Article image

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")

Share Quote

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")

Share Quote

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")

Share Quote

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

Share Quote

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")

Share Quote

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")

Share Quote

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

Share Quote

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

Share Quote

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

Share Quote

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")

Share Quote

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")

Share Quote

'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")

Share Quote

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

Share Quote

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

Share Quote

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

Share Quote

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")

Share Quote

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

Share Quote

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")

Share Quote

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

Share Quote

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")

Share Quote

Photo credit:  Jamie McCarthy/ Staff/ via Getty Images

Author image
About the Author
Joyce Chen
Joyce Chen is a writer, editor, and community builder based in Seattle, Washington.
Play more header background
Play more icon
Daily Question
What playwright said, “Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand"?

More Inspiration

happiness theme icon

Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken.

separator icon
Albert Camus
motivation theme icon

A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.

separator icon
Yoko Ono
hope theme icon

Time is how you spend your love.

separator icon
Nick Laird
love theme icon

Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.

separator icon
Mary Shelley
wisdom theme icon

It is the artist's business to create sunshine when the sun fails.

separator icon
Romain Rolland
happiness theme icon

Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.

separator icon
Henry Miller
motivation theme icon

There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.

separator icon
Vicki Baum
hope theme icon

Nothing is inherently and invincibly young except spirit.

separator icon
George Santayana
love theme icon

My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.

separator icon
Desmond Tutu
wisdom theme icon

Stay close to any sounds that make you glad you are alive.

separator icon
Hafez
happiness theme icon

As one goes through life, one learns that if you don’t paddle your own canoe, you don’t move.

separator icon
Katharine Hepburn