Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A real-life, do-it-yourself, fairy tale

First, watch this 7-minute video of 47-year-old Susan Boyle, a contestant last Saturday night on Britain’s Got Talent, a television program in the United Kingdom.

Next, read this editorial from The Herald, a newspaper in the United Kingdom.

Then make the inevitable references, if you must, to The Ugly Duckling, a story written by Hans Christian Andersen, or Cinderella, the classic folk tale made famous by the Brothers Grimm, Wilhelm and Jakob. You know you want to.

Susan sang “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables in the competition’s first round, aired on 11 April 2009. She stopped her pursuit of singing to look after her sick parents. Her father died about ten years ago and her mother died in 2007 at age 91. The youngest of nine children, Susan lives alone in Blackburn, West Lothian, Scotland, in the house she grew up in, with only her ten-year-old cat, Pebbles, to keep her company. Susan’s mother had loved the first season of Britain's Got Talent and encouraged Susan to enter because, said her mother, she would win it. Susan, a member of her church choir, hasn’t sung at all in two years because she has been in mourning since her mother died. Recently, though, she decided that the best way to honor her mother’s memory was to fulfill her mother’s wish and begin, finally, to pursue a singing career.

Oxygen-deprived at birth, Susan had learning disabilities in school and says she was the object of much verbal bullying from classmates. By her own admission, she has never had a boyfriend and has never been kissed.

The more you learn about Susan Boyle, the more amazed you are.

Watch that video again to draw inspiration from her story and from her voice. Repeat this steps as many times as necessary.

Read this story also.

Until last weekend, Susan Boyle was a middle-aged, “plain Jane” woman living on the edge of nowhere, who didn’t spend money on hairdressers, make-up, tweezers, or new clothes. Life seemed to have passed her by. This week she has been offered a recording contract by Sony.

Meditate on the facts of this post.

Live happily ever after.


  1. RWP,

    Thank you. What a remarkable woman and performance. It will a long time before we see such a thing again. Perhaps if they found more Susans, reality shows would mean something...

  2. Lovely. I wept at the music, and while reading the articles. The editorial is so spot on: we are so greatly influenced by outward appearances that we miss many beautiful, beautiful people. I am very happy for Susan Boyle that she had the courage to let the world hear her remarkable voice.

    This story reminds me very much of Paul Potts, who appeared on the same show a while back. He was also of a undistinguished appearance, but has the voice of an angel.

    I don't know how to turn this into a clickable link, but if you want to hear some lovely music, go here:


  3. Thank you, Reamus and Pat, for commenting.

    Another fascinating detail of the Susan Boyle video is the look of pure joy that comes on Simon Cowell's face as she is singing. He is enrapt, soaking himself in her vocal gift. Perhaps he is also envisioning all the money he is going to make, but I just don't want to go there.

  4. I watched this two days ago and I found myself watching it over and over. It brought tears to my eyes each and every time. I love the two articles. Perfect.

  5. Egghead (Vonda) - The article and the editorial ARE good, aren't they? I have watched the video several more times also. It seems to provide "soul food" in ways I can't begin to fathom.

  6. Delightful, refreshing! How good to learn of this story! Thank you, rhymsie!

  7. Wow, now that brings hope to this 48 year old female. Not to be a singer, of course. This was so inspiring, the whole "don't judge a book by its cover" illustrated so beautifully. What a voice! Such a sweetness to it. I love her triumphant little victory yell at the end. And when the audience gave her a standing ovation just seconds in to her song, she looked so, I don't know, justified! Good for her.