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Natalie Merchant — Crazy Man Michael
Album: The House Carpenter's Daughter
Avg rating:
5.5

Your rating:
Total ratings: 62









Released: 2003
Length: 5:08
Plays (last 30 days): 0
Within the fire
and out upon the sea
crazy man Michael was walking
he met with a raven
with eyes black as coal
and shortly they were talking

"Your future, your future
I will tell to you
your future
you often have asked me
your true love will die
by your own right hand
and crazy man Michael
will cursed be"

Michael he ranted
and Michael he raved
and he beat at the four winds
with his fists-o
he laughed and he cried
he shouted and he swore
for his mad mind
entrapped him with a fist-hold

"You speak with an evil
you speak with a hate
you speak for the devil
that haunts me
for is she not the fairest
in all the broad land?
your sorcerer's words
are to taunt me"

He took out his dagger
of fine and broad steel
and he struck down the raven
through the heart-o
the bird fluttered long
and the sky it did spin
and this cold earth did
wander 'round startled

Oh where is the raven
that I struck down dead
and here did lye
on the ground-o?
I see my true love
with a wound so red
where her lover's heart
it did pound-o

Crazy man Michael
he wanders I'm told
and he talks through
the night and the day-o
but his eyes they are sane
and his speech is plain
but he longs to be far away-o

Michael he whistles
the simplest of tunes
as he asks of the wild wolves
their pardon
but his true love has flown
into every flower grown
and he must be keeper
of the garden
Comments (16)add comment
The song is fantastic. If I hadn't heard Sandy Denny's version, I would say "this is awesome".

Having heard Sandy Denny's version though, I can only say "this is awful".
 300BaudAcoustic wrote:


I often like Natalie Merchant, but this... A fantastic Fairport Convention song that just loses its soul here. I knew Sandy Denny. Sandy Denny was a friend of mine. And Ms. Merchant, you're no Sandy Denny.
 
Did you meet her when you were what, six or seven years-old?  Anyhow, I agree with your conclusion: while I commend Ms. Merchant for trying out such a good song, I don't find her interpretation very inspired.

This is pretty good but Fairport Conventions version with Sandy Denny is far better...
What a great interpretation of a gorgeous and haunting song that I thought only Sandy Denny could have done justice to. 
Put her out of her misery.....
I normally like Merchant but while the instrumental bits are very nice her voice is coming across like finger nails on a chalk broad.
300BaudAcoustic wrote:
I knew Sandy Denny. Sandy Denny was a friend of mine. And Ms. Merchant, you're no Sandy Denny.
This is so interesting. Sandy Denny is such a beloved singer, and yet I've never been fond of her voice. I like Natalie's rendition of Crazy Man Michael. It grows on you.
Beautiful. I've ordered the album from Amazon. Motherland is great as well! I think it's her best solo album so far.
Miles wrote:
I agree with you with the exception of Motherland. To my utter surprise, I was immediately drawn into that album. It's bluesy, dark, and beautiful, with great arrangements, and I think her voice on it is actually quite alluring. Otherwise, she has always pretty much annoyed me. But try Motherland...
I agree with the last agree-er. She can be terribly dreary, but check her out in her 10,000 Maniacs period. Those albums are excellent and a more lively than her solo efforts.
Hasty_Manic wrote:
I've never been able to really enjoy Natalie Merchant. As a matter of fact, listening to her voice recalled, for me, another singer-songwriter...John Mayer. They both have such drowsy drunken voices....as if they are singing in their sleep and their roommates thought it would be funny to put a tape recorder up to their mouths. :sleep: :drunk:
I agree with you with the exception of Motherland. To my utter surprise, I was immediately drawn into that album. It's bluesy, dark, and beautiful, with great arrangements, and I think her voice on it is actually quite alluring. Otherwise, she has always pretty much annoyed me. But try Motherland...
I've never been able to really enjoy Natalie Merchant. As a matter of fact, listening to her voice recalled, for me, another singer-songwriter...John Mayer. They both have such drowsy drunken voices....as if they are singing in their sleep and their roommates thought it would be funny to put a tape recorder up to their mouths. :sleep: :drunk:
Really nice segue from the Robert Earl Keen, Bill. As for Natalie not being Sandy Denny, well she's in good company: no one is the equal of Sandy.
You're right, she's no Sandy Denny (and she sounds like she's drunk)... but she at least showed good taste in trying the song.
drife wrote:
HATE, HATE, HATE Natalie Merchant. Self-righteous, horrible voice, lame poetry.
I often like Natalie Merchant, but this... A fantastic Fairport Convention song that just loses its soul here. I knew Sandy Denny. Sandy Denny was a friend of mine. And Ms. Merchant, you're no Sandy Denny.
HATE, HATE, HATE Natalie Merchant. Self-righteous, horrible voice, lame poetry.
I like it!