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With the release of Taylor Swift’s most recent album “The Tortured Poets Department” as well as the surprise drop of a second half to the album hours later “The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology,” there are many songs to dissect, analyze and play on repeat. Thirty-one songs to be exact.

While opinions on the album have been coming in nonstop and there has been various discourse over which songs are forever hits and which ones are subjective album skips, there are a few that personally made an impact on me.

Here are the 10 songs from “The Tortured Poets Department,” including its anthology, that stuck with me as a listener in no particular order.

So Long, London

Listening to “The Tortured Poets Department” chronologically when it first dropped, I was nervous. I didn’t think I would like this one when I was four songs in and not feeling anything I’d heard yet.

Enter “So Long, London.”

From the starting bells to the raw emotion in Swift’s voice throughout the song, it stuck in my memory as the turning point for if I was going to like this album or not.

Florida!!! (feat. Florence + The Machine)

Going into this album I already knew the Florence + The Machine feature would be my favorite, and to nobody’s surprise, it was.

Swift has been known to give little room to shine to her female features in the past, but this song full lets Florence Welch’s vocals soar. It feels more like it should be her song over Swift’s, but put together it still makes for one of the best collaborations of this year.


I have always been of the belief anything Aaron Dessner touches turns to gold, and this song is no exception. The piano, her tone and do not even get me started on the lyricism.

I am not typically a person who cries when listening to music, especially songs that have nothing to do with me, but this one got me. At first listen I was closing my eyes to fully hear it and the next thing I knew a tear shed.

I was considering why she didn’t just call the song “Love Of My Life” since the acronym felt wrong until the last line hit and I had a moment of realization that made the song really stick.

Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?

I won’t lie, this song took me a few listens to get behind. It sounded too much like “my tears ricochet” from her album “folklore” and that one took me a bit to come around to as well.

The overall message of the song is one Swift has told us before, with new angles to the story. But, as many people have taken to TikTok to create edits to the song as well as use it as an audio for content, it has stuck in my mind.

Clara Bow

This is yet another song that took more than one listen to appreciate. I heard the self-reference and immediately checked out of this one, but after letting it sit a little and hearing the tune again, I understood the importance.

The whole message of the song being about the cycle of female artists and how fame can be eclipsed by the next person is an interesting one. Include the fact that Swift pokes at the idea that she is passing the baton to someone else, it leaves a bittersweet feeling.

The Black Dog

When I went to bed the night of the release, I knew I would wake up to more music, but I was not expecting to have another side to the album that completely turned my opinion around on the work. When I put on “The Black Dog” it felt like a sigh of relief.

Again, thank you, Aaron Dessner.

The highs and lows of emotion in this one will be circling around my mind for a while, so thank you for the earworm, Miss Swift. I’ll wake up thinking about the line “Old habits die screaming.”

I Hate It Here

From the start of this song, it had a good tempo and it set up the storytelling well for what the listener was getting into. Overall, I’m sure many people share the sentiment the song illustrates.

Obviously, I was not a fan of a certain line, even with the context it still just feels a little offputting. Despite this, the message still comes across and the way Swift jampacks line after line in the quick beat you hear many other metaphors she drops in rapid-fire succession.

The Prophecy

This one is for the hopeless romantics, the ones who love Greek mythology a little too much and those who are happy being independent but would enjoy company occasionally. I know you all have seen the Percy Jackson parallels to this song too.

While “Cassandra” is the main song on this album that pays homage to Greek myths, the idea of a prophecy in general has many fanatics linking the lyrics to lines in old tales. There is a desperation in Swift’s tone as she sings this one that is easy to sympathize with.

The Bolter

It’s easy to attach to a song and to keep thinking about it when you can relate to many aspects of what is being sung about. This is my case with “The Bolter” as from the very first verse I could see myself in the story Swift was telling.

This song also felt like a familiar Swift work, the storytelling of it could easily place itself amongst works on “Speak Now” and “evermore.”

The songs of Swift’s that feel as though it is a piece of literature being adapted will always become some of my favorite.

The Manuscript

As far as endings go for an album, this track definitely did not disappoint. Originally misleading “Clara Bow” as the closing song for the album did not seem to fit as well as “The Manuscript” does.

There are notes of finality that seem to tie this album up in a little bow. “The only thing that’s left is the manuscript,” felt a little bit on the nose, but the point got across nonetheless.

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