Taylor Swift's 'Speak Now': The 10 best lines from her new album

taylor-swiftImage Credit: Joseph Anthony BakerTaylor Swift has a new album due this week; perhaps you’ve heard?

In the weeks leading up to the release of Speak Now, parsing the lyrics of crossover pop’s premiere confessetrix has become something of a national pastime. (Is “Back to December” really the story of her doomed affair with Twilight‘s topless teen wolf? Does “Dear John” reveal the cold-eyed love assassin hidden behind Mr. Mayer’s O-face? Only nine million speculating journalists know for sure.)

What may be lost in the shuffle of conspiracies and suppositions, however, is what Swift’s songs say, as much as who they are—or aren’t—about. So refer below to our list, in chronological order, of the ten best couplets (and occasional triplets) from Speak‘s lyrics sheet:

1.  “You made a rebel of a careless man’s careful daughter / You are the best thing that’s ever been mine” (from “Mine”)

2. “Your guard is up and I know why, because the last time you saw me is still burned in the back of your mind / You gave me roses and I left them there to die” (from “Back to December”)

3. “I am not the kind of girl who should be rudely barging in on a white veil occasion / But you are not the kind of boy who should be marrying the wrong girl” (from “Speak Now”)

4. “You’ll add my name to your list of traitors who don’t understand / And I’ll look back and regret how I ignored when they said, Run as fast as you can” (from “Dear John”)

5. “You with your switching sides and your wildfire lies and your humiliation / You have pointed out my flaws again, as if I don’t already see them” (from “Mean”)

6.”I used to know my place was the spot next to you / Now I’m searching the room for an empty seat / ‘Cause lately I don’t even know what page you’re on” (“The Story of Us”)

7. “There I was again tonight, forcing laughter faking smiles / Same old tired, lonely place / walls of insincerity, shifting eyes and vacancy / Vanished when I saw your face” (from “Enchanted”)

8. “She’s not a saint, and she’s not what you think / She’s an actress, whoa / But she’s better known for the things that she does on the mattress” (from “Better Than Revenge”)

9. “32 and still growing up now / Who you are is not what you did / You’re still an innocent” (from “Innocent”)

10. “The cynics were outrage, screaming this is absurd / ‘Cause for a moment a band of thieves in ripped jeans got to rule the world” (from “Long Live”)

(Follow The Music Mix on Twitter:@EWMusicMix.)

More on the Music Mix:
Taylor Swift covers Coldplay’s ‘Viva La Vida': Watch!
Taylor Swift, vinyl lover: She tells EW why she’s releasing ‘Speak Now’ as an LP
Kanye West says Taylor Swift, Ray Charles didn’t deserve Grammys
Taylor Swift takes on a bully (and John Mayer?) on new album

Comments (98 total) Add your comment
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  • outside agitator

    Gawd, make the pueril love songs stop.

    • Jersey Jeff

      I wish she would stop writing songs about me.

      • Monica

        Ha, good one. you wish.

    • Kissntell

      She needs to go find a voice.
      As far as her subjects, it’s all very 15 years old gossip. Giggle giggle.

      • Carlee

        Not funny at all? Shes amazing andd I dont know which 15 yr olds know about many things done on a matress?

      • RyRy

        Seriously?! Half my school was sexing it up when i was 15.

      • Kelly

        then you have no right being on her page. get a grip.

      • Lily

        you make me sick

  • a person

    i love the line from Better than Revenge aka my new favorite song! :)

    • sara

      Really? I hope Camilla Belle sues her for defamation.

      • jay

        well taylor doesn’t say it in the song that it’s about camilla, so she wouldn’t have anything to sue her on. . just saying.

  • Ashley

    I bought Speak Now and I loved it. I don’t know if it’s better than Fearless yet but no regrets. It is good.

  • Bee

    i hope this isn’t in any special order. cus that line from mine is def. not the best. it’s not even a good line for the song. it “sounds” smart but has nothing to do with the rest of the song.

    anyway, #s 10, 4, and 3 are the best from this list. hate #8. so annoying.

    • barb

      ….Um.. it absolutely goes with the song. Her parents broke her by letting her witness their terrible marriage. Her dad was careless with her heart and the guy she is singing to made a rebel of her because she is letting go of those old wounds and putting herself out there.

      Just saying.

      • Tryitnow

        Except that isn’t true…her parents do not have a “terrible marriage.” She’s written very postiively about them before, and without her parents being financially secure enough to move to Nashville, she’d be some awkwardly tall girl living in Pennsylvania.

        Problem with that song is that it wasn’t true to life, a rarity for Swift.

    • Melissa

      It’s in order of the songs that play on the CD. It’s not saying that the lyric from Mine is the best lyric, it’s saying that it’s the first lyric on the CD out of the chosen.

  • Phil

    So I’ve been thinking about Taylor and her lovely contribution to this week’s digital charts, “Mean”. The more I consider it, she was a 19 yr. teenager who got involved with a 30 something plus adult. (For the record, I had one such relationship when I was that age). In hindsight I’m sure she’ll realize the folly of her ways (even if she is now collecting royalties for it) but ist not going to win her any fans over 30 since we’re all smart enough to learn from your mistakes of youth, and not to whine about them.

    • Jase

      Uh huh, but Mean isnt about that…. Dear John is.

      • Phil

        hahaha Thanks, they all started to sound the same!

      • steph

        @ Phil: every one of her songs sounds the same.

      • Karate Pants

        Okay, is EVERY song listed above about getting burned by some dude?? Not to rile the Taylor fans, but this makes me REALLY glad to be of the “Jagged Little Pill” generation of pi$$y breakup albums.

      • Arianna

        Taylor is the Alanis Morrissette of this generation meaning she’s getting the same attention for her songwriting ability, but not saying that Taylor’s songwriting ability is the same depth as Alanis. They’re different types of artists, but they’re both magnificent at what they did/are doing.

      • Phil

        I went to Alanis’ 10 yr anniversary acoustic set of “Jagged Little Pill” where she did the entire cd from beginning to end (and even had Jason Mraz open for her!). PLEASE NEVER COMPARE TAYLOR’S ‘TALENTS’ TO HER’S EVER AGAIN. If Taylor performed any of her cds from beginning to end acousticly, ticket takers out front would be deaf… and cows 4 states over wouldn’t be able to make milk for weeks! Thank you.

      • Arianna

        I was “not” comparing Taylor to Alanis as I said “they’re both different types of artists”, but you cannot deny that when you hear a new song from either Taylor or Alanis, you immediately know it is them because they both have a unique voice/style of singing/phrasing and can be distinguished from all other artists. We all know of Taylor’s live skills, so there’s no need to banter that so much as beating a dead (white) horse to death. That’s why they’re called “recording artists” and if they sound good on record, that’s all that matters to most of the record buying public. Fans that want to go see Alanis or Taylor know what’s in store for them and so they won’t mind either way what calibre of performance they get from each artist. Alanis and Taylor are BOTH talented, whether you think so or not. They both sold high volumes of their respective albums and they both won Album of the Year grammies for their efforts, so critics and grammy (music) voters thought highly of both Alanis and Taylor. Please drink some of that milk to keep an eventual ulcer from developing.

      • nodnarb

        @KP: Oh, it’s worse than you can imagine. Apparently, every song on the album is about getting burned by some dude she dated, and all the dudes are celebrities. The hot new parlor game of 2010 is Guess Who Taylor’s Singing About!

      • Julian P

        @ Arianna: I can see your point, but you have to take into account that with all the illegal downloads and stuff nowadays, where the music industry really makes money is in selling tickets for live performances. Album sales are just seen as a bonus really. So an artists who can’t perform live (or as you call it, a “recording artist”) is pretty much a lost cause and a waste of money and time for both the businessmen and the fans.

      • Karate Pants

        LOL@nodnarb, now that’s a game I’d lose just about every time!
        Arianna, I’m with Phil and Julian here. How can Taylor Swift be considered equally as talented as Alanis Morrisette if she can’t carry a tune without the help of elaborate studio equipment??

      • u

        @ Arianna:
        If album sales and Grammy awards equal talent, then by your logic Lil Wayne and Britney Spears are massively talented. I really like how that is the ONLY argument Taylor Swift fans have to prove that she is “talented”, that she is commercially successful and has a bunch of awards. It’s like they don’t know that tons of untalented artists have achieved the same feat. Oh, and you’re sorely mistaken if you think most people over the age of 12 don’t care if an artist sounds as good live as they do on their recordings. Like Julian P. pointed out, people don’t really buy albums these days, so if an artist wants to have a long-term career, they BETTER kick ass live.

      • Arianna

        In response to Julian P –

        Yes, I see your side of the argument in regards to the downloading and how record sales only equate to minimal revenue transference to the artist in question and that concert sales make up a good bulk of an artist’s income. So in answer to that, all I can say is that Taylor sells out huge stadiums and crowds wherever she goes (sometimes within minutes or an hour of ticket release), whether be domestic or international (have you seen her tour in Australia? The crowd was Olympic arena size)and I am sure that is where she received a huge part of her 45.8 million in earnings last year. So your argument has basis perhaps where other artists are concerned, but that does not seem to apply to Taylor, which you may place as a unique situation. As a fan, the only thing I can say is that Taylor sings from the heart and you can connect with her in many different levels. She may not be the most technically brilliant vocalist, but what she gives to her audience is something special. Something that other artists (that have technical prowess above Taylor’s) lacks. I hope that better explains how Taylor fans experience when you see her in concert.

      • Arianna

        In response to u –

        Album sales and grammy awards are only a part of what consists of being talented. Yes, it’s true that some talented people never receive acknowlegement for their skills and that’s because their talent happened to occur at the wrong time in the industry. Timing is a critical part of being discovered in music or show business or whatever profession one is seeking, along with a little bit of luck and charm in that twist of fate moment. Taylor happened to come along at a time when the industry needed something different and she brought Country music to the forefront and made it popular beyond its Country genre. She blended the best parts of Country and Pop to achieve a sound that became infectious and thrilling to hear (whether on cd or live) from her. She has what some call that “X Factor”, where you can’t really place what it is, but she possesses something special that goes beyond just being a elitist songwriter and adequate technical singer, she brings her energy and emotions to her concerts and leaves you feeling good. Her songs have the same effect when you listen to them. In essence, Taylor’s speaking to you directly through her songs. Yeah, it sounds dumb, but it’s true to an extent that when an artist can achieve that level of intervention between just being a “singer” and being something more than that. Sure enough, Taylor does possess “talent” and that’s not validated through just album sales and awards, but through the acceptance of her huge international fanbase. She sells out all venues of concerts, so obviously the millions of fans that love Taylor (by this measure) shows that she possesses some level of talent, whether by your standards or ours (Taylor’s fans). Lastly, Taylor does kickass live, so unless you’ve seen her in concert, you need to retract that comment.

      • u

        @ Arianna:
        You are right that luck and timing makes all the difference in the world. However, I’ve seen several of her “live” performances, and I stand by my statement that she is not a good live performer. To each their own, though.

      • Kenley

        I totally agree with you Ariana. Taylor does have the X Factor for success and “u” is just a wet blanket. He actually thinks Kanye’s new cd will sell well after all he’s spewn out. Yuck!

  • K

    “So I’ll watch your life in pictures like I used to watch you sleep/And I’ll feel you forget me like I used to feel you breathe” -Last Kiss

    • outside agitator

      need a shot of insulin after reading that one. maybe that’s why the CDC reports 1/3 of Americans will have diabetes by 2050…they heard TS songs.

  • Peter

    What? No kisses in the rain?

    • Jay

      lol :)

  • barb

    “people throw rocks at things that shine.”

  • nodnarb

    Are these her song lyrics or her Facebook wall? I’ve read more depth in a greeting card.

    • charlie’s angel

      best comment of the day! thank you!

    • Arianna

      Speaking of greeting cards, Taylor is the “only” singer that’s ever generated a line of greeting cards that have her tunes playing when opened. She made over 45 million last year in revenue. We all should be so lucky. You can hate the girl, but you cannot deny her selling power.

      • nodnarb

        Seriously?! I don’t actually hate her, it’s just not my taste. She’s like the Nicolas Sparks of music.

      • Jay

        Kanye West was right.

      • u

        Who’s Nicolas Sparks?

      • Tylar

        he’s an author

  • Bill

    Those are all HORRIBLE! This is the girl everyone says is some great songwriter? Not even close.

    This one in particular is lazy and banal:

    ”I used to know my place was the spot next to you / Now I’m searching the room for an empty seat / ‘Cause lately I don’t even know what page you’re on”

  • Bill

    I’m waiting for her to see the boy of her dreams in the pages of a magazine, the best she’s ever seen.

  • nevin

    chose all the wrong lines. just saying
    “horrified looks from everyone in the room but i’m only looking at you” is 10,000 times better than the one you chose from speak now. but that’s just my opinion.

  • Kath

    “I am not the kind of girl who should be rudely barging in on a white veil occasion” — Sounds like Alanis. No, I’m serious. Same stress pattern and such.

  • Arianna

    I thought she would not be able to surpass a masterpiece set like FEARLESS, but I just picked up SPEAK NOW at Target this morning and she has definitely created her Magnum Opus. Taylor has grown as a songwriter. Listen to Speak Now with an open mind and then re-listen to FEARLESS. This offering is simply amazing.

    • Arianna

      The Story of Us is the only song I don’t like. The songs on the deluxe set Ours, Superman, If This Was a Movie and the acoustic versions of Back To December & Haunted are excellent!

      • TSwiftFAN!

        hey @Arianna, did u get the deluxe version from target? cuz i checked the tracklist and I never heard of those other songs…

    • Arianna

      TSwiftFAN!,

      I believe you only bought the regular version. Did Taylor have on a red dress in the one you bought or the purplish one? The red one is the deluxe version.

  • Sara

    I think that the “Better Than Revenge” is the best song off the album. It’s funny and exactly the kind of song I imagine a lot of 20 year olds would relate to. It’s catchy and cracks me up everytime I hear it.

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