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  • Writer's picturePete Jonson

Taylor Swift in Australia, 88.

.Presented by Geoffrey Blainey.


'Last weekend, Melbourne experienced another landing on the moon. The astronaut was Taylor Swift and three times, propelled by her celebrated legs, she descended from on high.'


'I'm half ashamed to admit that that I had rarely heard of Taylor Swift until she had arrived, yet she had been an international pop star and super-famous for at least a decade, and - believe it or not - had even performed at isolated Thredbo in 2009.'


A fortyish mother 'has brought deep pleasure to the 280,000 peole who, across three nights saw her sing and dance in that stadium, and to many thousands of the others who sang, danced, wriggeled and photographed one another outside the stadium while she performed inside.'


'Here she was - many years later - at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, all glitter and guitar, captivating the growd for 31/2 hours. This has to be her soaring stature is an essential facet of her appeal. She is tall, being 1.8 metre high or 5 feet and 11 inches on the old scale. She is what used to be called a Collingwood six-footer.'


'A fan sitting in a cheap $130 seat high up in the tallest grandstand, and rightly so. ... The whole event, to her, neverthe less was sensational.


'Swift was proud, almost delirious, about the massive audience, and rightly so. But it was not a record-breaking crowd. Back in September 1956 a football grand final at the same stadium attracted 116,000 people to watch Melbourne defeat Collingwood. That was 20,000 above Swift's crowd.'


'In August 1890 the grand total of 32,595 people saw Carlton

play South Melbourne, and that was believed to be the largest

football crowd so far in Britian or Australia. But in the 1890s the

new London stadium at Crystal Palace dramatically siezed the

record, and another 40 years before Melbourne again became

a rival in housing crowds.'


'The two oldestt clubs in Australian rules football are older than

the oldest clubs in the mighty football nations such as Brazil,

Germany, Spain, France, Italy and Argentina.


'I'm half ashamed to admit that I had rarely heard of Taylor Swift

until she arrived, yet she had been an intentional pop star and

super-famous for at least a decade, and - believe it or not - had

even performed at isolated Thredbo in 2009.'


'It's hard to believe - but seems true - that her mother stopped

her car outside various music and theatre studios in Nashville

while her precocious youngster knocked on the front doors and

intimated - no, announced - that she was ready to be a performer.'


'Here she was - many years later - at the Melbourne Cricket Club,

all glitter and guitar, captivating the crowd for 3I/2 hours.


'She is tall, being 1.8 metre high or 5 feet and 11 inches on the

old scale. She is what used to be called a Collingwood six footer.'


'A fan sitting in a cheap $130 seat high up in the tallest

grandstand told us she could see most of the audience

and how they behaved. Like those around her she mostly

watched not the stage far below but the gigantic

TV screen nearby. The whole event, to her, nevertheless

was sensational.'


'Swift was proud, almost the massive audience rightly.

But it was not a record-breaking crowd. Back in

September 1956 a football grand final at the same stadium

attracted 116,000 people to watch Melbourne defeat

Collingwood'.


'Much earlier in 1890 the grand total of 32,595 saw

Carlton play South Melbourne and that was believed

to be the largest oldest crowd so far in the English Footbal

l league and much older than clubs in Brazil, Germany, Spain,

France, Italy and Argentina. 


'Spectator sport is one of the distinctive ingredients

of modern society, bringing pleasure to a couple of

billion and children.'


'Sometimes  it can serve as an escape route for excessive 

nationalism . More than any other country except perhaps 

Britain, our nation is a contributor to this achievement.'

'Swift has unknowing minding us - and maybe her

 own homeland - of that fact.'


'Meanwhile, she must feel enriched that most spectators

arrived at the MCG already experiencing  a dose of

excitement. They went with a double dose.'








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