An Absolute Must-Hear: Natalie Merchant on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts

Natalie Merchant’s voice brings me such solace. She is a singer-songwriter par-excellence and my eyes immediately grow moist and I can feel the tension in my shoulders instantly relaxing when I hear her songs.

Listen to this Tiny Desk performance. You will feel much happier even while hearing it. Natalie Merchant is charming and there’s even a sing-a-long at the end.

This absolutely made my day today when I needed a mid-day boost to bring a smile back to my face.

Motherland, the first song, on this NPR Tiny Desk series, is a particular favorite.

The chorus is:

Motherland cradle me, close my eyes, lullaby me to sleep, keep me safe, lie with me, stay beside me, don’t go, don’t you go. Oh, yes.

The second song is called Texas. Here’s the final verse:

Papa came along and he shook the tree
Down came a bushel and a peck for me
Papa shooed away all the honey bee
Papa dug a well and it flowed for me
Papa cut the motherlode fish for me
Papa set a fire and it burned for me
Papa put a skillet in the flame to fry
Papa filled this little silver spoon of mine
Papa said the Lord took a shine to me
Papa said I gotta set the whole world free
Whole world free, whole world free
Ooh, papa said
How it’s gonna be

And the third song is Cowboy Romance, a recording of Natalie’s amazing album, Tigerlily, one of my favorites.

Here are two of my favorite verses:

“No man born can rule me
That I’ve sworn
But stranger if you do
I’ll belong to you”

“If you do…
Would you spare the innocent ones
Would you take me with you?
Can you love the land
And love me too?”

And the final song – a sing-a-long is the traditional hymn, Weeping Pilgrim.

If you see them, brother,

Please tell them

That I’m a poor mourning pilgrim

Bound for Canaan-land

Well, I weep and I mourn

And I move slowly on

I’m a poor mourning pilgrim

Bound for Canaan-land

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