It’s no secret that we absolutely adore Taylor Swift’s discography. From her flawless vocals to her unforgettable music videos, Taylor is easily one of our all-time favorite artists. Our favorite thing about Taylor, however, is her ability to write incredibly vivid and memorable lyrics. This was displayed perfectly on her recent Midnights album, with all 20 songs featuring poetic and thought-provoking lyrics that we seriously haven’t been able to stop thinking about.
So, we’re here to round up 13 of our favorite lyrics to prove that Midnights is definitively the best Taylor Swift album!
“No, I didn’t see the news / ‘Cause we were somewhere else / Stumbled down pretend alleyways / Cheap wine, make believe it’s champagne / I was taken by the view.”
Released as the sixteenth track on the deluxe version of Midnights, ‘Paris’ is a fun and lighthearted song about being whisked away in fantasies about your partner. In the song, Taylor shows a clear disregard for gossip and what is going on in her ex’s love life because she is so enamored with her current boyfriend. The relationship is so good that it makes her feel like she is living in a Parisian fantasy, where even “cheap wine” can taste like “champagne.” How sweet!
“No one wanted to play with me as a little kid / So I’ve been scheming like a criminal ever since / To make them love me and make it seem effortless / This this the first time I’ve felt the need to confess / And I swear / I’m only cryptic and Machiavellian ’cause I care.”
If we’re honest, the lyrics to ‘Mastermind’ alone are enough to tell us that Midnights is the best Taylor Swift album. In these lyrics, Taylor is describing how she has manipulated her partner into loving her because of the rejection she felt as a child. Taylor portrays herself as a villain by describing herself as “Machiavellian” and “cryptic,” but the listener still feels sympathy for her because of how desperately she pleads. This song truly emotionally destroyed us and we will never ever recover from it.
“I made you my world, have you heard? / I can reclaim the land.”
Taylor recently revealed that, when writing, she categorizes her songs as one of three types of pens: quills, glitter gel pens, and fountain pens. While Taylor revealed this before dropping Midnights, we are pretty confident that ‘Bejeweled’ is a glitter gel pen song. Discussing the feeling of reclaiming confidence after a relationship, ‘Bejeweled’ is a classic Taylor Swift pop song and is perfect for singing along to at the top of your lungs. In this lyric, Taylor is criticizing her ex for not even realizing how important they were to her. So, to regain her power and confidence, Taylor decides to “reclaim” the space her ex took up in her life. She does this by going out and “making the whole place shimmer.”
‘Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve’
“And the God’s honest truth is that the pain was heaven / And now that I’m grown, I’m scared of ghosts.”
‘Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve’ feels like a very personal song, with the lyrics discussing a traumatic relationship that Taylor had when she was younger and her perspective on it as an adult. Throughout the song, Taylor uses religious imagery to reflect both the loss of her childhood innocence and the huge effect this person had on her. In this particular lyric, Taylor is describing how she mistook the pain she experienced for “heaven” but as an adult she can recognize that that was wrong, ultimately making her afraid of both her past naivety and what that person put her through. This song is truly a masterclass in imagery and we simply adore it.
‘The Great War’
“We can plant a memory garden / Say a solemn prayer, place a poppy in my hair / There’s no morning glory, it was war, it wasn’t fair.”
If ‘Bejeweled‘ is a glitter gel pen song, then ‘The Great War’ is definitely a quill pen song. Here, Taylor uses a war metaphor to describe a tumultuous time in her relationship. In these specific lines, Taylor is acknowledging that she was at fault and lets her insecurities get the better of her, hence why there is “no morning glory.” The couple eventually reconciles their issues, moves on, and leaves this period behind in a “memory garden.”
“Outside, they’re push and shovin’ / You’re in the kitchen hummin’ / All that you ever wanted from me was nothin’.”
The lyrics of ‘Sweet Nothings’ describe how Taylor’s partner, presumably Joe Alwyn, makes her feel like she doesn’t have to be anything more than herself. While everyone in the media and the outside world is “push and shovin'” and expecting her to act one way, her partner can provide her the stability and simplicity that she craves. This is such a wholesome song and it is so nice to hear how happy Taylor and Joe are together. We love it!
“I don’t dress for women / I don’t dress for men / Lately, I’ve been dressin’ for revenge.”
Honestly, this may be the most iconic lyric on the Midnights album. Many fans have speculated that ‘Vigilante Sh**’ is about Taylor’s dispute with her old record label over the ownership of her discography. This lyric supports that theory by suggesting that Taylor no longer cares about what people think about her and is instead going to focus on reclaiming her power through getting revenge on her old label by re-recording all of her old albums.
“Sometimes I feel like everybody is a sexy baby / And I’m a monster on the hill.”
‘Anti-Hero’ was the first single released from the Midnights album and is, perhaps, one of our favorite Taylor Swift singles to date. In ‘Anti-Hero,’ Taylor lists off all of her insecurities to the listener, showing a different and more vulnerable side that we usually do not see from her. This lyric is meant to be read satirically, with Taylor criticizing the trend of women having to be infantilized to become attractive. Taylor contrasts this with herself, who she views as a “monster.”
“And I keep my side of the street clean / You wouldn’t know what I mean.”
‘Karma’ is the eleventh song on the Midnights album and is another one of our personal favorites. ‘Karma’ discusses Taylor’s belief in, well, karma and how she feels as though karma often works in her favor. Here, Taylor is saying that she does good and doesn’t treat people badly, contrasting the person she is singing about who will be rewarded with bad karma. Like ‘Vigilante Shit,’ this lyric feels like Taylor bragging about being able to overcome obstacles and succeed despite what has been thrown at her. We stan revenge-era Taylor!
“All they keep asking me / Is if I’m gonna be your bride / The only kind of girl they see / Is a one night or a wife.”
‘Lavender Haze’ is the atmospheric opener to the Midnights album, inviting listeners into the purple-colored world created by Taylor and her lyrics. This song sees Taylor reject the ideals that have been placed upon her throughout her career. In the past, Taylor was judged for being in relationships with multiple male celebrities, but now that she is with Joe Alwyn people only care about whether they are married or not. Taylor rejects both of these ideas, choosing to instead live in the ‘Lavender Haze’ bliss of her relationship with her boyfriend.
‘You’re On Your Own, Kid’
“So, make the friendship bracelets, take the moment and taste it / You’ve got no reason to be afraid.”
‘You’re On Your Own, Kid’ is a reflective and intimate song about yearning and waiting around for love until eventually becoming confident in yourself and realizing that you do not need another person’s love to be fulfilled. In this specific lyric, Taylor is telling herself and the listeners to seize opportunities and stop waiting around, empowering herself and others to be more decisive and stop being afraid.
“It came like a postcard / Picture perfect shiny family / Holiday peppermint candy / But for him, it’s every day.”
Like ‘Lavender Haze,’ ‘Midnight Rain’ again sees Taylor reject certain expectations put upon her by other people. In ‘Midnight Rain,’ Taylor discusses a past relationship where she and her partner wanted different things and were ultimately drawn apart by them. Her partner wanted a perfect family, but to Taylor, this kind of ideal is unrealistic and simply something you see on a “postcard.”
‘Bigger Than The Whole Sky’
“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.”
‘Bigger Than The Whole Sky’ is a reference to an Emily Dickinson poem and is used to describe Taylor’s fantasies about her partner. Through these lyrics, Taylor is mourning the fantasy that she lost when her partner did not live up to her imagination, leaving her pining for what could have been. This song is thematically very similar to ‘Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve,’ suggesting that maybe they are about the same situation or partner.
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