45 Things You Didn't Know About Taylor Swift Songs

One of Taylor's earliest songs was about finding out her best friend was battling bulimia and other fascinating facts about the Grammy-winner

By Jenna Mullins Nov 13, 2014 9:43 PMTags
E! Placeholder Image

1. The very first song Taylor Swift ever wrote was called "Lucky You." She wrote it when she was 12 years old after a computer repairman who came to her house taught her how to play three chords on a guitar.

2. "Mary's Song (Oh My My My)" was inspired by Taylor's next-door neighbors' long and happy marriage.

3. In its debut week, Red sold approximately two albums every second.

4. "Teardrops on My Guitar" became Taylor's first official crossover song when it hit high positions on both country and pop charts.

5. "Love Story" is Taylor's best-selling single to date, selling well over 5 million copies.

6. Taylor wrote "We Are Never, Ever Getting Back Together" after a friend of her ex-boyfriend's came into the studio and said he heard rumors that she was getting back together with her former flame. She explained the situation to her producer Max Martin, and from there the song was born.

7. She penned the song "Tied Together With a Smile" when she found out her best friend was battling bulimia.

8. When Taylor wrote the song "Fifteen," she first wrote the line "Abigail gave everything she had to a boy who changed his mind," and then worked backwards from there.

9. "Our Song" was written for her high school talent show and not for her debut album, but she decided on a whim to include it. It became a No. 1 single, and it won her Female Video of the Year and Video of the Year at the 2008 CMT Music Awards.

10. She wrote "Love Story" while she was dating a guy that nobody else liked.

11. She was only 12 years old when she wrote "The Outside" about her feeling like an outsider among her friends because of her love of country music.

12. "Hey, Stephen" is about Taylor's crush on Stephen Barker Liles, the lead singer of one of her opening acts, Love and Theft. Taylor says she texted him the night Fearless was released and said: "Hey, track five." Coincidentally, he had also written a song about Taylor called "Try to Make It Anyway."

13. "Should've Said No" was a last-minute addition to her debut album. She wrote it two days before mastering was scheduled.

14. Taylor's first single ("Tim McGraw") was inspired by an actual Tim McGraw song, "Can't Tell Me Nothin'." Taylor wrote it for her college-bound boyfriend when she was a freshman in high school.

15. Taylor wrote "The Best Day," an ode to her mom, in secret and surprised her with it as a Christmas present.

16. "Sparks Fly" was actually first written when she was 16 was only performed during some live shows in 2007. After reworking the lyrics and melody, it ended up on Speak Now.

17. Though Taylor describes and sings about a perfect first date in "Fearless," she was single at the time of writing it.

18. The original title for the Speak Now album was Enchanted, but it was changed after the president of her label thought the themes of the songs were less about fairy-tales and more about real life.

19. "Forever & Always," the song Taylor wrote after Joe Jonas broke up with her, was a last-minute addition to Fearless. It brought the number of tracks to 13, which seemed fitting as that is Taylor's lucky number.

20. Taylor wrote "Speak Now" after one of her friends revealed to her that her childhood crush was marrying a mean girl that cut him off from his friends and family. Taylor jokingly offered to go with her friend to the ceremony to interrupt the wedding, with her guitar of course. Taylor said she later had a dream where her boyfriend married someone else and she was then inspired to write the song.

21. "White Horse" almost didn't make the Fearless album, but after Shonda Rhimes wanted to put the song in an episode of Grey's Anatomy, they recorded it for the show and for the album.

22. Taylor wrote every song on her third album, Speak Now, by herself without any co-writers.

23. Taylor got the idea for the catchy "You Belong With Me" after hearing a friend of hers getting screamed at over the phone by his girlfriend.

24. Taylor wrote her debut single "Tim McGraw" with writing partner Liz Rose in 20 minutes on the piano.

25. After hearing the music to "Out of the Woods" from Jack Antonoff, it took Swift 30 minutes to write the lyrics.

26. It was Taylor's idea to collaborate with B.O.B. on his song "Both of Us" after visiting his label Grand Hustle.

27. "All Too Well" was the first song Taylor wrote for her fourth studio album, Red.

28. Right after the CEO of Big Machine Records signed Taylor, the first song she played for him was "Tim McGraw" on a ukulele. As soon as she was finished, he told her: "That's your first single."

29. Taylor changed her lyrics in "Picture to Burn" from "that's fine, I'll tell mine you're gay" to "That's fine, you won't mind if I say" amid some backlash for the controversial message.

30. The subject of "Tim McGraw," Drew Dunlap, has said he thought it was "cool" to be written about by Swift and the two remained friends after their breakup.

31. Taylor lists her heartbeat as an instrument on 1989's "Wildest Dreams."

32. "Change" was her first song to crack the Top Ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

33. The first thing that came to her when writing "Should've Said No" was the title, and she wrote the chorus in five minutes.

34. "Breathe" is actually about the end of a friendship, not a relationship. Taylor told co-writer Colbie Caillat this about the inspiration behind the song: "One of my best friends, I'm gonna have to not see anymore and it's not gonna be part of what I do. It's the hardest thing to go through."

35. "Love Story," "Picture to Burn," and "You Belong With Me" are all playable songs on Band Hero.

36. "Our Song" was placed at the end of Taylor Swift intentionally, because the last line of the song is "play it again." Taylor thought that would be a little nudge for fans to play the album all over again.

37. While Taylor didn't name any names in the scathing "Should've Said No," she did reveal later it was about an ex-boyfriend named Sam, and a lot of the lyrics were actual words she said to him while confronting him.

38. Taylor is the first Saturday Night Live host to write their own monologue song. It was called—what else, "The Monologue Song" and it mentioned both Joe Jonas and Taylor Lautner.

39. If you need damning proof that "Out of the Woods" is about Harry Styles, look no further than the photo of Taylor wearing a paper airplane necklace that is allegedly Harry's. That aspect of their relationship is referenced in the lines: "your necklace hanging from my neck" and "two paper airplanes flying, flying, flying."

40. Taylor wrote "22" because she said it was (at the time) her favorite year of her life, because "you know enough [and] you still know nothing, but you know that you know nothing."

41. Taylor wrote "Best Days of Your Life" with Kellie Pickler after the American Idol alum caught her boyfriend cheating and told Taylor all about it.

42. Taylor has said that "All Too Well," believed to be about Jake Gyllenhall, was emotionally the hardest song to write for Red.

43. "Back to December" is the first time Taylor apologizes to an ex through song.

44. "Change" was one of the official theme songs for the 2008 Summer Olympics.

45. Every single Taylor Swift song can give a human being life.*

*This Taylor Swift fact may not be technically true.