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Picking Taylor Swift‘s most heartbreaking lyrics is no easy task, given how the emotion is so entwined in her songs. It’s one of the reasons Swift is considered among the greatest songwriters of her generation if not all time. When it comes to her craft, Swift is an expert at putting emotion into words, and some of her songs can reduce any listener to tears. Here are Swift’s most heartbreaking lyrics.

Taylor Swift performs onstage during the 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony
Taylor Swift | Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

9. ‘You know the greatest loves of all time are over now’

Swift kicked off her 2020 album folklore with a gut punch of a song called “the 1.” Truly, nothing will ever recapture the feeling of listening to the song at 12:01 a.m. EDT when the album first dropped.

But while fans anticipated the album, Swift’s heartbreaking lyrics suggest she’s not waiting around for another love story. The stories, songs, and poems of love’s greatest victories have already been told or came to an end according to “the 1.”

8. ‘I’ve been having a hard time adjusting/ I had the shiniest wheels, now they’re rusting’

With her song “this is me trying,” another track from folklore, Swift explores themes of failure and trying to heal. As the narrator admits their flaws, they try and improve themselves to overcome their perceived failings. It’s a message anyone can relate to.

Adjusting to any situation, be it positive or negative, is a challenge. While her lifestyle and relationships may seem beyond our wildest dreams, Taylor Swift and her lyrics remain relateable.

7. ‘Who could ever leave me, darling?/ But who could stay?’

Swift’s 2019 album Lover is often overlooked when it comes to lyrics. With “The Archer,” Swift tackles feelings of anxiety and insecurity. It is also the fifth track on Lover, a spot Swift often saves for an album’s most emotional track.

“The Archer” certainly lives up to the track number’s reputation. Swift’s lyrics have always been introspective, but “The Archer” goes to a new level as Swift acknowledges her own faults in heartbreaking fashion.

6. ‘And I hate to make this all about me/ But who am I supposed to talk to?/ What am I supposed to do/ If there’s no you?’

Another song on Lover, “Soon You’ll Get Better (ft. The Chicks),” follows Swift’s relationship with her mother and her fear of losing her. With its stripped-back production, the vulnerability of the lyrics is so heartfelt it’s a song that is almost too sad to listen to.

Songs about loss will always have heartbreaking lyrics. Swift delivers one of her most personal songs in “Soon You’ll Get Better,” moving beyond frequent topics of relationships and fame to give fans a peek at her family life.

5. ‘I cause no harm, mind my business/ If our love died young, I can’t bear witness’

Swift is a master at matching heartbreaking lyrics with an upbeat production, and “right where you left me” is a perfect example of it. The song captures how trauma can keep someone frozen in time, unable to move past what hurt them.

What’s even more heartbreaking than the lyrics of “right where you left me” is the fact it’s only a bonus track on Swift’s 2020 album evermore, meaning the song doesn’t get the recognition it deserves for being some of Swift’s best work.

4. ‘And I can go anywhere I want/ Anywhere I want, just not home/ And you can aim for my heart, go for blood/ But you would still miss me in your bones’

There’s a reason this part of “my tears ricochet” is a viral sound on TikTok. It’s heartwrenching and angry, and in just a few words, Swift perfectly details the loss that comes when a relationship has ended on bad terms.

On folklore, “my tears ricochet” is the heralded Track No. 5. Swift stands up for herself in the song while simultaneously saying goodbye to a previous version.

3. ‘Should’ve kept every grocery store receipt/ ‘Cause every scrap of you would be taken from me’

Like “Soon You’ll Get Better (ft. The Chicks),” “Marjorie” is so sad that it is a song that cannot be listened to often. With the evermore track, Swift details the grief of losing her grandmother. The bridge of “Marjorie” is quite honestly one of Swift’s best, but because it’s so sad, no one wants to talk about it.


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2. ‘Just between us, do you remember it all too well?’

“All Too Well” is probably Swift’s most acclaimed song. It’s so beloved by fans that Swift released a 10-minute version of it on her re-recorded album Red (Taylor’s Version).

While “And you call me up again just to break me like a promise/ So casually cruel in the name of being honest” is the most famous line from “All Too Well,” it’s no longer the most heartbreaking.

In the new 10-minute version, Swift adds, “Just between us, do you remember it all too well?” toward the end. This quiet addition adds more heartbreak, as she looks for validation that the person who broke her heart possibly feels as much emotion as she does.

1. ‘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’

“All Too Well” might be Swift’s magnum opus, but “Last Kiss” is quite possibly her most heartbreaking song. Each line builds upon the previous line’s sadness. By the time listeners get to the song’s iconic bridge, the heartbreak is almost too much to handle.

“Last Kiss” is believed to be about Swift’s ill-fated romance with Joe Jonas. Rather than using spite, Swift’s heartbreaking lyrics deliver a somber autopsy on a relationship she believed would last.