Not as Easy as Knowing All the Words to Your Old Favorite Songs: My Top 5 Midnights Tracks
Updated: Aug 31
Taylor Swift released her tenth studio album, Midnights, in 2022.
Warning: opinions may differ from your own, and that's okay!
I have been living in my Midnights Era, unashamed, since October 21. I am feeling confident yet painfully self-aware, sparkly yet as dim as a cloudy midnight, confident yet cringey. And I have never felt more alive!
This album was full of so many jaw-dropping (literally) moments for me during my first listen, and some of these lyrics have only grown on me more. Even on my 50th, 51st, 52nd, and so on listens, I am still finding lyrics that hit me right in the gut and production elements that make my brain buzz.
Like every Taylor album, I cannot wait to see what songs are in my top five next week, and the week after that, and the week after that...
Songwriters: Taylor Swift, Jack Antonoff, Mark Anthony Spears, Keanu Torres, Jahaan Sweet
This song is the embodiment of when Taylor Swift said, "Learn to live alongside cringe," in her NYU commencement speech. This song embodies "silly goofy girlboss" for me, and it is a no-skip bop every day of the week.
Ask me what I learned from all those years. Ask me what I earned form all those tears. Ask me why so many fade but I'm still here.
Not to mention, how satisfying is it when you do realize that karma is your boyfriend?
#4: Would've, Could've, Should've
Songwriters: Taylor Swift, Aaron Dessner
This is another prime example of Taylor absolutely blowing my mind that a song this good wasn't on the original track list for the album. Now, I think we all know that Taylor is an iconic planner, so she knew we would hear this song; it is still shocking, though, that there was even the smallest chance we wouldn't have heard "Would've, Could've, Should've".
Give me back my girlhood. It was mine first.
This is the perfect theorized partner song to "Dear John". It's like the evermore to its folklore. The older, more mature sister song that looks back at something with all the context and more life experience. Plus, belting that bridge when you're angry is more cathartic than breaking plates or ax throwing in my book.
Songwriters: Taylor Swift, Jack Antonoff
This was the song on the album that made me instantly cry when I heard the bridge. Yes, some of the other songs made me gasp out loud or want to start dancing immediately, but this was the one that GOT ME.
No one wanted to play with me as a little kid, so I've been scheming like a criminal ever since to make them love me and make it seem effortless.
This bridge speaks for itself. Thank you, Taylor, for gifting us with yet another unstoppable bridge!
#2: Lavender Haze
Songwriters: Taylor Swift, Jack Antonoff, Zoe Kravitz, Mark Anthony Spears, Jahaan Sweet, Sam Dew
Before we (finally!) got the "Lavender Haze" music video, this song was already visually stunning. You know how we all remember a "Getaway Car" or "Speak Now" music video, even though they absolutely do not exist (yet... maybe... hopefully!)? That's how this song immediately felt to me.
The only kind of girl they see is a one night or a wife.
Second favorite lyric? "Meet me at midnight." Possibly Taylor's most iconic opening of an album yet, tied with "Are you ready for it?"
Songwriters: Taylor Swift, Jack Antonoff
Now, I know what you are probably thinking: Really? "Bejeweled" as your number one?
And to that I have to say, "Yes. 'Bejeweled'." While this song is definitely not her most lyrically impressive song on Midnights (don't get me wrong, the lyrics are still great), this song just makes me so happy and giddy and sparkly. And I have to appreciate when a Taylor Swift song makes me wanna dance and smile and not cry and wallow and reevaluate my entire existence.
Putting someone first only works when you're in their top five.
Not to mention, some of my favorite one-liners from this album are in "Bejeweled" and it's probably my favorite TikTok trend to date (credits to Mikael Arellano for that one).
Taylor's songs on Midnights are my most anticipated acts for The Eras Tour this year, since we haven't seen her perform anything live yet (except for that acoustic Anti-Hero feature at the 1975 concert). I know she probably won't be able to play all the songs, but I really hope she can squeeze in at least two or three of my top five!
All music and lyrics discussed here are by Taylor Swift from her studio album Midnights. Production credits for Midnights and its various editions are as follows: the primary artist is Taylor Swift, featuring Lana Del Rey on the track Snow On the Beach; originally released on October 21, 2022; released under the label Republic Records; produced by Taylor Swift, Jack Antonoff, Sounwave, Jahaan Sweet, Braxton Cook, Keanu Beats, and Aaron Dessner; lyrics by Taylor Swift, Jack Antonoff, Zoe Kravitz, Mark Anthony Spears, Jahaan Sweet, Sam Dew, Lana Del Rey, Keanu Tores, William Bowery, and Aaron Dessner (lyricists are specified under each specific song as they are discussed). Learn more about Taylor Swift at TaylorSwift.com and follow her on social media at the handles @taylornation and @taylorswift.
All photos featured inside this article were taken by me. See my full TS Eras photo series on Instagram: @theabbyhazlett. Cover photo is by Rook Barber.