None of Taylor Swift’s songs are strictly about knowledge or wisdom, but plenty of them deal with dreams and fanciful ideas, fairy tale and literary allusions, truth and sincerity, and individuality. These are the songs – in contrast with the realistic and down-to-earth Hufflepuff ones – that speak most to what Ravenclaw house is about.
A Place In This World
“I don’t know what I want, so don’t ask me,” this song begins. “Cause I’m still trying to figure it out.” With Luna Lovegood in mind, I think it makes sense to say that young Ravenclaws are all about figuring themselves out. All that introspection and exploration takes some time, and Ravenclaws might be more willing than others to accept that they don’t have all the answers yet, as long as they’re looking for them.
Ravenclaws are individuals who march to the beat of their own drum, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to be loved and accepted. Many Ravenclaws can understand trying to “take the road less traveled by” and ending up as outsiders.
There’s nothing intellectual about this song. It’s one misaimed literary allusion after another, from Romeo and Juliet to The Scarlet Letter. However, the dreamy fairy tale feel and desire for an epic literary romance is definitely strong, even if the comparisons fall short.
This is another of Taylor Swift’s early love songs, but what stands out about it to me is the way she lingers over tiny details: “The way you walk, way you talk, way you say my name”. Even more important is the line, “I’ve never seen nobody shine the way you do”. I talked in an earlier post about Gryffindor love being bold and fearless, and I think maybe Ravenclaw love would be perceptive and insightful.
“Walls of insincerity / shifting eyes and vacancy / vanished when I saw your face”. Enchanted is a more grown-up love song, and one that values the genuine over the fake. Yet the song is whimsical, taking the listener on a sweeping journey of enchantment and infatuation. The connection between the two lovers is intellectual as much as anything else: “The playful conversation starts / counter all your quick remarks / like passing notes in secrecy”.
This song is about chasing after dreams even when they seem far-fetched. “He was trying to skip rocks on the ocean, saying to me / Don’t you see the starlight, starlight? / Don’t you dream impossible things?” The song is bubbly and larger than life, overflowing with imaginative ideas and crazy dreams.
Out of the Woods
Any song that declares, “The rest of the world was black and white / but we were in screaming color” has got to be a Ravenclaw song. It doesn’t shy away from darkness, but it doesn’t embrace it, either. On the contrary, it’s all about finding a way “out of the woods”. The idea of “monsters” that “turned out to be just trees” speaks to a danger that is conquered by understanding it, not overcoming it.
“Of course it is happening in your head,” Dumbledore tells Harry at near the end of Deathly Hallows. “But why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” Although the line is delivered by a Gryffindor to a Gryffindor, there’s something distinctly Ravenclaw about the idea. That’s the same kind of idea reflected in this song, in which Taylor Swift begs her lover to “Say you’ll see me again even if it’s just in your wildest dreams”.
This song is soft, quiet, and tentative. “Sometimes I wonder when you sleep / are you ever dreaming of me?” Remember what I said about Ravenclaws being perceptive? We also tend to overthink things, and there’s definitely a lot of overthinking going on here. “Is it cool that I said all that? Is it chill that you’re in my head?” But more importantly, the chorus keeps on emphasizing a need to be loved for oneself. Ravenclaws, who tend to be the most individualistic of all the houses, could definitely identify.
Call It What You Want
All the crumbling castles and “flowers [growing] back as thorns” are a clear reference to Taylor Swift’s earlier, more whimsical type of songs. The clever title suggests that – instead of insisting that “it’s a love story” or “today was a fairy tale” – we can decide what we want to call this strange sort of romance, while the subtle references to much older songs make this story almost like a riddle to be solved.