If the Gryffindor songs are bold and fearless, and the Slytherin ones are venomous revenge anthems, the Hufflepuff songs would have to be the softest and simplest, the ones that veer away from fanciful dreams or delusions of grandeur and embrace the everyday.
Tim McGraw was the first Taylor Swift song I fell in love with. It’s quiet, sincere, and paints a simple yet romantic picture of a love that is over, but not regretted: “When you think happiness / I hope you think that little black dress / think of my head on your chest / and my old faded blue jeans”.
This song tells the story of an elderly couple and their journey from childhood friends to high school sweethearts to newlyweds to parents and then grandparents. It’s all about stability and long-lasting loyalty in love of the type that Hufflepuffs exemplify, right up to the ending, where “I’ll be eighty-seven, you’ll be eighty-nine / I still look at you like the stars that shine in the sky / oh, my, my, my”.
I almost called this song Ravenclaw, but I think it’s more Hufflepuff in the end. The song explores – and respects – the high-strung emotions and raging hormones that young teenagers experience, but it also encourages young girls that “In your life, you’ll do things greater than dating the boy on the football team / but I didn’t know it at fifteen”. The song is very grounded and aimed at guiding younger girls through that phase of life “before you know who you’re gonna be”.
You Belong With Me
This song is totally about a dorky Hufflepuff pining after her best friend who’s dating a Slytherin, right?
The Best Day
“The Best Day” is about appreciating a parent’s love. It starts off with a child narrator (“Don’t know if Snow White’s house is near or far away / but I know I had the best day with you today”), but she quickly grows into a young woman who is wiser and more mature but still thankful for her family. This expression of love and gratitude just seems so Hufflepuff.
The early Taylor Swift albums are more about looking for love than really experiencing it. Some of the songs are whimsical and dreamy, others are bold and passionate, but they all tell of something that’s overwhelming and new. And then there’s this one, which seems somehow more grounded. Here, she’s not singing about fairy tales or daydreams or dancing in a storm together; she wants someone who will stay when things get tough and be “the best thing that’s ever been mine”.
Stay Stay Stay
That same train of thought – faithful love, and staying when things aren’t easy – runs through most of Taylor Swift’s more Hufflepuff type love songs. In this one, she has fallen head over heels with someone who “took the time to memorize” her and who – even when she thinks they’re on the verge of breaking up – will stay with her. She comes to the conclusion that “I’d like to hang out with you for my whole life”, which is just such a straightforward Hufflepuff way of saying you’re in love.
Girl at Home
Hufflepuffs are loyal, honest, and fair, traits exemplified in this song about a woman turning down a man’s advances because she knows he has a girlfriend. “I don’t even know her, but I feel a responsibility to do what’s upstanding and right”.
Another song about enduring love, “This Love” tells the story of a romance “back from the dead”. Unlike earlier songs, it embraces the conflicts and ambiguities of love, and the singer doesn’t seem quite sure whether it’s good or bad. But in the end, “you come back to what you need”.
New Year’s Day
There is almost nothing Hufflepuff at all about reputation, until this very last song. That person who will stay after the party to help you clean up? That’s a Hufflepuff. “Don’t read the last page / but I stay / when you’re lost and I’m scared / and you’re turning away / I want your midnights / but I’ll be cleaning up bottles with you on New Year’s Day”.