13 Underrated Taylor Swift Songs that Showcase her Songwriting Prowess

Taylor Swift is a musical and lyrical marvel. But over the course of her career, many of her lyrical masterpieces have been overlooked. Here are 13 songs that prove her songwriting genius.

Published on Apr 05, 2024  |  05:42 PM IST |  76.3K
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Taylor Swift (Picture Credits: Getty Images)

Taylor Swift has the entire globe spinning around in their best dress to her beats. Taylor Swift needs no introduction. Today, she is the most celebrated and loved artist in the entire world, with a fan base like none other. From her record-breaking album to her spectacular Eras Tour , her talent has no bounds,and we are simply loving every bit of it. 

Now there is no denying that she is a musical legend. She happens to have some of the most outstanding and groovy beats in her discography. But besides being a groundbreaking artist and singer, she is also quite a mastermind when it comes to songwriting. In 17 years of her career, Swift has written every song on her albums.

Taylor Swift has a lot of overlooked songs. Since her self-titled debut album in 2006, the singer-songwriter has recorded over 230 songs and successfully experimented with many genres throughout her career. However, for those who are just vaguely familiar with her catalog, the most popular standouts are Love Story, Shake It Off, All Too Well, and, most recently, Anti-Hero. Her music is sometimes overshadowed by quick judgments, a tumultuous news cycle surrounding her personal life, or other headlines.



She's always been a gifted storyteller who can wax poetry on love, individuality, insecurities, friendship, and sadness. Her 2020 albums, Folklore and Evermore, demonstrated that she could also tell a moving fictional story. Speaking of writing songs for her album, the official countdown for her new album has now begun.

In 13 days and 13 hours, we are about to get another masterpiece from Swift, which is her new album The Tortured Poets Department, releasing on April 19, 2024. In honor of Taylor Swift’s album being just 13 days and 13 hours away, let's dive right into Swift's amazing discography to highlight some of her lesser-known songwriting masterpieces, selecting tracks from each album. Who knows? With an open mind, you might be introduced to an entirely new aspect of Swift as well. Here are 13 underrated Taylor Swift songs that showcase her songwriting prowess: 

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Tied Together With A Smile from Taylor Swift

Swift's first and most recent albums both deal with the uncertainty of the future and the failure to meet expectations. The vocalist capitalizes on this distinct yet universal dread, whether you're 13 or 31. Swift has handled the theme admirably, progressing from Taylor Swift's Tied Together With A Smile to Evermore's happiness.

She wrote this one alongside Liz Rose. Her high school classmate, a beauty queen with an eating condition, served as a direct influence on the lyrics. More broadly, it's about the toll of being trapped by other people's assumptions. The subject matter is tough, but Swift's superb country twang and soothing voice make it more digestible. Swift released this album while she was only 16 years old; being a young adult is when insecurities are at their pinnacle, and Tied Together With A Smile captures that.

Forever and Always from Fearless (Taylor’s Version)

Can anything be considered undervalued on the smash Fearless? Forever & Always was not even released as a single, but it was widely publicized as an unexpected addition to the album following Swift's split from Joe Jonas. The fiery lyrics, written entirely by the young Swift, are among the greatest on the album, which conveys something. Her songwriting career was about to take a turn for the better when she skillfully turned the renowned 27-second phone call into a wordy, yet enticing, diatribe against a careless beau.


Last Kiss from Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)

Looking at the remaining Swift tracks on this list, Last Kiss may appear light, but it actually displays her lyrical strength. This single exemplifies Swift's best work in country music. She explores the text from her previous connection with Joe Jonas deeply. It avoids nostalgia because the words express exactly how Swift glorified their relationship, never expecting it to end, only for him not to feel the same way. 

Speak Now features several melancholy tracks, including Back to December and Dear John, that represent pivotal times in Swift's life at the time. In that way, Last Kiss is not much different. However, the song, which came out 12 years ago, in October 2010, sounds like a natural extension of Swift's current style.

Treacherous from Red (Taylor’s Version)

Joni Mitchell was a major inspiration for Swift's Red album, as evidenced by the modest but powerful song Treacherous. This song is also an excellent example of what made the Red Era so successful: a haunting, freshly mature singer-songwriter feel paired with agonizing personal lyrics that artistically re-examine a potentially destructive relationship.

The song flirts with sensuality that Swift clearly wasn't prepared to give her all to, but that ambiguity works brilliantly in this environment, as the singer is unsure how far she should let herself fall. As the lyrics progress from trepidation to trust in her goals, the music reaches a corresponding crescendo that might sweep anyone away.

Wonderland from 1989 (Taylor’s Version)

1989 may have delivered some of Swift's most upbeat and well-known songs, like Blank Space, Shake It Off, Style, and Out of the Woods, to name a few. However, there is something to be said about her beautiful additional tracks on this album: Wonderland did not receive the attention it deserved. 

At first listen, the song could be sonically disturbing. The music rises and falls dramatically, yet it is grounded in lyrics by Swift, Shellback, and Max Martin. Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland has inspired numerous TV shows and film adaptations, but Wonderland elevated it to a crushing story of falling down the rabbit hole of a romance. 


Swift has frequently written about the dangers of plunging in headfirst, consequences be damned. Maybe that's why it hits harder in retrospect. She sings, "But there were strangers watching, and whispers turned to talking, and talking turned to screams," alluding to the pressures of the outside world. Wonderland once again demonstrated Swift's love of symbolism, and it will grow on you.

King of My Heart from Reputation

Swift never seemed more assured than she does in King of My Heart. The song featured on Reputation, a powerful album in which the Grammy winner fully embraces singing about her aspirations, The powerful synth tunes add gasoline to the lyrical flames.

In King of My Heart, Swift boldly declares that her boyfriend has fulfilled her unlike anyone else, crowning him as the king of her heart, body, and soul. While lust is a motivating factor, the song gives a complete picture of how Swift's healthy relationship is everything she never expected. She sings, "Your love is a secret I'm hoping, dreaming, dying to keep. Change my priorities. The taste of your lips is my idea of luxury." She wrote this song about her ex-boyfriend Joe Alwyn and contained not-so-subtle references to the English language and her country heritage. The album was both extremely particular and an instant earworm.

False God from Lover

Swift's discography contains a few sensual songs. It's unfortunate because when she goes down that path, the consequences are pretty enjoyable and seductive. Lover's False God, which she co-produced and wrote with Jack Antonoff, is instantly appealing because of its blend of saxophone, jazz, and R&B sounds. 

False God proposes that intentionally making false promises can temporarily heal a loving bond. It is not the wisest decision. However, the lyrics assert that the couple's physical bond is stronger than distance, prayer, and God together. The words emphasize their push-and-pull; the conflicts and silences are all a build-up: "And you can’t talk to me when I’m like this. I'm daring you to leave me just so I can try and scare you. You’re the West Village. You still do it for me, babe.”

Among the many outstanding pieces on Lover, like the should've-been-a-single Cruel Summer and the eloquent lament The Archer, it's easier to overlook that the album contains a brief and sensual tune, even though Swift played it on SNL. It was thrown under the rug. But don't underestimate her use of humility as a means of seduction.


ALSO READ: Taylor Swift Announces New Album The Tortured Poets Department After Winning The Grammy Award For Best Pop Vocal Album

Epiphany from Folklore

Folklore is entirely a creation of the COVID era. Swift has admitted that she would not have had the bravery to release it if she hadn't suddenly had so much time to compose, contemplate, and experiment. Mostly, the effect was pure escapism, gorgeous tiny fictitious universes, and completely new sounds. However, Epiphany confronts the epidemic in a way that few artists in any medium have before done. It's a heartbreaker comparable to Lover's Soon You'll Get Better and one of the most moving songs in her whole history.

Swift has credited her grandfather's participation in World War II as a significant influence for the song, and the parallel is brilliant: Two extremely distinct but equally profound mass death events spanning two generations. The songs depict these two historical occasions in small vignettes, which is perhaps as delicate as someone who isn't on the front lines can be when telling their story. However, the dreamy music and vocals perfectly convey the bewildered, weary, trance-like struggle to process a trauma while it is still happening.

Happiness from Evermore

2020's Evermore is Swift's most ambient and lyrically compelling album to date, demonstrating the singer-songwriter's ability to convey profound stories. There are no skips, and fast favorites include Ivy and Champagne Problems. However, happiness is one of the most depressing since it combines being strangely hopeful. Swift and Dessner co-wrote this track. The lyrics, which include strong allusions to The Great Gatsby, present a sad portrait of a romance that is about to end. But that's only scraping the surface. Its depth arises from not knowing what will happen next and eventually accepting this truth.

Happiness is about the protagonist taking a step back and obtaining a broader perspective on a failed romance. The poem portrays a frantic need to let go and move on, no matter how difficult it may be, while also giving your partner permission to do the same. Prepare for a painfully honest bridge about two nice individuals who harm each other. There's residual fury, lingering emotions, and a general wistfulness. However, there is also a respect for both the good and terrible aspects of the partnership, as well as an acknowledgement of the possibilities that await after the separation. It's an opportunity for reinvention.


Swift's ethereal vocals and ambient synth music, which includes hi-hits and organs, intensify the track's mature, sad atmosphere. Her collaboration with Dessner had definitely led to some stunning versions on this album alone, such as Tolerate It and Tis' The Damn Season, yet happiness has been overlooked for much too long in contrast.

The Great War from Midnights

Swift is a mastermind when it comes to metaphors, and no song on Midnights better exemplifies her ability than The Great War. This single was one of the unexpected releases from her 3 a.m. edition. It is a melodic ballad about a couple overcoming a disagreement. She used heartbreaking nuance to equate the conflict with a violent battle. It's a touch exaggerated, undoubtedly, but disputing with a loved one might feel that way.

The vocalist created a life-or-death situation in which two people laid everything on the line but nevertheless reached out to each other in order to survive the huge conflict they started. As the storyteller, she also sings about how her own disruptive ideas and dark past might be problematic because they have caused trust issues.

Who can't relate to being wary of future heartbreak because they've experienced it before? Strangely, despite the title, the song finishes on an optimistic note; it demonstrates that if they can endure this catastrophe, they can overcome anything else. The Great War is the ideal opener for the remaining 3 a.m. tunes, as it is about a very particular and powerful emotion.

Say Don’t Go from 1989 (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)

Much like the original 1989, it's difficult to consider anything 1989 (Taylor's Version) truly underrated. Right now, it feels like Swift's vault tracks are all over, and there's a lot of talk about her work with Jack Antonoff. The most 1989 song of these vault tracks features another collaborator, Diane Warren, which may be what elevates Say Don't Go beyond the rest.

Say Don't Go is a lesson in youthful, cinematic yearning done in traditional Swiftian style. Swift enjoys creating a straightforward path for her love interests to follow in order to win her heart, even if the map is made in retrospect; this song is a somber companion to How You Get The Girl. Like many of 1989's best songs, it's about trying to cling on to a love that's slipping away from her, and the urgency and sadness are evident. 


You All Over Me ft. Marren Morris from Fearless (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)

Swift has been ruling the press cycle this year with a tour, relationships, and two major re-releases. So it's difficult to recall a time before Taylor's version became so popular, but Fearless is what set it off. She developed the idea of vault songs, or tracks that were left out of the original album but were eventually included in her version. 

Her collaboration with Maren Morris on You All Over Me was the first song she introduced. It's an apparently basic but beautiful and effective song with lyrics about moving on from, ahem, a romantic relationship. It also serves as a pleasant trip down memory lane, and its mix of pop and country music blends well into the track list.


Foolish One from Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)

In Foolish One, a vault track from Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), Swift sings, “You know how to keep me waitin' / I know how to act like I'm fine,'' narrating a heartbreak story where she herself is the titular character, betting big on the wrong guy. that particularly remembers the evolution of her country-pop sound in the leap from Fearless to Speak Now, but extends to completing five minutes and changing with warning signs and sorry realizations. The lyrical intricacies, from the early attempts to appear unconcerned to the bitter pill of "I'll get your longing glances, but she'll get your ring," are worth delving into, and Swift's vocal performance strikes an appealing mix between chastisement and hurt.

ALSO READ: Taylor Swift Reveals Final Version Of The Tortured Poets Department At Her Singapore Eras Tour Concert

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Avnii Bagaria is a Entertainment Journalist who is also a music and hollywood enthusiast. She has an experience of



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