Taylor Swift is a legend. Over her career, she's released many outstanding songs, as well as used her platform for good. Most recently, Taylor blessed us with her ninth studio album, Evermore.
In this article, I'll rank the 17 tracks on the album based on my personal opinion, as well as list some of my favorite lyrics from each song. Now, I love all the songs on this album, so no shade on any of them.
#17: "cowboy like me"
"cowboy like me" is a reminiscent track of Taylor's earlier days. It tells the story of two swindlers who fall in love while playing a cat and mouse game of sorts.
"Oh, I thought/This is gonna be one of those things"
"And the skeletons in both our closets/Plotted hard to f*** this up"
"Forever is the sweetest con"
#16: "tolerate it"
"tolerate it" is the fifth track on evermore which is notable because Taylor usually reserves the fifth track for her most vulnerable songs. "tolerate it" goes through the feelings of the continuous struggle of loving someone who doesn't even notice you.
"I notice everything you do or don't do"
"Tell me I've got it wrong somehow/I know my love should be celebrated/But you tolerate it"
"While you were out building other worlds, where was I?"
"Now I'm begging for footnotes in the story of your life"
"ivy", the tenth track on evermore, tells the story of a married woman falling in love with someone else, leading to an affair. In both evermore and folklore Swift has sung repeatedly on the topic of infidelity.
"My palm fits in the palm of your freezing hand/Taking mine, but it's been promised to another"
"I'd live and die for moments that we stole"
#14: "no body, no crime (feat. HAIM)"
"no body, no crime" is a story about a woman who goes missing after being cheated on by her husband. The lyrics really do tell the story, and it draws from Swift's country roots.
"But I ain't lettin' up till the day I die"
"And I notice when I pass his house/His truck has got some brand new tires"
#13: "tis the damn season"
Fun fact: this song marks the first time Taylor Swift has ever cursed in a song title. Anyway, aside from that, "tis the damn season" is likely connected to "dorothea", also from evermore. This song is about what happens when Dorothea (to find out more about her, keep reading to #11) comes home for the holidays and runs into an old flame.
"If I wanted to know who you were hanging with/While I was gone, I would've asked you"
"There's an ache in you, put there by the ache in me/But if it's all the same to you/It's the same to me"
"So we could call it even/You could call me babe for the weekend"
"And the road not taken looks real good now"
"And wonder about the only soul/Who can tell which smiles I'm fakin'/And the heart I know I'm breakin' is my own"
"We could call it even/Even though I'm leaving/And I'll be yours for the weekend"
"evermore", the title track of this album, is a piano ballad tracking the narrator's journey from a place of deep depression to a place of hope. Similar to "happiness", this song deals with mental health, although "evermore" charts a more direct path towards healing.
"I replay my footsteps on each stepping stone/Trying to find the one where I went wrong"
"I had a feeling so peculiar/That this pain would be for/Evermore"
"Can't remember/What I used to fight for"
"I rewind the tape but all it does is pause/On the very moment when all was lost"
"dorothea", evermore's 8th track, is about a small-town girl who went to Hollywood to chase her dreams. It's speculated that "tis the damn season" is about the same girl's return to her hometown for the holidays. "dorothea" itself seems to be told from the point of view of a lover from the hometown.
"It's never too late to come back to my side"
"And if you're ever tired of being known for who you know/You know that you'll always know me, Dorothea"
Closure, the 14th track on evermore, explores the idea of an ex who can't stand the idea that the narrator is still mad at him. I really love the lyrics of this song; it's just the melody that I don't love, which is why this song ended up at #10.
"It's been a long time/And seeing the shape of your name/Still spells out pain"
"It wasn't right/The way it all went down/Looks like you know that now"
"I know that it's over, I don't need your/Closure, your closure"
"Don't treat me like/Some situation that needs to be handled/I'm fine with my spite"
"I know I'm just a wrinkle in your new life/Staying friends would iron it out so nice"
#9: "long story short"
Long story short is a song chronicling some of Taylor's public feuds, such as the one with Kanye West, and the time the media was merciless towards her. It's also about overcoming; yeah, it was a bad time, but she survived.
"I tried to pick my battles till the battle picked me"
"If the shoe fits, walk in it till your high heels break"
"Clung to the nearest lips/Long story short it was the wrong guy"
#8: "gold rush"
"gold rush", the third track on this album, is a song about the jealousy felt when the one you're attracted to is wanted and popular with everyone. Because of this, the narrator stops imagining her life with that person. However, the narrator daydreams about this person even though she is trying to get over him.
"I don't like that anyone would die to feel your touch/Everybody wants you/Everybody wonders what it would be like to love you"
"What must it be like to grow up that beautiful?"
"I can't dare to dream about you anymore"
Willow was the lead track of evermore and was also released early, along with its music video. She mentions ships in the very first lyric: "I'm like the water when your ship rolled through that night". It's worth noting that ships were a popular theme throughout evermore, with mentions in "willow", "gold rush", and "evermore", as well as in folklore's "my tears ricochet".
"Wreck my plans, that's my man"
"Life was a willow and it bent right to your wind"
"And there was one prize I'd cheat to win"
This song is named after Taylor's late grandmother, and its lyrics are appropriately about feelings you may have after a loved one passes, along with some personal mentions of Taylor's memories with Marjorie. In the bridge, she also talks about what hindsight brought, the realization that small moments such as going to the grocery store were important, simply because they were moments they had together.
"Never be so kind/You forget to be clever/Never be so clever/You forget to be kind”
"If I didn't know better/I'd think you were still around"
"What died didn't stay dead/You're alive, you're alive in my head"
"Never be so polite/You forget your power/Never wield such power/You forget to be polite"
"I should've asked you questions/Should've asked you how to be/Asked you to write it down for me"
"Should've kept every grocery store receipt/Cause every scrap of you would be taken from me"
#5: "coney island"
The mood on this track is subdued and melancholy. Through the back and forth, conversational, heavy with imagery lyrics of the song, it shows a feeling of nostalgia for a lost relationship with an uneven give-take ratio.
"If I can't relate to you anymore/Then who am I related to?"
"Did I close my fist around something delicate?/Did I shatter you?"
"Cause we were like the mall before the internet/It was the one place to be"
#4: "right where you left me" (Bonus track)
This song is about a girl who has her heartbroken and stays frozen right there and then. The girl is abandoned at the restaurant and stays there forever, forever being a theme in evermore. The lyric about glass breaking is also likely significant, as Taylor has, over the course of her career, likened her breakups to glass breaking. Aside from the background, this song has a bit faster tempo than most of the songs on this album, and the symbolism in the lyrics is fascinating.
"I swear you could hear a hairpin drop/Right when I felt the moment stop"
"Glass shattered on the white cloth/Everybody moved on, I stayed there"
"They expected me to find somewhere/Some perspective, but I sat and stared"
"At the restaurant when I was still the one you want/Cross-legged in the dim light, everything was just right/I could feel the mascara run/You told me that you met someone"
"But if you ever think you got it wrong/I'm right where/Right where you left me"
#3: "it's time to go" (Bonus track)
On this track, Taylor talks about relationships that have fallen apart. Taylor herself said this song is about "listening to your gut when it tells you to leave." The verses showcase different times from her life she left relationships, while the chorus details the feeling you get when you know it's time to leave, and the post-chorus drills home the message that sometimes walking out of situations or relationships is the best thing you can do.
"Or trying to stay for the kids/When keeping it how it is will only break their hearts worse"
"Sometimes giving up is the strong thing/Sometimes to run is the brave thing/Sometimes walking out is the one thing/That will find you the right thing"
It's so mature lyrically, and I love the way the music builds in the background. It's about moving on from a relationship, but also acknowledging the joy the relationship brought. It's ultimately hopeful; what was overall bad was good at times, and there are still good things to come.
"There'll be happiness after you/But there was happiness because of you/Both these things can be true"
"Tell me, when did your winning smile/Begin to look like a smirk?"
"Sorry, I can't see facts through all of my fury"
"No one teaches you what to do/When a good man hurts you/And you know you hurt him too"
"All you want from me now is the green light of forgiveness"
#1: "champagne problems"
I just love the story here. Two high school lovers arrive at the same place one night, but with different intentions: one is there to propose, one is there to end the relationship. The bridge is also one of my favorites, and Taylor's vocals just fit so well.
"Bustling crowds or silent sleepers, you're not sure which is worse"
"Your heart was glass, I dropped it"
"Sometimes you just don't know the answer/Till someone's on their knees and asks you"
"But you'll find the real thing instead/She'll patch up your tapestry that I shred"
And there you have it! My personal opinion and rankings on each of "evermore"'s tracks!