ST. LOUIS – During Taylor Swift’s sold-out “Eras” tour, she paid a special tribute to a local alumna of Lindenwood University. Swift sang along with her in spirit and even dedicated a song to her, titled “Marjorie.”
Marjorie Moehlenkamp Finlay is Taylor Swift’s maternal grandmother and was a Lindenwood College student who graduated in 1949 with a Bachelor of Music in Voice. Both Swift and her grandmother had careers in music and have a striking resemblance to each other.
Lindenwood University recently posted Marjorie Moehlenkamp Finlay’s yearbook pictures to Facebook. The post started to go viral, with fans tagging their friends and leaving comments like, “this is cool!”
In her song “Marjorie,” from the album “Evermore,” Swift makes a heartfelt reference to her grandmother and expresses her love for her. Swift discussed the inspiration behind the song in an interview with Zane Lowe during the 2020 Apple Music Awards.
During the interview, Swift explained how her grandmother’s voice can be heard in the song. Her mother discovered some of Marjorie’s opera recordings, which Swift then shared with her producer, resulting in the incorporation of Marjorie’s voice into the song.
The touching moment in the song is when the lyrics go, “And if I didn’t know better, I’d think you were singing to me now,” and that’s when Marjorie’s recordings start playing.
Marjorie shared the same passion for music as Swift. After graduating from Lindenwood College, she pursued a career as an opera singer and television personality. She also toured in South America and released an album in Mexico.
Marjorie and Swift’s grandfather, Robert Finlay, were married in Palm Beach, Florida, in March 1952. They initially resided in Havana, Cuba, for a brief period before relocating to Puerto Rico due to Robert’s military service in the United States.
Marjorie died at the age of 74 on June 1, 2003, when Swift was 13. She never got to see her granddaughter’s success because she died a year before Swift signed her first record.
In a touching tribute, Swift added her song to the set list and played Marjorie’s voice to a crowd of 69,000 in a sold-out State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Swift made history that night by breaking a long-standing record. She became the female artist with the highest-attended concert in the United States. The previous record-holder, Madonna, had held this title for 36 years since her 1987 concert at Anaheim Stadium in Los Angeles, where she performed to 63,000 people.
So, not only did Swift honor her grandmother’s memory, but she also achieved a significant milestone in her career on the same night.