Thursday, 23 April 2009

Susan Boyle: my failsafe pick-me-up

The name Susan Boyle meant nothing to me – like most of the world – until recently. And even when I heard on the news about this singing sensation (she’s an unemployed 47-year-old from some obscure Scottish town) I didn’t feel driven to personally view her performance – I mean, just how fabulously can one person sing, really?

But a group of us sitting around the lunch table on the weekend began discussing Susan and since I was, apparently, the only person on the planet who hadn’t watched the YouTube clip of her surprise success on a British reality talent show, my housemate Dean went off and downloaded it for me. That done, he sat me down in front of his computer, put his earphones on me, and left me to watch it.

Now, I am not a big weeper. I refuse point-blank to blub in movies, for instance, that are made specifically to get your tearducts flowing (I remember being accused by some classmates, at the age of 12, of being ‘hard’ because I couldn’t raise a sniffle at the end of the uber-tearjerker The Champ); if I hurt myself, I don’t weep, I scream; grief makes me mutely dry-eyed. In fact, the only emotion guaranteed to get me crying is frustration.

So you can imagine my alarm when, as Susan launched into the finale of her song, ‘I Dream a Dream’, I found myself drizzing lavishly. And even after I’d removed the headphones and returned to the table to report back, I couldn’t stop blubbing.

It was as ridiculous as it was inexplicable (although CNN correspondent Peter Bregman posits some interesting theories here).

Anyway, this morning I had a bad start to the day, to do with a morally ambiguous estate agent (although I suppose that’s a tautology) and quite a large sum of money. A stand-up argument during which the estate agent insisted she’d told me various things she hadn’t, and not told me various things she had, left me feeling furious and helpless – and weepy with frustration.

So when I got home, I thought I’d just cheer myself up by making myself cry to Susan Boyle. And I feel much better now.

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MzHartz said...

I agree! I usually only cry when I'm so mad I can't scream. At the end of sad movies, my husband will need a tissue when I won't! I heard the buzz on the internet about Susan Boyle and didn't even click through on the link. Then in the middle of the work day my boss came in and said, "You've got to see this." She and a coworker were watching me watch it, so I was able to keep a tear from flowing down my face, barely.

Juno said...

Oh ditto, ditto. Here's a wondeful article by Tina Brown about why Susan Boyle makes women of a certain age weep:

'The YouTube clip of Susan's angel voice soaring from the unkissed mouth of that scrunchy-faced, eyebrow-enforested, unprepossessingly dumpy representative of anonymous humanity [was an] irresistible message to us all to get over ourselves.'

More of her article at

Glennis said...

She sings so beautifully, one just has to close ones eyes, listen and be taken where ever she wants you to go!

ali g said...

Jeanette Macdonald is the one whose singing wets my eyes. Even more so when in duet with nelson Eddy.