Taylor Swift's Top 5 Not on the Billboard Top 20 Songs

October 17, 2014 • 3 min read

This also appeared in the October 17 Parents’ Weekend edition of The Lawrence, which you can read here.


There’s no need to beat around the bush; I’m a Swiftie. I am a member and occasional contributor to /r/TaylorSwift, frequently peruse AnalyzingTaylor.tumblr.com, and have created, for personal discovery and enrichment purposes, a histogram detailing my play counts of every single Taylor Swift song—the histogram is skewed right, if you were wondering. Needless to say, I know Taylor’s music all too well. Those of you who don’t share the same passion could still benefit from adding some diversity to your musical selections. In honor of Swift’s upcoming album release, I urge you to shake off the mainstream and be a little hipster with this list of the top 5 Taylor Swift songs that never cracked the Billboard Top 20.

1. Tim McGraw

He said the way my blue eyes shined
Put those Georgia stars to shame that night
I said: "That's a lie."

“Tim McGraw” is easily the best song on Swift’s 2008 eponymous debut album. In the song, Taylor reminisces over moments with her boyfriend who’s going off to college. The lyrics are rough and raw, but surprisingly mature. I shiver a bit every time I hear “The moon like a spotlight on the lake.” Don’t miss the music video for “Tim McGraw.” It’s cheesy in all the right ways and there’s this shot of Taylor leaning against a rustic fence with leaves all around her while playing the guitar that is honestly too perfect.

2. White Horse

I'm not a princess, this ain't a fairy tale,
I'm not the one you'll sweep off her feet,
Lead her up the stairwell.

Off Taylor’s second studio album Fearless, “White Horse” has brought me close to tears many, many times. It’s emotional from start to finish, but listen for that moment when the instruments drop off and it’s just Taylor; you will never forget that moment. I’ve forgotten everything about the day my little brother was born. I’ve forgotten to call my mom so many times (I’ll call you tomorrow mom, I promise). But this moment, this is something that I will never forget.

3. Enchanted

There I was again tonight
Forcing laughter, faking smiles
Same old tired lonely place

“Enchanted” from Taylor’s third studio album Speak Now, is hands down my favorite. The first 13 seconds are magical. I have no idea what synthesizer/instrument makes that sound, but it’s amazing.

4. Everything Has Changed

And all I feel in my stomach is butterflies
The beautiful kind, making up for lost time,
Taking flight, making me feel right.

“Everything has Changed,” a collaboration with the fiery Ed Sheeran on Taylor’s fourth studio album Red, is a moment when 2 plus 2 really does equal 5. The warmth of Ed’s voice and the treble of Taylor’s pair to create something as tender and delicate—in the best way—as a warm brioche.

5. Dark Blue Tennessee

She almost called him on the night that he wrote
These simple words on his goodbye note.

Because “Dark Blue Tennessee” was never officially released, the only way to listen to it is on YouTube with that terrible pitch shifting. In spite of that, the song still shines. It’s perhaps the most country of any song on this list. Taylor’s voice has a little twang, and the instrumentation is unapologetically small-town southern.