Here’s every unreleased Taylor Swift song you’ve never heard before
Let’s put my degree in Swiftology to good use
by Amanda Ross
Alright, there are two embarrassing things you need to know about me for this story:
1. I'm Tumblr famous, which means I've been a way-too-active-user for nearly 8 years now. I'm 25 and it's lame as hell, but the Google Ads on it pay my astonishingly expensive electricity bill (I love air conditioning, fuck the earth!)
2. I'm freakishly into Taylor Swift. Not like in a cut-her-skin-off-and-wear-it way, but this is how conversations with me go:
GUY I'M DATING: Ugh, why did I wear dark jeans today? It's so hot out.
ME, IMMEDIATELY: In Taylor Swift' smash-hit studio album Reputation, she has a line about dark jeans and —
So now that we've established that I'm an expert in both Taylor Alison Swift and plumbing the depths of the Internet for unseen content (Tumblr's an absolute Atlantis of hidden music, lemme tell y'all), I can now present to you, in good faith, a slew of unheard Taylor Swift tracks she left on the cutting room floor. Some of them I really understand why she didn't want them to see the light of day, but some might just be your next Instagram caption. Decide for yourself, lazy!
Being With My Baby
This really kind of checks off every buzzword of an early Taylor Swift song. We've got: references to mama and daddy like she's not from Pennsylvania, the phrase my baby which is distinctly different from just saying baby and something she's stuck with all these years, something about a truck, something about a guitar, something about being young and crazy. It's a fine song! Something you'd hear at the dentist's office that you'd tap your foot along to but never bother to Shazam.
This was a download only available for people who bought a physical copy of her debut album specifically from Best Buy in 2006 — back from the Bush administration. It's so ancient, listening to it on YouTube feels like uncovering the Dead Sea Scrolls — and the fact that the lyrics are in Papyrus font doesn't help, either :( It's a fiddle-filled vintage Taylor track, and the lyrics are kind of…creepy. But I mean, who hasn't mentally catalogued information about the dude they like but doesn't know they exist?
I Heart ?
Another dusty old track from an LP, and yes, it's pronounced phonetically like Eye Heart Question Mark. Super jangly, it's one of the more country thangs I've ever heard from that slimy serpent I hold so dear. It's either about pretending to like someone else when you get dumped to spite the person who left you (sounds…familiar, lmao) OR it's about having a secret side piece. Which, y'know, also rings a bell.
I'll defend Taylor to the ends of the earth over pretty much anything, but this song is….I mean, let's just say I understand why it never made an album cut. This track, about a girl who dumped her brother, is knockoff of Picture to Burn, IMO. Like it's obviously better than anything the other Main Pop Girls were doing back in 2006 but by Swiftian standards, it's subpart. Also, listen to the way she sings the words green dress. What accent is that??? The greatest trick Taylor Swift ever pulled was convincing the world her southern accent existed.
Dark Blue Tennessee
I would actually kill for a 2018 studio version of this pretty piano ballad because it's definitely the kind of thing you listen to when you're already sad to make yourself even sadder, like the time I rode the bus and listened to Frank Ocean to make myself cry just to feel dramatic. 2016 was a dark time for me, okay!
I don't even know when the hell this was recorded because the only audio that exists of it might be sped/pitched up and it makes her sound like a four-year-old. But I highly doubt an elementary school child wrote the lyrics: Walk to the car / Dig out my keys / Start thinking of you with anyone but me. That's definitely some Speak Now shit.
I'm gonna stop trying to date these songs because trying to figure out her age based on pitch/level of lyric sophistication is literally like trying to do calculus — and I only ever got as far as remedial Algebra 2 so that should tell you how hard this is for me. This is just a little demo about a cookie-cutter person who's I guess just from America? Same? Anyway, this is a great time for me to direct you to Taylor Swift's first interview in Rolling Stone that proves she's a democrat. She said of Barack Obama's election: "I've never seen this country so happy about a political decision…I'm so happy this was my first election." Nazi my ass!
Am I Ready For Love?
This song was written by 13-year-old Taylor for her demo, so I'm gonna say the answer to her question is no! She's not ready for love! What were you doing in seventh grade? If your answer is "pretending to have a boyfriend by creating a fake AIM account of a guy named Jake so your friends will get off your fucking back", then we're twinsies!
Ok this song has me shook because it appears that it's about the girlfriend of Stephen, the guy from Hey Stephen! Or maybe Angelina is just a stand-in for a vixen-y type brunette. Taylor used to be such a Jennifer Aniston, you know? There's no audio for this one, but the lyrics are in the Youtube video description box:
This is another one without audio, and another one that leaves me a bit confounded. The opening lyrics are about living in a "broken down house" but I know for a fact that Miss Ting has stock broker parents! Definitely not the kind of house with a car parked in the grass. Unless she's doing some kind of writing exercise from a different perspective, to which I say yas! Experiment, broke Taylor! Eat macaroni and cheese with cut-up hotdogs for dinner! Live that life!
Wished On a Plane
First, a warning: it will sound like a post-puberty Peter Brady is singing this because the pitch has been adjusted to avoid a copyright issue even though that's really not how any of this works, sorry. This is about confusing an airplane for a shooting star and it bringing you PAIN and MISERY instead, and it's true because if she had actually wished on a star then she would have been the featured vocalist on B.o.b.'s song Airplanes and collecting that fat-ass royalty check.
Long Time Coming
This is the bridge: I've burned my bridges, had sleepless nights / Washed my sins in the neon lights / And I'm still not over you. Just fuck me up, ma'am. Just fuck me right up.
Apparently, a studio version of this exists but it's not yet heard by human ears. But in the meantime, this edition, which sounds like it's recorded via Snapchat, is still pretty damn good. The plot revolves around not wanting to lose someone's face, either to faded memories or a rare flesh-eating bacteria. Which I can totally related to because every summer, I freak out about skin-consuming amoebas in lake water. Just another reason Taylor and I are the same person, I guess!
Made Up You
I'm gonna get a little sappy here, but I don't care what you fuckers on the other side of the computer screen think of me. The lyrics "Sometimes I wait to answer just to hear you say my name" is better than every sentence of the Constitution, every Beatles line, every red letter in the King James Bible. If you think I'm correct, Venmo $1 to @Amanda49. And if you think I'm wrong, send $2.
Kind of crazy how we've never had a Tay song with the word sugar in it until now. Her mind…queen of ingredients. Though am I correct in saying that sugar is a sinister pet name? If my boyfriend called me that, I'd be like, Wow, I didn't know I've been having sex with my grandma for the past two years! Fine, that joke wasn't good, but it's 4:30 p.m. and I'm tired. This bitch really got a lot of unreleased music, huh?
What To Wear
One day I'll learn why every single unreleased Taylor Swift song on YouTube has Spanish lyrics. It's a mystery in the same puzzling way T.S. thinks an Abercrombie shirt is a hot date outfit. Seriously, the lyrics are: Sixteen, blue jeans, Abercrombie t-shirt / shoes, purse, hair tied back so you can see her. I have a sneaking suspicion this is product placement as she was part of an A&F Rising Star campaign. Not even teenage Taylor could be so foolish as to think a popped-collar polo is hot.
Cross My Heart
This could have been a Hot 100 hit but unfortunately for us all, I am not the one puppeteering Taylor's career. It's pretty classic in the sense that it's an incredibly elevated version of the best thing you'll ever hear on pop radio. Accessible, but just better — you know?
Under My Head
With this, we come to the end of my secret Swift catalogue of music. We're ending on a perfectly nice song for our perfectly nice readers. Aren't I sweet and totally non-threatening, not unlike this deliciously generic pop song left to die in her producer's studio?