How I became a Swiftie at 65 years old

Prior to writing this post I never heard of a Swiftie. It was my eleven-year-old granddaughter who educated me when I told her I was writing this post. For the uneducated, like me, Swifties is the term for Taylor Swift’s fandom. If you told me two months ago, I would become a fan, I would have assured you that you were gravely mistaken.

How things change.

Some people like different types of music and a lot of different recording artists. I’m not one of them. My musical tastes are limited, at least the music I will actually buy and listen to on a regular basis. Sure, I can hear the odd country song, or jazz song, or even a hip hop song and like it, but I’m not likely to buy an album in either of those genres. I don’t seldom stray from classic rock, or listen to much outside of Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, or Rush. If I do, it’s not likely to be someone I thought appealed mainly to teenage girls.

Three months ago, I could not have named you a single Taylor Swift song. Though I could have given you one line from one of her songs, “Haters are going to hate.”

Even though I was aware Swift had become the biggest recording artist in the world, and knowing full well she is on her way to becoming the biggest selling singer of all time, I didn’t know her music.

One night, about three months ago, I was looking for something interesting to watch on TV. I happen to come across Taylor Swift’s Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions on Disney+.

I thought, why not. The title sounds like this could be more than just teenybopper music. It would give me a chance to learn a bit about the most popular singer in the world. At least it would give me some insight into one of my granddaughter’s favourite musical artists.

I watched the short documentary about the 17 song Folklore album she wrote and recorded during the pandemic. I was impressed by the quality of the songs, in particular the lyrics. There was a lot more to her music than I had imagined, or had allowed myself to imagine. She came across as a genuine and talented artist. I was duly impressed.

Then the whole Taylor Swift mania during the recent Superbowl caught my attention. I felt bad for her, all the negative attention she was getting because of the focus on her at the games when she was there to support her boyfriend, the Kansas City Chiefs’ star, Travis Kelce. Unlike many others, I enjoyed seeing her on the TV screen cheering him on.

About a month ago my wife, Judi, and I decided to watch her concert film, The Eras Tour, also on Disney+.


Judi and I were blown away. We watched the 3 ½ hour concert, over two nights, and loved it, on so many different levels. We thought the production was exceptional. This is a well-produced concert. It’s larger than life. We appreciated seeing the diversity in her supporting cast, whether they be the dancers, the back up singers, or the musicians. Seeing a diverse group that had a good mix of gender, age, ethnicity, and size was uplifting.

Even more impressive was that we found her to be a humble and genuine person. Though she’s the biggest recording artist in the world right now, she doesn’t behave that way. Her generosity is commendable as is her influence to empower women. Her music as well as her dialogue between songs during the Eras concert are uplifting and encouraging.  

We watched the concert several weeks ago. Yet, I still had not purchased any of her music.

A few months ago, I started to listen to my old vinyl albums. I upgraded my system, including a quality set of headphones to go along with a new preamp and amplifier for the headphones. I’ve been buying classic rock albums. The other day when I was in the local vinyl record store speaking to the regular clerk, who has a wealth of knowledge about music, I was sorting through the Neil Young section, he mentioned it was the third largest section in the store. I said, who’s one and two, The Beatles, and maybe the Rolling Stones? He said, no, first it’s Taylor Swift, then The Beatles.

She’s that big, I said,

Oh yeah!

I told him about my recent viewing of Folklore, Eras, and how much I was impressed. He told me that even though prior to four years ago he would not have said he was a big Taylor Swift fan, her Folklore album is now one of his favourites. He even went as far as to say it’s likely the best album any recording artist has produced in the last five years.

The best in the last five years.

I went over to the Taylor Swift section. Took out Folklore and headed to the register.

Later that evening I put on my headphones, relaxed on my sofa in the dark to play the double album.

It did not disappoint. I haven’t played it often enough to say where it ranks in my list of favourite albums, but I can attest that I understand how it will make many lists of top albums. It’s that good. I compare it to Joni Mitchell’s Blue, which is always rated one of the top albums of all time.

Even though she’s been compared to Joni Mitchell, I would never dare to say she has the same level of talent or songwriting ability. Mitchell has elite talent on multiple levels. Swift is significantly more popular than Mitchell ever was, but it’s unlikely she’ll ever achieve the level of critical acclaim Mitchell has deservingly garnered.

That being said, it’s not to say Swift’s music is not significantly more complex than I had imagined.

It’s official. I’m a Swiftie. If you’re not, listen to Folklore. I’ll be surprised if you don’t appreciate it, and maybe, you’ll become a Swiftie too.

2 thoughts on “How I became a Swiftie at 65 years old

  1. Mike Cormier says:

    Interesting, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a complete Taylor Swift song let alone one of her albums. I know your musical listening background and trust your judgement Steve. I’ll have to give her a listen and judge for myself.

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