Anorak News | Susan Boyle The Woman I Was Born To Be Extracts: Kisses, God And Photos

Susan Boyle The Woman I Was Born To Be Extracts: Kisses, God And Photos

by | 16th, October 2010

SUSAN Boyle has been signing copies of her autobiography, The Woman I Was Born to Be at Waterstone’s in Piccadilly, London. Who or what that woman is remains a moot point in the media, who have presented Boyle as the Hairy Angel, a sign of God’s love and a lumpen dolt.

Here’s La Boyle:

I knew what they were thinking. ‘Just look at her! She’s got a bum like a garage, a head like a mop, I’m not too sure if her teeth are her own and she’s claiming to be a singer! She cannae sing. She cannae! Well come on, let’s hear you then. . .’

So I opened my mouth and sang. ‘I dreamed a dream in time gone by . . .’

The O2

During my birth in 1961 it was touch and go for her as well as me but, eventually, I was delivered by emergency caesarean section. When my mother came round from the anaesthetic, the doctor looked at her seriously.

‘You have a girl,’ he told her. ‘She’s very small and she needs help with her respiration, so we have her in an incubator.’

When my father Patrick appeared at my mother’s bedside, she knew something was wrong. ‘She was starved of oxygen for a wee while,’ he said. My mother was an intelligent woman and knew what that meant.


One day we went to hospital for something called an assessment. ‘What’s an assessment?’ I asked.

‘It’s a test to see what sort of school you can go to,’ she told me. The test involved putting shapes through holes in a box. I wasn’t helped by a bald-headed man staring at me. Afterwards, I listened to him talking to my mother. The word he kept using was ‘borderline’.

Angels Move Me

The first song I can remember performing on my own at school was the hymn Child In The Manger in a Nativity play. I sang it to the tune of Morning Has Broken and I was nervous. When I opened my mouth to sing, however, the trembling stopped. As I finished, there was silence. The children looked at me with their mouths hanging open. Then the teachers and parents started clapping and smiling at me

Jesus Christ!

I became more confident, more willing to have a go at things. Perhaps that’s why one Thursday evening I sneaked into the Happy Valley, a pub in Blackburn that held a weekly sing-song. At 23, I was old enough to drink but I felt guilty being there without my mother’s knowledge.

Encouraged to sing, I walked to the microphone, conscious of a ripple of surprise going round the room. I closed my eyes and imagined I was on my own in my bedroom with my record of Jesus Christ Superstar. ‘I don’t know how to love him . .

TV Dreams

In the late Eighties, when the BBC revived Opportunity Knocks, I thought I’d have a go. I did I Don’t Know How to Love Him. ‘Thank you,’ the producer called in a distracted voice at the end of the song. So that was that. I knew I’d made a right codswallop of it. Around this time, I enrolled at Edinburgh Acting School, achieving a grade seven in drama, and later auditioned for My Kind Of People with Michael Barrymore, but again didn’t make it.

Fallen Idol

Another thing that had cheered her was a new television series called Pop Idol. We became addicted to the format. It didn’t occur to me to apply for an audition because I was too old to be a pop star, but the following year, when Pop Idol was replaced by The X Factor, there was a category for the over-25s. As my mother and I settled back on the sofa to watch the first of the live heats, Mum asked me: ‘Why don’t you try to do something with your singing, Susan?’

Do You See The Light

Just before she died, her eyes went blue and shone with a kind of light as if she was looking at something marvellous. Whatever she saw made her very happy. Whether it was my dad, or Our Lady, I’ll never know, but I do know that it wasn’t frightening at all. She was absolutely delighted. I went home to an empty house and told Pebbles what had happened. The wee thing looked so sad hiding behind my mother’s chair.


It was almost Easter and as we approached the bridge to cross the milky-green river, we found ourselves among great crowds walking towards the basilica at Lourdes, many pushing wheelchairs carrying the sick and the injured. I glanced at my mother. It suddenly dawned on me that we were here for healing too, and I smiled at her.

The Mass was celebrated in the cavernous modern Underground Basilica. Afterwards, we stood in a queue to go into the wee grotto where Our Lady appeared to Bernadette. Inside the coolness of the cave there was an air of great peace. There were many people around me but I felt still and quiet, as if it were just me there, with Our Lady listening to my prayers.

My mother and I were lucky enough to get into the baths. ‘You mustn’t dry yourself off when you get out,’ she instructed. ‘Why?’ I wanted to know. ‘Because the water is miraculous.’

As the water dried on my skin, I felt an indescribably wonderful physical, psychological and spiritual sense of warmth, like a holy embrace.
When I look back on my life, I can see turning points. My first visit to Lourdes was such a moment.

Has Been Kissed

In my late 20s I had a boyfriend for seven weeks. He was called John. I met him at a wedding and it was the first time I was involved with anyone, because I was always frightened of guys, but he was very kind.

It was a chaste relationship that never went further than holding hands and a peck on the cheek. But when I held his hand, I knew it was a different feeling from holding my mother’s hand, and when he pecked me on the cheek it wasn’t like my brother giving me a kiss, because the touch of my boyfriend’s lips lingered on my skin for hours.


Picture 1 of 4

Singer Susan Boyle, who was discovered on the television show Britain's Got Talent, signs copies of her autobiography, The Woman I Was Born to Be at Waterstone's in Piccadilly, central London today.

Posted: 16th, October 2010 | In: Key Posts Comment (1) | TrackBack | Permalink