TS Alphabet Ranking: C Edition

While compiling the list of Taylor Swift songs that begin with ‘C’, I realised I’m rather attached to many of these songs. It might be because of some narcissistic preference — both my name and the name of this blog begin with the letter C, after all. 

But the songs in this list are just way too good. I had difficulty ranking them all.

(And there are three Christmas songs! Hence I wanted to upload this before December ended.)

17. Christmas Tree Farm

The song in ONE sentence: Taylor reminisces about her childhood growing up on a Christmas tree farm. 
Favourite line(s): “Bundled up in their mittens and coats / And the cider would flow / And I just wanna be there tonight”
Fun fact: Taylor wrote this song the weekend before releasing it.
Fun fact #2: This is the first time I’ve ranked a newer song so low. This edition’s options are just TOO good.

Taylor begins Christmas Tree Farm by lamenting “My winter nights are taken up by static / Stress and holiday shopping traffic” (something she explores further in Christmas Must Be Something More, ranked right below) — but when she closes her eyes, she’s transported right back to the Christmas tree farm she grew up on.

I suppose the point of the song is that being in her lover’s arms brings her so much comfort that she starts reminiscing about lovely childhood. It’s a merry enough song and I love the bells, but as far as Christmas songs go, it’s just a nice little song.

16. Christmas Must Be Something More

The song in ONE sentence: Taylor thinks people should look past the superficiality of Christmas.
Favourite line(s): “It’s something we all try to ignore / And put a wreath up on your door”

I loved this song when I first listened to it way back. I don’t really know why, because I didn’t particularly relate to the message or any of its lyrics. I guess I’ve always had a penchant for Christmas songs.

I think this is a nice song that makes you reconsider the meaning of Christmas, but it lacks any proper depth other than Taylor echoing “it’s gotta be more”. 

15. Crazier

The song in ONE sentence: Taylor sings about falling in love with someone who makes her feel like she’s floating.
Favourite line(s): “I’ve watched from a distance / As you made life your own / Every sky was your own kind of blue”
Fun fact: Taylor sang this in Hannah Montana: The Movie. And I was very, very excited when I saw her cameo. 

Lyrically there’s nothing much from this song, but it’s a sweet, nostalgic country ballad that reminds me of simpler times (aka watching Hannah Montana on the television before it stopped working) and Lucas Till.

14. Cold As You

The song in ONE sentence: Taylor’s ex never cared about her.
Favourite line(s): “You put up walls and paint them all a shade of grey / And I stood there loving you and wished them all away”
Fun fact: This was Taylor’s very first track 5 song — and every track 5 has been heartbreaking since.

Beginning with “And when you take, you take the very best of me” and ending with “Every smile you fake is so condescending / Counting all the scars you made”, every line on this song gets more and more devastating.

I think Taylor really captured fresh heartbreak in this song. And I love a good heartbreak song, but this one never really did anything for me. I suppose I should consider myself lucky for that.

13. Change

The song in ONE sentence: Taylor sings about how she (and her record label) finally succeeded.
Favourite line(s): “So we’ve been outnumbered, raided, and now cornered / It’s hard to fight when the fight ain’t fair”
Fun fact: Taylor finished this song the day after she won the Horizon Award at the Country Music Awards in 2007.

Dedicated to her previous manager Scott Borchetta and his label Big Machine Records, this song aged kind of badly — especially with the re-recorded version, since Scott was the whole reason she had to re-record the Fearless album. 

While the message of the song isn’t as powerful in the new version, it does take on a new, more defiant life that I can appreciate.

12. coney island (ft. The National)

The song in ONE sentence: Taylor and Aaron Dessner are sitting on a bench in Coney Island reflecting on their past relationships.
Favourite line(s): “And when I got into the accident / The sight that flashed before me was your face / But when I walked up to the podium, I think that I forgot to say your name”
Fun fact: Taylor worked with Aaron Dessner on folklore and evermore, but this was their first duet.

Some say this song grows on you the more you listen to it, but I respectfully disagree. There’s too much going on, and I would go as far as to call it a contrived mess. 

I adore the evermore album (yes, more than folklore even), but this song is my least favourite. The only reason it’s made it this far up on the ranking is because I adore the bridge where they reference Taylor’s past exes — with my favourite lyric (likely referencing Harry Styles and Calvin Harris) making it above. 

11. cowboy like me

The song in ONE sentence: In this context, “cowboy” means “swindler”. So — Taylor meets a fellow swindler.
Favourite line(s): “And the tennis court was covered up / With some tent-like thing” (I don’t know what this tent-like thing is. But I love the imagery and the way she sings it.)
Favourite line(s) #2: “And the skeletons in both our closets / Plotted hard to fuck this up”

I never really bothered to find out what this song was about, but when I read that it may be about bearding in the entertainment industry, some pieces clicked into place. I like the song a tad more now.

I don’t know much else, but I know I simply cannot resist a song that claims “I’ll never love again” this forlornly.

10. Call It What You Want

The song in ONE sentence: Taylor likes how lowkey her boyfriend is.
Favourite line(s): “And I know I make the same mistakes every time / Bridges burn, I never learn / At least I did one thing right”
Favourite line(s) #2: “My castle crumbled overnight / I brought a knife to a gunfight / They took the crown, but it’s alright”

In Reputation, Taylor more than embraced her reputation. She crafted a brand new one, embracing the savvy businesswoman who wears dark lipstick and quips “if a man talks shit, then I owe him nothing”

It seems almost ironic that Reputation, in all its snake motifs and black sequins, is also her most vulnerable album. While Delicate captures what it’s like to fall for someone new, Call It What You Want details the rare comfort of being so secure with someone you love that you don’t give a shit about your reputation anymore.

The song is a refreshing take on Taylor’s thought process while in love. I just wish she had kept cheesy lyrics like “I want to wear his initial on a chain ‘round my neck / Not because he owns me / But ‘cause he really knows me” to herself.

9. Christmases When You Were Mine

The song in ONE sentence: Taylor misses her ex-lover most at Christmas time.
Favourite line(s): “Please take down the mistletoe / ‘Cause I don’t want to think about that right now”

The highest-rated Christmas song on this list, Christmases When You Were Mine is also one of my favourite Christmas songs of all time. After all, the only thing I love more than a Christmas song is a sad Christmas song. 

For context: It’s 26 December as I’m writing this. I just spent my Christmas alone, nursing a headache from my COVID-19 booster jab. It really doesn’t get any lonelier than that. 

(I also want to establish that I adore all the songs from this ranking onwards. Putting this song at 9th place actually broke my heart.)

8. cardigan

The song in ONE sentence: Betty knew James would eventually return to her.
Favourite line(s): “I knew I’d curse you for the longest time / Chasin’ shadows in the grocery line / I knew you’d miss me once the thrill expired”
Favourite line(s) #2: “​​’Cause I knew you / Steppin’ on the last train / Marked me like a bloodstain / I knew you / Tried to change the ending / Peter losing Wendy”
Fun fact: This was the lead (and only) single from Taylor’s Grammy-winning folklore album.
Fun fact #2: Among the three songs in folklore’s “teenage love triangle”, this is the lowest-ranked one — but only because I love the remaining seven songs here so much more.

This song was written from the perspective of a high schooler who knew her boyfriend would come back to her, but no way in hell could a teenager have written this masterpiece. In the first verse alone, Taylor referencing her previous eras (e.g. “sensual politics” as a reference to Lover) shows that she’s taking on this problem with the wisdom of a 30-year-old.

With the sounds of literal high heels on cobblestones featured throughout, this song feels like nostalgia and pining and everything bittersweet. 

7. Come In With The Rain

The song in ONE sentence: Taylor’s too tired to return to her lover, but if he’s changed and wants to get back together, her doors are wide open.
Favourite line(s): “I could stand up and sing you a song / But I don’t wanna have to go that far”

I don’t remember how I first encountered the Fearless album, but I do remember that I decided to fixate on this bonus track. The lyrics aren’t particularly noteworthy, and back then I didn’t even know what they meant. But the song struck a chord, and until now it has a very special place in my heart.

Upon reflection, I think the song is a lot deeper than it lets on. It’s about being mature enough not to run back to someone, but willing them to come back all the same (in the rain, no less).

I must also confess that I prefer the original version to the new one… but I’ll continue listening to the latter out of loyalty.

6. champagne problems

The song in ONE sentence: A girl turns down her college sweetheart’s proposal because of her mental health issues.
Favourite line(s): “Your Midas touch on the Chevy door / November flush and your flannel cure / ‘This dorm was once a madhouse’ / I made a joke, ‘Well, it’s made for me’”

champagne problems is about two college sweethearts and a proposal gone very, very wrong. Narrated from the woman’s point of view, it doesn’t explicitly state the reasons she turns down the proposal — but it perfectly sets up the scenes before and after the proposal, including his “hometown sceptics” calling it. 

My top few songs are normally relatable ones, simply because it’s easier to like something if you can attach some meaning to it. But other than the lyric “You booked the night train for a reason / So you could sit there in this hurt”, I can’t relate to anything. 

It’s still here at 6th place anyway. I believe that’s a testament to the ingenuity of this song.

5. Cruel Summer

The song in ONE sentence: Taylor really likes someone, even as she knows it’ll hurt her.
Favourite line(s): “I’m drunk in the back of the car / And I cried like a baby coming home from the bar” (As someone who loves crying in the back of car, I love this line.)

Taylor is known for writing really good bridges, but I think this bridge takes the cake. The yelling brings the song to a new level, and it’s no surprise that Olivia Rodrigo sampled it for her hit single deja vu

Talk about the mastery of the bridge aside — I’ve experienced a couple cruel summers myself (mostly because life can be cruel and it’s always summer in Singapore). So I adore this song, I do.

4. Come Back…Be Here

The song in ONE sentence: Taylor, in New York, misses someone in London.
Favourite line(s): “You said it in a simple way / 4am, the second day / How strange that I don’t know you at all”
Favourite line(s) #2: “And now that I can put this down / If I had known what I know now / I never would’ve played so nonchalant”

Any other time, this song would be ranked a little lower. But I’m currently writing this review while texting a friend who recently left the country for good, so excuse me for being in my feelings.

What strikes me most about Come Back…Be Here is the desperation, which comes across so strongly in both her lyrics and voice. While lines like “But you’re in London, and I break down / ‘Cause it’s not fair that you’re not around” aren’t the most profound, they perfectly capture how overwhelming and unjust everything can seem when someone you were REALLY fond of just ups and leaves. (I know now.)

3. Clean

The song in ONE sentence: Taylor is finally free from something that haunted her.
Favourite line(s): “You’re still all over me / Like a wine-stained dress I can’t wear anymore”
Fun fact: Taylor said she made the song more general so it could appeal to a wider audience.

I always thought Clean was a great song, but started to like it more when my non-Swifty friend (and current subscriber of this blog!) got attached to the song and cried to it. That just made me realise the power of this song and its lyrics.

While the song explicitly talks about a failed relationship, I believe its strength lies in its vagueness. Almost everyone has something they’d like to be free of, to achieve some form of sobriety. This song, though devastating, definitely helps with that.

2. closure

The song in ONE sentence: Yes, Taylor got your letter. Yes, she’s doing better.
Favourite line(s): “Don’t treat me like / Some situation that needs to be handled / I’m fine with my spite / And my tears, and my beers and my candles”

In closure, Taylor is all too aware of how bitter she is, saying that she’s doing better and doesn’t need anyone’s closure. Ironically, she doesn’t sing about finding closure at all — which makes the song all the more special.

This was the first evermore song I listened to, and I must admit it HATED it then. I thought the scratchy, glitch-like sounds were unnecessary and served as a distraction. A couple listens later and it’s right here, just shy of first place. 

The noise distortions are a welcome addition, conveying how spiteful she feels. I don’t even care about how distracting they are anymore. That being said, I wouldn’t mind an acoustic version. 

1. Cornelia Street

The song in ONE sentence: Taylor associates her relationship with this street, but if that romance ends, she’s never coming back there.
Favourite line(s): “We bless the rains on Cornelia Street”
Fun fact: The bridge sounds strikingly similar to the chorus in Invisible.
Fun fact #2: Taylor actually did rent an apartment on Cornelia Street.

This category has 17 amazing songs, but it took no hesitation on my part to put Cornelia Street in first place. I love associating places with people (hell, I once associated a whole bus with a person), so a whole song about things that happened on this specific street took my heart from the very first listen.

Many consider Cornelia Street a romantic song, but I’ve never seen it that way. (If I did, it wouldn’t be ranked first… I love a good heartbreak song far too much.) I interpret this song as foreshadowing the end of a relationship, akin to Wildest Dreams without the sex. 

She’s literally threatening never to walk in a certain part of Manhattan again. I just think there’s a sickeningly torturous yet romantic aspect to that. 

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