10 Taylor Swift Lyrics to Live By

by Alexa Allen

It’s no secret that Taylor Swift is one of the most successful artists of this generation. With over 30 Grammy nominations, 10 Grammy wins in key categories and countless other accolades in just a mere 7 studio albums over the last decade, Taylor Swift has transformed from the doe-eyed teenage country star to one of the most popular pop icons in the world. It’s clear that Swift’s enviable career is no coincidence; her music has captivated fans since 2006’s highly regarded ‘Tim McGraw’, and only went uphill from there. 

We’ve listed Taylor Swift’s most inspirational and applicable lyrics that made us fall in love with her in the first place.

I’ll be strong, I’ll be wrong; oh, but life goes on

‘A Place in This World’ will always be one of my favorite OG T-Swift songs. In fact, I’d go so far as to call it some of Taylor’s strongest lyrics and one of her most underrated songs. Maybe it’s because everything was so simple; Taylor was just a teenager with her guitar after all, and there was something so unifying about that. We listened to her maneuver the throes of high school with confusion and little grace, and it was just oh so relatable. This is a song about stumbling through this stage – but it’s also a love song to oneself about finding who you are, falling short and trying again.

Today is never too late to be brand new

Written in wake of the infamous VMA-speech-interruption-fiasco circa 2009, ‘Innocent’ is a song about making mistakes, forgiving others and, perhaps most importantly, forgiving ourselves. Taylor Swift quite clearly addressed it to Kanye West and regardless of what’s happened between those two since (Are they still feuding? Has the hatchet been buried? Who really knows?), we could all learn from these lyrics. Every day we fall short, but we always have the choice to recreate ourselves and start brand new. Taylor indicates that people aren’t perfect but despite the moments we aren’t proud of – and we all have them – we are all worthy of second chances. 

 I’m shining like fireworks over your sad, empty town 

Overall, ‘Dear John’ is a pretty heartbreaking song, but there’s a great lesson there. Taylor speaks to the people that you surround yourself with, in particular the few that just live to bring you down. It’s so so important to remember to not let negative or toxic friendships and relationships dull your sparkle or intrude on your energy. Self-love is the most important and fulfilling love; without it, you can’t love much else. And when you come across someone set in negative ways, you have to remember it’s not a reflection of your character – you don’t deserve to shoulder their “sad, empty” heartaches or treatment. You cannot love everyone into true happiness; we’d all do well to remember that. 

Someday I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me, and all you’re ever gonna be is mean

Ah, “Mean” speaks to most of our middle school years, isn’t it? Honestly, some people are really just really… inexplicably mean. Believe it or not, that behavior is a mystery that will continue to appear throughout life, but that doesn’t mean anyone’s behavior is indicative of the treatment you actually deserve. Nor does it mean you need to accept that treatment. When people are hurting, they take it out on the happiness of others. I hope that in 2020, we all remember to shine regardless of other’s actions. 

We’re happy, free, confused and lonely in the best way 

We have a habit of looking around and comparing our lives to those around us. There’s always someone who seems more pretty, more clever or just looks like they have their life together – at least, compared to you that is. ’22’ is here to remind you that everything isn’t always what it seems. We’re all confused at points, messy and seemingly without vision at others. But that’s the beauty of the journey we’re on. We’re meant to indulge in that uncertainty together. If you remember 22, you remember that it isn’t/wasn’t all smooth sailing – but that basically applies to life in general, not just 22, 23 or even your forties. We’re all figuring it out, but isn’t that what makes life beautiful? 

The best people in life are free 

Where’s your girl crew at!? Not only is ‘New Romantics’ fun and edgy, but it’s a powerful reflection on how young adults regard life and love in modern times. Through the midst of all the struggle, we all have those friends that have been with us through everyone and everything, some even a little more than that. The right people for you won’t ask anything of you – they just love you. I mean it. Despite time, distance or diverging paths, remember those friends that have fed the soul because they’re always going to be on your team. 

Band aids don’t fix bullet holes

Although ‘Bad Blood’ is yet another tragic relationship anthem, this powerful lyric is worth listing. Part of life is getting hurt and, sadly, sometimes that pain is inflicted by the people you love and trust. However, a critical, oft missed part of this process is authentic accountability and a true effort to change hurtful behavior. That effort shows the difference between healthy friendships and relationships and hurtful ones. At its core, ‘Bad Blood’ preaches that we don’t have to accept the behavior of people who repeatedly hurt us, because sometimes apologies aren’t enough.

But I keep cruising; can’t stop, won’t stop moving

Honestly, let’s just quote the whole song! ‘Shake It Off’ remains a testament to the hiccups and bumps along the road, and reminds us of the importance of moving through and beyond those difficulties. You will never be able to please everyone, and there’s always someone who is going to disagree with you or downplay your character. But as Taylor sings, you’ve just gotta shake it off and keep going.

I’ve found time can heal almost anything

We could all do with tattooing this on our foreheads, so thank goodness T-Swift has only gone so far as to sing us a lovely, friendly reminder. Whatever you are going through, life always moves on. Eventually, you’ll look back at the situation you’re in and realise it doesn’t ache quite as much as it once did.

Tonight’s the night when we forget about the deadlines

I know, I know … I’ve already quoted ’22’, but it’s only because it’s so quotable! Let loose! Have fun! This one’s all about living in the moment with your best gals and forgetting those pressing responsibilities. Everyone needs a girl night anthem and seven whole years later, this one’s still it. We should all pause and remember to live every moment to the fullest capacity with the best people alongside us on this trippy journey we call life.

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