Perfect Pairings: Taylor Swift Songs and Jane Austen Couples


I am a firm believer that there is a Taylor Swift song for every occasion. Falling in love? She’s got you covered. Going through a break up? Definitely got you there! Ready to step into your own power and take down the patriarchy? Yes, please! I guess it’s no surprise that there is also a Taylor Swift song for when you are ready to curl up with a nice cup of tea and read your favorite Jane Austen book. Is it any wonder that these two brilliant women have works of art that can pair so perfectly? I think not. 

Elizabeth and Darcy
Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy as “The Last Great American Dynasty

“Who knows if she never showed up what could have been. There goes the loudest woman this town has ever seen. She had a marvelous time ruining everything.” 

This line specifically is what brought all the Taylor Swift and Jane Austen parallels rushing to my brain. I was listening to Folklore while cleaning up my kitchen (as you do) and when this song came on my immediate thought was “Wow, this chorus is just Caroline Bingley talking about Elizabeth.” Maybe add Lady Cathrine De Bourgh on backup vocals and you’ve got yourself a Pride and Prejudice hit. We love Elizabeth for her unparalleled wit and charm. After all it’s what beguiled Mr. Darcy in the first place and ruined everyone else’s plans for his future. In that regard, I think Elizabeth really did have a marvelous time ruining everything. Thank goodness. 

Marriane and Willoughby
Marriane and Willoughby as “Forever & Always

“Baby what happened please tell me, cause one second it was perfect now you’re halfway out the door.” 

I firmly believe that Sense and Sensibility is one of the most underrated works of Jane Austen. It never seems to get the appreciation it deserves. I juggled with a few ideas of couples and songs but in the end I had to stick with this one. It’s undeniable that this classic Taylor song has some big “Marriane during a break up” energy. To Marriane’s credit, the line above should likely read “entirely out the door” because that is more in line with just how badly Willoughby treats her. Also to be entirely honest, Willoughby is actually my top Austen villain (yes, even more than Mr. Wickham) due to his sheer audacity and his attempt to play the victim. Thankfully Marriane has a very devoted Colonel Brandon waiting in the wings to drag her out of the pouring rain.

Emma and Knightley
Emma and Knightley as “ME!

“I know that I’m a handful baby, I know I never think before I jump, and you’re the type of guy the ladies want.” 

There were a few songs that came to mind for these two because my love for them knows no bounds, but in the end I could not pass this one up. There are just too many lines in this song that are so perfectly Emma. It’s also important to note that the tone of the song is upbeat and peppy in a way I think she would appreciate. Of course the general sentiment also fits her entire journey with Knightley. This song is essentially about someone recognizing they are not a perfect person but that they are in fact the perfect person for their partner. I think a lot of the book is Emma and Knightley coming to that conclusion as well. I can only imagine Emma loving this song and Knightley rolling his eyes in the background while secretly enjoying himself.

Lydia and Wickham as “I Knew You Were Trouble

“And the saddest fear comes creeping in, that you never loved me, or her, or anyone, or anything.”

Is there a better trainwreck of a couple in literature to pair with this song? I submit that there is not. I suppose the argument could (and probably should) be made that Lydia did not in fact know that Wickham was trouble considering he even charmed Lizzie in the beginning. Despite this, I think the song still rings true for the two. Perhaps I would feel differently about the whole dynamic if Lydia ever showed a modicum of regret for her choices, but alas we all know that she does not. Wickham is the villain and the blame should clearly fall to him, but we have to believe that the thoughts of these lyrics would likely come to Lydia sooner rather than later. 

Harriet Smith and Mr. Martin as “Back to December

“It turns out freedom aint nothing but missing you wishing I’d realized what I had when you were mine.” 

I honestly never thought much of this couple until the recent adaptation of Emma where I was completely taken with them and their utter sweetness. Mr. Martin’s unwavering regard for Harriet (even with her general foolishness) and her lasting feelings despite being blown off course is just one of the cutest second chance romances in classic literature. This song might be a bit more melancholy in tone than the novel Emma, but I have to believe that Harriet really had to come to terms with what a good thing she let pass her by. Thank goodness for Mr. Knightley, our eternal knight in shining armor. He sets things straight, and we are grateful even if it is slightly serving to his own self interest. 

So many great songs, so little time!


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