Every time I read something about Susan Boyle, I like to think it will be the last thing I read about her. But it never is. Days have passed, and people are still writing about her. Tina Brown has written something this morning that begins by saying that Susan Boyle's moment in history may have been totally fabricated but it doesn't matter because something true came from something false. I have no idea what the piece goes on to say, because I'm afraid to read it. Because the worst thing about Susan Boyle -- and there are several, but I'm going to deal with only one -- is that she sings that horrible song. That song is worse than all of Andrew Lloyd Webber, and it's worse than "It's A Small World After All." That song from Les Miserables that Susan Boyle sings is the all-time most horrible song ever in history, and the reason is simple: it sticks in your brain and never stops playing. Even if you watched Susan Boyle only once, dry-eyed, it sticks for days and days. And just when you think it's gone, you see the title in print, and it starts playing again.
Many years ago, when I was young, I had a boyfriend whose father had a symphony in his head. It wasn't Beethoven's Fifth, or anything worth listening to -- it was a completely original symphony. My boyfriend's father was not a composer; the symphony existed only in his head, and every time he lay down to try to sleep, the symphony began to play. He had to buy a special pillow that played the sound of the ocean in order to get the symphony to disappear.
I was fascinated by this, so fascinated that it's something I remember (as opposed to all the things I have forgotten). I couldn't imagine what it would be like to be tormented by the sound of music, but now I know: it's what happens when you get older, only in my case, it's not a symphony, it's just a series of bad songs. And they play and play and play. All day long. They play in rhythm as I walk down the street, and they float in and out of my brain as I work. Sometimes I dream them. In fact, I would say that on many occasions I dreamed a dream of them if I weren't so afraid of saying those unspeakable words. I have my very own soundtrack that plays to my very own life, only instead of consisting of songs I love, it's composed of the songs that stick in my brain. It's a form of hell, and that's the truth.
I understand that it will be weeks before Susan Boyle gets up to sing again in front of that show, but there's no question in my mind what she will sing in the next round: that song from Titanic. And in the next round, that song from The Bodyguard. I daren't even say their names or they will start playing.