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10,000 Maniacs — Hey Jack Kerouac (live)
Album: MTV Unplugged
Avg rating:
6.2

Your rating:
Total ratings: 622









Released: 1993
Length: 3:47
Plays (last 30 days): 0
Hey Jack Kerouac, I think of your mother
and the tears she cried, they were criedfor none other
than her little boy lost in our little world that hated
and that dared to drag him down, her little boy courageous.
who chose his words from mouths of babes got lost in the wood.
Hip flask slinging madman, steaming cafe flirts.
they all spoke through you.

Hey Jack, now for the tricky part,
when you were the brightest star, who were the shadows?
Of the San Francisco beat boys you were the favorite.
Now they sit and rattle their bones and think of their blood stoned days.
You chose your words from mouths of babes got lost in the wood.
The hip flask slinging madman, steaming cafe flirts,
in Chinatown howling at night.

Allen baby, why so jaded?
Have the boys all grown up and their beauty faded?
Billy, what a saint they've made you,
just like Mary down in Mexico on All Souls' Day.

You chose your words from mouths of babes got lost in the wood.
Cool junk booting madmen, street minded girls
in Harlem, howling at night.
What a tear stained shock of the world,
you've gone away without saying goodbye.
Comments (111)add comment
Her voice is better spoken then sung. It goes up and down the same bars over and over again and sounds more like a chant than a melody. She got a two out of 10 for an annoying voice.   She must follow the nasal singing lessons of Bob Dylan   Now he's just awful.
The old Natalie Merchant crush...STRIKES AGAIN! {#Beat}  {#Hearteyes}
wow...this song was out of RP circulation for over 7 years!? Welcome back Natalie Merchant and the 10000 Maniacs!
I like her voice, quite unusual. A change from all the ersatz Southern voices which inhabit rock music.  You know, like all pilots copy Chuck Yeagers West Virginia twang.
 lophrequa wrote:
the rhythm guitar on this is atrocious
 
It really is, and it stands out in the mix. The whole band is not exactly tight on this song.

so many children of a different generations of hate find this song lacking... generations mistaking each other.
So sorry to fans but Natalie Merchant's voice sounds strained and whining to me.  {#Frown}


love it...




This song is good for the ears...


How about King Crimson: Neal and Jack and Me?  You could do a Neal set?
the rhythm guitar on this is atrocious
 Xeric wrote:
Studio version, please.  No, really.  Please?  Pretty please?
 
I double the motion.  How about "Peace Train" while you're at it.
I like this song, but I am not a fan of JK.  I think that whole thing was the equivalent of the cult of P Diddy.
Studio version, please.  No, really.  Please?  Pretty please?


 stewliscious wrote:
I'm so depressed... just heard this while sitting on the john, I clenched up and couldn't produce. Thanks a lot Natalie.
 
{#Lol}  . . . but too much information . . . seriously.


 Jelani wrote:
Can someone take the marbles out of her mouth? Please?
  Actually, just show her the door, marbles and all.  This woman's voice is painful to the ear, sorry.


Can someone take the marbles out of her mouth? Please?
Yet another in the long list of songs where, when I prefer the studio version, Bill plays a live version and vice versa. It's nearly uncanny.
For what it's worth, a semi-anonymous poster on songmeanings.net wrote:
I read an interview with Alan Ginsberg in which he said he had approached Natalie about the lyric as he found it insulting and she had admitted using his name only cause it rhymed and scanned well.
Another person posting there wrote that Natalie's lyrics sparked his interest in reading the Beats which led to a love of poetry thereafter. Not sure if that makes up for her taking license with Alan's name?
westslope wrote:
This is a nice song. I like it.
Step into my office....
redeyespy wrote:
So which is it? I'm not sure Natalie's voice is an effective gauge for neurotransmitter or peristaltic management, but I guess someone out there can report otherwise.
I'm so depressed... just heard this while sitting on the john, I clenched up and couldn't produce. Thanks a lot Natalie.
songs like this make me glad I have some beastie boys on the ol' hard drive.
One of the few Natalie Merchant songs that are vaguely tolerable (I don't change the stations on-the-spot). Updated - Thanks below, never listened to the words - she should shut up. Her aloofness and arrogance comes through in everything she does.
pianocomposer wrote:
..... This song is pop which is insulting to Jack Kerouac.
Gee, and here I thought Jack Kerouac was vastly over-rated popular crap. I tried to read his seminal work while traveling in South America. Mistake. I had much better luck with the Magic Realists like Julio Cortazar. This is a nice song. I like it.
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!!! Nathalie Merchant's voice is like having surgery without anaesthetic!
Trey wrote:
Prozac or the musical equivalent of a bran muffin.
So which is it? I'm not sure Natalie's voice is an effective gauge for neurotransmitter or peristaltic management, but I guess someone out there can report otherwise.
I seriously don't think this song belongs on RP. It was overplayed on the radio and Natalie M. is not terribly talented as a singer. She makes everything she sings sound generic somehow. This song is pop which is insulting to Jack Kerouac.
Allen, baby, why so jaded? LOL
Moirabbit wrote:
I really can't stand her voice, it makes my skin crawl. It's so tuneless and boring!!
Yeah, I don't like way she drops the last note of every phrase. But she drives my bro nuts in a good way. Voice, look... everything. He's married but I suspect he'd run away with Nat if she came a-knockin'. 8-)
RobK wrote:
Another near perfect song off this near perfect album. Lyrics that would have impressed Kerouac himself.
If he had hated himself, I suppose. The lyrics for this song are actually quite hateful towards the Beats, calling them out by name. It slams Allen Ginsberg for his pedophilia, William Burroughs for shooting his wife, and Kerouac for over his treatment of his mother in "On The Road."
I really can't stand her voice, it makes my skin crawl. It's so tuneless and boring!!
Hey Jack Kero..crap! A whole album of her voice makes me want to eat raw liver
Please I beg of you, retire all of your 10000 Maniacs now for the next several years. They weren't that good. Ok sure, but not that good.
Bocephus wrote:
Does it really matter? I hate this band so much.
Yes it matters. I hate the band, too. But the original of this song was an outstanding exception for the Maniacs and it captured the spirit of J. Kerouac to boot. It always makes me wish I'd kept a diary all those years I spent....On the Road!
agnes wrote:
At last, I've figured out what it is about her voice that makes me insane: She drops pitch at the end of EVERY SINGLE PHRASE. WHY?!?!?!?! :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated:
Cause she sucks and doesn't know how to sing. She has to drop down there so when she starts squawking again she doesn't have to move off the 2 or 3 notes she is stuck on
Jeez guys. I love Natalie Merchant!
At last, I've figured out what it is about her voice that makes me insane: She drops pitch at the end of EVERY SINGLE PHRASE. WHY?!?!?!?! :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated:
kyleminor wrote:
I much prefer the original album version to this live one.
Does it really matter? I hate this band so much.
Is the MP3 skipping, or is it the band?
Good tune.
Prozac or the musical equivalent of a bran muffin.
I much prefer the original album version to this live one.
every one of her songs feels like prozac
Land_Shark wrote:
Ummmm ... Neko Case, anyone??
:yes: :yes: :yes:
Egrey wrote:
If this song is not working for ya, try "San Andreas" fault from Tigerlilly. You might like that one more.
No, go back to basics: 'My Mother The War' off Secrets of the I Ching.
phreels wrote:
Top five in female vocals, not in order: Natalie Merchant Edie Brickell Sarah McLaughlin Beth Gibbons Alison Krauss :eh: Maybe I'm a little Euro-centric, but I really don't listen to that many female artists.
Ummmm ... Neko Case, anyone??
phreels wrote:
Top five in female vocals, not in order: Natalie Merchant Edie Brickell Sarah McLaughlin Beth Gibbons Alison Krauss :eh: Maybe I'm a little Euro-centric, but I really don't listen to that many female artists.
Susan Tedeschi, anyone? If you don't know her, you should. Quite possibly one of the best voices on the planet. That woman can sing circles around the aforementioned list while wallowing around in a pile of her own whiskey-induced vomit, as I've illustrated... :arrow: :drunk: :guitarist: :fever: :puke: :skull:
phreels wrote:
Top five in female vocals, not in order: Natalie Merchant Edie Brickell Sarah McLaughlin Beth Gibbons Alison Krauss :eh: Maybe I'm a little Euro-centric, but I really don't listen to that many female artists.
Girls, girls, girls. Gimme Patty Griffin. A woman. BTW how's the lineup at Ho'okipa?
Top five in female vocals, not in order: Natalie Merchant Edie Brickell Sarah McLaughlin Beth Gibbons Alison Krauss :eh: Maybe I'm a little Euro-centric, but I really don't listen to that many female artists.
Go Maniacs! :music: Love ém!
jpbergjr wrote:
Someone please pay her to quit "singing", my speakers just blowed up!!!!!!!!! :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :evil: :evil: :frustrated: :frustrated: :cry: :cry: :evil: :evil: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :cry: :cry: :evil: :evil: :frustrated: :frustrated: :cry: :evil: :frustrated: :evil: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :evil: :evil: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated:
They blowed up REAL GOOD! :lol:
RobK wrote:
Another near perfect song off this near perfect album.
Couldn't agree more.
Awesome tune!
Another near perfect song off this near perfect album. Lyrics that would have impressed Kerouac himself. And a good example of Merchant's flair for bending verses around the music: He stole his words from mouths of Babes, got lost in the woods I always got a kick out of how she did that. And once again she sweetly builds this story around a perception of a difficult life from the point of view of a loving family member, as in Gun Shy. Outstanding track.
handyrae wrote:
Nothing weird about it. Both Stevie and Natalie sound like singing sheep.
That's hilarious, and especially true about Stevie as I think back on that song of hers, "You can talk to me...."
I saw 10,000 Maniacs warm up for R.E.M. during the Document tour. R.E.M. were at their best (from the height of the early years) before Stipe looked in the mirror and saw a star! Natalie was also really cool. They both were in the process of slowly removing bits of clothing during each of their shows til they were both half naked. I liked her then, and I like her now. Even after she split with the band, she has a voice of real substance (and it is totally unique). Love her or hate her, there is no mistaking her. Or R.E.M. Definition of originality.
oh *%$#%! Here she goes again.
kgish wrote:
Weird, but when I first heard her voice I could have sworn that it was Stevie Nicks!
Nothing weird about it. Both Stevie and Natalie sound like singing sheep.
physicsgenius wrote:
That strident, mannish voice. Ugh.
Strident? Yes. Mannish? Never got that vibe. More like 10,000 nails on a chalkboard to me.
The song isn't much and Natalie's :cowboy: pc politics are a bit much but i love her legs.
What the hell is the band doing while she is singing? Sounds like the guitar player's at least a half a beat behind....
great band...
Waffle through another one, Natalie.
this is the offical band of the "Wal-Mart radio experience", and "waiting to see the dentist".
If this song is not working for ya, try "San Andreas" fault from Tigerlilly. You might like that one more.
i feel as though all 10,000 maniac songs sound pretty much the same & while i generally like the way that song sounds... eh. it doesn't electrify me. i do like the mention of jack kerouac, however.
Weird, but when I first heard her voice I could have sworn that it was Stevie Nicks!
fifupoche wrote:
I think I like her voice more than her songs. It depends on the song.
...and I hate her voice MORE than I hate her songs. Sorry, her voice just really grates on me.
Beats me why anyone would pay good money to listen to her sing. I suspect that - properly amplified and modulated- the sound of her voice could be better employed for ultrasonic drain clearance.
I think I like her voice more than her songs. It depends on the song.
Glockman45 wrote:
blowed? Check your grammer. baby arm
my grammer is next to my gramper
I love the voice, but after a solid solo start, then a weak couple of CD's, I think she has just packed it in. Enjoyed seeing her in concert in Omaha three years ago. Would love her more if she would record more, and maybe lighten up on the "men are evil" theme.
I dont mind the maniacs for about three - four songs in a row... then I look for a clock tower and my 30-30 Screaming, "Daddy didnt let me play first base - Daddy didnt let me play first base!!"
jpbergjr wrote:
Someone please pay her to quit "singing", my speakers just blowed up!!!!!!!!
Glockman45 wrote:
blowed? Check your grammer.
redeyespy wrote:
grammer? Check your spelling.
Classic.
Glockman45 wrote:
blowed? Check your grammer. baby arm
grammer? Check your spelling.
jpbergjr wrote:
Someone please pay her to quit "singing", my speakers just blowed up!!!!!!!!! :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :evil: :evil: :frustrated: :frustrated: :cry: :cry: :evil: :evil: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :cry: :cry: :evil: :evil: :frustrated: :frustrated: :cry: :evil: :frustrated: :evil: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :evil: :evil: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated:
blowed? Check your grammer. baby arm
That strident, mannish voice. Ugh.
ChicoCyclist wrote:
That's it! Bill, you have to do something to limit the use of emoticons in messages. The message below is just riduculous. How about a maximum of 3?
And it matters to you because? Just asking. :)
veegez wrote:
I like the studio version better.
Much as I appreciate Bill's taste and the variety on his playlist, he almost invariably picks the studio verion of songs where I'd pick the live (e.g. Pink Floyd - Astonomy Dominie) and the live version where I'd pick the studio, e.g., Hey Jack Kerouac.
:butt:
Mugro wrote:
This unplugged album is crap. Studio versions of 10,000 maniacs please. This is apparently not a good live band.
I think she must be incredible live- her 10,000 Maniacs and Natalie Merchant solo live albums are both great. I hope I get the chance.
There's a melody in there, somewhere. It just keeps dropping out of sight at the end of her every phrase and rendering the background music dull and vapid.
Saw 10,000 live in 1983 at smaller venue (concert hall) at Iowa State University in Ames Iowa...... as the warm up for a little known band called R.E.M. It was the single most amazing concert I have seen.
This unplugged album is crap. Studio versions of 10,000 maniacs please. This is apparently not a good live band.
Hip flask swinging madmen...Howling at night...what lyrics!! Love the song, but agree that Natalie needs to enunciate better. Why hide lyrics like this to mumble? She can do so much better. Still, I love 10K Maniacs.
Somehow I always feel the need to apologize for liking this song (studio or live), Natalie's voice, and 10,000 Maniacs in general. But....I ain't gonna. :crown.gif:
veegez wrote:
I like the studio version better.
It's no contest, really. The original has a certain power; this version is lifeless.
veegez wrote:
I like the studio version better.
Me too.
I like the studio version better.
Filler. Bad filler at that.
OK, so there IS one TKM song I like...kinda.
Didactic self important blech. I like the Maniacs but Natalie just drones on and on.
Really poor. This music goes nowhere. The voice is not on the pitch, doesn't have any emotion. The beat reminds me the Casio 8 beat pop rock number 002. :crashcomp:
Leslie wrote:
I love this entire album. Natalie at her best I think. :cool:
I wasn't wild about the album, but I loved this song so much I went out and read the book! On the Road, that is..........
weeeeeeeeeeeeee as soon as I sign on, 10,000 Maniacs! What a great day. can't wait for miss m's new album
That's it! Bill, you have to do something to limit the use of emoticons in messages. The message below is just riduculous. How about a maximum of 3? jpbergjr wrote:
Someone please pay her to quit "singing", my speakers just blowed up!!!!!!!!! :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :evil: :evil: :frustrated: :frustrated: :cry: :cry: :evil: :evil: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :cry: :cry: :evil: :evil: :frustrated: :frustrated: :cry: :evil: :frustrated: :evil: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :evil: :evil: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated:
That certainly packs a wallop - for an only slightly latter-day dharma bum online searching flights home the 3,000 miles to his mother's hospital bed. Sorry I had to search the lyrics,although that was a nice little distraction.
The album version is very good, but this "Unplugged" take is performed with seeming apathy. Let's hear the original.
When I used to overplay this album and sing along, it would give me the most painful throat as I was subconciously immitating her voice....Sorry about that nostalgic flashback.... Great song is what I meant to say.
I love this entire album. Natalie at her best I think. :cool:
I really like this, but have to disagree with most - The Wishing Chair was their best album. :D
Someone please pay her to quit \"singing\", my speakers just blowed up!!!!!!!!! :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :evil: :evil: :frustrated: :frustrated: :cry: :cry: :evil: :evil: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated: :cry: :cry: :evil: :evil: :frustrated: :frustrated: :cry: :evil: :frustrated: :evil: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :evil: :evil: :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated:
Great song. More Natalie Merchant, please! :notworthy:
Marbles in her mouth, eh? Is that a Wierd Al Yankovic refrence? Natalie\'s voice may be getting better, but her songwriting isn\'t IMO. Just not the same UMPH to the music without the other guys. Great song, from what may be my favorite Unplugged other than Nirvana\'s.
I love this song. Natalie did it last year in Detroit - her voice is much better now than before. and even if she sings with marbles in her mouth, she still has the most beautiful voice I have ever heard. Chris
My favorite 10K Maniacs album.. much better than any solo Natalie Merchant. This and "In My Tribe."
Originally Posted by KevDog: Natalie needs elocution classes badly.
You mean electrocution, right? :)
Natalie needs elocution classes badly.
Originally Posted by MissJenn: Not their literal voice (NM's) but their message ... you know what I mean. Like "the voice" of say, a novel.
Well put, Missy. I was WAY into Kerouac when this disc came out, and i thought, "Now here's a band for ME..." and i still like them, regardless of their abundant presence on RP ;)
This album is how I came to be such a follower of the Maniacs and NM .... it started here. They use their voice and its power really well on this album. Not their literal voice (NM's) but their message ... you know what I mean. Like "the voice" of say, a novel.