The release of Taylor Swift’s Midnights is only a few weeks away, and in preparation, we have compiled ten of Swifties’ favorite bridges and why they are so beloved!
While the bridge in any song is designed to stick out to listeners, Taylor Swift is revered by fans for having some of the most heart-wrenchingly relatable bridges to her songs. There are so many Spotify playlists, YouTube compilations, and Reddit threads dedicated to just her songs with the best bridges. With Taylor’s tenth studio album, Midnights, on the way and song titles being released one-by-one, fans are itching to hear these new songs and hear which bridges will break their hearts or make them sing. In anticipation for the album’s release on October 21st, we’ve decided to compile a list of Swifties’ favorite bridges while we wait. While we could not possibly incorporate every fan’s favorite bridge–though we would love to!–here’s the general consensus based on our research.
“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”
How evergreen, our group of friends
Don’t think we’ll say that word again
And soon they’ll have the nerve to deck the halls
That we once walked through
One for the money, two for the show
I never was ready so I watch you go
Sometimes you just don’t know the answer
‘Til someone’s on their knees and asks you
“She would’ve made such a lovely bride
What a shame she’s fucked in the head,” they said
But you’ll find the real thing instead
She’ll patch up your tapestry that I shred”
From Taylor’s ninth studio album, evermore (2021), “champagne problems” is a song about a girl rejecting her partner’s proposal. It’s implied throughout the song, and the bridge, that this is due to the protagonist’s mental illness and how she wasn’t ready for a committed relationship. All the while people push her problems aside and label them “champagne problems;” unimportant, trivial, insignificant, only to be gossiped about around town saying “she’s f*cked in the head.”
This was written and released during the COVID-19 pandemic, and at the time everyone’s mental health was at an all time low, and many relationships were struggling and ending during the isolation. This bridge was the most cathartic part of the song for fans who may have felt guilt for leaving their partners during this time, and it made problems many had minimized as “champagne problems” feel legitimized.
“Ladies and gentlemen, will you please stand?
With every guitar string scar on my hand
I take this magnetic force of a man to be my lover
My heart’s been borrowed and yours has been blue
All’s well that ends well to end up with you
Swear to be overdramatic and true to my lover
And you’ll save all your dirtiest jokes for me
And at every table, I’ll save you a seat, lover
From Taylor’s seventh studio album (and possible sister album to Midnights), Lover (2019), the titular song’s bridge borrows sentiments from the bridal rhyme, “Something old,” to mimic two lovers taking their marriage vows. Composed to be a waltz for weddings, “Lover” is about Taylor’s love for her longtime partner, Joe Alwyn, and details parts of their relationship. Taylor has even described it as being her “favorite song of all time” in a Secret Session Q&A.
For Swifites, this song is significant not only due to how personal it is to Taylor’s relationship, but also how widely it applies to all romantic relationships. The song is meant to be played at their weddings, and it feels so intimate and sweet that Swifties can’t help but want to dance to it with their newly wed spouses.
“You are an expert at sorry and keeping lines blurry
Never impressed by me acing your tests
All the girls that you’ve run dry have tired lifeless eyes
‘Cause you burned them out
But I took your matches before fire could catch me
So don’t look now
I’m shining like fireworks over your sad, empty town”
From Speak Now (2010), Taylor’s third studio album, “Dear John” allegedly details Taylor’s tumultuous relationship between herself and John Mayer. The bridge describes an extremely unhealthy relationship that she got out of just in time, and had she been stuck in it longer she may have lost some of her spark.
Swifties that have been in toxic relationships before relate to this bridge quite a bit, whether they felt “burnt out” from their relationship or also got out before they could be. The idea that you could come back stronger and brighter like fireworks brings hope to fans, and considering the somber tone of the rest of the song, it indicates that even though break ups like this can be extremely difficult, there’s still a light at the end of the tunnel.
“Back when we were still changin’ for the better
Wanting was enough
For me, it was enough
To live for the hope of it all
Cancel plans just in case you’d call
And say, “Meet me behind the mall”
So much for summer love and saying “us”
‘Cause you weren’t mine to lose
You weren’t mine to lose, no”
From Taylor’s eighth studio album and evermore’s sister album, folklore (2020), “august” tells the story of a teenage summer romance gone awry. Part of a trio of songs in folklore called the “Teenage Love Triangle,” this song is from the perspective of the girl James cheated on Betty with, as detailed in the songs “betty” and “cardigan.”
This bridge speaks to teenagers everywhere who “live for the hope of it all.” For anyone who’s had an unrequited crush on someone, or fell in love with someone who didn’t quite feel the same, that teenage angst is something many Swifties relate to either nostalgically or because it’s their real, teen reality. It highlights a special kind of pain that is particular to youth, and you can’t help but tear up at the memories the bridge brings about.
Death By A Thousand Cuts
“My heart, my hips, my body, my love
Trying to find a part of me that you didn’t touch
Gave up on me like I was a bad drug
Now I’m searching for signs in a haunted club
Our songs, our films, united we stand
Our country, guess it was a lawless land
Quiet my fears with the touch of your hand
Paper cut stings from our paper-thin plans
My time, my wine, my spirit, my trust
Trying to find a part of me you didn’t take up
Gave you too much but it wasn’t enough
But I’ll be alright, it’s just a thousand cuts”
Harking back to Lover, “Death By A Thousand Cuts,” compares an inevitable break up to a slow and painful death. The bridge in particular is the angriest part of the song, describing the bitter feeling of giving everything to a person and it just not being enough to keep the relationship alive.
Swifties know that the bridge “Death By A Thousand Cuts” is best sung screaming. Angry, sad, cathartic, this bridge has most certainly been played at full volume while driving down the road in a rage, whether with friends or alone, while screeching along at the top of your lungs. There’s something powerful about legitimizing heartbreak, and fans know that when in that kind of pain, this is the song that helps them power through.
Sad Beautiful Tragic
Silence, the train runs off its tracks
Kiss me, try to fix it
Could you just try to listen?
Hang up, give up
And for the life of us we can’t get back”
From Taylor’s fourth studio album, Red (2012), the bridge in “Sad Beautiful Tragic” sums up the dissolution of a relationship in just a few words. It illustrates the delicate hopelessness of a “sad, beautiful, tragic love affair” that Taylor had been in. While there’s speculation about who the song’s about, it’s needless to say it didn’t end well.
Sometimes a relationship is just doomed and there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s depressing, but sometimes life is a bit depressing. This bridge highlights the frustration about trying to fix something that can’t be fixed, and Swifties like to return to it to feel validated in those emotions.
Out of the Woods
“Remember when you hit the brakes too soon?
Twenty stitches in the hospital room
When you started crying, baby, I did too
But when the sun came up, I was looking at you
Remember when we couldn’t take the heat?
I walked out, I said, “I’m setting you free”
But the monsters turned out to be just trees
When the sun came up, you were looking at me”
From 1989 (2014), Taylor’s fifth studio album, “Out of the Woods” is a song about a relationship filled with anxiety and excitement. The accident referenced in this bridge is a snowmobile accident that Taylor and her partner at the time were in, which people speculate is allegedly Harry Styles. There was a lot of media attention around her relationship with Harry, and being under that kind of scrutiny couldn’t have been easy. While they survived the crash, the relationship did not while under judgemental eyes.
The relief detailed in this bridge of having escaped that kind of negative attention is palpable, as well as the thrilling sensation of having loved recklessly. It’s a relatable feeling to fans who’ve been in exciting, fast-paced relationships that maybe didn’t receive a lot of approval. It’s also just fun for Swifties to fantasize about being in one, and the high that is this bridge is enough to make them feel like they’ve been on the ride of their lives.
“To kiss in cars and downtown bars
Was all we needed
You drew stars around my scars
But now I’m bleedin'”
These simple sentiments in folklore’s track, “cardigan,” detail another third of the “Teenage Love Triangle” from Betty’s perspective. She didn’t ask for much from the relationship, only requiring simple pleasures. James had embraced her for who she was, but then let her down immensely by having an affair.
With only four lines, Swifties were successfully gutted by this bridge. The disappointment of being let down by someone you loved for no reason is extremely relatable, and there’s just something about this bridge that makes you want to cry. It breaks your heart in that special kind of way that is also a little bit healing, thus earning so much love from fans.
“We were jet-set, Bonnie and Clyde (Oh-oh)
Until I switched to the other side, to the other side
It’s no surprise I turned you in (Oh-oh)
‘Cause us traitors never win
I’m in a getaway car
I left you in a motel bar
Put the money in a bag and I stole the keys
That was the last time you ever saw me (Oh!)”
From reputation (2017), Taylor’s sixth studio album, “Getaway Car” compares a doomed relationship to that of criminals speeding away in their vehicle. It is speculated this song uses the “getaway car” as a metaphor for a rebound relationship Taylor had in order to get away from a failing relationship, which is also metaphorically represented as the crime scene. This bridge acts as the reveal that Taylor, in this narrative, had betrayed her lover and left him.
Taking accountability for screwing up in a relationship is important to move forward, even when in a relationship like this one where it feels like you’re running from the law. Swifties recognize that and appreciate this bridge for its exciting nature, but also for its moral complexities. It sucks to get your heart broken, but it’s a different kind of sucky to have broken somebody else’s heart too.
All Too Well
“Well, maybe we got lost in translation, maybe I asked for too much
But maybe this thing was a masterpiece ’til you tore it all up
Running scared, I was there
I remember it all too well
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”
We can’t have a list of fan favorite bridges and not include the illustrious cs song, “All Too Well.” Allegedly about Taylor’s relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal, this song tells the story about falling quickly in love, only to have the relationship grow toxic and end against her will. This song is a fan favorite (both the ten minute version and the original version), largely in part due to the famous bridge.
These lyrics exorcize Taylor’s heartbreak and are another bridge that’s perfect to scream to. The feeling of having loved someone, regardless of whether or not they were manipulative or bad for you, and then have the relationship be so carelessly ended is not a sentiment Taylor’s alone in. The reason this song is so beloved is not just because it’s one of her most well-written songs to date, but also because this bridge perfectly articulates that specific kind of pain that comes from remembering. Remembering feeling used, confused, and let down; being reminded of all the good times only for it all to be ripped away again. While Swifties love all of Taylor’s bridges, I don’t think it’s difficult to venture that this may be the one that is unanimously adored.
For more of Swifties’ favorite Taylor Swift bridges, check out this Reddit thread from the r/TaylorSwift page!