10/16/2009 01:50 PM

Susan Boyle likes to box. Who would have thought it?

Susan Boyle likes the Rolling Stones. Who would have thought it?

Susan Boyle apparently likes London more than her home town of Blackburn in Scotland. Surprising.

Most commentators had her in a box. You know the one, the eccentric old maid from Scotland who somehow got famous by a once in a lifetime exposure on television. She'd be a one hit wonder they said, soon sent back to deserved obscurity.

Most commentators predicted her first album would be a safe and mushy mixture of tried and true classics with little of note on it. Then came cover versions of the Stones, Madonna, the Monkees.

Whatever was she thinking?

She seems to have got it exactly right. Less than a month before release her album is already firmly ensconced at number one on the presales chart and the internet is buzzing like never before. Her fan club numbers are going up not down.

The surprising Susan Boyle.

What is next? Self-composed songs? Yes I hope so.

She could weave a magic thread or two from a life less ordinary, a life often lived in the shadow of great pain and the light of exemplary courage.

Such experiences make us vulnerable but acutely aware of life around us, the good, the bad, the ugly.

Her heart was touched by fire by her tough upbringing and it was that fire that came to the fore when she finally got her moment in the limelight. She grabbed it and kicked it to kingdom come.

I'd love to see that side of Susan Boyle, not the singer of other’s songs, but perhaps a touch of the inner poet we all carry around with us, our own experiences described.

I don't know if you have ever heard Edith Piaf sing “Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (“No I Regreet Nothing”). You just know it’s about her life, and tragic it was, forced into prostitution, losing her only child, yet conquering all to become France's most popular singer.

When she sings that song it becomes her.

Frank Sinatra did it to a lesser extent on “My Way.”

I'd love to see Susan Boyle pen her song, her cover version of her life.

Probably not, but remember this is a surprising woman. The surprising Susan Boyle.

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