After Taylor Swift broke up with her British boy-bander boyfriend, Harry Styles, the world waited with bated breath for her to release a new break-up tune. According to some reports, she’s already written five of them.
The anticipation is so high, in fact, a sound-alike singer wrote a song and released it pretending to be Taylor! (And yes, we were fooled for a bit — her voice is impressive.)
Thanks to a tease of a tweet from Taylor, we know she’s been back to the recording studio since their split, but since she just released an album, we’re not likely to hear her new tunes any time soon.
In the meantime, we decided to put together a list of our favorite Swiftian break-up songs. No matter what sort of split you’re going through, you can probably find one of her pop-country tunes to blast in your car while you’re trying not to cry on your morning commute. (Not that we’ve ever done that… because that would be silly… and we’re adults…)
Some of Taylor’s exes get off easy in the songs — Taylor Lautner, for example, got a beautiful apology song — and some of them get eviscerated. John Mayer… tsk tsk. Check out our faves below and make sure to weigh in down in our comments section and let us know which Taylor break-up song works best for you.
“Picture to Burn”
Best lyric: “So go and tell your friends that I’m obsessive and crazy, that’s fine, I’ll tell mine you’re gay.” (The line was revised for radio and video, but it’s still on the album!)
From Taylor’s self-titled debut album, “Picture to Burn” was written about a guy who she felt was narcissistic and cocky — and a “redneck.” She wrote it in 2005, when she was 16, while she was working at Sony/ATV Music after school. It’s definitely a little immature — she rants about really, really hating his truck and planning to go out with all of his best friends — but sometimes, a woman scorned just needs to get mad.
“Back to December”
Best lyric: “The last time you saw me is still burned in the back of your mind. You gave me roses and I left them there to die.”
In most of Taylor’s break-up songs, she’s the wronged party. In this one, though, about her split from “Twilight” star Taylor Lautner, she admits that she was the heartbreaker, and that now she’s got some big-time regrets. While the song certainly didn’t insult Lautner, it also didn’t do a whole lot for his image… nothing says tough-sexy-werewolf-dude more than having your heart stomped by a tiny blonde country singer.
Best lyric: “Maybe it’s me and my blind optimism to blame, or maybe it’s you and your sick need to give love then take it away. You’ll add my name to your long list of traitors who don’t understand, and I’ll look back and regret how I ignored when they said ‘Run as fast as you can.'”
Ouch. Taylor’s song for John Mayer brutally accused him of preying on her innocence, having multiple “versions” of his personality, and of playing her like a chess game. “It made me feel terrible,” Mayer told Rolling Stone of the song. “Because I didn’t deserve it. I’m pretty good at taking
accountability now, and I never did anything to deserve that. It was a
really lousy thing for her to do.”
“All Too Well”
Best lyric: “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 too well.”
Unless you count her accusing him of sniffing her scarves, and the rather bitter lyric above, Taylor actually paints a pretty flattering picture of Jake Gyllenhaal in this break-up song. She writes about their time together last fall in New York so vividly we can practically taste the maple lattes and see his childhood photos. Though their romance was pretty brief, Taylor was obviously very invested — there’s a lot of pain in this song. It’s delicious.
“Better Than Revenge”
Best lyric: “Sophistication isn’t what you wear or who you know, or pushing people down to get you where you want to go. They didn’t teach you that in prep school so it’s up to me, and no amount of vintage dresses gives you dignity.”
Taylor wrote a lot of songs about her break-up with Joe Jonas. Her Fearless album was full of them — “Forever and Always” and “You’re Not Sorry” chronicled their split. (According to her, he dumped her in a 27-second phone call. According to him, the call would’ve been longer, but she hung up on him.) Our favorite Jonas-related song, however, was actually directed at Camilla Belle, the actress who Taylor felt stole Jonas from her. The song shows that even Taylor has a “Mean” side to her.