3 Taylor Swift Songs that Will Make Any Listener Tear Up

Taylor Swift’s songs have many levels. On the face of it, she’s a pop star with tunes that stick to listeners’ ears and bring joy to their faces. But digging a little deeper, it’s clear Swift has a sense of emotion and feeling. Dare we say, the human condition. She’s as precise a thinker when it comes to how her songs will be received as any before her.

She also has a great depth to her. Many of her songs are rich with emotive qualities, with sensitivity and nostalgia, with touch, remorse and love. Here, we wanted to dive into three of those songs that will make any Taylor Swift listener tear up.

“Never Grow Up”

Released on Taylor Swift’s 2010 album Speak Now (as well as from her rerecorded version later), this song is about the life that happens to you between plans. We all grow up, all change. Even when we don’t know it’s happening. Here, Swift is reaching out to her fans, especially the girls in her audience, to explain that this is happening. Sometimes we want to stay the same age, sometimes we want to be older. But no matter what we want, life happens. This eternal crossroads we stand at is enough to get our tear ducts working. On the acoustic-driven song, Swift addresses an infant about this phenomenon, singing,

Your little hand’s wrapped around my finger
And it’s so quiet in the world tonight
Your little eyelids flutter ’cause you’re dreamin’
So I tuck you in, turn on your favorite night light
To you, everything’s funny
You got nothing to regret
I’d give all I have honey
If you could stay like that

Oh, darlin’, don’t you ever grow up
Don’t you ever grow up
Just stay this little
Oh, darlin’, don’t you ever grow up
Don’t you ever grow up
It could stay this simple
I won’t let nobody hurt you
Won’t let no one break your heart
And no one will desert you
Just try to never grow up
Never grow up

“All Too Well”

Released first in 2012 on Swift’s album Red and then rerecorded for Red (Taylor’s Version) in 2021, this song is about a loving relationship that failed. This is subject matter that Swift often visits and uses for her songs. She seems to know that keen sense of love mixed with that initial pang of distance when things don’t work out so well. Sometimes truth isn’t what a person wants. But sometimes that’s all there is—the truth that it’s just not meant to be. Sings Swift,

And you call me up again just to break me like a promise
So casually cruel in the name of being honest
I’m a crumpled up piece of paper lying here
‘Cause I remember it all, all, all
Too well

Time won’t fly, it’s like I’m paralyzed by it
I’d like to be my old self again
But I’m still trying to find it
After plaid shirt days and nights when you made me your own
Now you mail back my things and I walk home alone
But you keep my old scarf from that very first week
‘Cause it reminds you of innocence
And it smells like me
You can’t get rid of it
‘Cause you remember it all too well, yeah


From Swift’s 2020 album Evermore, this track is one dedicated to and about the singer’s late maternal grandmother, opera singer Marjorie Finlay. Perhaps more than any song on any Swift list, this is the one that will make your heart jump from you chest. It’s one of Swift’s most honest songs, one of her most passionately delivered. She speaks from the soul here in ways she doesn’t often muster, which is no slight. It just speaks to the power of this elegy. Sings Swift,

Never be so kind, you forget to be clever
Never be so clever, you forget to be kind

And if I didn’t know better
I’d think you were talking to me now
If I didn’t know better
I’d think you were still around
What died didn’t stay dead
What died didn’t stay dead
You’re alive, you’re alive in my head
What died didn’t stay dead
What died didn’t stay dead
You’re alive, so alive

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