Back when Susan Boyle first came to my attention I wrote my thoughts out on her and her music. One part saying:
Every one assumed that since Miss Boyle was lacking beauty and glamor that she couldn’t possibly have anything of worth. Like Grizabella’s ( And who would ever suppose that that -Was Grizabella the Glamour Cat!) plaintive reflections in Memory from Cats. “I can smile at the old days – I was beautiful then”. Beauty and youth so worshiped and so transitory, the real beauty is the soul and the song and they only becomes more beautiful, more real and more powerful with age. The overwhelming interest in this woman and her moment in the spotlight is driven by more than the fantastic performance, while her voice is really tremendous, I think the shame and hope we simultaneously experience in her performance is the real force. Shame for understanding so well the harsh judgment of her appearance and hope that we all can have that moment where we are judged on something more substantial.
For now Miss Boyle is enjoying her success, she has gone home and the children of her village cheer for her in the street and her parish (yes, a Catholic Parish — had to toss that in there) gave her a standing ovation when she came to mass this past Sunday. I hope like Grizabella, Susan Parker is chosen as “the one” – that she wins her contest and sees much success in the future.
You can imagine how delighted I was tonight to see this:
Honestly, her voice is shaky at the first. You can even see in her face that she realizes she doesn’t have the breath and diaphragm control that she needs to put under those notes. “Memories” is one of those ghastly songs that hops right on sustained tones and if you even slightly miss-pitch it you either have to bend the note or let it go (as you can hear her bend it on that first note). Susan’s nerves absolutely kill her start. I can’t even imagine the pressure she is under. Heavens! I feel queasy singing in front of a parish with maybe 100 people; if 100 million people were waiting to hear me sing I think I wouldn’t even make it onto stage without barfing all over myself. But, she pulled it out magnificently by the end. Even on the second stanza she was able to reorient her breathing and by the last she could belt it out with all the abandon that served her so well in her initial performance.
I really hope to see more of her. Her story and her voice make me happy.