The Artistry That Is Taylor Swift’s Fearless

If you haven’t been around pop culture news in the past few hours, Taylor Swift announced today on Good Morning America that her Fearless re-recording is complete and its first single, Love Story, will be dropping tonight. This is huge news for those of us in the Swiftie community, as we have been waiting for these re-recordings since the moment Taylor announced she intended on making them to regain ownership of her music.

Fearless is such a special album for many of us as well because it was the album that catapulted Taylor into the SuperStar (get it?) she is today. Songs like Love Story and You Belong With Me made her a household name and a musician to be reckoned with. With songs written by Swift herself between the ages of 16-18, this album is full of young love and heartbreak in ways that her then primarily teenage audience can relate to, but even years later have become lyrical classics to be connected with in different ways as we grow older.

While Taylor is well known for her catchy singles and sad love songs, there are so many hidden gems in her albums that the general public tends to be unaware of. With her newest albums getting lyrical recognition overall and not just on the one or two singles within them, it makes me hope that many of her beautiful tracks will be rediscovered as she begins releasing her newly recorded versions over the next few months.

So in celebration of Fearless being the first to be re-released and Love Story (Taylor’s Version) making its way to us tonight, I have compiled a “Dee Does Things” ranking list of all 19 songs in Fearless, with some of my favorite lyrics in each.

19. Fifteen. I’m starting off controversially. Many people love this one, and I totally understand why you would. Heck, I love it too, but just not as much as all of the other songs on this album. This is a song that reminds me of a time in my life I don’t necessarily want to remember. This one feels stuck in time, which makes total sense as to why it would, but it just does not give me that same feeling all other tracks on this album still do to this day.

“Count to ten
Take it in
This is life before you know who you’re gonna be
At fifteen”

18. Jump Then Fall. To me, this song is a fun way of explaining what it feels like to fall in love in those early stages, before things start getting serious and you start really seeing all the reasons you love someone. It is youthful and innocent, a wonderful example of early Taylor songwriting and how that evolved over her long and prosperous career.

“I like the way you sound in the morning
We’re on the phone and without a warning
I realize your laugh is the best sound I have ever heard
I like the way I can’t keep my focus
I watch you talk, you didn’t notice
I hear the words but all I can think is we should be together
Every time you smile, I smile
And every time you shine, I’ll shine for you”

17. SuperStar. It took me as long as tonight to love this one. Before today, this used to be my least favorite. I never knew why, but I guess this is one that needed a little bit of time for me. Who knows, maybe very soon this would be even higher on this list.

“I am no one special
Just another wide-eyed girl
Who’s desperately in love with you
Give me a photograph to hang on my wall

16. Hey Stephen. This is one of Taylor’s more fun songs, in my opinion. Taylor managed to capture the innocence of a young crush in this one, both in sound and lyricism. Also, the giggle!

“All those other girls
Well, they’re beautiful
But would they write a song for you?

15. Tell Me Why. This is a song I still don’t particularly feel any sort of connection to all these years later. I enjoy singing along to the fast pace and dancing around my bedroom like a teenager, but it was never one I felt the chemistry I do feel with most of her other songs on Fearless and over the years.

“I took a chance, I took a shot
And you might think I’m bulletproof but I’m not”

14. Change. I think this was my most played song of the year I was 13. I connected it a lot with a bunch of the books I was reading back then and used to put it together with many a fan-made video about them. This still brings me back to those days and makes me want to pick up a book and read something nostalgic every once in a while.

“Tonight we’ll stand, get off our knees
Fight for what we’ve worked for all these years
And the battle was long, it’s the fight of our lives
But we’ll stand up champions tonight”

13. Come In With The Rain. This song was the first song I remember ever wanting to learn on the guitar. I never did, but that feeling still sticks with me today all those years later. This is the one song that always comes in my mind standing under the rain on a beautiful spring night.

“And I’ll leave my window open
‘Cause I’m too tired tonight for all these games
Just know I’m right here hoping
That you’ll come in with the rain”

12. You’re Not Sorry. This is a song that grew on me as I grew older. This was one of the songs I used to not really understand, but the more I came back to it over the years, the more I loved it. The realization that comes with seeing someone you put so highly on a pedestal is not really the person you thought they were is painful, and they’re never really sorry, not ever.

“You used to shine so bright
But I watched all of it fade”

11. Breathe. I think this might just be Taylor’s least known song. I don’t think I ever once saw anyone talking about it, swiftie or otherwise. Regardless, it is one of Taylor’s stronger songs on this album, one that now as I am revisiting the album more closely shocks me. What a talented teenager Taylor really was.

“Never wanted this, never wanna see you hurt
Every little bump in the road I tried to swerve
People are people,
And sometimes it doesn’t work out,
Nothing we say is gonna save us from the fall out
And we know it’s never simple,
Never easy
Never a clean break, no one here to save me
You’re the only thing I know like the back of my hand,”

10. Love Story. Your iconic Valentine’s Day track, the song many a swiftie got proposed to during tours, and the one no one will ever forget. The reimagined Romeo and Juliet in Swift’s Love Story comes from her own experience with disapproval of a boy she liked. She wrote this one on her own, in her bedroom, in 20 minutes at 17 years old. Many many years later, it is one of the most famous songs of hers if not one of the most famous songs of all time. The star of our release night!

“I got tired of waiting
Wonderin’ if you were ever comin’ around
My faith in you was fading
When I met you on the outskirts of town, and I said

Romeo, save me, I’ve been feeling so alone
I keep waiting for you, but you never come
Is this in my head? I don’t know what to think
He knelt to the ground and pulled out a ring
And said, “Marry me, Juliet
You’ll never have to be alone
I love you and that’s all I really know
I talked to your dad, go pick out a white dress
It’s a love story, baby, just say, “Yes””

9. The Best Day. Whenever Taylor writes a song about/for her mother, I am reduced to a puddle of tears. The day I first heard this, I knew I wanted to write my own version to leave my mom to find at home after my wedding day. It’s been years and I still want to do this when the day comes.

“I’m thirteen now and don’t know how my friends could be so mean
I come home crying and you hold me tight and grab the keys
And we drive and drive until we found a town far enough away
And we talk and window shop ’til I’ve forgotten all their names”

8. Forever and Always. Let’s just say I was very very invested in Taylor Swift and Joe Jonas’ relationship, believed they were going to get married, and was broken beyond measure when they broke up. Then the Ellen interview happened and the whole Saturday Night Live monologue happened and I knew right then and there that this girl was stronger than I ever imagined her to be and if she could get over it so can I.

“Here’s to silence, that cuts me to the core”

7. Forever and Always (piano version). See previous. This ranks higher just because even as a kiddo, I recognized how amazing Taylor is acoustically and how much I still desperately need a greatest hits acoustic album.

6. You Belong With Me. This was my favorite song of all time when I was 13 years old. I still to this day blast this and dance around my room whenever I need a pick me up, and it never fails. However, the reason this song ranks so highly for me is its bridge. This is my first memory of being obsessed with a Taylor Swift bridge, and since then the rest has been history.

“Oh, I remember you driving to my house
In the middle of the night
I’m the one who makes you laugh
When you know you’re ’bout to cry
And I know your favorite songs
And you tell me ’bout your dreams
Think I know where you belong
Think I know it’s with me”

5. White Horse. My first ever experience with teenage angst was listening to this song and looking out of the car window all sad on my way home from school. I didn’t really understand the weight of the heartbreak that came with this song, and in many ways I still don’t… but this is still my go-to angsty after work track to sing at the top of my lungs as I drive home, especially the closing…

“This is a big world, that was a small town
There in my rear-view mirror disappearing now”

4. Fearless. This one never fails to make me want to dance in the rain. Listening to this track throughout quarantine has given me a sense of freedom and carelessness that 2020 seemed to have stifled right out of me.

“Absentmindedly makin’ me want you
And I don’t know how it gets better than this
You take my hand and drag me headfirst

3. Untouchable. This is one I didn’t really connect with when I was younger. For many years, this was one of the songs I tended to skip a lot. But for this past year, this has become one of my favorite Taylor songs of all time. Gorgeous slow tune with even more beautiful lyricism expressing longing for someone you just may not get to have.

“In the middle of the night
We can form this dream
I wanna feel you by my side
Standing next to me
You gotta, come on, come on
Say that we’ll be together
Come on, come on
Little taste of heaven”

2. The Way I Loved You. This track was one I always believed deserved single treatment, even as a little 12 year old. This one has one of her best choruses in Fearless, and I could argue maybe even one of her best of her entire career.

“But I miss screaming and fighting
And kissing in the rain
And it’s 2 a.m. and I’m cursing your name
You’re so in love that you act insane
And that’s the way I loved you

Breakin’ down and coming undone
It’s a roller-coaster kinda rush
And I never knew I could feel that much
And that’s the way I loved you”

and my favorite track on Fearless…

1. The Other Side of the Door. Iconic, underrated, and unbelievably gorgeous. With this song, I can’t just pick one lyric or two, but rather the entire last minute and a half as a favorite. This is one of three songs I resort to when I want to explain Taylor’s poetry to anyone that may not be the most familiar with it.

“And I scream out the window
I can’t even look at you, I don’t need you
But I do, I do, I do…
I see there’s nothing you can’t say
To make this right again
I mean it, I mean it, what I mean is
I said leave but baby all I want is you
To stand outside my window, throwing pebbles, screaming I’m in love with you
Wait there in the pourin’ rain, come back for more
And don’t you leave ’cause I know all I need is on
The other side of the door
With your face and your beautiful eyes
And the conversation with the little white lies
And the faded picture of a beautiful night
You carry me from your car up the stairs
And I broke down cryin’ was it worth this mess?
After everything and that little black dress
After everything, I must confess I need you”

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