We've all read the headlines and seen the news clips about Grammy-winning, record-smashing singer-songwriter Taylor Swift that talk about nothing but her exes. Like, literally, nothing but her past relationships.
The talk's enough to make any non-listener think all she wrote about was love gone wrong, but some of her best songs (in my opinion, anyway) have nothing to do with heartbreak at all. Here are 10 of Swift's best songs about anything but a bad breakup.
1. The Best Day
The 12th song on Swift's sophomore album Fearless is sweet, simple, wholesome goodness. The track is a love letter of sorts to Swift's mother. It starts with "I'm five years old" and progresses through the teen years of betrayal, all the while weaving in childhood memories. It is a sweet track about growing up and telling your mother you had the best days with her. Plus, the track is mostly acoustic and features little production on Swift's voice. Overall, it's a great love song for all the mothers and fathers out there.
2. Tied Together With a Smile
This song, from Taylor Swift's debut album, tells the tale of one of Swift's high school friends who suffered from an eating disorder. With lyrics like "the water's high, you're jumping into it and letting go" and "you're tied together with a smile but you're coming undone", the song is a powerful ballad about suffering in silence.
3. Stay Stay Stay
This fun track about a love going right, not wrong, was released on "Red." The fun, catchy melody pairs perfectly with the upbeat guitar and witty lyrics ("you came in wearing a football helmet and said okay let's talk" after a description of a fight the night before, for one of many examples) and the final product is a happy song that's just plain fun. It's the perfect example of Swift being able to write happy love songs, which she happens to do quite frequently.
4. New Year's Day
This one is another sweet, simple choice about a love going right. "New Year's Day" is the closing song on "reputation," Swift's latest release. The song is tender and soft, especially compared to the heavy production found on much of the album. The song is about a relationship that stays not just through the party, but through all the cleanup and quiet moments as well. It's a calming, soothing track about sweet, happy romance.
5. Never Grow Up
This track about coming of age and realizing it might not be all you wanted is almost guaranteed to bring at least one tear to your eye. The song, off of Swift's third album "Speak Now," is haunting in both melody and instrumentation. The song's lyrics are directed to a child who Taylor implores to "never grow up." As Swift sings to the child she recalls memories from easier times in vivid detail, and you can hear a longing nostalgia in her voice.
6. Mary's Song (Oh My My My)
"Mary's Song" tells the story of two people who grow up as best friends and eventually marry one another and start a family. It has a childlike sweetness in its sound and a fun, airy quality in its overall production. It is also from Taylor's early country days and thus relies heavily on guitars and a little twang to get its point across. Essentially, it is sweet fun from Swift's early days as a Nashville singer-songwriter with a story cute enough to make anyone believe in love.
7. The Lucky One
The Lucky One is Swift's analysis of fame and all that comes with it. A refreshingly honest take on her own life and the concept of fame as a whole, the song stands out on "Red's" emotionally-heavy tracklist as a different telling of emotion. The song's lyrics are windows into Swift's mindset towards fame and hits back at the media's reporting of her life. Lines like "and your lover in the foyer and doesn't even know you" mock the common perception Swift dealt with in the public eye. It's an interesting song if for no reason other than the witty lyrics.
8. A Place in this World
This is easily one of Swift's most relatable tracks. The song's chorus culminates in the phrase "I'm just a girl, trying to find a place in this world", which sums up the anxiety and excitement expressed throughout the song. The tune conveys a common feeling of wanting to stake out a claim on the world but not knowing how to even begin to do just that.
This track isn't a standard release (it's on the deluxe edition of "Speak Now," but not the standard) but it has become a fan favorite, and for good reason. The song is absolutely adorable. It is a light and happy look at a beautiful, sweet love. Swift quips "any snide remarks from my father about your tattoos will be ignored" and giggles throughout the recording. It is just plain fun to listen to, and even better to imagine having someone to sing it about some day.
10. Long Live
"Long Live" is the final track on the standard version of "Speak Now," and is now a permanent part of Swift's setlist on the reputation Stadium Tour. Every night Swift dedicates the track to her fans and thanks them for sticking with her through the ups and downs of her public life. Aside from that connection, the song stands out in Swift's discography as a motivating force with a high production value and powerful vocals. The song soars and flies through feelings of pride, confidence, and appreciation for the people around you. It's as feel good as T Swift gets, and it is pure magic for the listener.