I CAME here to write a snarky article about “Swiftonomics”. That’s the term that awed business journalists are using to name the multi-millions, indeed billions, that Taylor Swift’s “Eras” mega-tour is amassing globally.

A neat chunk of it will be raised yesterday, tonight, and tomorrow at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium (generating an estimated £75m-£100m in locally based fan expenditure).

But I’m actually here to write about the deeper reasons why the demand for Taylor Swift has become so globally massive.

It’s partly to do with her sheer artistry.

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From a position of near-complete ignorance (rectified by a deep dive into her archive over the last few days), I can say the Tennessean is a powerfully developing popular artist, whose next moves I’ll now avidly follow.

But it’s also partly to do with the conditions Taylor Swift operates in.

She (and her box office) are reaping the benefits of our yearning for live community, in a virtual age of digital fakery.

She also meets the desire for purpose and self-mastery that surges in her young, mainly female audience (but not only those). Swifties are quick to meet these conditions.

Firstly, to her talent. As a songwriter for 40 years, I can recognise when someone has serious aspirations beyond their starting genre.

Country music songs have a relentless commitment in their lyrics to one metaphor and one feeling; their machinery often audibly clanks to its conclusion.

But as I absorbed Swift’s Eras concert video, which moves the audience through her career-defining albums, startling lines flew out at me (particularly from more recent material).

They reminded me more of Paul Simon or Elvis Costello than straight teen pop.

“No rules in breakable heaven”, Taylor sings in Cruel Summer (2019) – that’s a perfect way to describe a season-specific relationship.

And from Lover, in the same year: “There’s a dazzling haze, a mysterious way about you, dear/Have I known you 20 seconds or 20 years?”

Taylor Swift is playing three dates in Edinburgh starting Friday June 7

More gems, with this retail metaphor from 2020’s Cardigan: “I knew I’d curse you for the longest time/Chasin’ shadows in the grocery line/I knew you’d miss me once the thrill expired”.

2021’s All Too Well movingly captures the disjunction in a lovers’ relationship: “And there we are again, when nobody had to know/You kept me like a secret, but I kept you like an oath.”

Swift brings X-ray vision to the status of her various significant others. Take 2022’s Karma: “Spider-boy, king of thieves/Weave your little webs of opacity”.

It’s assumed to be a direct reference to the manager of her first record company, Scooter Braun, and his sharp business practice. But it also works for duplicitous lovers (even when settling career scores, Swift’s lyrics are romantically dual-use).

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I also love the flashes of ideology she brings to the heart of even her biggest pop numbers. In 2022’s Lavender Haze, she spits against the hetero-normal: “That 1950s shit they want from me.” And in Anti-Hero from the same year: “Did you hear my covert narcissism/I disguise as altruism/Like some kind of congressman?”

I find the style of her most recent records – electro and hip-hop soundscapes, providing the context for Nashville-strength melodies, end-rhymes and metaphors – to be exciting and properly dramatic.

But I’ll never pass as a Swiftie. There is an intense, poetic empowerment that she opens up for her core audience.

Taylor Swift fans, also known as Swifties, queuing up in Edinburgh (Image: PA)

When it cuts away to the fans, the Eras concert video shows mostly teens and young women, in a state of parasocial ecstasy.

Taken from social psychology, the term “parasocial” means they are utterly identifying with Swift and her journeys across emotional minefields. As if her romantic and existential struggles were entirely theirs.

If we could define Swiftonomics as anything – and before this, we might easily have already coined Beyoncenomics and U2nomics, even UEFAnomics – it would be the commercial possibilities that lurk behind the desire for collective experience or epiphany.

In the past, riffing on the old Iggy Pop song, I’ve called it an increasing “Lust For Live”. That means a yearning search for “real experience”, triggered by the pervasive spread of the simulated and the fake-digital.

I HAPPEN to think this will eventually revive audiences for the circuit of small-scale arts performances (in music, comedy and drama). The intimate arts venue becomes not only “the haven in a heartless world”, but also “the truth in a post-truth world.”

But what it will also mean, at the other end of the scale, is that affluent consumers will be willing to drop a grand to say “I was there, along with thousands of my fellow Swifties, listening to her say, ‘hello Scotland!’”

There’s another, even wider focus to take on the whole Swiftian “era” (as she likes to put it). As the philosopher Roberto Unger put it recently, such high and relentless romance contains a “sublime message”.

It is that “the ordinary man or woman is not so ordinary after all; he, she, is appointed to rise to a higher form of life: to find and give personal love against all the barriers imposed by the restraints of class and culture”, writes Unger in The World And Us“To live life as an adventure in the making of a self, against the blindness of fortune and the injustices of society.

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The [romantic] message is that of our share in divine transcendence, of the supremacy of love over altruism and all else”, continues Unger.

“And of the ways in which our ability to give ourselves to one another – and to reach beyond the circumstance in which each of us finds himself – are tied together.”

One has to commend Swift here; she unreservedly ties together love, romance and political agency.

There’s that famous filmed altercation with her father in the 2020 documentary Miss Americana.

He worried for her security during the last presidential election, as she came out for Biden and against Tennessee’s Republican candidate.

“These aren’t your dad’s Republicans”, she tells her family, objecting to their prejudices against same-sex marriages.

Serious editorial ink has already been spilled, predicting the effect that Swift’s support for Biden might have in this year’s presidential race. (The research on this is ambiguous. Celebrity endorsements from whatever camp tend to push away more moderates than they attract, reports David Jackson, professor of political science at Bowling Green State University.)

There’s even far-right paranoid speculation that Swift’s effect on the populace is being boosted and promoted as an FBI “psy-op” (psychological operation).

Will her country-oriented fan-base, covering many of the red states that both Trump and Biden need, be swayed by Miss Americana’s Democratic preferences?

Swift certainly has the financial independence to make any political move she wishes. And even at the heart of these intense, pulsating concerts, there are hints of perhaps wider entrepreneurial ambitions than musical. “Get this off my desk”, she commands in Lavender Haze.

Another stompy song, Vigilante Shit, makes her seem like some soulless business consultant: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail/Strategy sets the scene for the tale/I’m only cryptic and Machiavellian/Cause I care”.

Swiftonomics, indeed. But a confident, progressive, expressive young woman is something powerful to see. We shall see whether she becomes Swiftology as well. Meantime, let the Swifterhood rattle the rafters at Murrayfield.