Who was Marjorie Finlay? Taylor Swift's grandmother was an opera singer who also featured on one of her songs

Taylor Swift (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for iHeartRadio / Turner) and Marjorie Finlay (image via YouTube/Taylor Swift/Taylor Swift - marjorie (Official Lyric Video))
Taylor Swift (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for iHeartRadio / Turner) and Marjorie Finlay (image via YouTube/Taylor Swift/Taylor Swift - marjorie (Official Lyric Video))

Taylor Swift achieved billionaire status a few months ago because of her record-breaking Eras Tour. The pop icon has accumulated millions of fans across the globe with her soulful voice and unique lyrics. However, many longtime fans are also unaware that the singer's musical talent goes back generations.

Taylor Swift's maternal grandmother, Marjorie Finlay, was a notable opera singer and is perceived to be Taylor's earliest musical inspiration. She has been featured in many Taylor Swift songs over the years, including Timeless, Speak Now, and Marjorie, which was also named after her.


All about Taylor Swift's maternal grandmother, Marjorie Finlay

Marjorie Finlay (Image via YouTube/Taylor Swift/Marjorie (Official Lyric Video)
Marjorie Finlay (Image via YouTube/Taylor Swift/Marjorie (Official Lyric Video)

Marjorie Finlay was Taylor's maternal grandmother and was born on October 5, 1928, in Memphis, Tennessee. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Moehlenkamp.

Marjorie had been a professional opera singer since her university days. After graduating with a Bachelor of Music from Lindenwood University, she toured as a soloist with the show Music With the Girls. The singer met Robert Finlay in New York and they got married soon after in 1952. Six years later, the two gave birth to Taylor's mother, Andrea Swift.

Marjorie Finlay (Image via YouTube/Taylor Swift/Marjorie (Official Lyric Video)
Marjorie Finlay (Image via YouTube/Taylor Swift/Marjorie (Official Lyric Video)

The two had to relocate continuously since Robert worked in the United States military. They left the United States shortly after marriage and lived in Havana before settling in Puerto Rico.

In San Juan, Marjorie even had her own television program and performed several opera concerts and club singing. Her university even called her to felicitate her as one of the school's outstanding graduates.

Marjorie Finlay died on June 1, 2003, in Taylor's hometown in Reading, Pennsylvania.


Every time Marjorie Finlay featured in a Taylor Swift song or music video

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Taylor Swift dedicated an entire song to her maternal grandmother when she released Marjorie in her ninth studio album, Evermore. During the announcement of the album, Taylor informed her fans that Marjorie was inspired by her late grandma. She even added her grandma's vocals to the track.

“My mom found a bunch of her old records of her singing opera, and I sent them to Aaron [Dessner] and he added them to the song,” she explained, as reported by BuzzFeed.

Marjorie is an emotional tribute by the pop icon to her late grandmother's memories before he passed away in 2003. In the song, Taylor laments the loss of her grandmother and tries to relive her memories. She writes:

“I should’ve asked you questions/ I should’ve asked you how to be/Asked you to write it down for me/ Should’ve kept every grocery store receipt/ Cause every scrap of you would be taken from me,”

The song's significance was even more highlighted when Taylor included Marjorie in her 44-song itinerary for the opening concert of her Eras Tour. Additionally, Taylor's songs, Anti-Hero, Timeless, and Speak Now (Taylor's Version), feature old footage and snaps of her grandmother.

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Taylor's first Instagram post (now deleted) was a photo of Marjorie Finlay. She posted it on October 26, 2011, with the caption," Found this picture of my grandmother. So lovely."


Although Marjorie couldn't see her granddaughter's exponential rise to stardom, her memories live through Taylor's music and lyrics.

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