Talented Britain

Posted: June 5, 2009 in Culture

Hollie Steel turned in a good performance of Edelweiss (which is a flower, not a beer).  She had a meltdown her first time singing it but was allowed to try again.  She did well the second time, then next day sang a song from the Phantom of the Opera for her final performance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqxzWBV1qc4

She’s only ten, but her voice has a nice operatic quality in the high notes.  As she matures, and stays healthy, she may become England’s new Julie Andrews.  Speaking of Julie, here she is at age twelve:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iV2-YGGn0y4

I’m not sure why I’m surprised that children can sing so well.  But even six year olds can make an old song sound new again.  Listen to Connie Talbot:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWNoiVrJDsE

Perhaps it’s because when I was in elementary school, I couldn’t sing.  Or rather, when I did sing, it sounded like the braying of a young donkey combined with the trumpeting of a young elephant.  Therefore, at age six or seven I saw Julie Andrews as an oppressor, and Sound of Music as a cruel joke played upon children who couldn’t sing — like me.

Of course, I grew up and my voice changed so that I began to sing a whole lot better.  Now my voice sounds like the braying of an adult donkey mixed with elephant — but at least it’s better than it was.

So given my experience as a child, I’m amazed that anyone can sing at such a young age.  But talent is real and it is God-given.  Those who say talent is just a euphemism for hard work, and doesn’t really exist, should listen to Hollie, Connie, and young Julie.  If it were just a matter of hard work, I’d be able to sing.  My teachers worked me like a bellows, but it didn’t help.  I wheezed and croaked and brayed and trumpeted, but it was all for nothing.  No talent, no ticket to the Met, I say.

Vern

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