7 July 2023, 21:17
Does Taylor Swift write her own songs? Here’s every Taylor Swift song where Taylor Swift credited as the solo writer.
Imagine thinking Taylor Swift doesn’t write her own songs? The famously autobiographical, most prolific songwriter of her generation? That Taylor Swift? Couldn’t be me! Could be Damon Albarn though, apparently.
Back in January 2022, Albarn, the frontman of Blur and the Gorillaz, was interviewed by the Los Angeles Times. When the interviewer mentioned Taylor Swift as an example of an “excellent” songwriter, in regards to the previous question about whether Albarn thought “a lot of modern musicians are relying on sound and attitude,” he responded: “She doesn’t write her own songs.”
He then went on to say that co-writing “doesn’t count,” and that “co-writing is very different to writing. I’m not hating on anybody, I’m just saying there’s a big difference between a songwriter and a songwriter who co-writes. Doesn’t mean that the outcome can’t be really great.”
He then continued: “A really interesting songwriter is Billie Eilish and her brother [Finneas]. I’m more attracted to that than to Taylor Swift. It’s just darker — less endlessly upbeat. Way more minor and odd. I think she’s exceptional.” (Endlessly upbeat?! LMAO, please book an afternoon off to listen to Folklore and Evermore!)
Albarn’s comments sparked a huge wave of backlash from fans at the time, and a strong response from Taylor herself.
How many songs has Taylor Swift written solely by herself?
In response to Albarn’s comments, Taylor wrote: “@DamonAlbarn I was such a big fan of yours until I saw this. I write ALL of my own songs. Your hot take is completely false and SO damaging. You don’t have to like my songs but it’s really fucked up to try and discredit my writing. WOW.”
In another tweet, she added: “PS I wrote this tweet all by myself in case you were wondering”
Shortly after Taylor’s tweet, a handful of her collaborators, friends, famous fans, famous authors, streaming services and the actual real life then-president-elect of Chile, called out Albarn’s quotes.
Then, Albarn hopped online to apologise: “I totally agree with you. I had a conversation about songwriting and sadly was reduced to clickbait. I apologise unreservedly and unconditionally. The last thing I would want to do is discredit your songwriting. I hope you understand. – Damon.”
Does Taylor Swift write her own songs and lyrics?
Yes. Taylor Swift has written and is credited as a songwriter on all of her songs.
She has also collaborated and co-written with many other songwriters and producers, including Liz Rose, Jack Antonoff, Max Martin, Shellback, Aaron Dessner, Ed Sheeran, Justin Vernon, Ryan Tedder and several more. Some of them have even spoken about just how much Taylor actually contributes to the writing process herself, including Tedder and Rose. (H/T Ashton Pittman via Twitter.)
Throughout the years, Taylor has shared behind-the-scenes clips of her and her collaborators working on songs together, voice notes from the first time she played unfinished tracks she had written and has spoken at length (!), several times (!!), about her personal songwriting process.
But just in case anyone was wondering just how many of her own tracks she’s penned completely by herself, here’s a handy list of all the songs where Taylor is credited as the sole songwriter.
Taylor Swift (2006)
- ‘The Outside’, ‘Should’ve Said No’, ‘Our Song’
- ‘Fifteen’, ‘Love Story’, ‘Hey Stephen’, ‘You’re Not Sorry’, ‘Forever & Always’, ‘The Best Day’, ‘Change’, ‘Jump then Fall’, ‘The Other Side of the Door’, ‘Mr. Perfectly Fine (Taylor’s Version)’
Speak Now (2010)
- All 14 tracks on the standard edition of the album, plus ‘Ours’ and ‘Superman’ from the deluxe version.
- ‘Electric Touch (Taylor’s Version)’, ‘When Emma Falls In Love (Taylor’s Version)’, ‘I Can See You (Taylor’s Version)’, ‘Castles Crumbling (Taylor’s Version)’, ‘Foolish One (Taylor’s Version)’, ‘Timeless (Taylor’s Version)’.
- Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) is entirely self-written.
- ‘State of Grace’, ‘Red’, ‘I Almost Do’, ‘Stay Stay Stay’, ‘Holy Ground’, ‘Sad Beautiful Tragic’, ‘The Lucky One’, ‘Starlight’, ‘Begin Again’, ‘The Moment I Knew’, ‘Girl at Home’, ‘Better Man (Taylor’s Version)’ (originally released by Little Big Town), ‘Nothing New (feat. Phoebe Bridgers) (Taylor’s Version)’
- ‘This Love’
- Taylor co-wrote the tracks and collaborated on this album with Jack Antonoff, Max Martin and Shellback, as well as a few other producers and writers. One of the most famous behind-the-scenes clips that has been shared from the making of Reputation features Taylor and Jack sitting in a studio and writing ‘Getaway Car’ together.
- ‘Lover’, ‘Cornelia Street’, ‘Daylight’
- ‘My Tears Ricochet’
- ‘No Body, No Crime (feat. HAIM)’
- ‘Vigilante Shit’
- ‘Christmas Tree Farm’, ‘Eyes Open’ (from The Hunger Games soundtrack), ‘Christmas Must Be Something More’ (from The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection), ‘I Heart ?’ (from Beautiful Eyes), ‘Today Was A Fairytale’ (from the Valentine’s Day soundtrack and later added to Fearless (Taylor’s Version))
As fate would have it, Albarn’s comments came as Taylor was gearing up to re-release her own version of her 2010 album Speak Now. (The re-recorded album was released in July 2023.)
As previously mentioned, Taylor wrote every single song on the record by herself, except for one which featured on the deluxe edition of the original version of the album – ‘If This Was a Movie’ was co-written with Boys Like Girls’ Martin Johnson.
Speak Now, which is Taylor’s third album, reached No 1. on the Billboard 200 album chart, and was also nominated for Best Country Album at the Grammys. Taylor picked up two Grammys (Best Country Solo Performance and Best Country Song) for ‘Mean’, a song about critics who try to discredit and criticise everything she does.
She wrote it by herself.