Susan Boyle – A Parable In a Modern Day World

The very emotional powerhouse performance by Scottish amateur singer Susan Boyle’s show stopping rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” from the show Les Misérables is certainly a modern parable and a stiff rebuke to all of us with tendencies to judge others, based solely on visual physical appearance.


Before Susan sang, both the audience, the judges, and I am sure most of us, the 10.3 million viewers of this third series of Britain’s Got Talent, expressed scepticism, based on what we saw as her unpolished appearance and obvious shy awkwardness.

Then she opened her mouth and  viewers, judges and the live audience gasped, as a phoenix rose from the ashes of what we now know, previously for her, was a life of disappointment, sadness and heartbreak.

Susan Boyle lives alone in a row of houses with her cat Pebbles, a drab existence in one of Scotland’s poorest regions. She cared for her widowed mother for years, never married and sings in church and at karaoke nights at her local pub. Locals knew she could sing, but now through  Twitter, YouTube, and countless other blog postings, so does everyone else.

Born the youngest of nine children in a devout Roman Catholic family, she grew up in one of Scotland’s most deprived areas, a district blighted by unemployment, crime and social problems. This area has suffered a great deal since the local British Leyland car plant shut down in the 1980s. Susan is a keen amateur singer, and performs in church choirs and school plays and is a regular on the karaoke circuit in Blackburn and the nearby town of Bathgate. She claims her mother, Bridget, had encouraged her to enter “Britain’s Got Talent” but it was not until after her death that she plucked up the courage to try her luck.

Susan’s millions of fans must now wait to see whether she makes it through the next rounds of this show, but bookmakers have made her the firm favorite to win, offering a Susan Boyle victory with 5-2 odds. However, whether she wins or not Susan has cemented her status as a singing star with an invitation to appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show and the reported setting up of a contract by Simon Cowell with his Syco Music company label, which is a a subsidiary of Sony Music.

Susan Boyle’s story is most definitely a victory for talent and artistry in a modern day culture totally obsessed with physical attractiveness.


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