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Over the last year I listened to a LOT of Taylor Swift. So much so that she was one of my top artists in Spotify wrapped, but that doesn’t even account for the amount of time I spent listening to her on Apple Music, Youtube, and via her documentaries on Disney+ and Netflix. I spent hours watching and rewatching the Folklore Longpond Studio Sessions on Disney+, because I loved hearing the behind the scenes on how she and co-collaborators Jack Antonoff, Aaron Dessner, and everyone’s favorite undercover boyfriend William Bowery came together to make Folklore what it was lyrically and musically.
After hearing all about the intentions behind songs like “Peace” and “My Tears Ricochet I was hooked. I started spending a lot of my time listening to all of Taylor’s discography and sending her lyrics back and forth with one of my good friends who has been a long time fan of Taylor to unpack what each of the songs mean, what easter eggs are hidden within the songs, and how they relate to my life personally.
I think one of the best things about Taylor Swift is the way she makes music that feels so personal and yet ambiguous enough for people to draw their own conclusions, relate to their own lives, and make the music their own in some way. Today, I thought it would be fun to break down some of the lyrics I relate to and love for their genius, so, here are some of my favorite Taylor Swift lyrics!
  1. “Tolerate It,” Evermore 
I wait by the door like I’m just a kid
Use my best colors for your portrait
Lay the table with the fancy shit
And watch you tolerate it
If it’s all in my head, tell me now
Tell me I’ve got it wrong somehow
I know my love should be celebrated
But you tolerate it
The reason I love these lyrics so much is because they perfectly describe the way it feels to be in a relationship where you are not valued, where you feel like your love is wasted and unappreciated. It feels like coming to the realization that someone you hold with so much respect and priority isn’t doing the same for you. It’s the way you feel crazy when you ask for reciprocation from someone who doesn’t even see how amazing you are. How could they match your energy when they don’t know what’s in front of them? To me, “Tolerate It,” is the last straw. It’s the anxiety you feel before ripping the band-aid and moving on to something better, something that wants you back and won’t let you forget it. 
Taylor Swift Song Track
2. “The Man,” Lover
When everyone believes ya
What’s that like?
I’m so sick of running as fast as I can
Wondering if I’d get there quicker
If I was a man
And I’m so sick of them coming at me again
‘Cause if I was a man
Then I’d be the man
I’d be the man
I’d be the man
I feel like a lot of women can relate to these lyrics, and I am no exception. Sometimes I look around and wonder how we got here and then I remember we live in a patriarchy. Downside: the patriarchy is alive and well and the fight for our rights to our own bodies, equal pay, basic safety, and respect is still on, but at least we have a Taylor Swift song to numb the pain.
Taylor Swift the Man
3. “My Tears Ricochet,” Folklore
We gather stones, never knowing what they’ll mean
Some to throw, some to make a diamond ring
This song as a whole is just earth shattering. The reason I like these specific lyrics is because I think it’s a powerful way to say that we never know how our relationships will pan out. The same people we love can end up being the people who hurt us most deeply. I think the comparison of throwing stones with an engagement ring really captures the way that the people closest to us can sometimes be the ones who know exactly how to hurt us, and use the same exact things they used to praise about us and twist them into something different, something ugly, and aim it directly at us, knowing precisely where to hit us where it counts the most.
4.“Peace,” Folklore
But there’s robbers to the east, clowns to the west
I’d give you my sunshine, give you my best
But the rain is always gonna come if you’re standing with me
Hearing Taylor talk about this song during the Longpond Studio Sessions made me love it even more. If you haven’t seen the Disney+ documentary yet, you need to go watch RIGHT NOW, but let me just say this: Taylor talks about how in life, there’s always going to be things you can’t control, and it can be scary to ask the people you love and care about to face those things with you. I knew that there were always going to be things said about me that I couldn’t control, and my boyfriend would inevitably be associated with those things. I was worried he wouldn’t want to be with me because of it, but ultimately, he didn’t care—he knows who I am, and he knows who he is, and whatever we face, we face it together. All I can do is treat him well, nurture our relationship, and he does the same.


Taylor Swift Peace from Folklore
5. “Sweet Nothing,” Midnights
And the voices that implore
“You should be doing more”
To you I can admit
That I’m just too soft for all of it
First of all, if you’re on #swifttok at all, you’ve probably seen the theories that “Sweet Nothing,” is Joe’s response to Taylor’s questions in “Peace.” Which is just too much for my heart to handle. I love this song because it perfectly captures the simplicity of good love. You can feel like everyone else in the world wants something from you, and the one person you want to give everything to really just wants to be beside you, hold your hand, and be the person you share everything with. It’s also a beautiful representation of how with people who truly love us, we can come to them with our fears, anxiety, and true desires and be accepted for who we are.
Sweet Nothing by Taylor Swift
6. “Cowboy Like Me,” Evermore
Forever is the sweetest con
When I first heard this song, it sounded sad to me. When my friend and I unpacked it though, I learned that it’s actually about the idea of stepping away from relationships where you’re playing games or trying to trick people into loving you to pursue something real. In the song, Taylor talks about how each of the characters were “swindling” people before they met, leaving a trail of broken hearts behind them. All of that changes when they meet each other. They approach each other the same way, carefully trying to decide how to best trick the other one, until they realize that the best trick is actually just to admit how they feel to each other. To me, “Forever is the sweetest con” is the characters laughing with each other, no longer players, but remembering the way they used to be, and how they gave it all up for each other.
Cowboy Like Me Taylor Swift
7. “Mad Woman,” Folklore
And you’ll poke that bear ’til her claws come out
And you find something to wrap your noose around
And there’s nothin’ like a mad woman
I think this song is so incredible because it paints a perfect picture of the way women are represented in the media. Women will have the most terrible things said to and about them, and then people act surprised when we react, as if that wasn’t their intention all along. We’re described as being “overly emotional,” and “crazy,” but as Taylor says, “You made her like that.”
Taylor Swift Mad Woman
8.“Bigger Than The Whole Sky,” Midnights
You were bigger than the whole sky
You were more than just a short time
And I’ve got a lot to pine about
I’ve got a lot to live without
I’m never gonna meet
What could’ve been, would’ve been
What should’ve been you
One thing I really love about this song is that the main theme is grief, and because of that, so many different people are able to relate it to their own life and find comfort or healing in it. For me, this song reminds me of the way I had to grow up very quickly in this industry. I am incredibly grateful for my career, and for the opportunities it has given me, but when I started this journey at just 16, I had no idea what was to come. When it did, I was forced to leave behind a younger, more naive, more girlish version of myself to survive and grow. I wouldn’t change who I am today, but sometimes I still miss the version of myself I was before this business.
Sienna Mae Gomez Taylor Swift Albums
9. “Karma,” Midnights
Karma is the breeze in my hair on the weekend
Karma’s a relaxing thought
Aren’t you envious that for you it’s not?
Beyond being incredibly catchy and feel good, this song perfectly represents the way it feels to know your intentions are pure, and that the truth will always come out, one way or another. I used to stress so much about other people’s perception of me, whether or not they were on my side, and just proving myself in general. Now, I rest easy knowing that I know the truth, and that the good I put out into the world will make its way back to me.
Sienna Mae Gomez Favorite Taylor Swift lyrics
10.“Lover,” Lover
Take me out
And take me home
In case you missed it, I fell in love this year. I’ve always been the relationship type, because I care deeply about people and being monogamous feels most authentic to me. Hook up culture has always left me feeling really drained and unsafe, and to me, these lyrics perfectly describe the relief I feel knowing that I’ll be going to the party, and coming home from it, with someone who cares just as deeply as I do.
Lover by Taylor Swift album cover
I hope you liked my lyrical breakdown and let me know if you guys want to hear more of these about other artists! Remember that one of the best things about music is that you can find yourself in it in whatever way makes you feel most connected. I would love to hear what these songs mean to you, send me a DM or email! <3 
Sienna Mae Gomez