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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

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Fans marvel at Swift’s writing, talent, as connections bloom

Ishmael Khandokar

Throughout seven-year-old Lulu Bouchard’s house, a single album played on repeat ever since she received it on Christmas. She was infatuated with Taylor Swift’s 1989 album, Bouchard said. The music implored her to dance with its lively energy and what started as a gift became an obsession. 

Now a sophomore, Bouchard still relates to and enjoys Swift’s music, she said. She is not alone. Of South’s student population, 25 percent of them identify as ‘Swifties’ (Taylor Swift fans), according to a non-scientific survey of 333 students conducted by The Oracle. The influence Swift has is a result of her relatability, not just her skill, Bouchard explained. Although Swift is a celebrity, her music, including themes of self-image and relationships, allows listeners to sympathize with her, Bouchard added.

““[People who listen to music] want to listen to something that [they] can relate to,” Bouchard said. “Even though she is [a] big celebrity, she is [still] just a person.”

Swift’s music not only resonates with, but creates connections between people through her music and performances, such as at the Eras Tour, senior Mary Redfern said. Redfern attended the concert with her mom and sister, she said. Many people were gathered together, celebrating their mutual love for Swift, Redfern added.

“It was cool how one person [brings] so many people together,” Redfern said.

Additionally, while watching Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour, a film documenting Swift’s recent Eras Tour, Redfern met and connected with other fans of Swift, she added. She, and some other girls, stood up from their seats, singing and dancing together. At the end of the movie, they exchanged numbers and took a photo together.

Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour produced more than $232 million in global box office revenue as of Nov. 8, reported. It is the highest-grossing concert film according to

Although sad she could not attain tickets for Swift’s Eras Tour, Bouchard was pleased with the filmed alternative, she said. It is estimated that 72,000 people attended The Eras Tour live each night, and $13 million collected per night in the U.S. from tickets sold, according to

Part of Swift’s appeal lies in her writing, Bouchard said. Specifically with her Folklore and Evermore albums, the lyricism of the songs are artfully crafted, Bouchard added.

“‘Illicit Affairs’ is a wonderful song musically,” Bouchard said. “But, the lyrics in [‘Illicit Affairs’ are] a developed piece of writing [that] could be compared to poetry or prose.”

The work Swift puts into her music, in addition to her talent, is astounding, Redfern said. Swift wrote many of her own songs, some of which as a young adult, such as songs from her Speak Now album, Redfern said. 

Being a Swiftie at South is not limited to students, Math Teacher Sari Farekas is also a fan of Swift, she said. It is in Farekas’ classroom where Swift’s songs physically have a presence: posters with Taylor Swift lyrics line the wall, connecting to a classroom policy.

“One [poster] has the lyrics from “Blank Space:” ‘But I got a blank space, baby, and I’ll write your name,’ with the expectation under it saying ‘Make sure to put your name on ALL your work,’” Farekas said. “I thought the posters were a cute way to connect lyrics many students enjoy to behaviors in a classroom.”

Redfern’s playlist is composed of all Swift’s songs that are, to her, “intense”, “phenomenal”, and “mind-altering” among other things.

“[Swift is] always there,” Redfern said. “When I am happy I will listen to Taylor [Swift] and when I am sad I will listen to Taylor [Swift].”

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