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Taylor Swift songs made for the ‘Gilmore Girls’ universe

By September 3, 2023September 5th, 2023No Comments6 min read
photo graphic: side by side photos of Taylor Swift's Fearless (Taylor's Version) album cover and a still from Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

When Taylor Swift released “All Too Well (Sad Girl Autumn Version),” she tapped into the sweet spot of the Venn diagram where Gilmore Girls and Taylor Swift fans meet. The seven-season series spanning from 2000 to 2007 conjures up images of comfort and coziness, wrapped up in warmth of fall with its fairy-tale-like small-town charm. But an autumnal ambience is not the only thing in common between Taylor Swift’s music and the show. Swift has a song for every occasion and Gilmore Girls is no exception.

Below are some of the many Taylor Swift songs that would blend seamlessly into the Gilmore Girls universe. With more albums in the future and ‘From The Vault’ songs from her remaining re-recordings, this list is forever under revision.

Lorelai building a life in Stars Hollow– “A Place in this World,” Taylor Swift

At sixteen, Lorelai is a single mother who has to singlehandedly support herself and her daughter. But she is also just a sixteen-year-old girl. In “A Place in this World,” Taylor Swift is keeping her chin up and finding her footing. And by stepping into Stars Hollow with an infant in hand, so is Lorelai.

This song gets across the confusion, optimism and determination that characterizes the Lorelai we know. And these are the very qualities of hers that would have helped her take each day at a time and create the warm, welcoming, and beautiful life we have come to love.

Christopher leaving Lorelai and Rory at Sookie’s Wedding — “Foolish One (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault),” Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)

Not much is consistent about Christopher’s presence in Lorelai and Rory’s lives except for the fact that he is always leaving. When he leaves them again at Sookie’s wedding, wearing out the very last strands of everyone’s patience, nothing is a better soundtrack than: “And you will say you had the best of intentions/ And maybe I will finally learn my lesson.”

Yet again, Christopher was let in, and yet again, he disappointed. “Foolish One” perfectly encapsulates the feeling of holding onto hope despite never being proven right on it. You cross your fingers– maybe this time things will be different. And still, they never are.

Rory choosing Jess over Dean– “The Way I Loved You (Taylor’s Version),” Fearless (Taylor’s Version)

Does this song need any argument? It’s like it was made for this love triangle. Dean makes a great boyfriend on paper, at least to Rory and the rest of Stars Hollow. He is loving, loyal, and gets along with her mother and best friend. But Jess brings out a side of Rory that Dean doesn’t—her passionate, fierce, and intellectual side.

Being with Dean is comfortable but being with Jess is intoxicating. There is no song that expresses Rory’s feelings like this one: “He’s charming and endearing and I’m comfortable/But I miss screaming and fighting and kissing in the rain.”

Jess coming to Yale to win Rory back — “All You Had To Do Was Stay,” 1989

Jess shows up in the middle of the night asking Rory to run away with him. At last, he is ready to be the person she needed. And it’s perfect except that it’s too late. Jess needed time for things to change with him, but time was all that was standing in their way. And this song puts across the thought that would have been ringing in Rory’s mind—if you had stayed and let me in, we wouldn’t be here today.

Lorelai and Christopher breaking up for good– “The 1,” Folklore

In Season 7, Lorelai and Christopher give a wholehearted shot at their relationship—something they had never done before. And while they held a lot of love for each other, and their marriage seemed like destiny had finally brought them together, Christopher just wasn’t the one.

“And if my wishes came true/ It would’ve been you” is just another way of saying “You’re the man I want to want.” This song speaks of a relationship that while wonderful wasn’t truly meant to be. And after seven seasons of Christopher being a lingering “What if?” the question is finally put to rest.

Rory refusing Logan’s Proposal– “Champagne Problems,” Evermore

This song is what it must have looked like if we took a peek into Rory’s mind after she turned down Logan’s proposal. It perfectly contrasts his enthusiasm with her muted rejection. As a viewer, I found it difficult to tell whether Rory would say yes or no, just as she did. Up until the point that he proposed to her, their relationship seemed liked it would go the long haul. But as the lyrics go, “Sometimes you just don’t know the answer/’Til someone’s on their knees and asks you.”

Rory returning to Stars Hollow in “A Year in the Life” — “Nothing New (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault),” Red (Taylor’s Version)

When Rory leaves us at the end of the series, she’s off on what seems like a trailblazing path on Obama’s campaign. When she returns to us nearly a decade later, she is nowhere any of us hoped she’d be. She’s still struggling to build her career and be true in her romantic relationships. She is caught between having high expectations of herself, and refusing to settle for the smaller things that would help her meet them.

“Nothing New” is the song for those who feel like they have failed their potential. It is the song about feeling left behind by other people fulfilling your ambitions. It’s the song for Rory to seek both understanding and loss in. In a different world, maybe it could show her a mirror and help her start over.

Emily’s pain of losing Lorelai — “Evermore,” Evermore

The pain of Lorelai separating from the Gilmore house reveals itself in the most contrived of ways in Emily. She seeks desperately to be part of her daughter’s life but does so manipulatively—choosing for Lorelai what she thinks is best or obliging her through conditional support.

But sometimes she expresses her pain plainly. She just lays it down, without dressing it up in other pretenses. When Rory leaves the Gilmore house, Emily simply tells Lorelai: “I lost her like I lost you.” And the word and song for this pain is “Evermore.”

Feature image courtesy of Netflix and Republic Records

Neha Nandakumar

23-year-old pop culture writer from India who needs to stop playing Faith in the Future on repeat.

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