The past few years have been trying, to say the least – as the world changed, so did work. Our couches became our conference room, our pets became our co-workers, and yet, the world keeps spinning. We’ve pulled together some Taylor Swift lyrics for work to try to summarize all the feels that we’ve been feeling.
“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 tryin’ to find it”
– All Too Well
I’m so sick of running as fast as I can, wondering if I’d get there quicker if I was a man: Taylor Swift lyrics for work, glass ceiling smashing edition
Dismissed as cute, disparaged for taking a stand, literally shoved offstage while receiving an award for her work amid her acceptance speech, having her work capitalized upon – then the rights to what she’d created taken from her, demanding accountability after a man assaulted her, then being sued by him and counter-suing (spoiler: he lost), Swift has become a feminist icon.
When Swift delivered the line, “your sweet disposition and my wide-eyed gaze” during her performance at the 2014 Grammy’s, I stopped working and looked to the TV, my youngest daughter on the sofa next to me, also completely transfixed, yet clueless as to what the lyrics actually meant. But as a woman, I knew – most of us do; there was a good reason that Swift’s voice was shaking as she sang.
In less than a minute, Twitter (RIP) revealed exactly who and what she was singing about, and I became invested. Not because it was a soap opera, but because for so many women, it was a reality that plays over again and again, generation after generation – and we want more for our daughters, and ourselves.
As Swift has grown and evolved, she’s composed countless lyrics that cut to the core of what women frequently experience at work – as well as the spirit of strength that often emerges after years of tolerating the bias and poor behaviors of others:
- “They’d say I hustled, put in the work/ They wouldn’t shake their heads and question how much of this I deserve/ What I was wearing/ If I was rude/ Could all be separated from my good ideas and power moves?” – The Man: Ask any woman in business, they’ll tell you that every line in Swift’s song “The Man” hits a little too hard. From questioning ability to clothing choices, women still face far more bias and obstacles than their male counterparts.
- “She should be mad/ Should be scathing like me/ But no one likes a mad woman/ What a shame she went mad/ You made her like that” – Mad Woman: Bias against women transcends all levels of privilege and class – the marginalization of women is a constant factor in our everyday lives, both inside and outside our homes. As women age, they tend to become more aware of their own power and less tolerant of the patriarchal systems stacked against them. And when they speak up, they’re labeled as angry, emotional, or shrill.
- “He wanted a bride/ I was making my own name” – Midnight Rain: Even if they’re the breadwinners, women carry more of the mental and emotional load at home. This fact is one of the hypotheses of why younger generations are delaying having children, or putting it off entirely: they’ve seen their own parents struggle with equity, and realize that thanks to inequality, it’s nearly impossible to have a fulfilling career, financial security, and a family, so instead, they’re choosing themselves.
- “They say looks can kill and I might try/ I don’t dress for women/ I don’t dress for men/ Lately, I’ve been dressin’ for revenge/ I don’t start sh*t, but I can tell you how it ends” – Vigilante Sh*t: This song became an instant hit with good reason – it resonates.
- “Never be so politе you forget your power” – Marjorie: A great reminder that women are often dinged for being direct and concise – a trait that’s glorified in men.
- “The idea you had of me, who was she/ A never-needy, ever-lovely jewel/ Whose shine reflects on you” – All Too Well: Enough said.
“Dear reader, bend when you can/
Snap when you have to”
Difficult women: Exhausted by bias, a revolution rises
Tired of being written out of their own narrative, difficult women get comfortable holding the reins of power.
I don’t start sh*t, but I can tell you how it ends: Email replies we can only dream of, Swiftie-style Dear Reader: Use these replies at your own peril – but remember, drafts sometimes feel great to write, then store away.
- “There’s no time for tears/ I’m just sitting here planning my revenge” – Picture to Burn
“It’s just a question” –
- “So, don’t you worry your pretty little mind/ People throw rocks at things that shine” – Ours
- “This is why we can’t have nice things, darling”– This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
“Honey, I rose up from the dead, I do it all the time/ I got a list of names, and yours is in red, underlined”–
Look What You Made Me Do
- “I’m shining like fireworks over your sad, empty town”– Dear John
- “You took a swing, I took it hard/ And down here from the ground I see who you are” – Tell Me Why
- “You play stupid games, you win stupid prizes” – Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince
- “Don’t treat me like some situation that needs to be handled/ I’m fine with my spite and my tears, and my beers and my candles” – Closure
- “Get it off your chest/ Get it off my desk/ That lavender haze/ I just wanna stay, I just wanna stay in that lavender haze” – Lavender Haze
- “And I keep my side of the street clean/ You wouldn’t know what I mean” – Karma
“And I have to say, by the way, I just may like some explanations”
Save the dream: May the 4th quotes for navigating our present galaxy
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, a group of rebel warriors upon Rogue One sacrificed all for the greater good. We need more of them today, in real-life.
I think I’ve seen this film before, and I didn’t like the ending: Taylor Swift lyrics for work that just… hit
Part of Swift’s allure are the Easter eggs that she hides – she’s notorious for playing the long game.
These Taylor Swift lyrics don’t need an explanation; when you read them, you just know.
“Spiderboy, king of thieves/ Weave your little webs of opacity” –
- “My castle crumbled overnight/ I brought a knife to a gunfight/ They took the crown but it’s alright” – Call It What You Want
- “The jokes weren’t funny, I took the money/ My friends from home don’t know what to say” – You’re On Your Own Kid
- “’Cause it’s all over, it’s not meant to be/ So I’ll say words I don’t believe” – Bigger Than the Whole Sky
- “It takes everything in me just to get up each day/ But it’s wonderful to see that you’re OK” – Mr. Perfectly Fine
- “Ask me what I learned from all those years/ Ask me what I earned from all those tears/ Ask me why so many fade, but I’m still here” – Karma
- “It’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me” – Anti-Hero
- “You call me up again just to break me like a promise/ So casually cruel in the name of being honest” – All Too Well
- “They told me all of my cages were mental/ So I got wasted like all my potential” – This is Me Trying
- “Living for the thrill of hitting you where it hurts” – Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve
“My pennies made your crown” —
Not much hits harder than this TikTok mash-up of these Taylor Swift lyrics and scenes from The Office:
Everything you lose is a step you take: T-Swift lyrics of wisdom, perseverance, and empowerment
Looking back over the arc of time adds perspective – and all great leaders know that being able to lift-up the morale of your employees should be top on your priority list.
Taylor has you covered with lyrics to inspire at work:
- “‘Cause baby, I could build a castle out of all the bricks they threw at me” – New Romantics
- “Pushed from the precipice, climbed right back up the cliff/ Long story short, I survived”– Long Story Short
“So we’ve been outnumbered/ Raided and now cornered/ It’s hard to fight when the fight ain’t fair” –
- “Desert all your past lives and if you don’t recognize yourself that means you did it right” — Dear Reader
- “These walls that they put up to hold us back will fall down/ It’s a revolution, the time will come for us to finally win” — Change
- “I’ll be strong, I’ll be wrong/ Oh, but life goes on” – A Place In This World
- “Tonight we stand, get off our knees/ Fight for what we’ve worked for all these years/ And the battle was long, it’s the fight of our lives/ But we’ll stand up champions tonight” – Change
- “All the magic we made/ And bring on all the pretenders/ One day we will be remembered” – Long Live
- “They might be bigger, but we’re faster and never scared” – Change
“That’s a real f-ing legacy… to leave” –
- “Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye/ You were bigger than the whole sky” – Bigger Than The Whole Sky
- “I bury hatchets but I keep maps of where I put ’em” – End Game
- “With you I serve, with you I fall down”– Epiphany
Quiet quitting, acting your wage, and the TikTok of it all
Burnout has entered the chat: Quiet quitting doesn't mean quitting your job, but rather unsubscribing from the above-and-beyond mentality.
Believe it or not, T Swift lyrics can even help identify employees that are at risk of leaving, as this TikTok demonstrates:
“It was rare, I was there; I remember it all too well.”
“Long live all
the mountains we moved/
I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you.”
Shine in the moments that matter.
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