I will confess that I once got sucked into a season of American Idol: the clash of the titans, Ruben and Clay. So when a friend sent a YouTube clip of Susan Boyle on Britain’s Got Talent, I knew Simon Cowell was the judge to watch. And, as a result of that heads-up, I wasn’t caught entirely flat-footed when my mother said she hoped Susan Boyle would get a chance to sing for the Queen.
Mom, who is old enough to know the truth about the so-called “golden years,” has a great affinity for the Queen. They are, after all, of the same generation, but, more importantly, of the same sensibility. We went together to see Helen Mirren play the Queen, and Mom nodded in confirmation when she said, “I prefer to keep my feelings to myself. Foolishly I believed that's what people wanted from their Queen. Not to make a fuss nor wear one's heart on one's sleeve, duty first... self second.”
I agreed it seemed only right that Susan Boyle should sing for the Queen, and I paid attention until I learned she lost out to another act. Then, about a week ago, Mom wrote again to let us, her daughters with middle names of Elizabeth and Margaret, know that Susan Boyle’s first album had just come out.
In the run-up to Thanksgiving, I’d lost sight of that, until the New York Times reported, “Susan Boyle, Top Seller, Shakes Up CD Trends.” The article said, while Boyle’s album had “the biggest opening-week sales for any album this year,” “only about 40,000 were sold through iTunes.” The article’s explanation for this phenomenon included speculation that the audience consisted of “older listeners who . . . simply prefer to hold purchases in their hands.”
I don't know about the Queen, but Mom does indeed hold purchases in her hands. When she comes to visit, her iTouch is always loaded with great albums she's found that I’ve not heard before: Marian McPartland, Duke Ellington on solo piano, Gene Harris and Scott Hamilton. When she comes this spring, she’ll bring Susan Boyle's, too, for, as she wrote from her iMac, “Her album is now available on iTunes and I have it! ^..^”