Swift’s mother Andrea studied in Singapore American School, Latest Music News - The New Paper

Swift’s mother Andrea studied in Singapore American School

American superstar Taylor Swift’s mother Andrea spent her childhood in Singapore and was a student in Singapore American School.

The international school told The Straits Times that Mrs Swift, now 66, studied at its King’s Road campus between 1968 and 1969.

A yearbook photo seen by ST shows the then 10-year-old Andrea Finlay (Mrs Swift’s maiden name) seated in the front row of her fourth grade class in 1968.

She is also seen in another photo of her fifth grade class in the 1969 yearbook.

Mrs Swift is widely applauded as a brilliant "momager" who played a big part in using her marketing smarts to help propel her daughter to superstadom.

There has been keen interest in Swift’s maternal lineage after the 34-year-old told fans during her March 2 concert here that her mother spent a lot of her childhood in Singapore with her parents and sister.

“A lot of the time when we came here on tour, my mum would take me and drive me past her old house and where she used to go to school, and so, I’ve been hearing about Singapore my whole life,” Swift said after performing Marjorie, an emotional track inspired by her maternal grandmother, Marjorie Finlay, who died in 2003.

Swift had told ST in a 2010 interview that her maternal grandfather Robert Finlay moved his family here for a few years for his work in an engineering company.

According to a 1968 ST report, her grandmother Marjorie, an opera singer, was chosen to play the part of a peasant girl in a production at the Victoria Theatre.

“Marjorie Finlay made a delightful Marenka”, said a ST review of the production.

Local writer Koh Buck Song said in a Facebook post that scenes in a music video for Marjorie, which is made of old footage, appears to have been shot in Singapore in the 1960s.

In the short clip, Marjorie Finlay is seen in a yellow dress as she walks out of a British colonial bungalow towards a Ford car bearing the car plate SM 8860. A man and a little girl are seen in the background.

“The architecture of the bungalow in the scene is distinctive of colonial bungalows in Singapore which are present today in Tanglin, Sembawang or Ridout Road. The car porch and grass slopes are also unmistakably Singapore-like,” the 60-year-old said.

Mr Koh said that Marjorie’s dressing, the bungalow and Ford car reflected the Finlay family’s wealth and fashionable lifestyle, adding that Robert Finlay’s job as an engineer was highly regarded in the 1960s.

Past newspaper records have also offered glimpses into Andrea Swift’s life in Singapore.

In 2010, Taylor Swift told ST: “My mother always told me amazing stories about (Singapore) so I always wanted to come. She will join me because she wants to return to see all the places she used to know. She said the place is fantastic.”

In a 2011 TNP interview, Mrs Swift said her daughter has been following her around Singapore that trip.

“We’re very happy to be here. We’ve been visiting the places I used to go to, like the Polo Club and the American School (where I studied),” she said.

Not much has been known about Mrs Swift’s life in recent years besides her 2015 breast cancer diagnosis. The cancer returned in 2019.

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