Song of the Day #4,268: ‘Dancing With Our Hands Tied’ – Taylor Swift

Continuing my ranking of Taylor Swift’s albums…

#3 – Reputation – 2017

Yesterday I wrote that my biggest surprise in this assessment of Taylor Swift’s discography was the relatively low placement of Speak Now. Well, I was equally surprised by how high I wound up ranking 2017’s Reputation.

This is an album I brashly dismissed as Swift’s worst when I first heard it. And here I am placing it in the top three. So, what changed?

Obviously it wasn’t the music. To paraphrase Led Zeppelin, the songs remain the same.

Reputation does feature two of Swift’s worst songs in first and third singles ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ and ‘Endgame.’ I think those early glimpses turned me off of the album as a whole.

It also took me awhile to warm up to Swift’s shift to full-fledged pop artist. I once viewed it as a pose, but I’ve come to understand it as an evolution.

I held on to ten of Reputation‘s 15 tracks, scrapping the two mentioned above as well as ‘I Did Something Bad,’ ‘So It Goes’ and ‘This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.’ Those songs are all some combination of forgettable and cringy.

The remaining ten are all great. My favorites include ‘Delicate,’ ‘Getaway Car,’ ‘New Year’s Day,’ and today’s SOTD, ‘Dancing With Our Hands Tied.’ Those four tracks alone represent an admirable diversity of sound and perspective on an album that I wrongly dismissed as same-y and disappointing.

Let this post and this ranking serve as my apology to both “old Taylor” and “new Taylor” for getting it wrong the first time.

[Verse 1]
I, I loved you in secret
First sight, yeah, we love without reason
Oh, twenty-five years old
Oh, how were you to know? And
My, my love had been frozen
Deep blue, but you painted me golden
Oh, and you held me close
Oh, how was I to know? I–

[Pre-Chorus]
Could’ve spent forever with your hands in my pockets
Picture of your face in an invisible locket
You said there was nothing in the world that could stop it
I had a bad feeling
And darling, you had turned my bed into a sacred oasis
People started talking, putting us through our paces
I knew there was no one in the world who could take it
I had a bad feeling

[Chorus]
But we were dancing
Dancing with our hands tied, hands tied
Yeah, we were dancing
Like it was the first time, first time
Yeah, we were dancing
Dancing with our hands tied, hands tied
Yeah, we were dancing
And I had a bad feeling
But we were dancing

[Verse 2]
I, I loved you in spite of
Deep fears that the world would divide us
So, baby, can we dance?
Oh, through an avalanche? And
Say, say that we got it
I’m a mess, but I’m the mess that you wanted
Oh, ’cause it’s gravity
Oh, keeping you with me, I–

[Pre-Chorus]
Could’ve spent forever with your hands in my pockets
Picture of your face in an invisible locket
You said there was nothing in the world that could stop it
I had a bad feeling

[Chorus]
But we were dancing
Dancing with our hands tied, hands tied
Yeah, we were dancing
Like it was the first time, first time
Yeah, we were dancing
Dancing with our hands tied, hands tied
Yeah, we were dancing
(Knew we had our hands tied)
And I had a bad feeling
But we were dancing

[Bridge]
I’d kiss you as the lights went out
Swaying as the room burned down
I’d hold you as the water rushes in
If I could dance with you again
I’d kiss you as the lights went out
Swaying as the room burned down
I’d hold you as the water rushes in
If I could dance with you again (Again)

[Chorus]
Dancing with our hands tied, hands tied
Oh, yeah, we were dancing
Like it was the first time, first time (first time, first time)
Yeah, we were dancing (oh)
Dancing with our hands tied, hands tied
(Dancing with our hands tied)
Yeah, we were dancing (ooh)
And I had a bad feeling (had a bad feeling)
But we were dancing

[Outro]
(Ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh)
Hands tied, hands tied (dancing)

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,268: ‘Dancing With Our Hands Tied’ – Taylor Swift

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I was perplexed by your initial negativity toward this album, and remain perplexed by your continued hatred of the two singles you mentioned-particularly “End Game.” I think your distaste of that song is a spillover from the overall negativity you were feeling after hearing the first single. My guess is, had that not been released as a single, you would have similarly re-evaluated your feelings on that as well, but who knows?

    Though I’m pleased to see you lighten up on this album and Taylor as a whole, I still would rank this album lower than some of the others you’ve ranked lower – particularly Speak Now. However, as Amy mentioned, we haven’t gone through each album to assess, particularly using your criteria, so perhaps that exercise would hold similar surprises as to my rankings.

  2. Amy says:

    I love “Ready for it” – such a jarring and bold statement to kick off this phase. And the fact that the same album has the gorgeous and delicate Delicate and New Year’s Day definitely put this album near the top of my list,

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