Top 5 Taylor Swift songs that have affected society

While Taylor Swift is no stranger to impactful songs, there are five that have had a profound effect on society.


Taylor Swift’s songs are often filled with deeper meaning that positively impacts her fans, and society at large. (Photo illustration by Wildcat Chronicle with royalty-free photos from Aedrian, via Pexels, and Cosmopolitan UK, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Miley Pegg, Senior Reporter

“Taylor Swift(Debut)”. “Fearless”. “Speak Now”. “Red”. “1989”. “Reputation”. “Lover”. “Folklore”. “Evermore”. And “Midnights”. All ten of these studio albums were written, recorded, and re-recorded by Dr. Taylor Alison Swift. While each is packed full of meaningful tracks, there are some that stand out more than others. Here are five of her most impactable songs:

Taylor Swift

#5 Shake It Off

“Shake It Off” may sound like a silly song and a good beat, but Swift also expresses how her haters feel about the controversy-regarding Kanye West – letting people know that the hate cannot and will not get to her. “The haters gonna hate / hate hate hate her” and “the fakers gonna fake / fake fake fake fake” are iconic lyrics in tune. 

Taylor Swift

#4 Clean

Swift, and every one of her listeners, has experienced at least one heartbreak in their life. She says in an interview with Elle magazine, “A heartbroken person is unlike any other person. Their time moves at a completely different pace than ours. It’s this mental, physical, emotional ache and feeling so conflicted. Nothing distracts you from it”. “Clean”, written about an ex she saw in the city, also has an alternative meaning behind it: the song could also be an ode for “fans who’ve had struggles with mental illness, addiction, and abuse – it’s about being quite literally clean.” While Swift may not have intended to conjure associations with mental illness, “she immediately accepted the fandom-wide meaning once she heard of it”.

#3 this is me trying

Generally, the idea of “gifted kid” burnout is overlooked. Gifted kid burnout is the idea that kids who grew up in the enriched/honors classes in elementary school and middle school lose the spark that was lit from academic validation when they reach high school: they burn out. Swift suggests a deeper metaphor: “I was so ahead of the curve / the curve became a sphere / fell behind all my classmates / and I ended up here” is a lyric that speak out to Swifties and other listeners. The album elaborates on the stress and the work ethic of gifted students slowly dying out. Swift even says, “fell behind all my classmates, and I ended up here” to demonstrate the extent of burnout. 

Taylor Swift

#2 The Man

The unrealistic standards that exist in today’s society about women are capitalized and bolder in Swift’s hit, “The Man.” She emphasizes equal rights, especially against men and women. It is a feminizing song that promptly describes the struggles and sexist standards that exist towards the female gender. “If I was out flashing my dollars, I’d be a b***h not a baller,” is how Swift compares her experiences with men’s.

Taylor Swift

#1 Only the Young

“Only the Young” was originally released in Swift’s documentary, “Miss Americana.” She becomes a “voice for the voiceless,” by singing, “You go to class, scared / wondering where the best hiding spot would be,” about school shootings and the societal factors that lead up to these tragedies. In the past, people joked about looking nice for school because they ‘wanted to die pretty’ or something along those lines. “Only The Young” suggests children must run from what is – essentially – risking their education.