Thursday, April 16, 2009

Encore! Encore!

I went to bed last night planning to blog this morning about Susan Boyle, the 47 year-old unemployed spinster Scotswoman who totally wowed the judges and audience on "Britain's Got Talent" last Saturday. And of course I woke to find that everyone on the planet who emails or blogs has already written about her many times over and sent the link to someone they know.

Well, just in case there's one person out there who hasn't yet bothered to click the link or to watch and listen to Susan's performance, here it is again. An encore

It's hard to maintain your defenses when she opens her mouth and sings. And the astonished and stunned and enraptured looks on the judges' faces only increase my utter delight and, yes, my tears, while watching and listening. And I am not alone.

As another blogger, Chris Matyszczyk on CNET, puts it:

They're crying in Calcutta. They're bawling in Brussels.

Why? Because watching someone so far removed from anyone's physical conception of a star finally get an audience for her extraordinary voice is as moving an experience as you're likely to enjoy this year.

Here all the unrealized hopes and dreams that so many harbor till their death are laid bare in an operetta of just a few minutes.

Here is a woman who suffered mild brain damage at birth, who was laughed at in school, and who has probably been laughed at for most of her 47 years because she lived with her mother, because she lives with her cat, and because she doesn't look like friends are supposed to look.

But if, on watching the YouTube clip, you do not spontaneously burst into tears (I give you at the most 30 seconds into her performance), then you are either an alien creation of Ray Kurzweil or you should pop along to your local shrink for some considerable surgery.

I've read elsewhere that Susan Boyle is a shy person who has loved singing since she was twelve, but who up until now has only sung in her church choir. (And appropriately received an ovation when she arrived at church on Sunday--Easter Day! She says most of them never knew she could sing so well, because they'd never heard her sing alone.) She even stopped singing for a while when her mother died two years ago. But now all that has changed.

So there's that possibility that she awakens, the questions she poses to each of us: What dream am I still waiting to dare to claim? What would it mean for me to "show up and sing" with that kind of unselfconscious courage and humility and abandon? What would it mean for you?

1 comment:

Bekah said...

Good post Mummy

I wonder what made her decide to audition for Britain's Got Talent of all things... and I wonder if anyone knew she was planning on it.