Opinion: Confessions of a “Senior Swiftie”

Taylor Swift on opening night of The Eras Tour at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on March 17 John Medina/Getty Images

July 24, 2023 By Glenn Mangurian

I was sad to learn of the death of the great, Tony Bennett last week. My wife and I saw him perform twice at the South Shore Music Circus and once at the Wang Center. He had incredible interpretive skills, masterful phrasing and a range of genres from swing and jazz to contemporary pop and show tunes. His career longevity has been unmatched. Quite simply, when he sang, he made you smile. Through the decades Tony remained remarkably humble – a class act on and off the stage. Tony was a crooner from the Great American Songbook. Today, another class act, Taylor Swift, connects with her fans’ hearts singing from her life’s songbook.

There are few musical artists who can fill stadiums and create intimacy with their fans like Taylor. I’ve never seen her perform in person but can list many of her songs. Yes, I must admit I am a fan along with millions of other “Swifties”. Taylor Swifts success can be attributed to her talent, hard work, authenticity, and the deep bond she establishes with her fans through her music. I may not know all her song lyrics but I can still sing her praises for who she is as a person and an artist.

Hard Work and Dedication.
Taylor began songwriting professionally at age 14. Malcolm Gladwell wrote about the “10,000 hour rule” – one needs to put in at least 10,000 hours of practice to be considered elite and great. Taylor has put in her time on the road to stardom. She actively engages with her fans, and puts on captivating live performances that go non-stop for over three hours, rain or shine, and she is only 33 years old.

A Talented and Versatile Songwriter.
Taylor was a country-pop artist as a teenager, but over the years, she successfully transitioned into pop music without turning to raunchiness. Her lyrics resonate with a broad audience, as she addresses relatable themes like love, heartbreak, growing up, and self-discovery. These are topics that people of all ages can connect with in their own lives.

Authentic and Vulnerable.
As one of her fans, I appreciate her openness about her personal life, and emotions, which creates a strong connection with her audience. She is strong enough to be vulnerable in public. Fans often share how her music has helped them cope with their own struggles.

So count me as a “Senior Swiftie.” I make no apologies. If she could hold a Sunday matinee concert for us older folks, I’d be there (maybe chaperoned by my children or grandchildren). I might be laughed at by my senior friends but “I’m just gonna shake it off”.

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