Taylor Swift is a very skilled songwriter, having shown her talent over the course of four studio albums, something that is sometimes overlooked by the media in favor of focusing on her personal life. Therefore, I thought it was time to show some appreciation to Taylor and worked hard to compile a list of the top 10 best song bridges ever written by her, in my opinion. Here are the bridges I thought were worthy of a position on my list.
Honorable mentions: Long Live, Enchanted, Sparks Fly, Innocent, Teardrops on my Guitar, Love Story, Fifteen, Change (a very honorable mention to this one in particular!), The Story of Us, Sad Beautiful Tragic, and The Lucky One.
Let’s start now!
10- Holy Ground
“Tonight I’m gonna dance for all that we’ve been through
But I don’t wanna dance if I’m not dancing with you
Tonight I’m gonna dance like you were in this room
But I don’t wanna dance if I’m not dancing with you”
In my opinion, this is one of Taylor Swift’s best bridges. It’s simple, yet, effective. It strongly conveys feelings of bittersweetness and longing.
“And I can see you years from now in a bar
Talking over a football game
With that same big loud opinion
But nobody’s listening
Washed up and ranting about the same old bitter things
Drunk and grumbling on about how I can’t sing
But all you are is mean”
One of Swift’s most polarizing lyrics are the lyrics to the song “Mean”. Some call it self-impressed and bratty while others call it a strong self-empowerment anthem (which I agree with). This bridge is a no-holds-barred dig at the critic whom she wrote the song about, calling them “mean”, a precise choice of word that matches her description of them in the first two verses of the song. It draws a sharp lyrical image of a lone, bitter critic who can’t keep from criticizing everything they see and stating their opinion about any random topic, like a football game, for example (Smart line, Tay-Tay!).
8- Begin Again
“And we walked down the block to my car and I almost brought him up
But you start to talk about the movies that your family watches
Every single Christmas and I want to talk about that
For the first time, what’s past is past”
Very simple lyrics. The way the sentences are almost detached from each other helps convey the feeling of having fleeting and hazy feelings of heartbreak, longing and hope all run through your mind, and then disappear in a second, leaving you, finally, willing to start over again. These lyrics show how much Swift’s songwriting doesn’t stick to one formula, but uses many techniques to convey emotions.
7- You Belong With Me
“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.
I know your favorite songs,
And you tell me about your dreams.
Think I know where you belong,
Think I know it’s with me.”
No matter how many times I’ve listened to this song for the past four years, this verse never got boring. This bridge illustrates Swift’s strong sense of melody because, despite not having any rhyme between its lines, the verse still has rhythm, flowing smoothly with perfect catchiness, aided by no Top 40-ready hook to make it sound that catchy.
6- State of Grace
“This is a state of grace
This is the worthwhile fight
Love is a ruthless game
Unless you play it good and right
These are the hands of fate
You’re my Achilles heel
This is the golden age of something good
And right and real”
This bridge shows how Swift’s songwriting evolved and matured over the years; the 16-year-old girl in sundresses with blond curls and cowboy boots, who produced her first album over 6 years ago and wrote songs about failed relationships, confusion in love and not knowing how to handle it, has finally learned her lessons well and reached some level of wisdom and experience enough to make her decide whether the relationship she’s getting herself into is a healthy one or not – even if she goes for it anyway. The complaining “Don’t you think 19’s too young to be played by your dark twisted games”s has been replaced with the fate-accepting and weakness-admitting (instead of blaming him for emotionally overpowering her) “These are the hands of fate/ You’re my Achilles heel”s and “I knew you were trouble when you walked in, so shame on me now”s.
“Two headlights shine through the sleepless night
And I will get you, get you alone
Your name has echoed through my mind
And I just think you should, think you should know
That nothing safe is worth the drive
and I will follow you, follow you home”
Swift co-wrote this song with Dan Wilson, known for co-writing and co-producing “Someone Like You” by Adele. The production of Treacherous is reminiscent of a slope that gradually and continually rises until it reaches its peak, the moment where the volume hugely increases and Swift delivers this explosive bridge. This bridge contains an absorbing, beautiful image of a dark, empty street with Swift’s vehicle’s headlights being the only thing lighting the way through it as she finally seeks her lover and is ready to embrace any danger that stands in her way.
4- Back to December
“I miss your tan skin, your sweet smile
So good to me, so right
And how you held me in your arms that September night
The first time you ever saw me cry
Maybe this is wishful thinking
Probably mindless dreaming
But if we loved again, I swear I’d love you right
I’d go back in time and change it, but I can’t
So if the chain is on your door, I understand”
This is arguably Taylor Swift’s most beautiful bridge, not just well-written, but beautiful. It’s the bridge of Swift’s one and only apologetic song from start to end. It’s very touching and emotional to hear her sing it as her vulnerable voice fits the pleading lyrics perfectly. Her lyrics powerfully convey the feelings of regret, loneliness and missing someone, and include personal details that don’t take away from the universality of the lyrics.
3- Dear John
“You are an expert at sorry and keeping lines blurry
Never impressed by me acing your tests
All the girls that you’ve run dry have tired, lifeless eyes
‘Cause you’ve burn them out
But I took your matches before fire could catch me
So don’t look now I’m shining like fireworks over
Your sad, empty town”
This is one of Taylor Swift’s most intense and scorching verses ever. She wrote her heart out in it, taking shots at her ex without looking back. You can feel the pain in every word she writes and sings until she unleashes her fiery, victorious line, “I’m shining like fireworks over your sad, empty town”. There are artists with a 15 year+ songwriting career who would kill for that line. It’s also a perfect portrayal of what sets Swift apart from her contemporaries: she doesn’t only tell, but she shows too. As seen in most of her songs, she always uses powerful images to strongly convey the intensity of her feelings, feelings that were sung and written about a gazillion times over the past fifty years, but sound significantly different when Swift describes them her own way. While the feelings you feel while listening to the song will probably fade after a short time of listening to it, you just can’t keep from marveling at the depth and emotional effect of the images she use.
2- Last Kiss
“So I’ll watch your life in pictures like I used to watch you sleep
And I feel you forget me like I used to feel you breathe
And I keep up with our old friends just to ask them how you are
Hope it’s nice where you are”
Yes, I noticed that my favorite bridges are her saddest too. This bridge is an emotional wreck really. I think I cried the first time I heard it and I can’t remember how many times I paused the song to repeat it.
1- All Too Well
“Maybe we got lost in translation, maybe I asked for too much,
But maybe this thing was a masterpiece ’til you tore it all up.
Running scared, I was there, I remember it all too well.
Hey, you call me up again just to break me like a promise.
So casually cruel in the name of being honest.
I’m a crumpled up piece of paper lying here
‘Cause I remember it all, all, all… too well.
Time won’t fly, it’s like I’m paralyzed by it
I’d like to be my old self again, but I’m still trying to find it
After plaid shirt days and nights when you made me your own
Now you mail back my things and I walk home alone”
It speaks for itself. I have nothing left to say after that one, except that, in my opinion, Taylor Swift is the best songwriter of her generation (2005 – 2009). And she’s got plenty to back that statement up.
Do you think any other bridges should have made the list? Sound off in the comments below!