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Natalie Merchant — This House Is On Fire
Album: Motherland
Avg rating:
6.3

Your rating:
Total ratings: 2069









Released: 2001
Length: 4:27
Plays (last 30 days): 2
This house is on fire
Kick off your boots, come sit a spell
Listen to me worry, come and listen well
All you better best come and lean in boys
I don't dare to raise my voice
I've been sitting here for the longest time
reading all the warning and all the danger signs
I don't have the gift of prophesy
telling everybody how it's gonna be

Soon come, soon come the day
this tinderbox is gonna blow in your face
I don't have the gift of prophesy
telling everybody how it's gonna be
You go passing wrong for right
and right for wrong
people only stand for that for just so long

It's all gonna catch like a house on fire
spark an evil blaze and burn higher
Well, I don't have the gift of prophesy
telling everybody how it's gonna be
You go passing wrong for right
and right for wrong
people only stand for that for just so long
I don't have the gift of prophesy
telling everybody how it's gonna be
There's a wild fire catching
in the whip of the wind
that could start a conflagration like there has never been
This house is on fire
Comments (294)add comment
Yeah, or the plandemic today in 2020...

 
jimtyrrell wrote:
from 2001? the lyrics are about our sadness today
 

Two summers ago we were spending time in County Cork with family friends.  Hugh's sister got us tickets for a show at the Skibbereen Arts festival.  I'd never heard of Lúnasa but I learned they're "the Rolling Stones of Irish folk music."  The venue for the festival is a 500 year old church.  Lúnasa took the stage and ripped through three or four jigs and reels.  The house was rockin'.  The leader then spoke: "We're known as an instrumental band but recently we've gone over to the dark side, working with vocalists.  We've been playing with an American singer who just happens to be in Ireland and she's agreed to perform with us."  Out on stage came Natalie Merchant.  I suspect many in the audience had no idea who she was.  She acknowledged that fact and shared that until the week before she'd never heard of Skibbereen.  But she won over the crowd with a set of 8-10 songs, a mix of traditional and some new, I think, written with Lúnasa.  And there we were, right there, in the 10th pew.  

I miss live music.  

I just searched and see they toured together briefly.  Lúnasa released a CD, "CAS", which I just ordered.  It features Natalie Merchant and Mary Chapin Carpenter and other guest artists.  https://www.lunasa.ie/
 justin4kick wrote:

Not even smoldering!
 Throws enough heat that it burned a hole in your brain.

Beautiful voice
Well, I like Natalie.  So there.  
I bought this album after hearing some of it on RP
 Relayer wrote:
This song is not on fire.  
 
Not even smoldering!
Gosh what a production!
Violins off the hook on this one
 dangoebel wrote:
 
 
Oddly enough, the entire album was written prior to 9/11. The lyrics suggest otherwise of course.
One of the many albums released that year after 9/11 that incorporated the sounds of "Persia" and Yes the lyrics are STILL relevant.  As are most songs and poems. Even Jabberwocky under the most extreme "influences"  
This song is not on fire.  
 thewiseking wrote:
She says "this house is on fire" but we don't believe her
 
Who's "we", sparky?
She says "this house is on fire" but we don't believe her
Someone get Natalie a cup of coffee.  Either that, or turn the turntable up to 45 RPM. 
One of the first songs I heard here at RP when I joined about (ahem) 17 years ago. . . 

One of the many, many that I would never have heard if not for this wonderful station. 

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
from 2001? the lyrics are about our sadness today
And the PSD button isn't working. Mute does, tho...
 
what a VOICE!!! Goood blessed
 TerryS wrote:
Did Nina Simone experience all this nay-saying?

 
Oh man, are you kidding? She experienced it, but she sure didn't put up with it!
 junebaby65 wrote:
Oh, how typical of a Radio Paradise listener.  Gotta get a personal dig in there when someone rips a musical favorite of yours, eh?  that's mature. 
 
Immature, yes, typical no.
Boy, that gets old pretty quick, don't it?
 thewiseking wrote:

You have no ear. Neko soars way above this rubbish and way, way above you

 
Oh, how typical of a Radio Paradise listener.  Gotta get a personal dig in there when someone rips a musical favorite of yours, eh?  that's mature. 
On Fire? Nah. The place just needs refurbishing.
 Orodrigues wrote:
Natalie Merchant was cool at 10,000 Maniacs, as well as Neko Case at The New Pornographers. Alone, both are unlistenable. PSD!

 
You have no ear. Neko soars way above this rubbish and way, way above you
Nope. Leave this for the 90s Coffeeshop
 Relayer wrote:
I just can't get into her music. Awful. Wish RP would cut her out of rotation.

 
...which would deprive us Merchant fans of her music. PSD is your friend...
 Orodrigues wrote:
Natalie Merchant was cool at 10,000 Maniacs, as well as Neko Case at The New Pornographers. Alone, both are unlistenable. PSD!

 
Comparing Neko to this? Deaf? Dumb? Blind?
 Orodrigues wrote:
Natalie Merchant was cool at 10,000 Maniacs, as well as Neko Case at The New Pornographers. Alone, both are unlistenable. PSD!

 
Other than their genders, the two have almost nothing in common.  For one thing, Neko Case has a range of more than one octave.
Orodrigues wrote:
Natalie Merchant was cool at 10,000 Maniacs, as well as Neko Case at The New Pornographers. Alone, both are unlistenable. PSD!
  
mostly agree.  tedious , PSD.
 Orodrigues wrote:
Natalie Merchant was cool at 10,000 Maniacs, as well as Neko Case at The New Pornographers. Alone, both are unlistenable. PSD!
 
I almost agree. Not necessarily unlistenable but not so easy on the ears. This one is tedious for sure. PSD.
Natalie Merchant was cool at 10,000 Maniacs, as well as Neko Case at The New Pornographers. Alone, both are unlistenable. PSD!
I have that feeling of brunching in a Lebanese restaurant in Kingston and listening to Natalie....

:(
Did Nina Simone experience all this nay-saying?
I like this and don't get all the hate....!
But then again I don't get Neko Case either - she's an immediate PSD for me.., 
 Relayer wrote:
I just can't get into her music. Awful. Wish RP would cut her out of rotation.

 
I find your lack of taste disturbing
 Moirabbit wrote:


Thank you!  See, most people agree, that's why the rating is so low!!!

 
more than half the ratings are 7 or higher.  So "most" is objectively incorrect.
 sweet_annie wrote:
Hey all of you music critics,...Try listening to lyrics and the underlying meaning unless your incapable of seeing past your ears.
           
           I've been sitting here for the longest time
           reading all the warning and all the danger signs
           I don't have the gift of prophesy
           telling everybody how it's gonna be
Soon come, soon come the day
this tinderbox is gonna blow in your face!!!

 
Thank you you're point is taken I will pump the score.    {#Surprised}
I just can't get into her music. Awful. Wish RP would cut her out of rotation.
Hey all of you music critics,...Try listening to lyrics and the underlying meaning unless your incapable of seeing past your ears.
           
           I've been sitting here for the longest time
           reading all the warning and all the danger signs
           I don't have the gift of prophesy
           telling everybody how it's gonna be
Soon come, soon come the day
this tinderbox is gonna blow in your face!!!
I like it!
Not bad!
 Moirabbit wrote:


Thank you!  See, most people agree, that's why the rating is so low!!!

 
She is definitely not for everyone.  Apparently BillG likes her which is good enough for me!!!

 d48m02h1918 wrote:
Sorry people - she is just awful...........{#Taped-shut}{#Frustrated}{#No}

 

Thank you!  See, most people agree, that's why the rating is so low!!!
Sorry people - she is just awful...........{#Taped-shut}{#Frustrated}{#No}
 Moirabbit wrote:
Why do you play so much of this inane drone all the time on RP!

 
Sounds like you need to find another source of listening material.
 Moirabbit wrote:
Why do you play so much of this inane drone all the time on RP!

 
Coming from the land of bagpipes, you have no leg to stand on with this particular criticism.
Why do you play so much of this inane drone all the time on RP!
 GTT wrote:
I have to admit, I am a sucker for just about anything with these middle-eastern grooves.

 
I agree with you about those grooves in general and this song in particular, even though it seems to wander into reggae territory during the chorus. But Natalie's voice has a limited range of appeal for me, and it's not working here. Too bad for me. 

Highlowsel wrote:

Hey a fact of life.  You get older, you get thicker....especially 'round 'bout the middle.  Sometimes it's more attractive...sometimes it's.......

(photo of Iggy Pop with shirt off...see below in song comments)

And then you still show it...even if the audience is screaming "Put it AWAY!"   We're all blind like that, eh?  

Highlow
American Net'Zen

  
Not everyone wants to see Iggy with his shirt off, true. But the guy is cut for his age and despite all his past drug use. He has a helluva lot of energy when he performs live. 
 
Nice song. You should play Natalie Merchant more frequently... Greetings from Germany! Arnd 
I have to admit, I am a sucker for just about anything with these middle-eastern grooves.
I would love to listen to RP all Night, but at least every 20 minutes there comes a nogo like this one.
 goozer321 wrote:

(lame post deleted by admin)

 
Natalie is homosexual?  What business is it of yours?  You're enraptured by her body?  You express it in ugly terms. I'm reluctant to ask what a carpet-muncher is, considering the quality of the other comments.
On a second listen. - Her voice doesn't bug me as much as usual in this context.  Kind of a cool tune -- and yeah her voice is stronger and fits with the style of the tune.  I usually don't like her monotone when its behind a standard pop tune.

Upgrade from 2 to 6

Anyhow.

It is a beautiful song. Love it.


 goozer321 wrote:

(lame post deleted by admin)

 
Hey a fact of life.  You get older, you get thicker....especially 'round 'bout the middle.  Sometimes it's more attractive...sometimes it's.......


And then you still show it...even if the audience is screaming "Put it AWAY!"   We're all blind like that, eh? 

Highlow
American Net'Zen
In love with that voice. Natalie Merchant is awesome.
 goozer321 wrote:

(lame post deleted by admin)

 

Without sounding like the Thought Police, how about keeping homophobic contributions to yourself?
too true...{#Fire}
please god just make it stop


{#Frustrated} 
 Kimbolini wrote:
I really like this, voice and orchestration!

 
I really like it, too. Don't understand why it's getting so much slagging. 
 What a sexism comment, just for N.M. Such notes should RP not allow! {#No}

beeblebrocks40 wrote:
you know I dont remember her having this "figure" in the 10K Maniacs videos. Me thinks she is keeping those apples in something other than that basket.
 


Always nice to see...er, hear Natalie.
{#No}   {#Razz}   {#Frustrated}   {#Moon}   {#Stop}
What would Romeotuma say about a song he liked..."This song is so good for the ears."

Yes, the opposite of that.
Sorry, no.  Got this questionable offering by PSD
Great song, instrumental bits go on a bit too long but Natalie is perfect
The album cover has my pants on fire, but the song itself is terrible.  I somehow can't imagine Natalie marching to Zion.  {#Confused}
the house may be on fire, but the tempo is not. Just too slow, IMHO.
 Stingray wrote:
"10" (music + lyrics!)

This US-house is on fire - Natalie understood early on!

How the Arabic orchestration gently moves into a peaceful Reggae..., awesome!

This tinderbox will soon blow into all our faces - certainly, Natalie!

5.6 points is an incredible insult for such a lovely song!

 
God bless its politics. 

But the execution of the song is just not so good.
I miss her young voice

I normally like and can listen to Natalie Merchant...but this song is unlistenable. I am guessing she was experimenting a bit...but failed with this.


 TJS wrote:
What happened to Natalie Merchant's voice?  :(
 

I think it went to her boobies.
 soulcollision wrote:
i def think Bill has a crush on Natalie. at least two or three from her each day...
 
Yes!  I've thought that a few times myself. 
What happened to Natalie Merchant's voice?  :(
I really like this, voice and orchestration!
Mute button!
 perryandcaro wrote:
Natalie MUTE ant.

That voice has my finger springing for the mute button like Usain Bolt responds to the gun.
Sorry folks, I just don't get her. No matter what she tries to sing. Believe me, I've tried.
 

'spose you're jumping the gun too?

"10" (music + lyrics!)

This US-house is on fire - Natalie understood early on!

How the Arabic orchestration gently moves into a peaceful Reggae..., awesome!

This tinderbox will soon blow into all our faces - certainly, Natalie!

5.6 points is an incredible insult for such a lovely song!

Natalie MUTE ant.

That voice has my finger springing for the mute button like Usain Bolt responds to the gun.
Sorry folks, I just don't get her. No matter what she tries to sing. Believe me, I've tried.
This is just GORGEOUS!
In the words of Kamahl - Why are people so unkind?
 soulcollision wrote:
i def think Bill has a crush on Natalie. at least two or three from her each day...
 
Really? I'd not noticed that and I listen to RP regularly, nay religiously, weekday daytimes at work. Maybe the other Merchant plays take place outside those hours. Personally I'd love to hear more of her, and could quite see myself developing a crush on her as she has a really strong and moving voice. 9 from the soon-to-be-smitten Nottingham jury {#Hearteyes}


That is one hideous Wall of Sound
Natalie Merchant
 alanthecowboy wrote:

No, really.  It only takes one person to like a song for it to be good, even if everyone else hates it.  One person being moved by a song won't pave your way to retirement, of course, but I don't think that's a problem for Natalie.  So, your buddy and I, and thousands and thousands of other people can prove that the song is great.  All you can do, really, is say you don't like it.

 

****sigh**** I know. ****sigh*****{#Rolleyes}
Next.
 a_genuine_find wrote:
spock
 
hahahaha!!!!!
I am digging the roundness of her ... lyrics {#Devil_pimp} Jamaica meets the middle east ...


Natalie Merchant à Bruxelles by trou2000
https://www.flickr.com/photos/34242081@N00/

Ancienne Belgique, le 10 mai 2010. 

i def think Bill has a crush on Natalie. at least two or three from her each day...
 shutter wrote:

Uhhhh, nahhhhh. Not really.

 
Uhhhh, yahhhhh, Seriously.

 Dillinquent wrote:
 Proclivities wrote:

I've noticed too that a lot of the RP listeners (or at least those feel the necessity to post their gripes) don't think very highly of reggae.  In much of the US there was not as much connection with Jamaican culture and music as the UK has had for many years.  I always enjoyed reggae and ska, (as well as "dub") but I grew up in NY, where there is a sizable Jamaican-born population.  Then again, maybe that's not the reason at all.  I wouldn't really consider this song a "reggae" tune, though it obviously has a mixture of exotic elements.
Respect to  Natalie Merchant and RP for trying to educate the Yanks about Jamaican Music.
You can lead a horse to water....
 
Love Reggae!  I don't think Bill likes it much.  I've sent him several emails asking him to play Reggae artist Lucky Dube - I've never heard any of his songs once - the guy was the top selling Reggae artist for something like 10 years world wide.  Was murdered in a car jacking about 2 years ago after dropping off his kids at school in South Africa - his home country.  Saw him in SF 2 weeks before he was killed - was the best concert I've ever been to.  Bill play some Lucky Dube!!!!!

She always sounds (to me) like she's singing through her teeth. {#Mrgreen}
I only listen to this for the album cover.  {#Eyes}  Mother indeed.
this woman's voice does something to me ~ always has

as far as the reggae thing ~ love it play more ~ and to the writer below ~ some of us do get it and have for quite some time ~ some of us have even read the King's book (actually 2 books/vol) ~ but I agree we aren't many
{#Frustrated}
 Proclivities wrote:

I've noticed too that a lot of the RP listeners (or at least those feel the necessity to post their gripes) don't think very highly of reggae.  In much of the US there was not as much connection with Jamaican culture and music as the UK has had for many years.  I always enjoyed reggae and ska, (as well as "dub") but I grew up in NY, where there is a sizable Jamaican-born population.  Then again, maybe that's not the reason at all.  I wouldn't really consider this song a "reggae" tune, though it obviously has a mixture of exotic elements.
Respect to  Natalie Merchant and RP for trying to educate the Yanks about Jamaican Music.
You can lead a horse to water....
 shutter wrote:

Uhhhh, nahhhhh. Not really.

 
No, really.  It only takes one person to like a song for it to be good, even if everyone else hates it.  One person being moved by a song won't pave your way to retirement, of course, but I don't think that's a problem for Natalie.  So, your buddy and I, and thousands and thousands of other people can prove that the song is great.  All you can do, really, is say you don't like it.

 Proclivities wrote:

I've noticed too that a lot of the RP listeners (or at least those feel the necessity to post their gripes) don't think very highly of reggae.  In much of the US there was not as much connection with Jamaican culture and music as the UK has had for many years.  I always enjoyed reggae and ska, (as well as "dub") but I grew up in NY, where there is a sizable Jamaican-born population.  Then again, maybe that's not the reason at all.  I wouldn't really consider this song a "reggae" tune, though it obviously has a mixture of exotic elements.
 

Dub all the way!!  

Not so much this watered down raggae influenced pop... it's OK I guess. {#Cool}
I have never, not for one second, enjoyed anything about this song.
 helgigermany wrote:
This is good music!
 
Uhhhh, nahhhhh. Not really.

uuughhh...hate, hate, hate her voice. At first I thought this was Sinead O'Connor doing her reggae thing, but this is even worse.
Two comments for the price of one:

1)  Her voice is really sexy.  Think of how constrained and conservative clothes in the sixties actually emphasized the femininity of the wearer.

2)  This is not reggae music.  OK, maybe there's a hint of Jamaica in the rythyms, and maybe I heard a steel drum, but this is no more reggae than it is hip-hop.  Most of us in the US Southland reflexively identify reggae music with trumpet-sized spliffs.  (Thanks for the visual description, fredriley.)  For some of us, that's a good thing.  For others, not so much.

The music is good but her singing is awful.  It's like she's half asleep mumbling her way thru the song.
 ThePoose wrote:

However, with that fulsome rack, she'll never look like one.
 
yeah, she's hotter than emily dickinson in a tube top!
And from the sublime.....er ladies and gentlemen Natalie Merchant....who it seems had a few too many tonight.
What a lot of bad comments! I cant believe! This is good music!
Big props to Natalie for this bold undertaking.
Natalie's got to have one of the most aloof, unsexy, uptight sounds of any female singer. No doubt it is a reflection of her self-aggrandizing nature. She is consistently unpleasant to see or hear.
 Mandible wrote:
 

Jawbone, your self-portrate exposes you as micrognathic...and, well...homely.  Yuk
 Poacher wrote:

Well observed. 

My take is that in the USA there seems to be some kind of myth that reggae is a lower form of music. While I know some americans who do love it, that is my general impression - and with the majority of peeps listening here from the USA most reggae and dub Bill plays is marked down.

Shame. . .  
 
I've noticed too that a lot of the RP listeners (or at least those feel the necessity to post their gripes) don't think very highly of reggae.  In much of the US there was not as much connection with Jamaican culture and music as the UK has had for many years.  I always enjoyed reggae and ska, (as well as "dub") but I grew up in NY, where there is a sizable Jamaican-born population.  Then again, maybe that's not the reason at all.  I wouldn't really consider this song a "reggae" tune, though it obviously has a mixture of exotic elements.


 Poacher wrote:

Well observed. 

My take is that in the USA there seems to be some kind of myth that reggae is a lower form of music. While I know some americans who do love it, that is my general impression - and with the majority of peeps listening here from the USA most reggae and dub Bill plays is marked down.

Shame. . .  
 
I love reggae ... just feel Natalie doesn't pull it off very well here (things like the odd vocal intonation, the inflated orchestration etc).


 Thistle wrote:
her voice makes me angry
 
It's not her, it's you. {#Naughty}

 fredriley wrote:
Hmm. Looks like RP listeners really hate reggae, and dub in particular. The Orange Blossom number before got an average 5 rating, and this isn't much better. Thievery Corporation's dub number from their recent album didn't do much better. Why do folk here hate reggae so much? Are RP listeners hard-core rockers at heart?

Personally I'd love to hear more reggae on here, and only regret that I can't listen to it with a big smoking trumpet spliff washed down with a can of Red Stripe as I used to do in my younger days when fun when more than just a fading memory. Reggae at least reminds me of those gone times before the time tyranny and life constriction of tedious, pointless wage-slavery.

9 from the Nottingham jury.
 
Well observed. 

My take is that in the USA there seems to be some kind of myth that reggae is a lower form of music. While I know some americans who do love it, that is my general impression - and with the majority of peeps listening here from the USA most reggae and dub Bill plays is marked down.

Shame. . .  
Natalie Merchant 3 songs after Tori Amos?

apocalypse-brando2.jpg

The Horror . . . The Horror . . .


 birdland wrote:
Wow. What power. What a voice. Can she tease a note or what? Love this.
 
You're kidding, right?
Sorry to hear about your choices.

 
fredriley wrote:
Hmm. Looks like RP listeners really hate reggae, and dub in particular. The Orange Blossom number before got an average 5 rating, and this isn't much better. Thievery Corporation's dub number from their recent album didn't do much better. Why do folk here hate reggae so much? Are RP listeners hard-core rockers at heart?

Personally I'd love to hear more reggae on here, and only regret that I can't listen to it with a big smoking trumpet spliff washed down with a can of Red Stripe as I used to do in my younger days when fun when more than just a fading memory. Reggae at least reminds me of those gone times before the time tyranny and life constriction of tedious, pointless wage-slavery.

9 from the Nottingham jury.
 


Hmm. Looks like RP listeners really hate reggae, and dub in particular. The Orange Blossom number before got an average 5 rating, and this isn't much better. Thievery Corporation's dub number from their recent album didn't do much better. Why do folk here hate reggae so much? Are RP listeners hard-core rockers at heart?

Personally I'd love to hear more reggae on here, and only regret that I can't listen to it with a big smoking trumpet spliff washed down with a can of Red Stripe as I used to do in my younger days when fun when more than just a fading memory. Reggae at least reminds me of those gone times before the time tyranny and life constriction of tedious, pointless wage-slavery.

9 from the Nottingham jury.