Taylor Swift is one of the most famous contemporary singers and her success is owed not in small part to her songwriting skills. The 28-year-old is known all over the world for drawing inspiration from her romantic relationships when crafting her songs. While most of her lyrics have been carefully analyzed by her fans in order to determine which famous ex-boyfriend they are referring to, it’s a less well known fact that there are a great number of songs written by other musicians dedicated to the Pennsylvania-born singer.
Some of those songs are indeed from her exes, but others are from musicians Tay Tay’s had feuds with over the years, and others still are from singers who have nothing but admiration for her. Here are 12 songs written about Taylor Swift, courtesy of Ranker.
1. Swish Swish by Katy Perry
The feud between Katy Perry and Taylor Swift is one of the best known in the realm of music. A few months before Swift’s hit song Bad Blood was released in 2014, it was all but confirmed that the song was about Katy Perry. It’s been a few years since then, and fans of both singers were anxiously awaiting Perry’s response. It finally came in 2017 with the debut of Swish Swish. The lyrics of the catchy pop song are all about the protagonist (Perry) mocking the outdated nature of the other (Swift). But that’s not all! Just watch the music video and try to notice all the Taylor Swift references it’s jam-packed with.
2. Much Better by the Jonas Brothers
One of Taylor’s most publicized relationships was the one with Joe Jonas. This was back in the earlier days of her career. Jonas apparently broke things off via a one-minute long phone call, leaving the songstress brokenhearted and inspired to pen several breakup songs featured on three of her albums. After she released her Fearless album in 2008, Joe and the rest of the Jonas Brothers responded with a song called Much Better. The new track turned out to be about Joe’s new lady-love, Camilla Belle. The sly dig at Taylor is pretty obvious in the lyrics:
“And all the tears on her guitar, I’m not bitter
But now I see, everything I’d ever need
Is the girl in front of me
She’s much better.”
3. Perfect by One Direction
The brief romance between Taylor Swift and Harry Styles has been a big influence on both of their careers. The relationship lasted only three months, but Swift apparently penned several songs about former One Direction singer. The most well known of the bunch is titled Style and it’s on her album 1989.
One Direction disbanded in 2016, but a year before that they released Perfect. This track is believed to express Styles’ thoughts on his relationship with the American singer. It seems impossible that this line isn’t about Swift:
“And if you’re looking for someone to write your breakup songs about,
Baby I’m perfect”
4. Ever Since New York by Harry Styles
But one song seems wasn’t enough for Harry Styles to say everything he wanted about his ex-girlfriend. After leaving One Direction behind, the Brit released his self-titled debut album in 2017. On it, there is one particularly heartbreaking song that tells a sad love story based in New York. Taking into account that great part of their romance took place in New York, and that the lovebirds were often spotted together in the Big Apple, it’s not hard to conclude that Ever Since New York is a song about Taylor:
“Brooklyn saw me, empty avenues
There’s no water inside this swimming pool
Almost over, that’s enough from you”
5. Paper Doll by John Mayer
Swift is no stranger to writing bitter break up songs, but one song in particular seems to have hit its target’s soft spot. Dear John, released in 2000, is not even trying to hide who it’s about: singer John Mayer. Apparently, Mayer felt humiliated by Taylor’s lyrics, so he went on to retaliate with a song of his own. It’s never been confirmed that his Paper Doll is about Swift, but the lyrics speak for themselves, especially this line:
“You’re like 22 girls in one
And none of them know what they’re running from
Was it just too far to fall for a little paper doll?”
6. History by One Direction
One Direction seem to have one more Taylor Swift-inspired song, but this one is far more subtle in its references. The track titled History laments a troubled relationship, and was released soon after Harry’s brief affair with Taylor. The song speaks about the negative influence the rumours and fights have had over the relationship, and seeing as the tabloids seemed always full of hurtful rumours about Taylor and Harry, it’s not too far-fetched to assume History is another piece dedicated to their romance:
“All of the rumors, all of the fights
But we always find a way to make it out alive
Thought we were going strong
Thought we were holding on…”
7. A Change of Heart by The 1975
Taylor Swift’s romance with Matt Healy, the lead vocalist of English rock band The 1975, was never confirmed, but the grapevine telegraph was full of rumours about their possible connection, particularly after The 1975 released a song titled A Change of Heart. This track tells the story of a romance that suddenly takes a bad turn, and while it has never been officially revealed whether or not it is about Taylor Swift, it certainly isn’t implausible.
8. Enchanted by Owl City
Source: Austin Phung
This is perhaps one of the least well known songs on this list, but also one of the least subtle ones. Owl City’s front man Adam Young wrote Enchanted, and it’s pretty obvious who the inspiration for the musical ode is. A year before this, Taylor had released a song with the same title that told the story of her relationship with Adam from her point of view, and Adam responded in kind. At the end of the song he talks directly to her, saying:
“I was never in love with someone else
I never had somebody waiting on me
‘Cause you were all of my dreams come true…
Taylor I was so in love with you”
9. Famous by Kanye West
And here we have the best known song written about Taylor Swift. Released in 2017, this track caused a lot of drama focused on whether or not Taylor had given Kanye permission to mention her in his song. The controversial line said:
“I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex,
I made that b*tch famous.”
10. Rose Gold by Pentatonix
This is one of the few songs inspired by Taylor that doesn’t stem either from a failed romance or a feud. The American a cappella group Pentatonix simply wanted to pay tribute and honour the pop singer. Group member Scott Hoying revealed the inspiration behind Rose Gold on Twitter. However, the track contains so many references to Swift songs, that the official confirmation wasn’t really necessary.
11. Ole by John Newman and Calvin Harris
Taylor Swift dated Scottish musician Calvin Harris for over a year before breaking up in 2016. But the split wasn’t what shocked the public – it was the fact that a very short time after it happened, Swift was spotted getting cozy with Marvel superstar Tom Hiddleston. Harris publicly dissed his ex on Twitter when her new romance was revealed, and before she managed to write a song about him, he penned one about her. It was a collaboration with English singer John Newman titled Ole. It is believed that the track contains a lot of hidden references to Swift and Hiddleston, one of which is the possible mention of the name Loki (Hiddleston’s character in the Marvel movies) in the opening line:
“Lowkey, you won’t tell none of your friends about me.”
12. Taylor Swift by Tyler Dean
Source: Tyler Dean
Taylor Swift’s first single was called Tim McGraw. The homage to the country singer endeared her to many people and practically launched her extremely successful career. Another up-and-coming country artist, Tyler Dean, tried the same tactics when in 2009 he wrote a song titled Taylor Swift in which he professes his desire to date a girl like the music superstar. However, this was considered an obvious marketing ploy, and Dean failed to jump start his career and find the fame he was hoping for with the release of this track.