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I adore these Taylor Swift songs written in her imaginary “Quill Pen”

I adore these Taylor Swift songs written in her imaginary “Quill Pen”

The pensive, quill-written songs, yearning for our perusal, are my personal favorite from Taylor Swift. They resemble letters encoded in now dog-eared, time-stained papers once addressed to an old flame (or to a literal one). This listing joins the others in the trinary categories Taylor names as Quill Pen, Fountain Pen, and Glitter Gel Pen.

Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) hailed Swift with the Songwriter-Artist of the Decade Award on September 20. In honor of the accolade, she revealed in her acceptance speech this very method in the process of her songwriting.

I came up with these categories based on what writing tool I imagine having in my hand when I scribbled it down, figuratively. I don’t actually have a quill. Anymore. I broke it once when I was mad.

Taylor Swift’s passion for her craft inspired her to categorize songs.

Why did I make these categories, you ask? Because I love doing this thing we are fortunate enough to call a job. Writing songs is my life’s work and my hobby and my never-ending thrill.

Following this speech, she released playlists she curated with selected songs from her repertoire, made available in Apple Music. Each ‘Pen’ compilation comes with an exclusive message from Taylor herself. She introduces the Quill list,

Hello, Apple Music. Welcome to my Quill Pen Playlist. Quill Pen Songs are songs and lyrics that make you feel old-fashioned. Like you’re a 19th-century poet crafting your next sonnet by candlelight. Hope you enjoy.

We’ve witnessed a surge of these songs when the sister records, folklore, and evermore eras arrived. While songs categorized under the Fountain Pen mostly fill her discography, a handful of Quill Pen songs dwell in her previous albums too. 

I adore these Taylor Swift songs written in her imaginary “Quill Pen”


Swaying in slight pacing and descending melody on the keys, the song evermore unfolds. Then it narrates the persona’s journey after a few moons of being under harsh scrutiny before coming home to the cradle of either a friend or a lover.

Bon Iver, also known for his lyrical body of work, accompanies her in the titular song of her 9th album. His participation in the bridge is a reminiscent style from the track exile, where he and Swift’s voices take turns in a parallel dialogue.

The piano ballad’s final fragment closes the entire album on a hopeful note. The lyric I had a feeling so peculiar, this pain wouldn’t be for evermore brings the record in a full circle. 


I just finished reading Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights as folklore arrived. As soon as I heard track 7, the events from the pages of the classic seeped into my vision. Right there and then, the song offered me a quick peek at an antiquated film that only ever existed in thin air, only when it is sung. I was grateful to get a hold of that serendipitous moment.

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In her acceptance speech, she did confirm she reads Emily’s sister Charlotte Brontë. It gave a silent nod to my imagination. Seven paints a story of a shared childhood, of kids not oblivious of the world they are living in. A dismal love story or friendship enduring amidst an early test of time. Although not included in the official playlist Taylor curated, I believe the song shares the same themes in the said roster.

the lakes

The bonus track from folklore (deluxe), the lakes leaves a bittersweet conclusion to the entirety of the 8th studio album. Its retrospect offers us a picturesque landscape of a rendezvous the persona yearns to fly towards alongside her lover. A mystical place ornamented with the mighty Windermere Peaks or the death-defying ‘cliffside pools.’ Like seven, the lakes is not officially included in the Apple Music Playlist. However, it does emanate similar traits.


Her lyrical secret language only Carolina knows. In the 14th song on the Quill Pen playlist, Swift sings in the vantage point of Kya of Where the Crawdads Sing. She regards the main persona as the girl who always lived on the outside, looking in. Figuratively & Literally. The songsmith earnestly wrote the piece wanting to be a part of the film adaptation musically.

She was inspired after reading the very novel penned by Delia Owens. The ominous folk ballad’s sound ushers us deep into the marshes, and forests while mystery or a ghost story is recited at a campfire. North Carolina being the confidante Kya whispers to, it came to me as a sullen and dismal, hauntingly brilliant song.

These songs are just among the few exhibiting the songsmith’s writing prowess. These scribbling tool categories, and the songs they carry, prove that Swift is a timeless and brilliant musical poet of our generation. Did your favorites also make it to our list?

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