Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Susan Boyle: Where Angels Rest

Just for once, I'm finding myself swept along with a pop culture phenomenon.

At first glance, my favorite tune so far this year checks all the wrong boxes. Firstly, it's from a musical (I'm not a big fan of musicals). Secondly, it's a live performance (again, not usually my thing). Third, it's from a (whisper this) reality TV show. An audition, even. And, quite honestly, if somebody had told me a few days ago it was possible for a middle-aged spinster from West Lothian to bring me to tears in front of my computer, I would have probably had a good laugh.

Enter Susan Boyle.

By now, her audition segment from last Saturday's Britain's Got Talent show has become a YouTube phenomenon, with over 4,000,000 hits. For the record, that's more than ten times more than any other clip this week. For once, I am more than happy to go along with the crowd.

To say she was phenomenal is an understatement. And, in watching the clip, you were able to see in the faces of the judges and the audience a sublime moment of recognition - when, after spending years listening to music, you finally hear something that makes you feel like you have been deaf for your whole life. As her voice effortlessly glides to the rafters, we are also transported - to a place where angels rest and the world we live in becomes beautiful again.

Like many others, I have watched this over and over again. Utterly fantastic.

This evening, I tried to watch some of the American Idol performances. It was tough. Because now, if I am not spontaneously standing up in front of the TV, tears streaming down my face, and clapping like a madman, I will probably be disappointed.

I showed the clip to my wife and daughter. My wife made a very perceptive comment. She said that it made her feel sad that this person's gift has been hidden for so many years. My own thought is this: wherever God is, whoever God is, and whatever God might be, He has a great big grin on His face. Because millions of people, all over the world, are now discovering one of His best-kept secrets.

As for myself, I'm praying for an album.

UPDATE - One year later: Well we all know what happened. Even though it was released in November, this lady was to have the top-selling album in the UK for 2009 and the second highest selling album in the US with over three million copies sold in just six weeks.

As for the YouTube clip, it still brings a smile to my face. Best reality TV moment ever. Even though I might have sounded like an idiot last year, I stand by my comments. Well done, that lass!!


Simon said...

I watched it on the tv, but it didn't move me quite as much as it obviously did you, but then the reality shows bring out the most cynical side of me.

But having said that, it was impressive. And it's always nice to see judges and audience surprised.

And to add to that, a great piece of writing sir! It's nice to be reminded that actually cynicism isn't our natural state and it's perfectly fine, something to be encouraged even, to be blown away by something.

McDoC said...

Whoa, what an ANGELIC VOICE! I have to admit tears welled on my eyes barely a minute after she started singing. No reality TV show has done that to me. Stereotyping and cynicism are very much typical in this modern age that a few minutes of Susan Boyle's magnificent and captivating performance was all it took to leave us astounded and appreciate a really great talent. Oh, and the clip had over 8 million hits when I viewed it. Thanks fifty for sharing this. :)

moolarb said...

It didn't move me at all. To be fair I was watching it in the pub after a few beers so I was more cynical than usual. The judges knew what was coming. The fake surprised looks gave it away. That moment was staged big time, but hey it's TV entertainment so what do you expect. She has an amazing voice but do you really think it's been hidden all of her life. I think she might have sung in public before.

JC said...

Kind of with moolarb with this.

On the morning of the show, there was mention of the performance in all the UK tabloid papers saying the judges had been stunned by what they saw. Cue hype beforehand.

Since then, Susan has been in tye papers almost every day over here, but its been based on a 'you dont have to be beautiful to be able to sing' and there's been much sniggering about her quote that she's never ben kissed by anyone in her entire life...quite distasteful in many ways.

But where I do disagree with moolarb is his assertion that she had sung in public before....this is a woman who spent almost her entire life caring for ill parents..her only outlet was the church choir. It was after her mum died that others encouraged her to sing beyond the choir

私が告白した:私は利用された said...

Well, that clip reminds me that we are all gifted in our own, special way. Some of those gifts uplift many, and some of those gifts are special to someone dear to us in our life. There are many bloggers out there who have the gift of time, words and music to share with the rest of the world. We never know what little effort on our part might bring others to heights we never thought could happen.

Susan Boyle reminds me of all the dreams my mom gave up for she had to raise her children single handedly. When I come home from work each night, her presence alone reminds me of how silly the world out there has been, and will always be. I suppose at the end of the day, humility is just what we need to make weather the turbulent, tumultuous time better, with sensibility, and sensitivity. ~ chwee (Singapore)