By Emma Weidmann | Arts and Life Editor
In honor of Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour kicking off over the weekend, the Arts and Life desk (and some of our friends) wanted to chip in with our favorite Taylor Swift songs. Consider this our very own Eras Tour setlist, if we were calling the shots. Ready for it?
Emma Weidmann | Arts and Life Editor
There are so many songs that I wish I had the space to mention in this list. The lyrics of “You Are In Love” make it arguably one of the best songs off “1989,” which is also arguably one of Taylor’s best albums, so you do the math. For example, “you understand now why they lost their minds and fought the wars, and why I’ve spent my whole life trying to put it into words.” Don’t tell me that you don’t just melt when you hear those lines.
How to describe this song? For starters, it just may be Taylor’s most emotional track, rivaled only by “Ronan” or “Soon You’ll Get Better.” I get chills every time I hear Taylor’s late grandmother, Marjorie (an opera singer and namesake of the song), on background vocals during the bridge.
This might be a controversial opinion, but I’m a bigger fan of the “evermore” album than its sister, “folklore.” It’s songs like “marjorie” and “cowboy like me” that make the album what it is; a soft storytelling that sees Taylor exploring her lower vocal register. The track “cowboy like me” is great for staring out the window and pretending to be in a dramatic movie.
Olivia Turner | Arts and Life Writer
“Wonderland” is my all-time favorite when it comes to Swift. Ironically enough, Swift keeps it real in this “Alice in Wonderland”-themed tune, which I really appreciate in love songs. She shows that while falling in love can be fun, it’s also scary and strange. Also, the bridge is just so epic in my eyes. This definitely gets cranked up all the way every time it pops up on my playlist.
Next, we have “This Love (Taylor’s Version).” If you can’t guess yet, “1989” is my favorite album. Taylor’s voice is so ethereal in this one, and it used to be my favorite song when I was a kid, so there are a lot of good memories attached to it. And yet again, the bridge in this song is phenomenal — the perfect balance of tragic and romantic.
Lastly is my “folklore” favorite, “invisible string.” I really love the storytelling Taylor does here — and in the entire “folklore” album, honestly — as well as the cheery strings. This song, and her and Joe Alwyn’s relationship which she references within, gives me hope that soulmates really do exist.
Maximilian Diehl | Arts and Life Writer
Personally, I am nowhere near a “Swiftie.” I rarely listen to pop music, and have generally stayed as far from Taylor Swift as I possibly can. But the song “exile (feat. Bon Iver)” is an absolute banger, a melodramatic masterpiece and a duet that never fails to get me sad in all the right ways. Beyond that song, I genuinely don’t think I can name three more Taylor Swift songs, which makes that track even better to me because I know it has to be good if I got over my bias in order to enjoy it.
Ana Ruiz Brictson | News Editor
If you’re looking for a song that makes you feel like life went on while you were stuck in the same place, this is definitely one for your ears. The track “right where you left me” is much more than just about a guy breaking up with a girl and her bearing the thought of life without him. It’s about how we let situations pause our lives, and once we’re ready to get back to it, we realize the world didn’t stop along with us.
Perhaps one of the clichés from the “Midnights” album, the trendy song from TikTok with many clips of Swift’s career doesn’t do justice to how nostalgic and real this song is. To me, it’s a reminder that as I am in college right now, preparing for the real world, I am constantly finding myself in situations I now have to handle on my own.
One of the quietest songs from the “reputation” album, “New Year’s Day” is the song everyone needs to hear after a big night out, no matter what day of the year it is. The lyrics reminds us that although memories can be sad, it’s nice we can hold on to them and have them to remember the moments we were the happiest in.
Caitlyn Meisner | Copy Editor
This is one of Swift’s most beautiful songs; it’s so simple and easy to listen to whether you’re studying, driving or cleaning your room. While I’m not one to get into the lore of her songs and lyrics, I think the fictional story here is so fun to follow through the entire “folklore” album. This song also reminds me of when I first truly listened to this album, which was the summer before coming to college, so it’s nostalgic for me to remember my last summer as a true teenager.
I feel like this is an unpopular opinion — and so does my roommate — but this is the song that has outlasted the others from the “Midnights” album since its release in November 2022. I’m not sure what it is exactly about this song, but the beat and the lyrics have that quality of rolling down my windows on the highway and screaming the lyrics. Again, while I’m not one who gets into the lore of her songs, I know there is much significance, but I think we can all relate to missing a version of our past self.
If you can’t tell by now, I clearly love songs that have the roll down your windows and scream the lyrics quality. This song is so fun and from one of my favorite albums, “reputation.” I may be biased towards this song and album as a whole since I saw it live, but I feel like the song and whole album represent a shift in Swift’s music that I found fit my style of music as opposed to “1989” and “Red.”
Lily Nussbaum | Social Media Editor
If there is one thing you should know about Swift, it’s that she notoriously writes a killer bridge, and “Death by a Thousand Cuts” includes one of them. While the rest of the “Lover” album includes lovey-dovey happy songs, “Death by a Thousand Cuts” stands apart as it compares a breakup to experiencing a slow death. Inspired by the Netflix rom-com “Someone Great,” it’s personally one of my favorite Swift songs and is a must listen for both new fans and old.
Throwing it back to “Speak Now,” one of my all-time favorite Swift songs is “Haunted.” It’s a song that truly shows off Taylor’s early vocals and power, and it’s the perfect song to sing when you’re in the car and angry. I’m patiently waiting for “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” just so I can listen to this on repeat.
The project “folklore” is personally one of my favorite albums, and while I could go on and on about each song, “my tears ricochet” hits different. Whether it’s the hauntingly dark imagery or the stunning musical composition, it’s constantly playing through my AirPods. Similar to “Death by a Thousand Cuts,” Swift found inspiration in the film “Marriage Story.” Exploring a long love falling apart is a heavy subject, but Swift tackles the complexity beautifully in this song.