Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Inspired


I know you've probably seen this.  A few of my friends had posted it on their face book pages and I did not click.  I know.  Blah blah blah.  Touching inspiration abounds.  Whatever.  I'm busy.  I spend enough time on this darn machine without watching You Tube.

But my very good friend Judy forwarded it via email with only the words "please watch this."  I was telling another friend this week that the hard thing about on-line friends who you don't know personally is that every one's tale sounds plausible, but you don't really know them.  So you don't really know. And she said, "So you don't know if you're dealing with Judy or (insert any crazy person you know.")  Exactly.

But Judy is reliable, so, when she sent me this I watched it.  I'm such an idiot.  Sobbed and sobbed.  I watched Susan Boyle stand in front of a lot of people and sing.  She said it was her dream since she was twelve.  And the thing that I think has been such a stunner for some people is that her voice does not match her appearance.  But the thing that had me crying at my keyboard was that she is 47, unemployed, has never been kissed and lives with her cat and she pursued a quite unlikely dream.  I'm sure that when she told people she was going to try out for Britain's Got Talent they said, "Oh!  You should!"  But I also bet that women from her village who called themselves her friends probably said, "Nonsense.  A waste of time and a waste of money.  What is she thinking?"

And she got a standing ovation.  Not just on national television, but on this crazy wacked out international medium that I adore and often think is an unbelievable waste of time.  She tried something new.  She did something a little bit brave.  And she changed her life.  Not necessarily because she will become a singing sensation, but because now she won't lie in her bed at night thinking, "I wonder what would have happened if..."

I'm sorry I did not embed the piece; I couldn't find one that would allow it.  Some folks have found the link not working.  Search Susan Boyle on you tube if that is the case.

39 comments:

laurelstreet said...

I adored this! I have watched it three times now...This made my day!

David said...

I'm hoping she takes the whole thing, and then that she and Paul Potts fall in love. (look for him on youtube as well if you're unfamiliar, keep your kleenex handy)

Linda/"Mom" said...

*... I opened it TOO, because of WHO sent it!!! ANNNND, I actually "found" my mouth just wiiiide open, down near my feet, in TOTAL AWE of this woman!!!~~~Sooooo much inspiration~~~ sooo much to digest & take awaay from all this... fabulous!!! Heartwarming! A valuable "lesson" on "judging a book...."! Thanks n' best, Linda *

eaesthete said...

Mrs. Blandings,

Like you, I was overcome with so many feelings. I've watched this piece several times since receiving it via email and each time, my whole being is taken over by the emotion of it. The moments of ridicule and derision, the raised brows and the countless smirks are suddenly swept away by the force of brilliance disguised in this self- effacing and dowdy little woman who proved a marvel to behold.

Thank you for the additional information on this incredible human being that greatly enhances this experience that much more.

bluehydrangea said...

I just watched Susan Boyle on You Tube, Thank you. Thank you for passing this on. It was amazing. Oh, if we could all be that brave!

Tracy said...

Thank you.
I had seen bits of this on the morning news and didn't really pay much attention. Like you, I was all 'yeah, yeah, moving and emotional?... I doubt it... what a bunch of babies...gotta go' and promptly forgot about it.
Reading your post though made me go look for it on youtube and I'm SO glad I did. Here I sit, cynical unmoveable me, wiping away tears. Thinking to myself 'what would I be brave enough to do, with the belief that I have the talent to back up my bravada, even at the risk of public rejection and failure?'. I'll be thinking long and hard about that. Because of Susan Boyle. (who is my age... and has a cat with the same name as mine... which freaks me out more than a little!) I hope this does change her life... in only good ways... and I can't wait to hear what happens next.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Oh, I'm so glad you all agree. I was afraid you might think me a bit sappy.

Renovation Therapy said...

I want to hug this woman and drink tea with her. Then, I want to get her a date at Carnegie Hall and a cute doting old man to kiss her and twirl her around. And...and...and more for her. She's so lovely.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I have cried over this several times since I saw it last evening. Each time, I think I'm not going to cry, but by the time she gets to that modulation in the middle of the song, I am blubbering like a fool.

Such beauty.

Acorn, Dandelion and Rose said...

Thanks a lot! Now I too am weeping like mad - what an inspiration. Not only does she have loads of talent but incredible courage.

Bonnie said...

I have watched her video on you tube so many times I have lost count. I think that one You Tube site has over 7 MILLION hits and there are countless others! And to think she has only sung in her church choir and keroeke! I was thinking of making a post about Susan Boyle but thought... what does it have to do with Interior Design and Art, etc? She is a phenomenal singer... but she is also so much more! She inspires us to reach for our dreams... no matter what! I love how you made a post about her and the other things you have said about her too. I truly hope she wins and that all her dreams come true!

Bonnie said...

Oh my gosh... correction! There are now over 8 MILLION views on just the one You Tube clip alone! Spectacular!!!!!!! I really really want to hear more of her singing. Does anyone know how we can get the show in the US? Or where we can find out more info?

Callie Grayson said...

Mrs Blandings,
Sappy is good! I have watched this video many times today, It completely made my day.
I love how she is so cheeky with Simon and showed the world that she could sings as well if not better than Elaine Paige.

callie

balsamfir said...

Yep, teary and laughing, and slightly skeptical about that never kissed thing. She did a pretty competent bump and grind after all, and she certainly has stage presence, if not a good hairdresser. Refreshing.

Bonnie said...

Good gosh! Barely one hour has passed and now over 9 Million views on that one You tube video! I have never come across anyone who has inspired me more!

Bonnie said...

Found a whole lot more wonderful, insightful info about her here...
http://deadlinescotland.wordpress.com/2009/04/14/i-want-to-make-my-dead-mum-proud-864/

katiedid said...

OK...OK....you got me sniffling too. I am a complete sucker for this kind of thing.

The Queen Vee said...

I have often wondered how many people with exceptional talent are overlooked because of the humbleness of their "machine". Bravo Susan for having the courage to stand on that stage and give that incredible performance. Your life has changed forever and so has everyone elses who has watched and listened to you. One person can make a difference!

You were "Bloody Fantastic"!

pve design said...

I loved her, my daughter and I watched and both left a puddle by the keyboard. Then we watched the dance team "Flawless" who said they were not just there to compete, they were chasing a dream.
pve

Rose C'est La Vie said...

i cried too dammit. But I was also confused about my reaction to this amazing woman who really needs her eyebrows plucked. If you, too, found the audience's and judges' reaction to Susan Boyle unsettling (ugly to charmed in six seconds) read this amusing but trenchant review in the British Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/apr/16/britains-got-talent-susan-boyle

Gerrie said...

I've watched it countless times. I'm enamored with her voice. It moves me. And, her personality is filled with spirit.

It's strange how so many people associate talent with age, looks and sophistication.

By the way, I read Simon Cowell has already signed her to a contract.

I'm so excited for her!

Nantucket Mermaid said...

Thanks for the link...it was so sweet and inspiring...

holly goes lightly said...

Mrs. B -- I want you to know I had the exact reaction you did. I saw this on your blog, and thought, o no, Mrs. B is going soft, she's having a moment, she's born again, she's whatever. Then, last night, a friend from the UK Skype'd me the link and said WATCH THIS. And I did. And Susan Boyle is now my hero.

Karena said...

Absolutely amazing and courageous woman. This is one of my favorite songs... first heard at Les Miserable in London!

Mama Freemans' cafe' said...

so true. It takes courage and effort to follow our dreams.

Style Court said...

Patricia -- your blog is certainly never a waste of time. We are all so happy that you step out and share your talent each day.

Toby Worthington said...

A simple make-over (think Bette Davis as dowdy Charlotte Vale in Now, Voyager) would make all the difference. Banish the beige, tweeze those brows, lighten the hair, lose the shoes, in fact change all but one thing~that voice.

home before dark said...

What a vivid reminder that genius is everywhere if we only open our eyes and hearts, and in Susan's case, our ears. We have such petty views of what is beauty. Who among us has a voice like hers, or can do one thing as beautiful as this cheeky, brave, village woman has done? Susan's performance is the sound of hope. And thank you Mrs. Blandings for posting this.

magnaverde said...

The voice, of course, is all that really matters. Hers is wonderful. As the Historian of the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago--opened in 1889 as the largest opera house in the world--I have ancient scrapbooks with formal studio portraits of the big-deal opera singers of a century ago, and for every knockout beauty like Lina Cavalieri or queen-like figure like Amelita Galli-Curci, there are dozens more who look perfectly ordinary--or, in some cases, worse--and whom, out of costume & stage jewels, you might mistake for laundresses or scullery maids. There's not the slightest bit of glamour in their doughy faces & stocky figures. Yet, listening to the warmth & personality that come through the hiss & scratches on their few surviving recordings, you know why the public loved them. Even so, despite the beauty & character of their voices, most of those singers wouldn't stand a chance in today's looks-obsessed culture.

Not that it's really all that different from the small world of design. I remember a line of one of our instructors in interior design school. "There are two paths to success in this field: You can be a good designer. Or you can be a good-looking designer." Some are both, unfortunately, if you're not the latter, you may never get a chance to demonstrate the former. It's too bad. And yes, like the female judge said, Susan Boyle's unexpected 'discovery' is a wakeup call, but then, Thomas Gray Elegy in a Country Churchyard made the same point clear back in the 18th Century: it's all about opportunity.

"Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, 55
And waste its sweetness on the desert air..."

There are people with amazing talents everywhere, in places you'd never expect. I'm glad that, after 47 years, Susan Boyle finally got a chance to share her lovely voice with more than her neighbors.

Toby Worthington said...

It isn't a program I'd normally be watching, so upon second viewing a few traces of skepticism lingered.
The whole set up is contrived for overt audience
response, not unlike the gladitorial displays of ancient Rome. Expressions on the faces of judges might well have been edited in for maximum effect. It's all rather bogus~I don't buy it at all. And I've begun to wonder if Miss Boyle wasn't "frumped up" by the costume and make-up department in order to make her fine voice seem a big surprise. Who knows, if in her off stage hours she might be hanging out with Madonna or the Beckhams, or be
a regular at Anabel's?

Todd said...

You are exactly right, I think, to see the grace in her situation and not her appearance - especially given the song she chose. Notice how her voice changes, and how authentic she sounds, when she sings those last lines, "I had a dream my life would be/so different from this hell I'm living/so different now than what it seemed/now life has killed the dream I dreamed." In light of the self-conscious giggle when she says she has never been kissed, "not that that's an advert," her performance is most impressive.
PS - love your blog!

Bonnie said...

WOW!!!! Here is ANOTHER song!
Cry Me A River sung by Susan Boyle
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9D2FuRhe4CE

Meg Biram said...

I sobbed while watching this...at work. And it felt good.

victoria thorne said...

happiness

Jadehollow said...

Mrs Blandings..
I was just blog hopping and came across your blog.. WoW I'm so glad I decided to click play on that video. Unbelievable voice. I had not seen her performance before and at first I thought.. ok it's just another one of those poor people that get made fun of from Idol. Had I not read your post about it I would not have dared to watch. So Thank you for bringing that awesome experience into my life today. I haven't stopped sobbing.. a good kinda sobbing.
Have a blessed weekend.
Thanks again,
Debbie

LIMOM said...

Boy did you hit the nail on the head with that post!! I too sobbed like a baby.

Lying awake at night, wondering what might have been is fastest route to madness on earth. Amidst all the Grey Gardens mania comes Susan Doyle, the anti-Beale. Perhaps she saw herself alone with her cats and said, "not me!", or perhaps she lost a bet at the club where she sings karaoke. Whatever moved her to do this, I thank her.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Yeah, it got to me too. I love it when a goofball makes good in a big way. There's hope for all of us! (I just hope she has an honest manager in her future.)

Rebecca Woodhead said...

I don't watch the programme but after hearing about this, I went online to see what all the fuss was about. I cried because she seemed to tap into something when she sang. I can't quite explain it but there was something about the confidence and honesty of her performance when she was singing that moved me so much. It was beautiful.

It is so important to reach for your dreams however impossible they seem. When I was a child I was told I may never be able to speak or write due to a severe brain injury and I was bullied for years and told how useless and stupid I was. I now have a Honours Degree and this year I completed my second novel. Hopefully, one day, I'll be published but it doesn't really matter much whether I am or not. The most important thing is that I have expressed myself creatively even though I was told I would not be able to. Susan has done the same and it's wonderful to see.

Love this blog by the way. Congratulations on the award.

Rebecca

Rose C'est La Vie said...

Just to say that I have posted the semi-finals of Britain's Got Talent. You alerted me to Susan Boyle in the first place! I am afraid you may be a little disappointed by her second appearance - an inevitable anti-climax and a rotten song in my opinion - but I am sure she will knock em dead again in the Finals.