Tag Archives: songs

Sad Girl Autumn: Taylor Swift’s Saddest Lyrics

The mornings are getting chilly. It’s time to start pulling the hats, scarves and plaid button-downs from the back of the closet. Pumpkin spiced lattes have returned — not caring if someone calls it basic. Combined with the re-release of Taylor Swift’s fourth studio album, Red (Taylor’s Version), it’s the season of “Sad Girl Autumn.”

Inspired by “Hot Girl Summer,” coined by rapper Megan Thee Stallion, “Sad Girl Autumn” embraces the sorrow, soul-searching and nostalgia of the fall season. Along with Swift, singer-songwriters Adele and Mitski also released music fitting the theme of “Sad Girl Autumn.”

To celebrate the season, I compiled a list of Swift’s 13 saddest lyrics to reminisce and weep about ahead of the release of Red (Taylor’s Version).

Track Fives

Every Swiftie knows track five is the most emotional, honest and vulnerable song on each album. It’s impossible to discuss Swift’s saddest lyrics without mentioning some of these tracks.

If I could insert the entirety of “All Too Well,” I would. It’s the ultimate track five and is often considered Swift’s best song. In five minutes, Swift revisits a gut-wrenching breakup that still stings years later. With its highly specific lyrics, including a scarf left behind, she reflects on the best and worst moments of a short-lived relationship. 

The original version of the song was 10 minutes long with explicit lyrics before it was trimmed down. However, the re-release of Red (Taylor’s Version) includes the uncut song, as well as a short film starring Swift, Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien.

Saddest lyric: And you call me up again just to break me like a promise / So casually cruel in the name of being honest

In “The Archer,” Swift explores her insecurities in a relationship and troubles trusting people. She admits to engaging in drama and acknowledges she never matured enough to deal with this. The song might also be a possible nod to her zodiac sign (Sagittarius) whose symbol is an archer.

Its lyrics are deep and personal with strong metaphors (being the archer and the prey), and an old children’s nursery rhyme (Humpty Dumpty) to call out enemies who were once friends.

Saddest lyric: Who could ever leave me, darling / But who could stay?

In an Instagram post, Swift explained “my tears ricochet” tells the story of an “embittered tormentor showing up at the funeral of his fallen object of obsession.” Fans have speculated the track alludes to selling her master recordings by Big Machine Records founder Scott Borchetta to record executive Scooter Braun.

The song’s funeral imagery could also represent Swift mourning the metaphorical death of her six albums now in the hands of Braun. Although she is artistically free at Republic Records, she sings in the bridge about losing her old musical home along with her original albums at Big Machine Records.

Saddest lyric: And I can go anywhere I want / Anywhere I want, just not home

In an interview with Apple Music, Swift revealed “tolerant it” was inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s 1938 novel Rebecca, in which a husband simply tolerates his wife while she goes out of her way for him. It’s a story about yearning for love and appreciation from someone who does not pay attention to you.

In the bridge, she confesses how much of a priority her husband is to her. He was someone she loved, worshipped and respected. However, her efforts remain unreciprocated and ignored.

Saddest lyric: I made you my temple, my mural, my sky / Now I’m begging for footnotes in the story of your life

Pure Heartbreak

While track fives are personal, emotional and usually the ones that make me cry like a baby, certain songs have more subtle sadness to their lyrics. Sometimes, they are songs that you didn’t realize you connected to until years later.

Part of the folklore teenage love triangle, “august” follows a summer romance doomed from the start. It’s told from the perspective of the girl James cheated on Betty with. The other songs related to this storyline include “cardigan” and “betty.”

It’s a song written for people who have an ex that wasn’t their ex because they never dated. For those who relate to this story, it creates a nice yet strange feeling. Every time I listen to this song, the bridge never fails to break me.

Saddest lyric: ‘Cause you weren’t mine to lose

Ever since listening to “happiness,” I have learned to trust songs with the word happy or happier (looking at you, Olivia Rodrigo). Reexamining a rotten relationship, the narrator also looks back on the better moments before everything went sour. However, it’s a hopeful song that views the bad times as once good times with good things to come in the future.

To me, it’s the perfect song for “Sad Girl Autumn.” It’s mournful yet promising despite all the pain and destruction of previous relationships. It’s about someone still searching for happiness (no pun intended), even though they know it’s a difficult journey.

Saddest lyric: When did all our lessons start to look like weapons pointed at my deepest hurt?

On a more optimistic note, “Begin Again” recalls past relationships while looking forward to new romances. It’s not always easy to move on, especially when insecurities and fears from previous partners always linger as well.

Even though it’s not the saddest song, the few aching moments are loud and clear. It’s the song with lyrics that feel like a stab in the heart if you understand exactly what Swift is saying.

Saddest lyric: He didn’t like it when I wore high heels, but I do

Similar to the previous song, “New Years Day” explores Swift focusing on the future and yearning for the memories. As the closing track on reputation, she appears ready to move on from the old drama and past mistakes.

In the bridge, she fears losing the person she’s falling in love with. These lyrics are reminiscent of “Enchanted” from her third studio album Speak Now, in which she hopes the person she wants isn’t in love with someone else.

Saddest lyric: Please don’t ever become a stranger whose laugh I could recognize anywhere

Folklore / Evermore

I will always love Swift’s sister records, folklore and evermore. The best way to describe my love for these albums is the same way I feel about “All Too Well.” If you don’t like these pieces of work, you probably don’t understand or appreciate the beauty of storytelling and poetry.

It doesn’t matter how many times I listen to “marjorie,” this track will always ignite a waterfall in my eyes. It’s deeply personal full of lessons learned years, as well as guilt for the times Swift didn’t have with her grandmother.

Saddest lyric: Should’ve kept every grocery store receipt / ‘Cause every scrap of you would be taken from me

Going back to the message of “my tears ricochet,” Swift’s regret concerning the loss of her masters and re-recording of her old albums continues in “coney island.” In a Twitter thread, one user interpreted the song as her apology to her old music.

While she attempts to reconnect with her past, the usage of Coney Island and its fading popularity work to represent her current situation and struggles. As mentioned earlier, Swift has artistic freedom at Republic Record, but she remains remorseful for how everything happened so quickly and so publicly.

Saddest lyric: But when I walked up to the podium, I think that I forgot to say your name

Have you ever listened to a song and felt like it was written specifically for you? That’s how I feel about “this is me trying.” It’s a song I hold near and dear to my heart because it’s so personal.

This track follows the narrator accepting wrongdoings while making an effort to improve, even if it goes unnoticed. Things aren’t perfect right now, the narrator knows that, so they are taking the first step to admit and fix things they should have done a long time ago.

Saddest lyric: They told me all of my cages were mental / So I got wasted like all my potential

An Ode to Mom

These last sets of lyrics are less sad lyrics to understand and more of a heartbreaking parallel between Swift and her mother. The mother-daughter duo always had a close relationship, which Swift first wrote about in “The Best Day.”

In the song, she revisits her childhood and teenage years. She recalls her mother taking her window shopping to escape bullying in middle school. She sings, “I don’t know who I’m going to talk to now at school / But I know I’m laughing on the car ride home with you.”

Over the years, Swift has also been open about her mother’s cancer diagnosis and health as a top priority. She later dedicated “Soon You’ll Get Better” to her mother and revealed it’s one of the hardest songs for her to write. In the bridge, she sings, “And I hate to make this all about me / But who am I supposed to talk to? / What am I supposed to do / If there’s no you?”

Of all her songs and lyrics, the parallel between these two songs is the most personal and meaningful. They are also universal because they are songs about wanting only the best for the person who has stayed by your side all your life.

Final Thoughts

As you celebrate the season of “Sad Girl Autumn,” remember Taylor Swift knows how to tug at the heartstrings by creating a collection of songs and lyrics that connect with so many people. It’s both powerful and terrifying. She also knows how to write a bridge you will scream into the void with tears streaming down your face.

Featured image by Bettina Mateo

The UT Colleges as Adele songs

The season of Fall is synonymous with perfectly winged eyeliner, classic black silhouettes, and ballads that make you want to pour your heart out; that’s right, it’s Adele season. In preparation for this period of heartbreak and deep interpersonal questioning, soothe your troubled soul and enjoy this light take on the UT colleges as Adele songs based on the majors within them.

Moody College of Communication- Hello

Moody School of Communication; Picture by Nicholas Muniz

Hello is possibly one of the most well-known Adele songs of all time. The exhilarating song focuses on the failure of communication between two lovers. Moody intends on changing the world by rectifying miscommunication and enhancing current communication. The song embodies what Moody is trying to rectify in the world– miscommunication.

School of Architecture- Skyfall

School of Architecture; Picture by Nicholas Muniz

The uplifting tune, the drama, and the intrigue of mystery that surround Bond movies; these elements all paint a picture of artistry depicted in the tallest skyscrapers you can imagine. Bringing creativity to life and building the impossible are two traits that the School of Architecture and this Adele song have in common.

College of Liberal Arts – Chasing Pavements

Robert L. Patton Building; Picture by Nicholas Muniz

From governance to psychology, the College of Liberal Arts focuses on the pursuit of excellence through taking risks emphasized by its competitive majors. Chasing Pavements is a song about a woman taking a risk by confessing her feelings despite knowing how unlikely her chances for happiness are within that relationship. CoLA encourages its majors to hope and take risks within the humanities to discover the one true truth about what it is to be human within society at large.

College of Fine Arts- Sweetest Devotion

In order to have a successful career in the arts, one must be dedicated to the point where they are devoted to their craft. This Adele song harps on the triumphs and failures of giving all of your heart and soul in the form of purest devotion, something that is personified by the College of Fine Arts.

College of Natural Sciences- Set Fire to the Rain

College of Natural Sciences; Picture by Nicholas Muniz

Only the College of Natural Sciences could set fire to the rain with their intellect and ingenuity. Students within the college are able to achieve the impossible and indeed give meaning to a mad genius and in that making, this metaphor come true.

College of Education- First Love

First love ,with its idyllic and nursery rhyme elements, reminds one of happier days on the school playground. The cheerful tune is similar to the genuine and kind nature that is a hallmark of the College of Education.

McCombs School of Business- Send my Love to your New Lover

McCombs School of Business; Picture by Nicholas Muniz

It’s common knowledge that McCombs’ students enjoy the thrill of the chase and rarely pursue stability. It’s that attitude which ensures success in business. As a result, they harbor no ill intent to those they have woed in the past and are more than willing to send their love to your new lover after they have ended things with you.

Steve Hicks School of Social Work- Make you feel my love

Showcasing your loving nature and social work go hand in hand and so does this college and Adele song.

Cockrell School of Engineering- Easy on Me

Cockerell School of Engineering; Picture by Nicholas Muniz

It’s not easy being a Cockrell major, as they will let you know, and I can say with utmost confidence they would greatly appreciate it if their professors and the world at large took it easy on them. This new song by Adele not only allows them to drown their misery, but also fulfills their pleas with artistry and grace.

School of Information- Rumour has it

Rumors are the basis of all human interaction and this school looks to facilitate and enhance that interaction. They focus on user experience and design which rumor has it will be the most useful tool in the future of technology.

College of Pharmacy- Remedy

College of Pharmacy; Picture by Nicholas Muniz

Remedy is a song about healing and overcoming difficulties, something which we all accomplish with the help of our friends at the School of Pharmacy.

School of Nursing- Tired

Both the majors in this school and Adele find their true state in this song as they like to remind us after excessive all-nighters that they are, indeed, tired.

Jackson School of Geosciences- Rolling in the Deep

Jackson School of Geosciences; Picture by Nicholas Muniz

Rolling in  the deep is a song that not only references the hard work that students of this school have to put in, but also vaguely reminds you of a boulder rolling down a hill. Something which is not only poetic about the song but is similar to the plight of many of the majors in this school.

Featured image by Nicholas Muniz

A longhorn snow-day playlist

The entire state of Texas is under a Winter Storm Warning as parts of Austin are covered in up-to seven and a half inches of snow. Until the roads clear up and it’s safe for Longhorns to go out again, here is the ~ definitive ~ Snow-Day Playlist to keep spirits high even though the temp is low!

  1. “Baby It’s Cold Outside (duet with Michael Bublé)” – Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé

Come on, you knew this one had to be on here. I didn’t make the rules. Between Idina Menzel’s and Michael Bublé’s silky-smooth vocals and the temperature-based lyrics of the song, it demands being on every cold-weather playlist.

Snowiest Lyric: “Baby it’s cold outside.”

  1. “Sweater Weather” – The Neighbourhood

Is there a better song to play while cuddling with your SO on a cold day? Sweater Weather is super cute and temperature-relevant. Bonus points if you and your partner can get your hands on a set of matching sweaters.

Snowest Lyric: “‘Cause it’s too cold (woah) for you here and now. So let me hold (woah) both your hands in the holes of my sweater.”

3. “Let It Go” – “Frozen” Cast

Idina Menzel is iconic even to be on this playlist twice and I will NOT be accepting criticism on that matter at this time. This is the perfect song to play while you take a scenic walk around the snow-covered streets. P.S.: It is absolutely acceptable (and maybe even encouraged) to imagine your ice-cape blowing dramatically behind you as the song plays.

Snowiest Lyric: “The cold never bothered me anyway.”

4. “Oh Ms Believer ” – Twenty One Pilots

I’ll be honest, this song breaks my heart a little every time I hear it. The emotion is palpable and the lyrics are nothing short of poetic. I highly recommend listening to this one with a box of tissues and a lovely view of the snow to get the full experience.

Snowiest Lyric: “Your twisted mind is like snow on the road.”

5. “The A Team” – Ed Sheeran

Somehow this song just sounds like cold weather. The combination of acoustic guitar, melancholy lyrics and the unique comforting feeling of Ed Sheeran’s voice bring every connotation of the cold, good and bad, to life.

Snowiest Lyric: “It’s too cold outside for angels to fly.”

6. “Ice Ice Baby” – Vanilla Ice

We’ve had some sad songs, now get ready for the exact opposite. Ice Ice Baby is a timeless, upbeat masterpiece that makes everyone want to dance. Just don’t slip on the snow!

Snowiest Lyric: “Ice, ice baby, too cold, too cold.”

7. New Year’s Day – Taylor Swift

So, it’s a little past New Years’ but this song still gives out major “cozy on a cold day” vibes. It’s all about having someone who will go through the hard or just mundane parts of life with you instead of only being there for the highs. If that doesn’t give you the warm and fuzzy feelings to get you through the cold, I don’t know what will.

Snowiest Lyric: “I want your midnights but I’ll be cleaning up bottles with you on New Year’s Day.”

8. Banana Pancakes – Jack Johnson

Eating pancakes, sleeping in late and staying in for the day? YES PLEASE! “Banana Pancakes” is a fantastic song to listen to while making breakfast, or breakfast for dinner, on a relaxed snow-day.

Snowiest Lyric: “There ain’t no need to go outside.”

9. If the World Was Ending – JP Saxe and Julia Michaels

The cold can stimulate the cuffing season for sure. This song works through feelings of wanting someone who you know isn’t right for you long term. It’s part wish-fulfillment, part love song and all cold-weather vibes.

Snowiest Lyric: “The sky’d be falling and I’d hold you tight.”

10. I’m With You – Avril Lavigne

This song is bursting with nostalgia while still being an intriguing and unique piece of music. The lyrics mix messages of hope, anxiety and feeling left out in the ~ cold ~.

Snowiest Lyric: “It’s a damn cold night. Trying to figure out this life.”

Artist to watch: Briscoe

Photo courtesy of Nicholas Wong

UT freshman geology student Philip Lupton and San Antonio high school senior Truett Heintzelman’s friendship started the summer of 2016 when they met at Laity Lodge Youth Camp. What started as a compliment on each other’s chacos turned into a friendship rooted by their love of music. 

“Throughout those two weeks [at camp], Philip took his travel guitar out and we realized we could both sing half decently,” said Heintzelman, reminiscing on one of the first songs they sang together– The Head and the Heart’s “River and Roads.”

After starting a YouTube channel his junior year and creating new music, Lupton decided to go all in.

“During my senior year, I recorded a four song EP and released it under the name Briscoe so that later, I could incorporate other people into the band instead of just releasing it under my name,” said Lupton, further explaining that Briscoe originated from his grandfather’s middle name and was almost his first name. 

After securing a few shows for Briscoe on his own, Lupton proceeded to invite Heintzelman to come perform with him. At this point, they were pretty much a band but did not exclusively label it, according to Lupton.

“We’d known each other for quite a few years at that point and it was like, I wanted to do it,” Lupton said. “The only reason we didn’t start together was because we live in different cities and we were both in high school so it would’ve been very difficult.”

“Once I got into college and we started playing more and more shows, we recorded “Sailing Away” together over this past Christmas Break and then it was kind of an official thing,” he continues.

The Briscoe boys, heavily influenced by Josh Turner Guitar and Rayland Baxter, have a hard time categorizing their sound. According to Lupton, the writing they have been doing together lends itself a lot more to the folk side but still, their sound varies.

“When people ask me, I usually just say Americana,” Heintzelman adds. “I know that it’s not very specific but just because it encompasses so many aspects– a lot of the folk side, rock, indie and even some country influences as well.”

Briscoe released their first song, “Sailing Away,” as a pair on March 4. Although the song is newly released, Lupton has been working on it since his junior year when the pair wrote the chorus together. After making a few changes to the song senior year, Lupton finally released the song alongside Heintzelman.

 “Whenever Truett and I were looking for a song to record to try to make the ‘Truett and Philip’ Briscoe, “Sailing Away” was our number one,” Lupton said. “We revamped it and released it.”

In regards to their future, Briscoe has a few plans up their sleeves. According to Heintzelman, the pair talk about it often and he admires Philip who is a crazy dreamer and tends to have “midnight madness episodes,” claiming Philip is just what they need to take them all the way.

“We’ve always said that we will see where this thing goes and no matter what, we are gonna have fun with it,” Heintzelman said. “With the way things are going, the streams are pretty solid and the shirts and covers and all that, I feel like we are building up a name for ourselves. Our plan is to make some moves in the next couple of months and hopefully record an album and get that out around summertime.”

Photo courtesy of Nicholas Wong

As we all know, COVID-19 has made life interesting, uncertain and a bit scary to say the least. As most musicians are doing during this time, Philip and Truett have spent time focusing their efforts into the band by songwriting, selling merch and keeping active on social media. 

“I would say between the two of us, we have been making a lot of music and we have spent probably over 24 hours on Facetime together,” Lupton said. “I write music so much better when I’m at home and I just have spare time. I’m just constantly playing music, writing stuff and then sending it to Truett and vice versa.”

Briscoe has been posting weekly covers consisting of artists like Kacey Musgraves, Mt. Joy, Shakey Graves and John Prine on IGTV. For some great vibes and a quick study break, check Briscoe out on Instagram at @briscoe.band. 

Our gift to you– a playlist consisting of all things Briscoe as well as Philip and Truett’s top picks. Enjoy. 

Vote Briscoe for Austin artist of the month!


Quarantine Q&A:

What’s your go-to quarantine snack/meal? (They seemed rather stumped on this one…too many choices.)

P: Bratwurst because they have a bunch leftover from when his family first made them. He comments how it’s “like that scene in Forrest Gump where they’re talking about all the types of ways to cook shrimp.”

T: The frozen section at HEB with all of the frozen mini tacos and chicken nuggets…all that good stuff

Any new tv series you’ve been watching? Recommendations? 

P: Not much of a Netflix person…simple guy

T: Tiger King… “You can’t look away, it’s madness. If you took the most creative writers and producers and directors in the entire world and sat them in a room, they couldn’t come up with something half as crazy as that show. “