I dreamed a dream that people were judged by their talents and personality and not their appearance. I dreamed a dream that there would be one of those talent shows where the contestants were hidden from view and we had to judge them purely upon their ability. While neither dream has completely come true, this week the world has certainly come close.
I had heard the story. I had seen her picture and listened to her sing for the morning talk shows. But, I did not hear the actual video until yesterday. Up until then, the cynic in me thought this was a gigantic ploy to gain international attention for a British talent program. I thought she sings very well but her talent was being overblown.
I was so under-informed and missed the much deeper part of this story.
I know Les Miserables well. I know the song and yet it took me a few days to truly consider those lyrics and how much they are a part of this story. Read the words and consider how well they can express the emotions that someone who perhaps has never truly fit in or reached their true potential must feel every day.
I Dreamed A Dream
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.
Maybe it was the song choice and it’s moving and seemingly appropriate words, the beautiful voice, the way the audience behaved or a little of all of them but I too found myself listening to what happened with tears literally streaming down my face.
What Susan Boyle did this week as she auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent was so much more than about how well she sings. With great poise and more guts than I think most of us possess, she faced on onslaught of one of the most hateful personal attacks that’s ever been caught on camera and came out not only on top but has become the focal point of the most downloaded video ever to be posted to YouTube.
Before she even stepped foot on the stage, the audience was laughing at her. Not for what she said or even what she was wearing. They were mocking her appearance. When she stepped onto the main stage, the laughter and even a few wolf whistles that greeted her had to have been one of the most cruel and vicious things I’ve witnessed in a long time. It would have been one thing if she was trying to be a clown but she was truly serious in her dream of being a singer like her idol Elaine Paige. I don’t know how she stood up to the onslaught but this brave lady seemed to ignore the audience and focus on why she was there and what she had to prove.
And prove to the world that she belonged there was exactly what she did!!! Even as the music began, her detractors were still behaving badly. What was truly shocking to everyone but Ms. Boyle was that she could indeed sing a song Paige had made famous.
It didn’t take long for the sneers to turn to cheers. The crowd, who moments ago judged her so harshly for not being a size 2, Cover-Girl model of femininity; jumped to their feet as this lady showed the world that it’s what’s inside that matters.
Shame on those who behaved so badly. Thank goodness the people of Britain’s Got Talent who invited Susan Boyle on that stage did not judge her as you did otherwise we all would have missed one of those moments in time that have the power to move people to reflect on how they treat each other.
I hope Susan Boyle’s days of dreaming are coming to an end and she can begin being the star that she always somehow knew she deserved to be.