Oh yes. I could do that, too. My voice coach in college wanted me to try out for the San Francisco Opera, but I never did. I wish I had her courage.
Everyone has talents. Everyone can do things you can’t imagine. We are all extraordinary, really.
There was a time when men were kind
When their voices were soft
And their words inviting
There was a time when love was blind
And the world was a song
And the song was exciting
There was a time
Then it all went wrong
I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted
But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
And they turn your dream to shame
He slept a summer by my side
He filled my days with endless wonder
He took my childhood in his stride
But he was gone when autumn came
And still I dream he’ll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather
I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I’m living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.
“We are too cynical,” Amanda said, addressing Boyle after her performance. “Everyone was rooting against you.” It was as if Amanda expected this one moment where art conquered all, where the sincerity of song and execution softened every heart, to allow us to believe we had somehow been purged of all our cheap, superficial ways. Susan sang, and shrugged her shoulders and tossed her gray locks, and now we were changed, changed utterly by this transforming performance. Now Piers and Simon and Amanda and you and me, we were all going to move forward with openness and acceptance in our hearts for all kinds of people in all kind of packages. As if by approving of this one dorky but brilliant outsider, this world would be granted forgiveness for all the meanness, bullying and tawdry acceptance of the third rate that is its usual fare.
But instead of changing us, Susan Boyle’s explosion into fame is much more likely to change her. Already she has appeared on Scottish television with her hair seemingly darkened and somehow forced into submission. Please please please, Susan! The vintage women of the world beg you: Don’t lose a pound. Don’t buy a new wardrobe. No highlights! No Botox! Don’t touch chin one, or chin two.
Remember Ella Fitzgerald, and just keep singing.