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20 Memorable Lyrics From Taylor Swift Songs

Taylor Swift is not only one of the biggest pop stars on the planet, she’s also a prolific powerhouse when it comes to songwriting. In addition to racking up 41 Grammy nominations and 11 wins, she put out nine studio albums before the age of 31. The singer has had a hand in writing every track on her many albums, with at least a co-writer credit for each song she’s recorded since beginning her music career at just age 14. On top of that, Swift has written songs for other big-time artists, including Little Big Town, Miley Cyrus, and even her ex Calvin Harris.

Over the years, Swift has pulled from her life experiences and relationships to pen some of her biggest hits, including “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” (believed to be about her ex Jake Gyllenhaal); “Out of the Woods” (allegedly about former flame Harry Styles); and “Look What You Made Me Do” (reportedly about her ongoing spat with Kanye West). Diehard fans, or “Swifties,” have come to delight in the way she uses clues and Easter eggs within her work, tucked into the verbiage of a lyric or hiding in plain sight in her cinematic music videos.

“Singing about something helps you to express it in a way that feels more accurate,” Swift told Rolling Stone in 2019. “You cannot, no matter what, put words in a quote and have it move someone the same way as if you heard those words with the perfect sonic representation of that feeling.” Below, we’ve rounded up 20 of the superstar’s most memorable and meaningful lyrics from her impressive catalogue of work. These lines have come up time and again in interviews, sparked countless memes and reactions from her fans, and perhaps most importantly of all, allowed the singer to fully express herself.

You taught me ‘bout your past, thinking your future was me.
— “All Too Well” ("Red")

We're happy, free, confused, and lonely in the best way / It's miserable and magical, oh, yeah / Tonight's the night when we forget about the heartbreaks
— “22” ("Red")

I'm so sick of running as fast I can / Wondering if I'd get there quicker if I was a man
— “The Man” ("Lover")

Life was a willow and it bent right to your wind / But I come back stronger than a ’90s trend
— “Willow” ("Evermore")

You got that James Dean daydream look in your eye / And I got that red lip classic thing that you like / And when we go crashing down, we come back every time / 'Cause we never go out of style
— “Style” ("1989")

We could let our friends crash in the living room / This is is our place, we make the call / And I'm highly suspicious that everyone who sees you wants you / I've loved you three summers now, honey, but I want 'em all
— “Lover” ("Lover")

Who could ever leave me, darling / But who could stay?
— “Archer” ("Lover")

You're not my homeland anymore / So what am I defending now?
— “Exile” ("Taylor Swift")

I walked out, I said, “I'm setting you free” / But the monsters turned out to be just trees
— “Out of the Woods” ("1989")

You call me up again / Just to break me like a promise / So casually cruel in the name of being honest
— “All Too Well” ("Red")

Cold was the steel of my axe to grind / For the boys who broke my heart / Now I send their babies presents
— “Invisible String” ("Folklore")

'Cause when you're fifteen and somebody tells you they love you / You're gonna believe them / And when you're fifteen, don't forget to look before you fall / I've found time can heal most anything / And you just might find who you're supposed to be
— "Fifteen" ("Fearless")

They told me all of my cages were mental / So I got wasted like all my potential
— "This Is Me Trying" ("Folklore")

Time, mystical time / Cutting me open, then healing me fine
— "Invisible String" ("Folklore")

You kept me like a secret, but I kept you like an oath
— "All Too Well (10-Minute Version) (Taylor's Version)” ("Red")

Memorizing him was as / Easy as knowing all the words to your old favorite song / Fighting with him was like / Trying to solve a crossword and realizing there's no right answer / Regretting him was like / Wishing you never found out that love could be that strong
— "Red" ("Red")

I once believed love would be (burning red) / But it's golden / Like daylight
— "Daylight" ("Lover")

All my flowers grew back as thorns / Windows boarded up after the storm / He built a fire just to keep me warm
— "Call It What You Want" ("Reputation")

I never grew up, it's getting so old / Help me hold on to you
— "The Archer" ("Lover")

Don't you worry your pretty, little mind / People throw rocks at things that shine / And life makes love look hard / The stakes are high, the water's rough / But this love is ours
— "Ours" ("Speak Now")

Photo credit:  Jamie McCarthy/ Staff/ via Getty Images

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About the Author
Joyce Chen
Joyce Chen is a writer, editor, and community builder based in Seattle, Washington.
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