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Natalie Merchant — The Man In The Wilderness
Album: Leave Your Sleep
Avg rating:
6.6

Your rating:
Total ratings: 761









Released: 2010
Length: 3:38
Plays (last 30 days): 0
The Man in the wilderness
He asked of me
How many strawberries grow in the salt sea?
And I answered him, as I thought good
As many a ship sails in the wood

The Man in the wilderness
He asked me, Why
His hare could swim and his pig could fly?
And I answered him, as I thought best
They were both born in a cuckoo's nest

The Man in the wilderness
Asked me to tell
Tell all the sands in the sea and I counted them well
And with the grain, well, not one more
I answered him, you go make sure

Said with the grain, well, not one more
I answered him, you go make sure
I answered him, you...you go make sure
Comments (67)add comment
The retoucher definitely has a 'thing' for Michael Jackson noses?
Musically/lyrically a pleasant enough tune
bella canzone ben interpretata
 Proclivities wrote:

Does it matter?  Every promotional photo of a celebrity is retouched - they always have been since cameras were invented - long before computers existed.  What is there to discuss?

Also, any time "we" can avoid a discussion involving Photoshop should be cherished. 
 
Ah yes, the Royal "we" . . .
You can describe the world using science or with lyrics such as these. Works fine either way.   
Some people say she sounds like a goat bleating, but I sure do love to hear her voice. It suits my ears.
Nice tune
 slippery wrote:
Who wrote these lyrics? Says "anonymous" on her site.
I need more, it's blindingly good:

 
The album is based on the works of various US and British poets of the 19th and 20th century. See the Wikipedia entry on the album as a starter for 10.
Props for expanding her repertoire...hints of klezmer here.  But no legs to this cute song, imo


La aventura poética de Natalie Merchant 

Natalie Merchant (1963) entiende algo de castellano y estos días se siente intrigada por la polémica sobre las corridas de toros en Cataluña. Ocurre que ella conoció al padre de su hija, el fotógrafo español Daniel de la Calle, en una plaza de toros, "durante una gira que hicimos con REM". Vegetariana y ecologista militante, cabría imaginarla entre las filas de los prohibicionistas, "pero también puedo entender algo de la belleza del ritual, el reto a la muerte", afirma. Conoce ambas vertientes del debate, "soy especialista en llevar la contraría a quien tenga delante y he discutido frecuentemente con mi suegro, que es muy taurino". Resulta que ella incluso cantó un (hermoso) tema titulado The death of Manolete, con 10.000 Maniacs, a principios de los ochenta. Aunque aparece como autora de la letra, asegura que apenas escribió unos versos, "fue obra de uno de los músicos, tras ver un documental sobre Manolete". Con Natalie, 10.000 Maniacs era un grupo peleón. Así, eliminaron de un disco suyo la versión de Peace train, la canción de Cat Stevens, cuando supieron que el ahora llamado Yusef Islam apoyaba la fetua iraní contra Salman Rushdie. "Hacia 2004, cuando preparábamos un recopilatorio, recibimos una carta suya donde aseguraba que se habían tergiversado sus palabras. Puedo entenderlo: también me han manipulado declaraciones buscando el escándalo. Acepto que alguien se arrepienta de algo dicho en caliente, aunque sea una barbaridad. Así que recuperamos Peace train". Ya se sabe que el grupo continuó sin Natalie, con escasa fortuna, mientras ella despegó como solista gracias al impacto de Tigerlily (1995). Sin embargo, ha procurado mantener un equilibrio entre la carrera y la vida privada. Por ejemplo, hace siete años que Natalie no sacaba un disco con material nuevo. La razón se llama Lucía. "Tener hijos te transforma radicalmente, ya no hay margen para la vida bohemia. Todo gira alrededor de la nueva criatura. Durante el embarazo hasta volví a comer carne por consejo de los médicos... y ahora no soy una vegetariana ejemplar, consumo pescado. Según Lucia ha crecido, me he preocupado por regular la música, el cine, los libros que están a su alcance. No por capricho: he comprobado que las historias de Harry Potter provocan pesadillas. ¡Y no digo nada de las películas de Tim Burton!".

Consciente de que el proyecto no iba a despertar el entusiasmo de su disquera, decidió autofinanciarlo: "Para Leave your sleep,vendí una casa que teníamos en Hawai y así pude permitirme trabajar sin limitaciones. He colaborado con Andrés Levin, pero no buscando sus conocimientos de lo latino: sencillamente, necesitaba a alguien que ordenara algo que me ha llevado un año entero sólo en las grabaciones, con 130 músicos y muchos estudios. Yo quería ser la traductora de mis intenciones, poder interactuar con mis invitados, sin preocuparme por cuestiones técnicas". Se puede sentir satisfecha: muchas de las canciones tienen aroma a temas tradicionales, con raíces angloirlandesas. "Gracias. Lo que ocurre es que el lenguaje de los poemas te sugiere formas folclóricas. Hay algo mágico, incluso místico, en ese proceso. Pero también aparecen músicos chinos; hay reggaeo ritmos de Nueva Orleans, con la banda de Wynton Marsalis. Los instrumentistas han tenido maravillosas intuiciones: entendieron que no era un disco exclusivo para niños".

No alardea de experta en poesía. "Pensaba que leer poesía era una característica de la vida contemplativa y yo ejercía de activista. Pero Allen Ginsberg cambió mi actitud. Resulta que yo escribí algo sobre los beats y eso le llamó la atención. Se me presentó y era como el tío loco que encuentras en casi todas las familias. Fuimos amigos en sus últimos años y me regalaba libros. Me hizo comprender que la poesía te hace sensible a todo lo que te rodea, que enriquece tus percepciones. En sus recitales, la palabra escrita se hacía arte vibrante. Era algo que podía aprovechar en mi música".

En su retorno, Natalie se encontró con una industria musical empobrecida, transformada por lo digital. Ella se había montado un estudio de grabación profesional, 24 pistas y una grabadora analógica que usaba cinta abierta. "Cuando tuve que desmontar el estudio, descubrí que nadie quería comprar esos aparatos. Finalmente, una universidad lo acogió como donación". En el conflicto de formatos, ella apuesta por lo físico: "Me gustan los discos con envolturas hermosas y Leave your sleep me ha obligado a hacer investigaciones para conseguir los derechos de fotos de autores que muchas veces habían nacido en el siglo XIX. ¡Igual termino acumulando también cajas de discos en el sótano! Bueno, hay una edición más barata, sólo con 16 canciones. Yo soy una persona táctil: si quiero leer un libro, no me sirve un aparato: necesito palpar el papel, subrayar algo, guardar un recorte del periódico...". Tiene pavor a que el disfrute total de la música quede limitado a unas élites. "Los directos siempre han sido mi fuerte, así que no hay problema en ganarse la vida con los conciertos. Pero veo que ahora se subastan las mejores entradas, puro capitalismo. Puede que terminemos como la ópera, un capricho para los muy ricos".
~by Diego A. Manrique


Love me some Natalie.......
To my ears she is not singing in tune. In contrast to the instruments, the vocals are distinctly flat. This is quite distracting in what is otherwise a good piece.
 apd wrote:
Shall we discuss the use of PhotoShop on the cover photo? Or can a woman in her 40's really have skin that clear?

 
I'm more frightened by her expression.
 Rotterdam wrote:
I wish she and Beth Orten had to listen to each others' music for eternity.

Off to mute. See you all later.... 

 
Tee hee!


{#Stop}


this woman makes my ears bleed
 coachc wrote:
Difficult to find anything in the NM catalog still worth listening to. Fair play to Bill for trying.

 
I would usually agree, but this is just different enough and seems to have less of her actualy singing... Not bad 
Difficult to find anything in the NM catalog still worth listening to. Fair play to Bill for trying.
 Rotterdam wrote:
I wish she and Beth Orten had to listen to each others' music for eternity.

Off to mute. See you all later.... 

 
Spot On.  Off to PSD....


Natalie M. doesn´t need Photoshop {#Roflol}  - I bought this CD because of her music and oice!
 Rotterdam wrote:
I wish she and Beth Orten had to listen to each others' music for eternity.

Off to mute. See you all later.... 
 
Good riddance.  Is that a punishment?  This song is simply sublime, and Beth Orton has a few of those as well.
 Rotterdam wrote:
I wish she and Beth Orten had to listen to each others' music for eternity.

Off to mute. See you all later.... 
 
If you get your wish, I wish to join them!  That seems like my idea of eternity...
I wish she and Beth Orten had to listen to each others' music for eternity.

Off to mute. See you all later.... 
 apd wrote:
Shall we discuss the use of PhotoShop on the cover photo? Or can a woman in her 40's really have skin that clear?
 
Yes, a woman in her 40's can have skin that clear...just not a white one.

1 angstrom = 1.0 × 10-10 meters.

really.


 apd wrote:
Shall we discuss the use of PhotoShop on the cover photo? Or can a woman in her 40's really have skin that clear?
 
Really?


 slippery wrote:
Who wrote these lyrics? Says "anonymous" on her site.
I need more, it's blindingly good: 
 

I suspect it would be more properly identified as "Traditional," of the "impossible riddle" sort. Here's one variant:

"The man in the wilderness
Asked me,
How many strawberries
Grew in the sea?

I answered him
As I thought good,
As many as red herrings
Grew in the wood."

https://www.mamalisa.com/?t=hes&p=1389&l=T

Another version, that sounds very much like a song I remember from many years ago:

"The men in yon forest, they all ask of me
How many strawberries grow in the salt sea?
I ask them the same, I ask them quite plain
How many ships sail in the forest?"

https://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=47914

This song would be great with or without any singing...beautiful. 
Who wrote these lyrics? Says "anonymous" on her site.
I need more, it's blindingly good:

The man in the wilderness asked of me,
"How many strawberries grow in the salt sea?"
I answered him, as I thought good,
As many a ship as sails in the wood.

The man in the wilderness asked me why
His hen could swim and his pig could fly.
I answered him as I thought best,
"They were both born in a cuckoo's nest."

The man in the wilderness asked me to tell
All the sands in the sea and I counted them well.
He said he with a grin, "And not one more?"
I answered him, "Now you go make sure."

 
I think she's over to the right a little bit, just pan the camera over.... there you go.
 
calypsus_1 wrote:

Natalie Merchant  by Guus Krol
https://www.flickr.com/photos/guuskrol/

Natalie Merchant, Paradiso 11-05-2010

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


 


Love the clarinet here and I'm not usually a  fan.
Great performance as usual by her.
 On_The_Beach wrote:
Not sure I'm completely sold on Natalie's new beard.
 
{#Roflol} I think Calypsus needs to update the photo link.

 On_The_Beach wrote:
Not sure I'm completely sold on Natalie's new beard.
 
I'm not sold on her new disk.

Not sure I'm completely sold on Natalie's new beard.

Natalie Merchant  by Guus Krol
https://www.flickr.com/photos/guuskrol/

Natalie Merchant, Paradiso 11-05-2010

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


this woman has proven such great success in music... a true talent to be dealt with. she is always pushing the boundries.  im just glad she's not swinging and swaying that long hair anymore!
The whole CD is fantastic...


Natalie Merchant, "Leave Your Sleep"

For her first release since "The House Carpenter's Daughter" in 2003, Natalie Merchant has crafted an ambitious double-album that draws upon multiple literary giants for inspiration. The new set, "Leave Your Sleep," features lyrical tributes to famous poems by e.e. cummings, Christina Rossetti, Robert Louis Stevenson and many others throughout the course of 26 tracks. Despite the elaborate concept and overwhelming length, the album soars with gorgeous folk arrangements and Merchant's daring creativity. The song "Calico Pie" slides along with the simple pop of a banjo and fiddle, while the playful jazz of "The Janitor's Boy" utilizes a delightfully unruly horn section. Merchant's voice still retains its subtle power, but the biggest surprise of "Leave Your Sleep" is her assuredness while dabbling in unique lyrical ideas. The broad spectrum of genres Merchant explores also prevents the set from feeling overlong. She has returned with a painstakingly constructed record that feels light and nimble, a credit to her still-impressive talent as a songwriter. —Jason Lipshutz, Billboard


yawn.{#Silenced}
 MojoJojo wrote:

 
That sort of flippancy really gets my goat.

I'll get me goat, sorry, coat...



Natalie Merchant - The Man In The Wilderness, Live (2010)
Celtic Connections 2010 at BBC Pacific Quay

"A rare gift of voice, deep feeling, intelligence and passion. Natalie Merchant is one of the voices that makes the world a little better with every note, with every word. "

Leave Your Sleep: I am convinced that by being in the presence of a impressive work, which takes complex and sophisticated features, it makes no concessions to ease, so only over time and after innumerable hearings, will be fully understood and admired in all its entirety.
Like all artistic works that are perpetuated in the future.    ~calypsus_1



10k Maniacs and the first 2 or 3 solo albums had some good songs, but it doesn't work for me anymore.  She's always had a limited range, but at least the songs had hooks.
 rockinmeg wrote:
God, this song annoys me...and I used to like Natalie Merchant - but her voice is so irritating on this song.
 
my thoughts exactly. . .

God, this song annoys me...and I used to like Natalie Merchant - but her voice is so irritating on this song.
No.


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.

.
 apd wrote:
Shall we discuss the use of PhotoShop on the cover photo? Or can a woman in her 40's really have skin that clear?
 
Does it matter?  Every promotional photo of a celebrity is retouched - they always have been since cameras were invented - long before computers existed.  What is there to discuss?

Also, any time "we" can avoid a discussion involving Photoshop should be cherished. 
Like me some Natalie! {#Yes}
g o r g e o u s !!!  {#Angel}

please, god, bill, make it stop.  MAKE IT STOP!         {#Frustrated}
Did we really have to follow Basia Bulat with this?  Sure, it fits, but its enough vibrato to choke a goat. 


 pdhski wrote:
her voice has returned
 
Where had it gone?  Personally, I've never enjoyed her voice. She's one of the few artists on RP that I am not fond of.
...hearing this so soon after gogol bordello kind of makes her new album sound weak and derivative by comparison...

 apd wrote:
Shall we discuss the use of PhotoShop on the cover photo? Or can a woman in her 40's really have skin that clear?
 
Everyone has skin folds and shadows under their eyes, even twenty-somethings, but you never seen them in women's magazines. 
 apd wrote:
Shall we discuss the use of PhotoShop on the cover photo? Or can a woman in her 40's really have skin that clear?
 
yup. seen it up close
 pdhski wrote:
her voice has returned
 
Agreed! She sounds great on this album. {#Music}
Meh. I liked 10,000 Maniacs back in the day... but I'm really turned off by everything I've heard off this album. And I'm hearing it alot, unfortunately. 
She's aiight. Nowhere near as good as she thinks she is, but then again, noone is!{#Eek}
Shall we discuss the use of PhotoShop on the cover photo? Or can a woman in her 40's really have skin that clear?
her voice has returned
I glanced at the album art and for a second thought it said, "Leave Your Sheep".  Then I laughed at the irony.  
Just got this album, some cuts are very good and better than this one.  Enjoyable, nonetheless.
 Pharlap wrote:
The arrangement seems like it should be on a mid sixties Scott Walker tune
 

I've never listened to Natalie Merchant until joining RP a few short weeks ago and I have to say that I don't like her voice nor the arrangement in most of her songs.
Hmmm....well, I'm one of those who don't normally like her but I really like the sound of this!  Good for her!

The arrangement seems like it should be on a mid sixties Scott Walker tune
Fresh, have to check out her new stuff!
Loved her Ophelia-album, and this sounds promising.
 MsJudi wrote:
I've been enjoying this album, but I suspect it won't be well-received by RPeeps, who don't historically seem to like Natalie.
 
agreed.
I've been enjoying this album, but I suspect it won't be well-received by RPeeps, who don't historically seem to like Natalie.