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Natalie Merchant — Ophelia (live)
Album: Live in Concert
Avg rating:
6.6

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1923









Released: 1999
Length: 5:12
Plays (last 30 days): 2
Ophelia was a bride of God, a novice Carmelite
In sister's cells, the cloister bells tolled on her wedding night
Ophelia was a rebel girl, a blue-stockinged suffragette
Who remedied society between her cigarettes
And Ophelia was the sweetheart to a nation overnight
Curvaceous thighs, vivacious eyes, love was at first sight
Love was at first sight, love

Ophelia was a demigoddess in prewar Babylon
So statuesque, a silhouette in black satin evening gowns
Ophelia was the mistress to a Vegas gambling man
Signora Ophelia Maraschina, mafia courtesan
Ophelia was the circus queen, the female cannonball
Was projected through five flaming hoops to wild and shocked applause
To wild and shocked applause

Ophelia was a tempest, cyclone, a goddamned hurricane
Your common sense, your best defense lay wasted and in vain
For Ophelia would know your every woe and every pain you'd ever have
She'd sympathize, she'd dry your eyes, help you to forget
And help you to forget, and help you to forget

Ophelia's mind went wandering, you'd wonder where she'd gone
Through secret doors, down corridors she'd wander them alone
Wander all alone, all alone
Comments (244)add comment
Happy Birthday, Natalie!
I've long held the belief that a performer's worth should be measured by the quality of their live performances.  This is one of my favourite of Natalie's songs, and this live version proves that she is worth her weight in gold-pressed latinum
.
Love this song, love Natalie's voice - technically far from perfect, but it speaks to me
 Grayson wrote:
Neither here nor there in regards to this song, but nothings says my generation better than this one: https://youtu.be/csAp1KeueUU
 
Great song but John Prine does it much better.
Mumbo Jumbo.
Neither here nor there in regards to this song, but nothings says my generation better than this one: https://youtu.be/csAp1KeueUU
Love Natalie! More! More! More!
Seriously overplayed.
Natalie and all involved obviously put a lot of effort into this track.  I wish I liked it better.
 spammer wrote:

Her being billed over Joni? Yeah,that IS scary (and unimaginable).Freakish even.It's like if America,Russia,China and North Korea formed a military alliance and the combined Armed Forces of Sweden and Guatemala kicked their ass.

 
 
Or like, if someone made a ridiculous analogy that made no sense. 



 gjr wrote:
please god please can we limit her to once a day at least?    {#Frustrated}

 
How about once a month?  Year?
 ppopp wrote:
Genius. Saw her play this live in 1999 (Joni Mitchell was the support act!) and it nearly scared the bleep out of me. Superb.

 
Her being billed over Joni? Yeah,that IS scary (and unimaginable).Freakish even.It's like if America,Russia,China and North Korea formed a military alliance and the combined Armed Forces of Sweden and Guatemala kicked their ass.

 FrankRizzo wrote:

I think the last spoken sentence is German.

 
"Ich seh das Leben im rosigen Lichte und geniesse es auf´s Äusserste".
This is the last sentence which means, free translated from the poetical words:
I see Life in a pink (shiny) light and enjoy it massively.
 westslope wrote:
Are the Spanish lyrics at the end taken from the Cantata de Santa María de Iquique?

 
I think the last spoken sentence is German.
that album cover picture is about as clear as her voice.......
Are the Spanish lyrics at the end taken from the Cantata de Santa María de Iquique?
Oh I love Ophelia! 
I did not  like this song initiallly, but I did like Natalie.  With some patience and thought, I'm now finding new depths and layers with every play.
Genius. Saw her play this live in 1999 (Joni Mitchell was the support act!) and it nearly scared the bleep out of me. Superb.
Really enjoying this haunting tune. What a nice low bass score too: why we have subwoofers.
 On_The_Beach wrote:

The solar plexus?

 
somewhere between the solar plexus and the third eye
 rdo wrote:
I can't recall if in Hamlet Ophelia was strangled...but Merchant's singing has always sounded to me like she was.
 
Lol. 👍 
A quavery dirge to my ears - PSD here I come 


Natalie Merchant

"Not exactly the rock star life, is it? But then, Merchant has never been the typical rock star, despite reaching the heights of pop stardom with Jamestown’s 10,000 Maniacs in the latter 1980s and early ’90s, appearing on the cover of Rolling Stone in 1993, and piloting a post-Maniacs solo career of both commercial and artistic merit. Throughout all of this activity, Merchant has crafted a delicate balance between intellectualism and sensuality in her art."  — excerpt from a interesting interview by Jeff Miers, published February 15, 2013 in buffalonews.com



I've grown to really like this effort from her
 ccjemmett wrote:
Her voice always hits the spot.
 
The solar plexus?
Her voice always hits the spot.
I can't recall if in Hamlet Ophelia was strangled...but Merchant's singing has always sounded to me like she was.
please god please can we limit her to once a day at least?    {#Frustrated}
y'all ever hear of Pandora?
Byeeee. Just going to mute for a few minutes. The warbling is getting to me. And I wish she and Beth Orten would just go away.
Eeek!  I just tuned back in after having to bail when Cat Power came on.

   I've got a bad feeling that I'm going to be subjected to REM or even worse, The Smiths soon.

 I almost wish it was 1:05 so I could be further tormented by the Yankees game,at least my ears would be safe.
{#Sleep}
 Elroweho wrote:
Always loved NM's voice just unique I guess. 
 
All things Natalie!  Never tire of her music.
 On_The_Beach wrote:
Hey Caly, thanks for the giant photo of Natalie having a seizure (or doing the Monster Mash, or relenting to the audience's demands to "show us yer nostril", or listening to her imaginary friend, or . . . )

  

It looks like she is on a leash and someone is yanking it back. 


She is a seasoned balladeer and on my bucket list to see again.
I liked her when she first hit the scene, but her enchantment just did not stay with me....
Natalie really plays in a league of her own 
 people tend to either hate or love her ferociously. I'm firmly in the "love her" camp since day 1. The video for the studio-version of this song is actually really well done with some pretty good acting by Natalie!
Always loved NM's voice just unique I guess. 
Natalie Merchant laser light show...
The studio version of this really didn't excite me much...and this live version has the distinction of doing less.
 sirdroseph wrote:
2 words; Belinda Carlisle
 
That's 4 words.
2 words; Belinda Carlisle
Not just Houstonians - some of us the the south of England love her too !
 sarahurban wrote:
Have liked this song for years. The critical reviews do not persuade me to do change my mind. I like the way she threads together women throughout different eras who stood outside of or on top of their respective societies and did the shocking, scary, odd, dangerous, or sacrificial thing. And I like the melody. And Merchant's voice.
 
Yeahhhh!  Exactly right! Maybe only Houstonians really appreciate Natalie as she deserves. 
Have liked this song for years. The critical reviews do not persuade me to do change my mind. I like the way she threads together women throughout different eras who stood outside of or on top of their respective societies and did the shocking, scary, odd, dangerous, or sacrificial thing. And I like the melody. And Merchant's voice.
I thought I might be depressed before she came on....now I know I am!  MUTE!
...captured by her voice way back when  - 10,000 maniacs - fan ever since
I know NM is a beloved singer by many, but I can't listen to the lady - her pitch is so flat. Can we buy her a vocoder for Christmas, please? Then she can chime in with Stevie Nicks on Little Drummer Boy - two hearts bleating as one.

Ok - twice in a week for this one.  Strange.

The last two songs - Overall  I think Annie is a great singer and I think Natalie is not.

1. Acoustic version of Eurythmics huge hit Here Comes the Rain again.  Agree with comments that Annie's powerful and evocative voice was too strong for a live acoustic rendering that should have softened the song.

2. Oddly, I think Natalie's vocal delivery on this matches the tone of the live performance


 On_The_Beach wrote:
Hey Caly, thanks for the giant photo of Natalie having a seizure (or doing the Monster Mash, or relenting to the audience's demands to "show us yer nostril", or listening to her imaginary friend, or . . . )

 

{#Roflol}
 On_The_Beach wrote:
Hey Caly, thanks for the giant photo of Natalie having a seizure (or doing the Monster Mash, or relenting to the audience's demands to "show us yer nostril", or listening to her imaginary friend, or . . . )

 

OTB you are killing me.  This is hilarious stuff. LMAO
 Lazaerus wrote:
Love ya Natalie, always have, always will... must be a lousy feeling to be a H8R, glad I'm not them!
 

I think most of us feel just fine about ourselves, we just don't enjoy the woman's music for the many reasons enumerated.
Now I am really bored, lets get outta this set!
I have never had the experience of putting my voice and music out in front of an audience.  I think she is brave and it comes through in her expression.  I've always been enchanted with Ophelia's story, it's cool to hear this interpretation.  That is what art is about after all.  I'm all for controversy and discussion based on artist merit, pro and con.  Expand and expound!
Every song the same. Or so it seems to me.
 derekd wrote:
Strange phenomena. I KNOW she's talented. I WANT to like her. But for some reason, I just could never get into her voice. Don't know what it is about it.
 
I agree. I think it's because her singing is a bit affected, and, honestly, mostly because she sounds bored. This track is an exception, for me - she actually sounds into it, for a bit.
Another wonderful contribution, Calypsus. Thank you!
 
calypsus_1 wrote:

Natalie Merchant, Paradiso 11-05-2010 by Guus Krol
https://www.flickr.com/photos/guuskrol/

This photo was taken on May 11, 2010 in Jordaan, Amsterdam, NH, NL, using a Nikon D3.

.
————————————————————————————————————

At Home Hair Coloring TipsOphelia was a bride of God
A novice Carmelite
In sister cells
The cloister bells tolled on her wedding night

Ophelia was the rebel girl
A blue stockting suffragette
Who remedied society between her cigarettes

And Ophelia was the sweetheart
To a nation overnight
Curvaceous thighs
Vivacious eyes
Love was at first sight...
Love was at first sight...
Love...

Ophelia was a demigoddess in pre-war Babylon
So statuesque a silhouette in black satin evening gowns

Ophelia was the mistress to
A Vegas gambling man
Signora Ophelia Maraschina
Mafia courtesan

Ophelia was the circus queen
The female cannonball
Projected through five flaming hoops
To wild and shocked applause
To wild and shocked applause

Ophelia was a tempest cyclone
A goddamn hurricane
Your common sense, your best defense
They wasted , and in vain

For Ophelia 'd know your every woe
And every pain you'd ever had
She'd sympathize and dry your eyes
Help you to forget...
And help you to forget
And help you to forget

Ophelia's mind went wandering
You'd wonder where she goes
Through secret doors down corridors
She wanders there alone
All alone

(voice in german)
"Es kostet mich keine kleine Krise die Verunreinigung und das
Suechtige aus meinem Leben auszuschliessen"
("But it is for me no little effort to exclude the polluting and the addictive
from my life." )
(voice in spanish) "compondo musica , en un estado de ecstases"
("composing music , in a state of ecstasy")
(voice in spanish)
  ***
"fuerza de vida , de vida"
( "strength of life , of life")
(voice in german)
"Mein Vater ist ein Architekt"
("My father is an architect." )

***  "Creo que el viento siempre sopra en la cara de los pobres, lo único que tienen els el aire que respiran"

** 8 / 9 **




 


 On_The_Beach wrote:
Hey Caly, thanks for the giant photo of Natalie having a seizure (or doing the Monster Mash, or relenting to the audience's demands to "show us yer nostril", or listening to her imaginary friend, or . . . )

 

Possible it was one of several orgasms caused by the Bass hitting that Low G# four octaves below Middle C.  Just thinking out loud ....  at least no nose hairs visible ...

 smdeeg wrote:

An Ex is a "former" or "hasbeen"
A spurt is a drip under pressure

Addition left as an exercise for the student.  
 
Coffee almost through nose....You could have owed me a keyboard.

 bokey wrote:

{#Yes}     I almost went blind and deaf before I could get to the remote.

 


It's not very remote then is it?
 jagdriver wrote:
MUTE
 
{#Yes}     I almost went blind and deaf before I could get to the remote.

MUTE
 jkhandy wrote:
so many Experts here......{#Ass}
 
An Ex is a "former" or "hasbeen"
A spurt is a drip under pressure

Addition left as an exercise for the student.  
OH please, cut it out.
 roulleau wrote:


clue me in?
 

have a good night...I think
Love ya Natalie, always have, always will... must be a lousy feeling to be a H8R, glad I'm not them!
 calypsus_1 wrote:


                                      h a g n


 

clue me in?
Kind of sounds a bit weak after the last (Eurythmics accoustic) number.
Huh?
 Papernapkin wrote:

You and Natalie suck.
 
Figures.
 plaice3 wrote:
Thank goodness.  Now I can turn off RP for the night.  {#Cheesygrin}
 

                                      h a g n


choooooooon
wow, this may be my shortest stop by here ever - just say no to ophelia

don't hate her - just really don't like her voice
Thank goodness.  Now I can turn off RP for the night.  {#Cheesygrin}
 Papernapkin wrote:
You and Natalie suck.
 
Here's your hat(e), what's your hurry?

 ziakut wrote:
The essence of ignorance is to say..."This sucks" or "This artist blows"...I've never said that of any music that doesn't appeal to me. There are countless artists that I don't like much, but it doesn't mean they suck. I just don't care for them. Usually they are gifted songwriters or musicians that just don't excite my style. I suppose this forum IS for everyone. Incidentally, I don't care for this tune or Natalie Merchant too much, but I would never say she sucks.
 
You and Natalie suck.
Hey Caly, thanks for the giant photo of Natalie having a seizure (or doing the Monster Mash, or relenting to the audience's demands to "show us yer nostril", or listening to her imaginary friend, or . . . )


Natalie Merchant, Paradiso 11-05-2010 by Guus Krol
https://www.flickr.com/photos/guuskrol/

This photo was taken on May 11, 2010 in Jordaan, Amsterdam, NH, NL, using a Nikon D3.

.
————————————————————————————————————
At Home Hair Coloring TipsOphelia was a bride of God
A novice Carmelite
In sister cells
The cloister bells tolled on her wedding night

Ophelia was the rebel girl
A blue stockting suffragette
Who remedied society between her cigarettes

And Ophelia was the sweetheart
To a nation overnight
Curvaceous thighs
Vivacious eyes
Love was at first sight...
Love was at first sight...
Love...

Ophelia was a demigoddess in pre-war Babylon
So statuesque a silhouette in black satin evening gowns

Ophelia was the mistress to
A Vegas gambling man
Signora Ophelia Maraschina
Mafia courtesan

Ophelia was the circus queen
The female cannonball
Projected through five flaming hoops
To wild and shocked applause
To wild and shocked applause

Ophelia was a tempest cyclone
A goddamn hurricane
Your common sense, your best defense
They wasted , and in vain

For Ophelia 'd know your every woe
And every pain you'd ever had
She'd sympathize and dry your eyes
Help you to forget...
And help you to forget
And help you to forget

Ophelia's mind went wandering
You'd wonder where she goes
Through secret doors down corridors
She wanders there alone
All alone

(voice in german)
"Es kostet mich keine kleine Krise die Verunreinigung und das
Suechtige aus meinem Leben auszuschliessen"
("But it is for me no little effort to exclude the polluting and the addictive
from my life." )
(voice in spanish) "compondo musica , en un estado de ecstases"
("composing music , in a state of ecstasy")
(voice in spanish)
  ***
"fuerza de vida , de vida"
( "strength of life , of life")
(voice in german)
"Mein Vater ist ein Architekt"
("My father is an architect." )

***  "Creo que el viento siempre sopra en la cara de los pobres, lo único que tienen els el aire que respiran"

** 8 / 9 **




Not a favorite, but WAY better than anything I've heard off her new album....
The essence of ignorance is to say..."This sucks" or "This artist blows"...I've never said that of any music that doesn't appeal to me. There are countless artists that I don't like much, but it doesn't mean they suck. I just don't care for them. Usually they are gifted songwriters or musicians that just don't excite my style. I suppose this forum IS for everyone. Incidentally, I don't care for this tune or Natalie Merchant too much, but I would never say she sucks.
<untitled.bmp> 
Cant stand her.
Strange phenomena. I KNOW she's talented. I WANT to like her. But for some reason, I just could never get into her voice. Don't know what it is about it.
Say what you want about the vocals, but I'll say that she seems to always find a very talented group of musicians to front.

lmic wrote:
The biggest shocks I had when I started reading the RP boards were how much some people violently dislike: Joni Mitchell, Natalie Merchant, Kurt Cobain, and Dylan. Utterly surprising and mystifying, to me.
 
h8rhater wrote:

Not to mention all the tools who don't like David Byrne or the Talking Heads.

 

Well, I like Cobain alright and love Dylan, but the rest of those artists, yea they suck, what of it?{#Stupid}
 Hannio wrote:
And all the utter fools who don't like what I like.
 
{#Lol}

No hate.  Just don't like her voice.
so many Experts here......{#Ass}
 jagdriver wrote:
The album cover reminds me of Phantom of the Opera.
 
Much prefer the cover of Motherland{#Eyes}  Hello!

 h8rhater wrote:

Not to mention all the tools who don't like David Byrne or the Talking Heads.

 

And all the utter fools who don't like what I like.
 lmic wrote:

The biggest shocks I had when I started reading the RP boards were how much some people violently dislike: Joni Mitchell, Natalie Merchant, Kurt Cobain, and Dylan. Utterly surprising and mystifying, to me.

 
Not to mention all the tools who don't like David Byrne or the Talking Heads.

 adroc wrote:
Wow.  Not that I think this Natalie, or this song to be particularly good, but who would think Natalie Merchant would evoke such hatred in the RP community!
 
I, too, was shocked at how much disdain for her has been communicated on RP boards.  Quite surprising and curious, really. 

For the record, I actually prefer the studio version to this live recording, but I do love the haunting sadness of Natalie Merchant's Ophelia.
 adroc wrote:
Wow.  Not that I think this Natalie, or this song to be particularly good, but who would think Natalie Merchant would evoke such hatred in the RP community!
 
The biggest shocks I had when I started reading the RP boards were how much some people violently dislike: Joni Mitchell, Natalie Merchant, Kurt Cobain, and Dylan. Utterly surprising and mystifying, to me.

Her vocal range on this, and the feeling that she pretty much lived half of these lives in her career, give this the authenticity for a perfect score 
adroc wrote:
Wow.  Not that I think this Natalie, or this song to be particularly good, but who would think Natalie Merchant would evoke such hatred in the RP community!

inindian wrote:
Maybe it's because people think that without even trying she comes off with an air of being a pretentious faux-do-gooder bearer-of-a-deep-social-message-of-extreme-import through her gift-from-God musical talents. I don't think so. Just an observation.

I really enjoy the spoken languages at the end and frankly, have no real problem with the song.  It wouldn't be on my desert island list, that's for sure!
 Mandible wrote:

This is my comment.
 

Thank you. You are now my favourite jawbone.

This is my comment.
I'm not big on Natalie Merchant. This song follows Loreena McKennitt well though. I see why you picked it. I'm still not big on Natalie Merchant.
I love this song, it is one of my favorites, but I cannot accept this version of it. Totally awful.

Edit: 28 March 09; apparently it just takes a bit of booze and then it's not *quite* as bad.

Ophelia was a bride of God
A novice Carmelite
In sister cells
The cloister bells tolled on her wedding night

Ophelia was the rebel girl
A blue stockting suffragette
Who remedied society between her cigarettes

And Ophelia was the sweetheart
To a nation overnight
Curvaceous thighs
Vivacious eyes
Love was at first sight...
Love was at first sight...
Love...

Ophelia was a demigoddess in pre-war Babylon
So statuesque a silhouette in black satin evening gowns

Ophelia was the mistress to
A Vegas gambling man
Signora Ophelia Maraschina
Mafia courtesan

Ophelia was the circus queen
The female cannonball
Projected through five flaming hoops
To wild and shocked applause
To wild and shocked applause

Ophelia was a tempest cyclone
A goddamn hurricane
Your common sense, your best defense
They wasted , and in vain

For Ophelia 'd know your every woe
And every pain you'd ever had
She'd sympathize and dry your eyes
Help you to forget...
And help you to forget
And help you to forget

Ophelia's mind went wandering
You'd wonder where she goes
Through secret doors down corridors
She wanders there alone
All alone

(voice in german)
"Es kostet mich keine kleine Krise die Verunreinigung und das
Suechtige aus meinem Leben auszuschliessen"
("But it is for me no little effort to exclude the polluting and the addictive
from my life." )
(voice in spanish) "compondo musica , en un estado de ecstases"
("composing music , in a state of ecstasy")
(voice in spanish)
  ***
"fuerza de vida , de vida"
( "strength of life , of life")
(voice in german)
"Mein Vater ist ein Architekt"
("My father is an architect." )

***  "Creo que el viento siempre sopra en la cara de los pobres, lo único que tienen els el aire que respiran"

** 8 / 9 **




meh

Wow.  Not that I think this Natalie, or this song to be particularly good, but who would think Natalie Merchant would evoke such hatred in the RP community!

natalie merchant...go away.


{#Sorry} please.......end this
Wow!!!  I never cared for this on my CD but live it sounds amazing.
Natalie "No Range" Merchant - that's why it drives the ears crazy

Good Christ, if anything this woman is worse live than in the studio. I wouldn't have thought it possible.


...plusplus - she mightn't be good often, but when she's good, she's very good...
 bizon wrote:


Agreed! One of the most abrasive voices in music today. Why is it that anytime she sings a vowel it sound like an "r"? Arrrrrgh!
 
Maybe everyday is for her is "Talk like a Pirate Day"? Arrrrr!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk_like_a_pirate

The album cover reminds me of Phantom of the Opera.
any woman could be proud of this song and her role in the war against ugly wax build-up.
 stevo_b wrote:
I have always liked her but I can do without the babbling at the end...
 
Funny, the babbling made me wonder what was being said in Spanish.  Anybody know?

*edit* found it — in case anyone else was interested....

(voice in german)
"Es kostet mich keine kleine Krise die Verunreinigung und das
Suechtige aus meinem Leben auszuschliessen"
("But it is for me no little effort to exclude the polluting and the addictive
from my life." )
(voice in spanish)
"compondo musica , en un estado de ecstases"
("composing music , in a state of ecstasy")
(voice in spanish)
"fuerza de vida , de vida"
( "strength of life , of life")
(voice in german)
"Mein Vater ist ein Architekt"
("My father is an architect." )

I have always liked her but I can do without the babbling at the end...
 Papernapkin wrote:
The same affected vocal stylings in all her songs.

 

One could make an argument along those lines about any singer.
...every once in a while natalie merchant does a song which suits her strengths; this is good...