Taylor Swift attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute Benefit celebrating Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty Exhibition on May 2, 2011.
Forget Taylor Swift? Never. Even when not in the midst of the aftermath of a history-making tour, a highly publicized relationship and a forthcoming album release, Taylor Swift has secured an unmovable legacy in entertainment. However, our popstar champion has a discography so long, that it’s easy to forget a song here and there. From early-career EPs to surprising collaborations, read on for 13 Taylor Swift songs you probably forgot about.
Though not quite the world domination of nowadays, Swift secured a steady fanbase after the release of her self-titled debut album in 2006. To appease them until the release of her second LP, she dropped an EP in the summer of 2008 with two original new songs. Called Beautiful Eyes, the titular track also got a music video that captured Swift’s 18th birthday party.
As we’ve seen with the vault tracks from the Taylor’s Version albums, Swift writes a lot of songs that don’t make it on an album. One of them is “Permanent Marker,” an unreleased track that was rumored to have been chopped from the final cut for Fearless. With plenty of teen angst and country twang, she questions: “Who do you think you are to write on his heart?”
According to fan lore, Swift wrote her first song after a computer repairman taught her how to play three chords on a guitar. “Lucky You” is also said to be about her grandmother who also inspired the Evermore track “Marjorie.”
Four of six songs on the Beautiful Eyes EP presented different versions of tracks from Swift’s 2006 album. In addition to “Beautiful Eyes,” the closer offered something new. Called “I Heart ?,” the teen country jam gives wearing your heart on your sleeve a whole new meaning.
From the bonus track version of her self-titled album, “I’m Only Me When I’m With You” is about Swift and her high school best friend Abigail Anderson, who would go on to be immortalized in the Fearless. A more lighthearted capture of friendship than “Fifteen,” the song reminds us Swift has always known how to write about all kinds of love.
Ahead of going full-on popstar for 2014’s 1989, Swift assisted on vocals for Tim McGraw’s single, “Highway Don’t Care.” Also enlivened by Keith Urban on guitar, the country powerhouse moment landed the trio a number of accolades including American Country and Country Music Association Awards and nominees from the Grammys and CMT Music Awards.
If you remember anything about 2010, you probably recall not being able to escape the song “Airplanes.” Hayley Williams’ “Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are shooting stars?” is probably now on loop in your head, but the radio dominator was in fact B.o.B’s song. The rapper followed up two years later with another mega collaboration by tapping Swift. Released in May 2012, “Both of Us” was certified platinum by the RIAA in 2016.
Clued in by her friendship with Williams and the Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) collaboration with Fall Out Boy, Swift has been a longtime fan of The Scene. Another piece of evidence is her teaming up with the band Boys Like Girls who you may remember from songs like “Love Drunk” and “The Great Escape.” “Two Is Better Than One” was released as the band’s second single from their 2009 album.
If you were listening closely, it was pretty obvious Swift was headed for an ‘80s pop-influenced album following the release of Red. One such example was “Sweeter Than Fiction,” which she wrote and produced with Jack Antonoff for the 2013 British film, One Chance. It was the first time the two collaborated, marking a significant turning point in the trajectory of her music.
On the Speak Now tour, Swift dedicated one song of the acoustic position of her set each night to an artist or band from the city she was playing in. The show at HP Pavillion in San Jose was treated to a cover of “Drops of Jupiter” by Train, which was later included on the Speak Now World Tour Live album.
The platinum edition of Fearless expanded the album by six songs, including the delicate, dreamy “Superstar.” It’s laughable now to imagine a music behemoth like Swift singing the lyrics “I’m no one special, just another wide-eyed girl,” but it reminds us how humbling it is to have a crush.
Another unreleased fan-favorite, "I'd Lie" is another one of Swift's dives into unrequited love. Perhaps also about the Drew of Teardrops on My Guitar" fame, she sings, "And I could tell you his favorite color’s green. He loves to argue, born on the seventeenth. His sister’s beautiful, he has his father’s eyes, and if you asked me if I love him, I’d lie."
If you are among the many who love the “You Belong With Me” music video, you need to give thanks to “Crazier.” Swift made the song for 2009’s Hannah Montana: The Movie, in which she has a quick cameo. While on set for the film in 2008, she met Lucas Till, the love interest of Miley Cyrus’ Hannah/Miley and who would go on to be the love interest in “YBWM.” What’s more, “Crazier” is another example of teen Swift wholly enamored with love.
Next time you queue up a Taylor Swift listen, be sure to also consider these songs.
Photography by: Julian Mackler/BFA.com