Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Singer: Susan Boyle

I should probably save this for Facebook. I saw a reference to Susan Boyle in a listserv email this morning and found the YouTube video (the embed has been disabled) of her triumphant performance on Britain's Got Talent this past weekend. I was compelled to watch it again and again.

After I sent it off to the entlings and other friends who tolerate my email intrusions, I found this Entertainment Weekly article by Lisa Schwarzbaum which echoed my own teary reaction so eloquently.

Schwarzbaum writes:
...right now I'm pondering why the experience of watching and listening to Ms. Boyle makes so many viewers cry, me among them. And I think I've got a simple answer, at least for me: In our pop-minded culture so slavishly obsessed with packaging -- the right face, the right clothes, the right attitudes, the right Facebook posts -- the unpackaged artistic power of the unstyled, un-hip, un-kissed Ms. Boyle let me feel, for the duration of one blazing showstopping ballad, the meaning of human grace. She pierced my defenses. She reordered the measure of beauty. And I had no idea until tears sprang how desperately I need that corrective from time to time.

Yep. Simple as that. That's why I weep. What's your excuse?

The "unstyled, un-hip, un-kissed" vs. the well packaged with "the right face, the right clothes, the right attitudes, the right Facebook posts..." Such is the stuff of Napoleon Dynamite, YA novels and most teenagers' lives. That dichotomy is why I read children's and YA books.

Boyle's triumph is a validating moment for us all.

Update: Susan Boyle Hype Revitalizes 10-Year-Old Cover

And Jimmy Fallon shares his take:


Anonymous said...

OMG! I saw this video for the first time today and she brought tears to my eyes. Beautiful voice.

Liz Henry said...

I cried because of that but also from rage at the shallow twits who not only laughed at her but kept saying how shocked they were that she was talented.

tanita✿davis said...

I think I respected her confidence in herself -- and it was like watching a box of jewels open, seeing the reflection of that beauty on the faces of the audience. They were SO HAPPY FOR HER.

And I then had to watch it again.

BookMoot said...

I daresay more people have that song running in their heads today than ever saw the Les Miz!

Lady S. said...

I saw the video when Sherwood Smith posted it a few days ago and thought it was fantastic for all the same reasons - but you've really added to it for me with the "that dichotomy is why I read children's and YA books' line. That's wonderful.

Unknown said...

The triumph for Susan Boyle is not just her tremendous and compelling ability as a singer, but her engaging and endearing personality. She represents "Everyman" and "Everywoman" that exists in our world-trying to make a mark-encountering objections, pre-conceived ideas-prejudices-because of her less than model-perfect appearance. We need Susan Boyle right now-during a time when there needs to be a glimmer of hope for everyone dealing with bad times-bad economy, and many dealing with hopelessness-I applaud you Susan Boyle and wish you all the success the world will offer you! Because I am a theatre director-I also began to think about all of the delightful roles Susan could play in so many musicals! Bravo!
Maureen Bernstein
Las Vegas, NV

Anonymous said...


Camille said...

I so agree. Saw an interview with her on Scottish TV--she was indeed so "engaging and endearing." I hope this fame and attention is a plus in her life. I pray she has good people around her to help and advise.