My obsession with the music of Taylor Swift is no secret. I’ve been fan for more than a decade. I think she’s one of the great songrwiters — not just of her era, but of all time.

I think the best way to demonstrate the quality of her writing is to listen to other performers cover her songs. Swift is a decent singer but she’s not great. She wasn’t very good at the start of her career, but she’s put in a ton of effort to improve, and her voice has become much better with time. Put her songs into the mouths of others, though, and you can really hear why people are drawn to her music.

One of my favorite things over the past two years is listening to real musicians (whether famous or real-life amateurs) talk about how much they appreciate her songwriting. Kind of cool.

Anyhow, I’ve been building a YouTube playlist of Taylor Swift covers for the past couple of years. Recently I added Sabrina Carpenter’s version of “I Knew Your Were Trouble”, which Swift herself has shared and praised.

It occurred to me that now that I’ve resumed writing at Folded Space, it’d be fun to share some of my other favorites from my playlist. So, that’s what I’m doing today: sharing my favorite Taylor Swift covers. (Note: I’m only sharing my very favorite covers here.)

One, two, three, let’s go bitch!

First up, here’s “I Did Something Bad” by Shoshana Bean and Cynthia Erivo.

Here’s a hard-driving version of “You Need to Calm Down” by Halocene.

And a stripped-down version of “Clean” by Sara Bareilles. If you want to skip the preamble, jump to 2:24. This song gives me chills no matter who sings it. It is so so good.

“Red” covered by Fifth Harmony.

I really like this cover of “All Too Well” by Jake Scott. But then I like all covers of “All Too Well”. (Yo, Swifties. Here’s Jake Scott singing this live with a guitar instead of piano.)

“This Love” by Nicholas Connell. This is over-produced, but then the original was sort of over-produced too. That’s what makes it so ethereal.

Another rockin’ cover is this version of “Anti-Hero” from Our Last Night. Warning: Gets a bit screechy haha.

“Delicate” by James Bay.

It’s surprising how many punk/hard-rock covers of Taylor Swift songs exist. Here’s another one: “Blank Space” from I Prevail.

“I Know Places” covered by Vance Joy.

Here’s an orchestral cover of “Enchanted” by Joseph William Morgan. So pretty! As a sort of aside: I suck at singing, yet am often in a situation where karaoke is an option. I want to learn a TSwift song that I can sing passably well. I think “Enchanted” would be fun/funny to learn.

Okay, I’ll stop now. Because I could go on and on (and I will).

I should mention that my playlist also includes Taylor Swift covering other people’s songs. Those are fun too. For instance, here’s her version of Vance Joy’s “Riptide”.

I should also note that one of my many ideas for fun websites is to create a TSwift songopedia of sorts, where I make a page for each TSwift song, then collect all available versions I can find of it. I have so many other things going on right now, but if I resolved to do one page/song per day, I could get this done in a year. And it’d be fun!

As a footnote, Larry sent me a funny Instagram post this morning. Blogging J.D. is pretty good to keep his Taylor Swift somewhat quiet. Real-life J.D. is less good at this, which makes this short especially funny (and apropos).

4 Replies to “My favorite Taylor Swift cover songs.”

  1. Tucker says:

    My favourite cover of Trouble was done by Walk of The Earth. I really enjoy KRNFX addition to the song

  2. Angie says:

    You’re missing Better Man by Lady A – so good!

    • J.D. Roth says:

      It’s actually Little Big Town (although I thought it was Lady A also) and it’s a great example. Little Big Town recorded it first because Taylor didn’t use it on Red, and they had a lot of success. They won a Grammy and a couple of other awards for the song. But how many people (outside Swifties) know that Taylor wrote it? It’s a fantastic song. I like Taylor’s version just fine, but Little Big Town nails it.

      Little Big Town’s version (which won a Grammy and other awards)

      Taylor’s version

      p.s. I love your Google username. So funny.

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