this song changes that. She remains in a relationship with someone she can never fully love. Because this is off of her second album, I think Taylor’s themes are getting a little bit more mature. This song certainly exemplifies that.

Listen to “The Way I Loved You” here.

Title: “Teardrops On My Guitar” 
Original Appearance: Taylor Swift (2006) 
Interpretation: A girls secretly loves her friend Drew who talks to her about another girl.

Comments: The greatest Friend Zone song of all time. You can quote me. There was no other song before this one that dealt with these particular themes. (Okay…maybe Vanessa Williams’ “Save the Best For Last”…but the happy ending disqualifies it). As cutesy and great as “I’d Lie” and “You Belong With Me” are, they are also unrealistic. Because, let me tell you something, there is no hope in the Friend Zone. Although there is some hope in “Teardrops On My Guitar,” the narrator knows it’s in vain, she realizes how useless it is to still have hope, and yet she can’t not have hope. That is the living hell that is the Friend Zone. And, unlike in “You Belong With Me”, the other girl in “Teardrops” is not portrayed as the evil bitch girlfriend. This is nice, because in real life, the other girl isn’t always the evil bitch girlfriend. “Teardrops On My Guitar” is, in my humble opinion, not only the greatest Taylor Swift song, it’s also one of the greatest songs of all time.

Watch the music video for “Teardrops On My Guitar” here.

No comments: