Taylor Swift has written over 97 songs since she debuted in 2006. She has released seven studio albums throughout her 14 year career. Swift has sold over 50 million albums and is one of the world’s best-selling music artists.
I’ve been a long time Swift fan for as long as I can remember. Staying after school in my mom’s fifth grade classroom, I remember listening to “Teardrops on My Guitar” with those old headphones that slipped down over my ears because they were too big.
The highlight of my life will always be my sixth-grade self in a ruffly pink dress, singing in the crowd to “Enchanted” at her “Speak Now” concert.
Being back in my hometown in Elko, Nevada to self-distance has been an adjustment. My younger sister, mother and I (and sometimes my 70-year old father even) have shuffled Taylor Swift on the Alexa for weeks now to brighten our moods.
While sitting on the couch watching “This is Us” for who knows how long, my friend and fellow Southern Utah University student Kylee Wharton sent me a text with a brilliant idea. A senior at SUU majoring in marketing, her ingenious mind suggested a Taylor Swift Song bracket.
In place of March Madness, we’d use the same bracket system to determine “The Ultimate Taylor Swift Song.”
Over the course of three days, I set up the bracket, FaceTiming friends (including Taylor Leavitt, Grace Hallock and Bailey Hirase from Utah State) and recruiting the help of my mother and sister. Eight of us participated in voting, using “majority rules” to determine which songs made it to the next round.
I used a random Twitter template to pair songs up together, and only 64 out of her 97 songs made it into the bracket. Songs from different albums battled each other and slow songs faced her yell-at-the-top-of-your-lungs songs to make it to the next round of the tournament.
It took everything in me to not skew the voting system as we left behind some of her most iconic songs in the first round such as “Wildest Dreams” and “Ours.”
After multiple rounds, the final four songs included “You Belong With Me,” “Fifteen,” “Fearless” and “Love Story.” All of these songs were from her “Fearless” album, which was released in 2008.
Although our voting group wasn’t that diverse and it’s obvious we are all bigger fans of the old T-Swift, I think the results still show something. We all fell in love with her music right at the beginning, and these older songs hold a special place in our hearts. Of course, we all still went crazy for her new album “Lover,” too.
After demanding Alexa to repeat these four songs over and over again, the voting paired “Love Story” and “Fifteen” against each other for the final vote. Winning by one vote, I have to say I was devastated when “Fifteen” took the title.
It surprised me. “Love Story” will always be not only one of her most well-known songs, but one of my very favorites. Swift in that iconic music video, running to the love of her life from the top of the castle in that gorgeous white gown has me tearing up just thinking about it.
I do have to admit, “Fifteen” is something all girls that endured high school can relate to. Next time, I’ll make sure the eight participants include males, as I received several Snapchat messages with my guy friends furious that “Wildest Dreams” and “All Too Well” didn’t win.
So if you disagree with the results of my bracket (I mean, I do, too), make your own. We all need something to do while quarantining in the crazy world, and Taylor Swift’s music might just make you a little bit happier.
Story by: Elizabeth Armstrong
Photos by: Elizabeth Armstrong