On Susan Boyle: This Is the Essay to Read

I'm still working on this. You cannot watch it and not be swept away emotionally.

The performance created a sense of awe such as that we experience when a sunset transforms the end of a plain day into glory or black sky blooms and glitters with a firework burst.

That voice pouring from such a humble little vessel had that effect.

But then there's music. The mystery of the soul's longings transmitted by sound waves into others' hearts.

Posted by Cathy at April 16, 2009 6:12 PM

I watched it and wept. Many times. That is exactly the impression I got from listening to her. It was the perfect choice of song, sung with such heartfelt passion and enthusiasm. Even Rush Limbaugh commented on it, saying, try to watch it without crying. God indeed uses the foolish things of this world to prove his wisdom.

Posted by Jewel at April 16, 2009 7:14 PM

This lady is no shrinking violet. I expect that even absent this talent to sing, all those around her would understand her greatness on second sight.
But she does more for our humility than a thousand admonitions.

Posted by at April 16, 2009 7:24 PM

When I posted about this the other day, I said that the first time I watched the video, I was stopped in my tracks. The purity and perfect pitch of her voice is something we rarely hear and coming out of the mouth of someone who we were sure was there only to make fun of made it a triumph. I've now watched the video at least a dozen times and every time I see Simon give that little sigh, I am having the same reaction. I'm just blown away and captivated.

I don't think there is anything like a shrinking violet in Susan and I think Simon is right, there is a "little tiger" inside this woman just waiting to get out.

I watched a short interview with her this morning and she was asked how she ignored the fact she was being laughed at and she said she just concentrated on the music and making her deceased mother proud. She then sang a few bars of the same song A cappella and never missed a note.

We are so conditioned these days to the "beautiful people" we forget women like Kate Smith, Ella Fitzgerald, or Mama Cass Elliott and a number of others. As talented as many of them were, Susan's voice belongs in a class by itself.

Even my "I'm too cool to react" son said, after I forced him to watch, "wow Mom, makes you realize what hacks everyone else is." Later I heard him insist my daughter-in-law watch the video too and when she didn't jump right up, he told her do it now, you won't be sorry.

Posted by Sara at April 16, 2009 7:55 PM

An epiphany. Shows you how rare real genius is.

Posted by ahem at April 16, 2009 8:15 PM

I teared up a little, I'll admit it.

Even Simon (who is famous for being a dick) was enchanted, you could see it on his face. He knows the real thing when he sees it...and he saw it, we all did.

Posted by Mumblix Grumph at April 16, 2009 9:21 PM

Some flowers bloom early, but the most vibrant are almost always late bloomers.

Posted by Deborah at April 16, 2009 10:33 PM

The Herald's op-ed sums it up so very well - I wish my priest did sermons like they write about Miss Boyle.

Posted by andrewdb at April 16, 2009 10:52 PM

If you haven't seen the whole thing, you can see it here. I found it through Zoe Brain, another remarkable lady with eyebrows able to shelter a family from Darfur. This is really something you need to watch, and not just some highlights.

Posted by Alan Kellogg at April 16, 2009 10:56 PM

Our church organist and pianist also leads the choir. She is greatly overweight and now graying in the hair, never married. She cared for her aging father who passed away last year. Few people give her any credit for a well-lived life, can't see past the superficialities.

But she plays reasonably difficult pieces very well despite only high school music classes, and sings with a strong and simply inspiring voice. Those who hear her for the first time are simply amazed.

She asks nothing for herself, is generous with her time, and her music is for the glory of God.

But then she's not a pretty celebrity, so few pay her any mind. That's the world's loss, not hers.

Posted by Seppo at April 17, 2009 9:20 AM

"Susan has been forgiven her looks"

Man, what a silly thing to say. It speaks to the way society has been subsumed by Hollywood that female talent has to come neatly and beautifully packaged. What an ugly society we have become. The audience reaction...ugh. It made me ashamed to be British.

Posted by alison at April 17, 2009 2:59 PM

I agree Alison. A very strange comment.

I was also put off by the audience reaction. It was really quite rude; but I suppose that is how they think an audience is supposed to behave at a concert. It isn't about the performance, it is about the "event".

Susan Boyle's CD "Cry me a River" is sublime and there are no distractions.

I am so pleased that she had the chance to express her talent on a big stage. I hope that she does not fall into the clutches of exploiters who will turn the event sour if given the chance.

Posted by Bob G at April 18, 2009 8:16 AM

the voice of an angel
guess maybe its a reminder that sometimes we entertain angels ,unaware
it made this old redneck
reach for a hankerchief
to dry his cheeks

Posted by Luke at April 18, 2009 10:25 AM

Mumblix Grumph,

"Even Simon (who is famous for being a dick) was enchanted, you could see it on his face. He knows the real thing when he sees it...and he saw it, we all did."

That was one of the wonderful things about the video was seeing Simon's cynical mask fall away for that brief moment when he held his head in his hands and had that smile on his face.

Posted by Nahanni at April 19, 2009 9:39 AM