Top 10 Taylor Swift Songs

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift. Photo by Anthony Harvey / Getty Images
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10. "I Knew You Were Trouble" - 2012

Taylor Swift - I Knew You Were Trouble
Taylor Swift - "I Knew You Were Trouble". Courtesy Big Machine

"I Knew You Were Trouble" is a mainstream pop song from Taylor Swift's album Red. It was co-written and produced by pop master Max Martin. The song features elements borrowed from the dance music genre dub step. Lyrically "I Knew You Were Trouble" tells the story of a girl developing a negative relationship with a "bad boy." Some speculated that the song was about Taylor Swift's own relationship with John Mayer.

"I Knew You Were Trouble" was first released as a promotional single from the album Red. It sold over 400,000 copies in its first week and opened at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.  Later, as an official single, it hit #2. It also hit #1 at both mainstream and adult pop radio. The accompanying music video was directed by Anthony Mandler and won Best Female Video at the MTV Video Music Awards. 

Reportedly, Adele heard "I Knew You Were Trouble" while having lunch with Ryan Tedder. He informed her that the song was produced by Max Martin and sent more examples of Martin's work. Ultimately, Adele decided to work with Max Martin on the song "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)."

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02
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9. "Tim McGraw" - 2006

Taylor Swift - Tim McGraw
Taylor Swift - "Tim McGraw". Courtesy Big Machine

This is the song that started everything for Taylor Swift. It is both her first single released and her first song published. She says she wrote it during high school math class. The song details memories of a summer romance triggered by a song by country star Tim McGraw. "Tim McGraw" was finished as a song in collaboration with country songwriter Liz Rose. The record hit the top 10 on the country chart and peaked at #40 pop.

The accompanying music video for "Tim McGraw" was directed by Trey Fanjoy who worked extensively with country star Reba McEntire. Actor Clayton Collins appears as Taylor Swift's love interest. It won the 2007 Country Music Television Award for Breakthrough Video of the Year.

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03
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8. "Our Song" - 2007

Taylor Swift -
Taylor Swift - "Our Song". Courtesy Big Machine

Taylor Swift wrote "Our Song" for a talent show in her freshman year in high school. Originally, she did not intend to include it on an album. Taylor Swift says that she wrote "Our Song" in about twenty minutes. After classmates made positive comments about "Our Song," Taylor Swift pushed to record it for her debut album. The lyrics discuss a young couple who don't have their own song, but instead use events in their relationship to take the place of a song. "Our Song" was a #1 country hit for Taylor Swift, her first, and rose to #16 on the Billboard Hot 100. At age 18, Taylor Swift became the youngest sole writer and performer ever of a #1 country song.

"Our Song" ultimately earned a quadruple platinum certification for sales. It reached #1 on the country chart in just three weeks and spent six weeks at the top. The accompanying music video, directed by Trey Fanjoy, was also a success. It won Country Music Television awards for Video of the Year and Female Video of the Year.

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04
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7. "Bad Blood" featuring Kendrick Lamar - 2015

Taylor Swift Bad Blood
Taylor Swift - "Bad Blood" featuring Kendrick Lamar. Courtesy Big Machine

Reportedly, the song "Bad Blood" was inspired by a conflict between Taylor Swift and Katy Perry. It includes one of the more powerful phrases in a Taylor Swift song, "Bandaids don't fix bullet holes." Taylor Swift claims the subject of the song tried to sabotage a concert tour by hiring away key people.

The original version of "Bad Blood" was remixed with a new instrumental track and raps from Kendrick Lamar. The accompanying music video was a big budget production directed by Joseph Kahn, who previously directed the clip for "Blank Space," and featured a long list of female guest stars including Ellie Goulding, Lena Dunham, and Cindy Crawford among others. Following the debut of the music video at the Billboard Music Awards, the song quickly went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also topped both the mainstream and adult pop radio charts. "Bad Blood" won an MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year and the Grammy Award for Best Music Video. It also earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Duo or Group Performance.

"Bad Blood" was the third #1 pop hit from Taylor Swift's album 1989. It went to #1 at mainstream pop and adult pop radio while climbing inside the top 10 at adult contemporary and dance radio. "Bad Blood" reached #4 on the UK pop singles chart.

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05
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6. "Teardrops On My Guitar" - 2007

Taylor Swift - Teardrops On My Guitar
Taylor Swift - "Teardrops On My Guitar". Courtesy Big Machine

Taylor Swift's second hit single details the pain in loving a boy named Drew who is with another girl. The song was inspired by a real life relationship with a boy named Drew Hardwick. Taylor Swift said that he appeared at her house two years after the song was originally released. They had a civilized conversation and then went their separate ways.

"Teardrops On My Guitar" was a major pop breakthrough for Taylor Swift landing at #13. It spent nearly an entire year on the Billboard Hot 100 and ultimately sold nearly three million digital copies. It also broke into the top 10 across mainstream pop, adult pop, and adult contemporary radio. A remixed pop version toning down the country music instrumentation was played frequently on pop radio. "Teardrops On My Guitar" also went all the way to #2 on the country chart. Actor Tyler Hilton appears as Taylor Swift's love interest in the "Teardrops On My Guitar" music video. The clip earned a nomination for Best New Artist at the MTV Video Music Awards.

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06
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5. "Shake It Off" - 2014

Taylor Swift - Shake It Off
Taylor Swift - "Shake It Off". Courtesy Big Machine

With "Shake It Off," Taylor Swift announced she was leaving the country music world behind. It is a big, brassy, bold pop record that answers her critics by ignoring their hate and dancing confidently into the future.  "Shake It Off" was co-written with Max Martin and Shellback who also produced the record. The song became an instant hit with a clever accompanying music video. It spent four weeks at #1 on the US charts. Debuting at #12 on the mainstream pop radio chart, "Shake It Off" tied the all-time highest debut by Mariah Carey's "Dreamlover" in 1993. "Shake It Off" reached #1 across mainstream pop, adult pop, and adult contemporary radio. The recording earned Grammy Award nominations for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

The music video was directed by Mark Romanek noted for such celebrated videos as Johnny Cash's "Hurt" and "Scream" by Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson. He has won three Grammy Awards for Best Music Video. The clip shows a wide range of professional dancers and Taylor Swift's clumsy attempts to fit in with them.

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07
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4. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" - 2012

Taylor Swift - We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
Taylor Swift - "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together". Courtesy Big Machine

Taylor Swift headed straight for mainstream pop territory on the first single from her album Red. It was co-written and co-produced by Swedish pop masterminds Max Martin and Shellback. Taylor Swift wrote all of the songs on her previous album Speak Now herself. For Red, she decided to collaborate with other songwriters. The song sold 623,000 copies in its first week giving it the second best digital single sales week of all time. It hit #1 on the pop chart in its second week. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" earned a Grammy Award nomination for Record of the Year. It reached the top 10 across mainstream pop, adult pop, and adult contemporary radio. The song barely missed the top 10 at country radio despite being a mainstream pop song.

"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" was inspired by a conversation after a friend of Taylor Swift's ex-boyfriend visit the recording studio. The friend told about rumors that he heard of her getting back together with the boyfriend. Taylor Swift has described the writing of the song as one of her most humorous songwriting experiences. Many have speculated that the ex-boyfriend was actor Jake Gyllenhaal.

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08
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3. "Love Story" - 2008

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift. Photo by Anthony Harvey / Getty Images

"Love Story" was the lead single from Taylor Swift's second album Fearless. She says she wrote the song when she was dating a guy who wasn't the popular choice. "Love Story" uses references to Romeo and Juliet as the words unfold. It was Taylor Swift's first top 5 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and her third #1 country hit. Critics widely praised "Love Story" as Taylor Swift's best work yet. When "Love Story," reached #1 at mainstream pop radio it became the first country song to do so since Shania Twain's "You're Still the One" in 1998. "Love Story" also topped the adult contemporary chart and even crossed over to the Latin songs chart.

The accompanying music video was directed by frequent collaborator Trey Fanjoy. It is a period piece that draws from Medieval and Renaissance time periods. Former Nashville Star contestant Justin Gaston portrays Taylor Swift's love interest in the video. The clip was filmed at Castle Gwynn south of Nashville, Tennessee. "Love Story" won the Country Music Association Award for Video of the Year.

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09
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2. "You Belong With Me" - 2009

Taylor Swift - You Belong With Me
Taylor Swift - "You Belong With Me". Courtesy Big Machine

Taylor Swift wrote "You Belong With Me" after overhearing a male friend argue over the phone with his girlfriend. The song was co-written with Liz Rose, a frequent collaborator on Taylor Swift's early songs. It is one of the most overtly pop-oriented of her singles from her first two albums. "You Belong With Me" was nominated for Grammy Awards for both Song of the Year and Record of the Year. The accompanying music video won the MTV Video Music Awards accolade as Female Video of the Year which led to a notorious altercation with Kanye West. He interrupted her acceptance speech and insisted that Beyonce should have won the award. Later, when Beyonce won the Video of the Year award, she called Taylor Swift back onstage to give her the opportunity to complete her speech. Kanye West later issued a formal apology.

"You Belong With Me" reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the country chart. It also topped the adult contemporary radio chart while reaching #2 at adult pop radio. "You Belong With Me" has sold more than four million copies.  

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10
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1. "Blank Space" - 2014

Taylor Swift - Blank Space
Taylor Swift - "Blank Space". Courtesy Big Machine

Taylor Swift's personal life has been the subject of comment and speculation for much of her career. Her dating reputation in particular has received much attention. On "Blank Space" she addresses her critics directly by using biting humor to describe herself and her experiences. The song was released as the second official single from the 1989 album and went straight to #1 spending seven weeks on top, and, when it knocked "Shake It Off" from the peak, made her the first woman to succeed herself at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. "Blank Space" also hit #1 across mainstream pop, adult pop, and adult contemporary radio. It has sold more than four million digital copies. Many publications listed "Blank Space" as one of the top 10 best songs of 2014.

The accompanying music video was directed by Joseph Kahn and features Taylor Swift as an over the top villain. It won Best Pop Video and Best Female Video at the MTV Video Music Awards. "Blank Space" earned Grammy Award nominations for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year. 

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