Song of the Day #5,264: ‘You’re On Your Own, Kid’ – Taylor Swift

Continuing my ranking of the songs on Taylor Swift’s new album, Midnights

#2. ‘Sweet Nothing

I was such a big fan of the direction Swift took on folklore and evermore that it’s no surprise I’m drawn to the Midnights song that could have appeared on either of those albums. Co-written with beau Joe Alwyn, this is a delicate and comforting ballad that finds Swift at her most content. Faced with the pressures of the industry, she retreats to the safety and warmth of her love. A beautiful song.

#1. ‘You’re On Your Own, Kid’

Swift always serves up something special on track five of her albums, and Midnights is no exception. ‘You’re On Your Own, Kid’ was the song on this record that grabbed me instantly, and it has remained my favorite through repeated listens. Perhaps that’s because it is stylistically closer to her earlier releases.

This is a deceptively deep song that serves as both a look back at Swift’s life and career and an empowerment anthem for her young fans. It uses the phrase “you’re on your own” as the sad realization that nobody is truly looking our for you, but also the reassurance that you are enough.

[Verse 1]
Summer went away, still, the yearning stays
I play it cool with the best of them
I wait patiently, he’s gonna notice me
It’s okay, we’re the best of friends
Anyway

I hear it in your voice, you’re smoking with your boys
I touch my phone as if it’s your face
I didn’t choose this town, I dream of getting out
There’s just one who could make me stay
All my days

[Pre-Chorus]
From sprinkler splashes to fireplace ashes
I waited ages to see you there
I search the party of better bodies
Just to learn that you never cared

[Chorus]
You’re on your own, kid
You always have been

[Verse 2]
I see the great escape, so long, Daisy May
I picked the petals, he loves me not
Something different bloomed, writing in my room
I play my songs in the parking lot
I’ll run away

[Pre-Chorus]
From sprinkler splashes to fireplace ashes
I called a taxi to take me there
I search the party of better bodies
Just to learn that my dreams aren’t rare

[Chorus]
You’re on your own, kid
You always have been

[Instrumental Break]

[Bridge]
From sprinkler splashes to fireplace ashes
I gave my blood, sweat, and tears for this
I hosted parties and starved my body
Like I’d be saved by a perfect kiss
The jokes weren’t funny, I took the money
My friends from home don’t know what to say
I looked around in a blood-soaked gown
And I saw something they can’t take away
‘Cause there were pages turned with the bridges burned
Everything you lose is a step you take
So, make the friendship bracelets, take the moment and taste it
You’ve got no reason to be afraid

[Chorus]
You’re on your own, kid
Yeah, you can face this
You’re on your own, kid
You always have been

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #5,264: ‘You’re On Your Own, Kid’ – Taylor Swift

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I must confess I was not aware of the significance Track 5s on Swift’s albums. I guess that’s why you are a Swiftie and I am not.😀

    That said, a google search reveals multiple posts discussing Track 5s, including many that rank those songs. I suppose you could add your rankings to the mix with a future theme week.

    Here is one article that discusses the Track 5s and, of course, ranks them:

    http://www.justjared.com/2022/10/21/why-is-track-5-on-taylor-swift-albums-so-important-every-track-5-songs-meaning-revealed/

  2. Amy says:

    This was an early standout track for me, too, and it has solidly remained in the top tier even as other songs on the album have since climbed and climbed.

    Despite having listened to it more times than I care to admit over these past few weeks (let’s just say I like her albums to be very familiar as quickly as possible, especially when you’re ranking them within a meeting month of their release! 😜), today was the first time I truly noticed the final lines of the last verse:

    “And I saw something they can’t take away
    ‘Cause there were pages turned with the bridges burned…”.

    I love how she reimagines these two cliches about moving on and leaving past decisions and incidents in the past as a way her music (pages/bridges) has empowered her during those times and also empowers her listeners. Yup, love it.

    Now… my ranking? Still in development 😜

  3. Maddie says:

    Completely in lock step with your top two, these are such standouts to me on an incredible strong album.

    I would also love to see a track 5 ranking at some point in the future 🙂

  4. The Cool Guy (Daniel) says:

    Now these would be my exact top two. You put it pretty much perfectly. Driving back from Gainesville to home for Thanksgiving was the first time I listened to “Midnights” in its entirety. Hearing “You’re on Your Own Kid” for the first-time, I had to restrain from breaking my tasteful tears into an all out sob as, you know, gotta keep the eyes on the road. However, that’s how beautiful this song is. It’s incredible that so far into Swift’s career she can turn out these two masterpieces that can stand alongside the best of her discography.

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