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A response to ‘The definitive top ten Taylor Swift songs’

| Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Dear Matthew Carranza and Brian Conlon,

I have to admit, when I read your joint Letter to the Editor in the Nov. 15 publication of The Observer, I laughed. I’m sure you realize the impracticality of boiling an entire music artist down to 10 songs that will be completely uncontested, especially considering Taylor Swift has been releasing music since 2006. Heaven knows that most of my friend group has heatedly been discussing your choices, with many disagreements. I jokingly posted a photo of the paper release of your letter on my private Snapchat story, and of the 22 people who can see it, eight responded outraged that one song or another was not included.

Let me explain why I personally feel your list is inaccurate, and will never be fully accurate no matter how hard you try.

First, we must take into consideration the fact that Taylor Swift has been part of two main genres of music. She originally earned her name by taking the country music scene by storm and since then has become an extraordinarily renowned pop artist. She has released nine albums, excluding re-releases and deluxe versions. Your list of 10 songs did not reference any of her music published after 2014, ignoring many well-known and well-received songs from “Reputation,” “Lover,” “folklore” and “evermore.”

If we are going based on popularity alone, “New Romantics” would immediately lose its spot at #3, and may not make the top 10. Following suit, “Mine” would also be moving down. “The Story of Us” is honestly lesser-known, and would probably easily be replaced by “Back to December” from the same album, “Speak Now.” Most controversially: “Wildest Dreams.” This song is only currently popular because of TikTok trends, and if the spotlight has not faded by now, it’s probably fading quickly because “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)” is available. “Wildest Dreams” made waves when it was originally released, but was lost throughout time, as it was not as lyrically spectacular as other songs in even the same album.

There will never be a definitive top 10 list that every person will agree upon.

Taylor Swift has written so many songs of varying emotional states that you cannot pigeonhole her. Some people will only ever pine for her to go back to her country roots. Others will only repeatedly listen to “Reputation” and scream along with their car volume blasting at 11 p.m. People who are non-confrontational (such as me, typically) will listen to every era, but find joy in the gentle strength and storytelling within “folklore” and “evermore.” She is an artist for the masses, and the masses will never be able to agree. She has written for every stage of life and every moment, from the height of love to the depths of a soul-crushing breakup. From high school to adulthood, Taylor Swift has managed to be relatable in every moment of life, joining everyone together and shaking off the haters.

If anyone (looking at you, Matt) has any qualms with the presented opinions, please contact Liz Schutter at [email protected] and she will explain why you are wrong.

Elizabeth (Liz) Schutter

Saint Mary’s College class of ’24

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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