Songs You Didn't Know Were Written by Taylor Swift
VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton
WRITTEN BY: Jesse Singer
How did we not know these songs were written by Taylor Swift? For this list, though T Swift has written a lot of hit tunes, we'll be looking at the ones she wrote for other artists. Our countdown includes "Renegade," "Babe," "Both of Us," and more!
Top 10 Songs You Didn't Know Were Written by Taylor Swift
Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Songs You Didn't Know Were Written by Taylor Swift.
For this list, though T Swift has written a lot of hit tunes, we’ll be looking at the ones she wrote for other artists.
Which track is your favorite? And there’s no bad blood if you don’t want to leave a comment, but with all that blank space down there, we would love it if you did!
#9: “Renegade” (2021)
Big Red Machine
Taylor Swift was a busy woman in 2020, releasing not one, but two albums that year:“Folklore” and “Evermore.” One of her co-producers and a co-writer on a number of tracks on both albums was Aaron Dessner, who is also a founding member of the band Big Red Machine. He and Swift wrote “Renegade” after completing “Evermore” and, as Variety reports, when they wrote it, Dresser revealed: “it dawned on us that this was a Big Red Machine song.” And so it was, appearing on the band’s 2021 album, “How Long Do You Think It's Gonna Last?”
#8: “Beautiful Ghosts”
While the “Cats” movie contained the classic songs from the Broadway show, it also added a brand new original song to the soundtrack. The ballad “Beautiful Ghosts” is sung by actress Francesca Hayward as the cat Victoria and was considered the signature song of the film. And like all the other tunes in the movie and the stage musical, the music was composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, but the lyrics came from Taylor Swift. According to Webber, who hasn’t been shy about sharing his dislike of the movie, working with Swift on that song was pretty much the only enjoyable part of the whole process. Swift herself sings the version of the number playing over the film’s closing credits.
#7: “Two Is Better Than One” (2009)
Boys Like Girls
“Two Is Better Than One” from the band Boys Like Girls didn’t just feature Taylor Swift in the vocals. She also shares writing credits for the track along with Boys Like Girls’ frontman Martin Johnson. The song was a hit and became the band’s first song to reach the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in January of 2010. For T Swift, it was her 11th. However, unlike some other Swift collabs that have seen her also show up in the music video, in the “Two Is Better Than One” video, it is only her voice that makes an appearance.
#6: “Both of Us” (2012)
Every time you try to put Taylor Swift in a musical box, she just steps right out of it. That’s exactly what she did with rapper B.o.B., with the collab being Swift's idea in the first place. She and B.o.B co-wrote the track with a few other people and it’s Swift who performs the vocals on the hook. The alternative hip-hop track, like so many Swift has touched, found success on the charts, particularly in Australia and New Zealand where the track reached number five and number 10 respectively.
#5: “This Is What You Came For” (2016)
Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna
In 2016, Calvin Harris was asked if he would ever collaborate with his then-girlfriend, Taylor Swift. To which Harris responded that they hadn’t talked about it and “I can't see it happening.” What fans didn’t know at the time was that he already had. In fact, on the exact same day that he was quoted as saying that in an interview, Harris released “This Is What You Came For” featuring Rihanna. The song was originally credited as being written by Harris and Nils Sjoberg. Sjoberg, as Swifties would later discover, was actually Taylor Swift who had decided to use the pen name so as not to overshadow the tune with their couplehood. Ironically however, a source told TMZ that Swift felt Harris had gone too far with what he said about them and that it ultimately “the breaking point in the relationship.”
#4: “Babe” (2018)
“Babe” is the only song on Sugarland’s 2018 album, “Bigger,” that the duo of Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles didn’t write. The song was written by Taylor Swift and Patrick Monahan - who many will know as the lead singer of the band Train. Swift and Monahan initially wrote the song for Swift’s “Red” album, but it didn’t end up making the cut and was never recorded. Years later, Swift contacted Sugarland and as Bush put it, “"She said, 'I have a song, would you like to do it?' And we said, 'Uh, yeah!'” Taylor would eventually record her own version of the track for the 2021 re-release of her “Red” album.
#3: “Best Days of Your Life” (2008)
The former American Idol contestant had a decent music career following her sixth place finish on the show’s fifth season. She put out four albums between 2006 and 2013 and had multiple charting singles. This includes her highest ever ranking country song, “Best Days of Your Life,” which reached as high as nine on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. This is a song she co-wrote with Taylor Swift - a woman very familiar with creating high-charting tracks. According to Pickler, the two wrote the song while they were both touring with Brad Paisley. Kellie had just gone through a bad breakup and this was her “Kiss-off song” a la Swift’s “Picture To Burn” and Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats.”
#2: “You'll Always Find Your Way Back Home” (2009)
“You'll Always Find Your Way Back Home” is a country/pop rock tune performed by Hannah Montana at the end of “Hannah Montana: The Movie.” The song is sung by Miley Cyrus, but was written by Taylor Swift and the lead singer of the band Boys Like Girls, Martin Johnson - who you might remember from earlier in this list. The filmmakers had contacted Swift to ask her permission to use her music in the movie. Taylor ended up agreeing to make a cameo appearance as well as write an original track, which became “You'll Always Find Your Way Back Home.”
#1: “Better Man” (2016)
Little Big Town
“Better Man” is another song Taylor wrote for the “Red” album. But as with “Babe,” this one didn’t end up on the album and instead ended up in the hands of another artist. Swift actually contacted Little Big Town and sent them the tune, feeling that the harmonies on the track were well suited to the band’s sound and style. And she couldn’t have been more right: the country number reached the top of the Hot Country Songs chart. The group also took home a Grammy for Best Country Duo/Group Performance and won Song of the Year at the CMA Awards in 2016 thanks to it. Meanwhile, 2021 saw Taylor’s version of “Better Man” appear on her re-recorded “Red” album.