Since I’m imagining most of you spent your high school and/or college careers in the nineties, I’m hoping that a Natalie Merchant song was at some point part of your coming of age soundtrack. For me:
- 10000 Maniacs’ “Because the Night” needed to be sung with an elaborate car dance that my college roommate Jamie and I made up and performed in transit anytime either of us was in need of a pick me up.
- Anything from Tigerlily, which was my high school I’m-a-writerly-type-who-likes-to-journal album of choice during junior year.
- Of my favorites from Tigerlily, the winner is “Wonder,” which I’m unashamed to make known, was my theme song for the traditional cheesy pre wedding video of growing up pictures Chris and I showed. And now that I think about it, Jamie and I had a car dance to that one as well…
I’m writing about Natalie Merchant not only because it’s Thankful Tuesday and if I can’t be thankful for my awesome car dances with Jamie today, when can I be? I’m also writing because I came across a New York Times article yesterday about Merchant’s first new release since 2003. Since the birth of her daughter around that time she has been on what she calls, “a maternity leave.”
However, as many of us can probably attest, “maternity leaves” aren’t always what they appear. She has been working, writing, and creating what sounds like some pretty fantastic things. And I’m feeling relieved to know that our matriarch of coming of age folk music angst is not releasing some touchy feely I’m-a-mom-now album, but a seriously creative reflection on motherhood.
In her new album called “Leave Your Sleep” she’s recorded original music to accompany poems she and her daughter love. As the article states, most of the poems she performs “encompass lullaby, elegy, fantasy, nonsense and tall tales.”
Natalie, Motherhood, and Elegies? I’m in heaven. Jamie, let’s strap our boys in their car seats and get some sweet new moves ready. Happy Thankful Tuesday.