Out of all the Taylor Swift’s Pen Categories, Glitter Gel Pen stand out as the life of the party. The very bestie knocking late at night to hold an impromptu slumber party. She decorates the room with glitter and confetti, and makes the snacks, specifically sugar cookies. She’d also tell you to ditch whatever you’re wearing to something that’s more yourself.
Taylor’s prowess in writing have given us prolific pensive, poetic songs, as can be seen from her sister records, Folklore and Evermore. All the while Taylor recognizes that some sentiments are better said straightforwardly, quoting from the line in Hits Different, “You were the one that I love. Don’t need another metaphor, it’s simple enough.” Raw and unapologetically honest.
This category shines like its very title; bright, loud, and sprightly. And will have dancing under your makeshift mirroball in your bedroom.
Taylor describes this category in her acceptance speech in Nashville Songwriter Awards as;
“Frivolous, carefree, bouncy, syncopated perfectly to the beat, Glitter Gel Pen lyrics don’t care if you don’t take them seriously because they don’t take themselves seriously. Glitter Gel Pen lyrics are the drunk girl at the party who tells you that you look like an angel in the bathroom. It’s what we need every once in a while in these fraught times in which we live.”An excerpt from Swift’s acceptance speech from Nashville Songwriter Awards on September 2022
“He likes my American smile
Like a child when our eyes meet
Darling, I fancy you.”
We pledge loyalty to our soil, but as much as Taylor loves her hometown, Motown and SoCal, she loves her lover’s roots as well. “They say home is where the heart is, but that’s not where mine lives.” Her heart seemed to effortlessly reside in another home she’s found.
In this quirky song one will find fragments of British and American references married in this bubbly musical love letter. Mentions of places, weather, and cultural imagery paint this landscape. I think I’d love to travel to London even more, and find love there perhaps?
“I blew things out of proportion
Now you’re blue
Put you in jail for something you didn’t do
I pinned your hands behind your back, oh
Thought I had reasons to attack, but no.”
All relationships tread and shift like a roller coaster, and this very song tells us a familiar story of reaching the point of tension and rock bottom. Afterglow sings a passionate apology to a lover after a fight, one in which we say and heard things not entirely meant, from not seeing facts through our fury. And once we ease into our gentle and rational selves once again, we’ll meet halfway as encoded in the very lyric; “meet me in the afterglow,” where the night approaches still and tranquil after the turmoil. And accordingly our sorry hearts make amends.
One can also recognize the preluding beat which seemingly sound like a paced heartbeat of a hesitant offender carrying a nervous, regretful yet sincere apology.
Hey Stephen (Taylor’s Version)
“Hey Stephen, I know looks can be deceiving
but I know I saw a light in you”
In Hey Stephen, the persona bravely expresses her adoration for a crush, listing why she’s the one to choose. These confessions we can only ever sing in a breeze through a song, but too embarrassing to just say casually, let alone say our crush’s very name! And thus we thank Taylor for this song.
Jump Then Fall (Taylor’s Version)
“I like the way you sound in the morning
We’re on the phone and without a warning
I realize your laugh is the best sound I have ever heard.”
This sweet acoustic tune remain as my go-to songs to jam with on my guitar. Oh, what a lovely feeling it is to just jump and fall with ease.
“The bottom’s gonna drop out from under our feet
I’ll catch you, I’ll catch you
When people say things that bring you to your knees
I’ll catch you
The time is gonna come
when you’re so mad you could cry
But I’ll hold you through the night until you smile.”
“I like shiny things, but I’d marry you with paper rings
Uh-uh, that’s right
Darling, you’re the one I want
And I hate accidents except when we went from friends to this.”
Paper Rings, although not included in the official playlist, deserves an honorable mention. Its fun lyrics emanates that of a feeling of secure love that can be bound by even just a frail paper ring, with a sitcom-esque musicality.
Don’t you just you like to swoon over these syrupy sweet lyrics? To check out more songs in this category, you may check out the list Taylor curated herself.
Caysel has a fascination with words at an early age. Her love for writing has bloomed since then. After being taught to play musical instruments, she learned the magic of words when intertwined with melodies. She would later discover a new love for songwriting. Venturing into the music scene and the lively world of pop culture are among her favorite activities. She aspires to tell their stories. When life gets a little tough, Caysel disappears into the world of K-dramas, figure skate ice dance programs and video essays, then comes right back whenever she's ready.