Top Ten Tegan and Sara Songs

Rin says: The thing about Tegan and Sara is that you don’t just love them for their music. I liked their music, and then The Con came out with that making of DVD and when I watched that DVD, that’s when it happened. That’s when I fell in love with them. Completely and utterly. Yes I think their music is genius and yes I will be forcing it onto my children’s children when I’m old and frail, but them as people? I feel like they make my life better just by existing.

Sophy says: Hear, hear, Rin.

Please note: We’ve limited ourselves to youtube videos of live performances rather than song downloads, because whilst Rophy are not the messiah, but rather very naughty girls, we believe in supporting Tegan and Sara. And if that means pointing bread at you until you buy all of their albums, well so be it.

You can buy their music from: Amazon or iTunes or

10. Sophy says: Don’t Confess – Track 12 – If It Was You (2002) – Tegan

Send a little smile my way…
Don’t be so hard on yourself
You won’t get better till you’re worse yeah yeah

Sophy says: This was the first Tegan and Sara song I was in love with. Not the first one I heard or the first one I liked, or even the first one I liked a lot… but the first one I replayed obsessively over and over because it felt like it was the only thing I could bear to listen to ever again omg.

As is often the way with Tegan’s songs, this, to me, is all about hurting and being comforted and then hurting some more because the comfort makes you remember how it used to feel when you didn’t hurt at all…

Oh Tegan. Bless your emo little cotton socks.

A highlight for me: When the brittle, brutal “I’m not alone!” rips itself out of Tegan’s body… when she follows it up with the small, plaintive “No I’m just on my own…”

Rin says: Sophy sent me my first T&S songs, there were four of them and this was one of them. I love the slow, rocking nature of the song.

Sophy is joking about Tegan having emo socks, because she knows how much I would hate for anyone thinking Tegan and Sara are emo. They are far from emo. Your face is emo.

Sophy says: Tegan is totally emo. But in an awesome way. In the way where regular emoness sucks but Tegan’s emoness is liquid gold? Idek. It’s impressive.

09. Rin says: Sentimental Tune – Track 12 – Sainthood (2009) – Sara

Hard hearted don’t worry I’m ready for a fight

Rin says: This is the first song I absolutely loved off Sainthood. Sainthood is interesting, because I found that when it first came out it kind of polarised fans quite a bit. People either hated it or loved it – in my own experience I found I had to listen through a few times before I really came to understand their latest musical direction. Unlike say, The Con where I liked the album right off the bat. The thing about Sara’s music is that it’s interesting, different, and genius in its own right…but I never 100% connect with it. And if I only have a few spaces for my favourite songs, the ones I want to cry over and sing at the top of my lungs because they’re so amazing – well they’re the ones that are going to make the list. It just so happens that I connect with Tegan better (but for some reason I would prefer to take Sara as my wife?). Sentimental Tune, well it’s one of Sara’s songs that I just want to scream out all the time. The chorus is one of my favourites of any song ever.

Sophy says: This song is amazing, ngl. But I’m a stubborn mule who cannot carry things on her back too well, and it usually takes me a while to allow new things in my top tens. That’s why nothing from Sainthood is making it on for me.

Of course Rin had to go and be all varied and interesting again. Typical.

08. Sophy says: Soil Soil – Track 08 – The Con (2007) – Tegan

Oh and I’m feeling directionless yes but that’s to be expected and I know that best

Sophy says: I love the way this opens with a run-on sentence, with thoughts welling up and slipping over their brims and into each other, the way the beat returns continually, obsessively, whether the words are ready or not… It’s like pressing your hand to a throbbing wound, like your pulse ticking away in your throat…

When I listen to this song I can almost picture someone curled up on the floor, rocking back and forth in time to their own anxiety, waiting for that one person who can save them from it all with only a phone-call.

Rin says: I totally picture that, and I think everyone has felt that sense of despair at one time or another. My favourite lyric from this song is in the second verse, “I feel like a fool, so I’m going to stop troubling you.” Guh guh guh, that’s how I feel most of the time.


07. Rin says: The Con – Track 3 – The Con (2007) – Tegan

I follow suit and laid out on my back imagine that
A million hours left to think of you and think of that

Rin says: The sense of urgency in this song is intense, and it’s just a song I can listen to over and over again and each time I’m singing it louder than the last. It’s 3.29 minutes of just GO GO GO, and I love that. I like that Tegan can write about how she basically just wants love but doesn’t want to have to reciprocate those feelings. She just wants to be wanted. And it’s not the nicest thing, but come on, everyone plays that card at some point.

Sophy says: Yes, yes, yes. Tegan reveals parts of herself in her songs and it’s not always pretty. And that’s what makes her art feel so real, I think. There’s another band I love, and I’m sure I’ll foist them upon you all at some point, but anyway the point is that I read a review of one of their albums that said they were a terrible band, because based on the lyrics he wrote about himself, the lead singer came off as a self-pitying asshole half the time. Well that’s precisely why I think he’s brilliant. He and Tegan are honest in their art – they really let you see who they are rather than just a sanitized, idealized, painted and primped version of themselves. That’s rare. And it’s precisely what gets under my skin.

06. Sophy says: When I Get Up – Unrecorded – Tegan

And on the ro-oh-oad I sleep alo-oh-one and I can’t wait… until I’m home

Sophy says: I may have been the first half of Rophy to love Tegan and Sara, but nobody loves with the same dedication Rin does, not even me, and so pretty quickly she was foraging around and coming up with all these goodies that were new to me.

The first time I heard this song was in her car while we drove around the streets of Sydney being Rophy and loving Tegan and Sara. It made me want to cry at the time, and now its own innate nostalgic power has been redoubled by the memory of that first experience of it.

I could die for the way their voices sound on ‘And that’s… all we neeeeeeeeeed’ and the way that last syllable drops again, quick and inevitable, into ‘When I get up oh-ohhh, so do you, oo-ooo’

Rin says: Oh you. And I have little recollection of this moment. Well, I remember driving around and stuff, but I didn’t know that you felt like crying. These are things you should communicate.

I was sent this (by another friend) and was like omffgggggggg. LIVE TEGAN AND SARA. This is amazing. This was before I was a fan fan, so I didn’t know of the greatness that is Tegan and Sara live. My favourite parts are the verses, ‘I don’t need company / in the company of you / I don’t need air / No, I don’t need to breathe’ Oh Tegan. When she loves, she loves with all of her being, and you get that through her songs. (and from when she says that she’s clingy and never wants to leave the person, whilst sara hates spooning etc. oh these quins.)

Sophy says: I’ll make sure I have you on speed dial for next time I feel like crying :D

05. Rin says: My Number – Track 04 – This Business of Art (2000) – Tegan

If I gave you my number
Would it still be the same?

Rin says: I just. I can’t. This is the one song I would KILL BABY TURTLES to see. Okay that was horrible, but it’s true. When I watch live performances of My Number on the youtube, I cry like a child. I just find something so ridiculously beautiful and precious about it. Even though I don’t even understand the bit about the guy grabbing her by the hand and dragging her to the shore. IDK.

The song to me is about wanting to give yourself completely to another, but first you need to know that they’re never ever going to break you. Unfortunately, I get the feeling that it’s all already gone down and it was a horrible mess .. and she’s sitting in the ruins looking back at the stupidity of being naive.

Sophy says: Sometimes the parts you don’t quite understand are the parts that make a song so hautning…

Can I just take a moment to say how much I love the “It’s a silly time to learn to swim, when you start to drown. It’s a silly time to learn to swim on the way down” line in this song? Love.

And fffffff. Based on your analysis, Rin, how Naomily is this song! Because you know that’s why Naomi folded her arms and stuck her nose in the air for four years, you know that’s why she cheated, why she took so long to figure out how to fix it… she couldn’t handle the bone-deep  fear – the possibility that if she reached out to Emily, Emily might not be reaching back.

04. Sophy says: I Know, I Know, I Know – Track 04 – So Jealous (2004) – Tegan

Tell me this love hasn’t changed you, hasn’t changed you at all

Sophy says: Thank you Veronica Mars, for delivering Tegan and Sara to me. This wasn’t the first song I heard on that show – I’m pretty sure they used three, yes, three (congratulations Rob Thomas on your awesome music taste) – Walking With A Ghost, So Jealous and this one – but this was the one that sent me scrambling for their back catalogue. And I’ve only grown to love it more and more over time.

The way the whole song lifts with this bizarrely mournful-joyful chorus… “Stick your hands inside my pockets, keep them warm while I’m still here…” My heart literally leaps at the sound. No really. This song actually feels like falling in love or, like, I don’t know, having really good sex…

…um… I’m just going to be quiet now.

Rin says: ……………………………You just spent too long looking at the graphic for this song, DIDN’T YOU?!

The same as I’ll love you, you’ll always love me too, this love isn’t good unless it’s me and you.

03. Rin says: Nineteen – Track 10 – The Con (2007) – Tegan

I feel you in my heart
And I don’t even know you

Rin says: I’m probably going to be revealing too much about myself now, but it’s Tegan and Sara and I can’t help it. I think I’ll refer to a Tegan quote to explain.

“I am a self-diagnosed past addict. I pine for lost love. I think incessantly about love I never had, love I really want to have, love I’ll never have, etc.”

Nineteen emobodies all of that for me.

The bridge is one of my favourite moments ever…when Tegan asks, I was yours right? and then repeats. I WAS YOURS RIGHT? (ok, not as maniacal as it sounds)

Sophy says: Way to quote my favourite Tegan quote ever.

And yeah, the bridge is my favourite part of this too, I just love the way she sings it… it’s sort of similar to Soil, Soil, in that it has this circular, obsessive, insistent feel to it and yeah, it pretty much breaks my heart.

02. Rophy says: Where Does The Good Go – Track 5 – So Jealous (2004) – Tegan

How do you live so happily
While I am sad and broken down

Rin says: HAHA. This song has a long history with Rophy. I don’t know if I’m supposed to reveal it but I’m going to anyway. The opening verse is, ‘Where do you go, with your broken heart in tow’ and it’s pretty straightforward, right?

I don’t know what we were talking about or whatever, but one of us was singing it over messenger (I know all of you do it too) and it was revealed that Sophy thought it was ‘Where do you go, with your broken heart and toe.’

BROKEN HEART AND TOE. Christ. Cause a broken heart isn’t painful enough!

Sophy says: I knew you’d go there. I KNEW IT. And I think my version of the song is very special. I’d be willing to bet it means a lot to this fella…

In all seriousness though, this song… it’s a classic for a reason. I will never, ever not rest my head in my hands and gaze adoringly at nothing in particular when the ‘Look me in the eye and tell me you don’t find me attractive…’ segment rushes into the chorus. NEVER.

01. Rophy says: Call It Off – Track 14 – The Con (2007) – Tegan

My own heart

Sophy says: This, to me, is the most beautifully crafted, perfectly balanced thing Tegan and Sara have produced and with it they show us beyond doubt that when it comes to creating stunning harmonies, twins do it better. Or maybe it’s just Quin Twins that do it better, who knows.

And the line ‘Maybe I would have been something you’d be good at. Maybe you would’ve been something I’d be good at.’ ? It’s its disarming simplicity that makes it so perfect and makes it feel so true. That’s what I love about Tegan’s songs… they always feel so honest and raw and in-the-moment.

Sara tends to be more clever about things. And god, that intellectual approach allows her to create some incredible music… but it doesn’t quite have the same ability to woo me as Tegan’s (seemingly) bared soul, and maybe that’s why she’s dominated the top ten.

Having said that, Sara Quin is fucking amazing and let’s just take a moment to point out that in many of these songs her backing vocals are a huge part of the magic. And also there are a lot of her own songs that almost-almost-almost made it on here. I’m going to cheat and mention ‘Burn Your Life Down’, which… the more I’m thinking about it the more upset I am that I couldn’t squeeze it in… The line ‘I break my heart around this’, the way it’s delivered… I get shivers. And knowing that it’s about her grandfather losing her grandmother? Brb, flailing.

Rin says: OH you had a rant about Tegan songs > Sara songs (ON THIS LIST) too! Except you totally voiced it better…as usual.

Call It Off is just like, I’ve never heard anyone say they dislike it (and I’d like to keep it that way so omg don’t say you dislike it, please… ignorance is bliss). Which I think says something about Tegan’s ability to find the line between writing ‘woe is me’ type lyrics, but it never ever coming across as insincere. Tegan and Sara make you want to care, and get up and do things and achieve things and make something happen. At least, that’s what they inspire in me.

Rophy says: So there we have it. Our Top 10! We’d love to hear what your list would include, and feel free to express your anger towards us for leaving off your favourite song!

And if you don’t like Tegan and Sara, that’s fine too. As long as you gave them a chance, sure we won’t understand, but we’ll accept.

Sophy says: She’s lying. We will never accept and we have a pantry full of multi-grain loaves to prove it.

92 Responses

  1. Sara
    Sara at · Reply

    I’m freaking in love with Tegan and Sara. I always refer to them as my wives.. both of them:]
    I would die to see them in concert. I would probably even kill baby turtles. They’re just so fucking amazing, pardon my french. I love I know I know I know, Call it off, The con, Nineteen, Feel it in my bones. But I can play the whole The Con album over and over and over and over and over and over and over. I think you get it. I’m in love. They’re interviews and The con movie and all that just make me fall in love. They’re so funny. Love them!<3

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply


  2. NiQky
    NiQky at · Reply

    A story:
    the first tegan and sara song i ever heard was in 2008. it was “i know i know i know”. i fell in love with the song. i had no idea that tegan and sara were gay. which is funny… cuz it was around that time that i started feeling very intensely about a new-found friendship. intense like never before, but at that time i just thought that maybe i just really love this person, the only person i’ve ever been so intimately close with. and everytime i listened to “i know i know i know” i would imagine i was saying those things to her.
    anyway, fast forward to January 2011 (don’t ask why i didn’t listen to more tegan and sara in between XP) and i found Naomily and heather hogan and rophy <3 <3 <3! and finally! i was coming to terms with the fact that maybe i am probably not as straight as i thought i was (lots of drama in between 2008 and 2011 which is unnecessary for this story here :P). and rophy loves tegan and sara. so it was then that i looked into more T&S songs. it was like… i came full circle with tegan and sara… :) it's kind of… magical really :D
    and i only just saw this particular top ten post! i was bored and Rophy always keeps the LOLs going :D so i found this! and i just wanted to share the story :)
    also, i am not quite a 'all things T&S' stalker yet, so this was new to me – "“I am a self-diagnosed past addict. I pine for lost love. I think incessantly about love I never had, love I really want to have, love I’ll never have, etc.”"
    I am now in love with Tegan.

  3. NiQky
    NiQky at · Reply

    ohmygod… i can’t… Tegan… …
    I keep coming back again and again to read this post and … i don’t know! i can just… keep coming back and reading some more?
    how… …i …. mmm… just… ach! I don’t know… just… yeesh! … …
    anyway… … i could read Tegan forever…

  4. Sam
    Sam at · Reply

    If you love My Number so much, why would you kill a baby turtle and not the last koala bear?

  5. Caroline
    Caroline at · Reply

    Ahem. So. I wasn’t sure where to put this. But I figured in the Tegan and Sara lovefest post was probably pretty safe. I stumbled upon their song, Nineteen, one day a few years ago essentially by accident. I really liked it and I played it a lot, even for a chick’s 19th birthday (good call on my part), but I was going through a minor Rilo Kiley obsession period so I didn’t totally give Tegan and Sara all the attention they deserved.

    And then here comes Rophy. And you guys kinda love T&S. And I was like, “Ok, I usually enjoy what they say is quality stuff. I don’t always get the same emotional attachment with the things they love, but I do almost always come away with a healthy dose of respect for the work.” (Except for Twilight. Never with Twilight.) Also, I can’t answer the poll if I don’t do my research. So, I went and bought Heartthrob (the deluxe edition, I didn’t cheat) and I went to the gym and I listened to the whole thing. Twice. It was glorious. And after the first two songs, my head had written an entire Glee episode (you knew Glee would come in) around it. Because. Closer? Is that not the most Quinn song that you’ve ever heard? Like, Quinn-to-Rachel song? AND THEN. The very next song is Goodbye, Goodbye. And maybe this is just a testament to the power of Faberry ’cause I am, first and foremost, a Brittana girl. But I literally had a whole scenario written in my head where Quinn goes to New York and does the whole Glee thing of ONLY BEING ABLE TO EXPRESS YOUR FEELINGS THROUGH SONG and she sings Closer to Rachel and Rachel UNDERSTANDS everything and runs off to sing Goodbye, Goodbye to Brody. And my head wrote the whole episode around Tegan and Sara songs and I distributed them out appropriately to the characters, but it’s only the Faberry that matters, really. The fact that I just said that previous sentence is a testament to the brainwashing powers you two have exhibited over my brain. Anyways. I just bought The Con album and This Business of Art and I’m becoming a little obsessed with Back in Your Head.

    And it was really fucking hard to choose but I think that, for me, Now I’m All Messed Up is my favorite song on Heartthrob. The whole “go / please stay / go / please stay” is brilliant on so many levels. And it feels like a Santana song. And Love They Say is a Brittany song. Ok. I’ll be back for the 4×13 recap. I have two pages of notes in preparation for my essay/comment. :D

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      OH MY GOD CAROLINE. WE DO NOT LOVE TWILIGHT. My fixation on it was 90% driven by anger and confusion. And okay 10% pre-pedo Jacob Black.

      Okay now that that’s out of the way, I am SO GLAD YOU’VE EMBRACE THE T AND S. Aren’t they wonderful? I must also say that Rilo are pretty huge to me and I’m so excited about Rkives! I’m also especially proud of you for Faberrying with Heartthrob. That is something Rin and I have been doing also, and I feel so strongly about Glee doing Closer that I even bothered to tweet at people about it. I mean, it could happen! Cory is good friends with T and S and Lea is “obsessed” with the album. So.


      Now I’m All Messed Up is one of my faves too. But have you heard the bonus tracks that are not on the CD? Because oh god. I Run Empty.

      1. Caroline
        Caroline at · Reply

        I didn’t think you guys actually LIKED Twilight….like, from a respect for the story or the writing ’cause you guys have made fun of Steph Meyer…but I was vaguely mortified when I went to read ASWD and there was a shit-ton of Twilight stuff. But a fixation that was 90% driven by anger and confusion??? Omg Sophy. :) That’s kind of hilarious. OH and I’ve realized that the Marley, Ryder, Jake storyline is one of the Glee writer’s Twilight fanfiction taking the angle of Jacob getting the girl. Totally serious. Marley is Bella Swan. Characteristicless. Swoony after a half-second. But IT’S THE MOST EPIC LOVE IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE. Ryder is Edward. Jacob is (THEY DIDN’T EVEN FUCKING CHANGE HIS NAME) Jake. Last week Kitty said that the Twilight books were “poop on paper but we’ve turned them into a billion dollar industry.” Then Jake and Marley go sing one of the Twilight movie franchise’s most recognizable songs. O_o Glee is telling us something.

        And yeah I got the bonus tracks!! Told you I got the Deluxe edition. I gave “Guilty as Charged” to Quinn and “I Run Empty” to Blaine. Finn got “I’m Not Your Hero.” Brittany got “Love They Say” and “I Was A Fool” (in a cheeky way; I’m not calling her stupid). “Drove Me Wild” became a Brittana duet. Blaine got “How Come You Don’t Want Me,” too. So many feelings of inadequacy and angst for that boy. Quinn got “I Couldn’t Be Your Friend.” I wasn’t sure if I wanted to make that a Faberry duet or not. :/ Santana got “Now I’m All Messed Up” because, moving on and growth and friend reconciliation and all that—I don’t give a fuck. Santana’s still sick inside wondering where Brittany is leaving her make-up. And I made “Shock To Your System” to Rachel, Kurt, and Santana as a loft-bonding thing. And they’re all singing to each other but there are some double meanings going on.

        OH!!! And ASWD is awesome. :) Please, ma’am, I want some more.

  6. Angela
    Angela at · Reply

    Of course I NEED to chime in…first KUDOS for including “When I Get Up” rare and underrated track! But “Days and Days” another rarity, Infamous (I don’t think that was ever released either), Divided, Hype….at least one of those deserves a top 10 nod!!!!
    Maybe we do a top 15 bc it’s nearly impossible to choose the best 10.

  7. Mo
    Mo at · Reply

    “And Darling.” Always.

  8. Paula
    Paula at · Reply

    OMG I love Tegan & Sara since 2010 and the first song I listened was Call it off. But I’m more of a Sara fan, because I think it’s harder to understand her because she is complicated and her lyrics are complex. So I defend her because sometimes she is a but underrated because she is not being understood. Of course I agree that Tegan’s songs are better to start with T&S. Her style is more simple and direct. As a T&S superfan I shouldn’t pick my favourite, but unfortunately I did and it was Sara.

  9. Paula
    Paula at · Reply

    PS. Now I’m all messed up is a powerhouse!!!!!!

  10. Kiowa
    Kiowa at · Reply

    I’m in love with T and S, my girlfriend got me hooked on them a month or so ago and I’ve been listening to them nonstop since LOL they’re coming to my state in concert and I’m taking her to see them. I’m so stoked! My favorite song of theirs though is Divided argument can play it on guitar :)

  11. kiran
    kiran at · Reply

    i like tegan and sara albus verymuch

  12. Mel
    Mel at · Reply

    My favorites are Monday Monday Monday alligator closer walking with A ghost I was a fool and I know I know I know. It’s sad that I’m 13 and completely obsessed… Not really

  13. Kim Wetter
    Kim Wetter at · Reply

    I’m going to a Tegan and Sara show tomorrow with my girlfriend and am not the biggest fan so I wanted to do some research today before the show to see what I’m missing. I know their music from Veronica Mars and am a fan of their newest album (which I own) but am too new of a fan to go back into the backlogs of their work. I google’d “Top Tegan and Sara” songs and who should pop up but Rophy, my favorite blog. It makes a lot of sense that my favorite bloggers would like Tegan and Sara. Your love of them is so adorable. I feel bad I’m going to the show tomorrow pre-fangirl but I’m confident I’ll leave in love.

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      You lucky, lucky woman! Oh to fall in love with Tegan and Sara all over again. Have an amazing time and come back and tell us what your fave songs end up being :)

      1. Kim Wetter
        Kim Wetter at · Reply

        Call it Off, Where Does the Good Go, and Back in your Head were probably my favorites. I think Tegan’s explanation of Call it Off really set the stage for me (there’s a video I also think Sara’s intro of Where Does the Good Go really affected my listening as well. She told a story about hanging out with her girlfriend of the time. They were in their honeymoon period and Tegan sent that song to Sara. She listened to it for the first time with the girlfriend and they both thought it was so good. At that point, Tegan thanked Sara and then Sara said something like, “Wait before you thank me, let me finish, this is like a shit sandwich.” And then she went on to say that they both just exclaimed that Tegan’s life was a total mess to come up with that. Like, “Man, this is so good but Tegan’s life is such a mess right now!” It was hilarious.

        I must say, I really like Heartthrob. I’ve heard from many Tegan and Sara fans that a lot of them had trouble with the pop-yness of the new album but I REALLY like pop music. A lot of their old stuff has a lot of feels. I’m sure I might connect with it more when I’m totally wrecked over something. I mean I LOVED Dashboard Confessional back in high school. I’m not against the feels. You just connect with the feels songs more when you’re feeling lots of feels. If that makes sense…

        So my favorites are still from Heartthrob. I’m working on a more extensive Spotify playlist as we speak though!

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