Natalie Merchant — Carnival (Live)
Album: Live in Concert
Avg rating:
7.1

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1827
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Released: 1999
Length: 6:51
Plays (last 30 days): 2
Well I've walked these streets
A virtual stage it seemed to me
Makeup on their faces
Actors took their places next to me

Well I've walked these streets
In a carnival of sights to see
All the cheap thrill seekers
The vendors and the dealers they crowded around me

Have I been blind
Have I been lost inside myself and my own mind
Hypnotized mesmerized by what my eyes have seen

Well I've walked these streets
In a spectacle of wealth and poverty
In the diamond market
The scarlet welcome carpet that they just rolled out for me

And I've walked these streets
In the madhouse asylum they can be
Where a wild eyed misfit prophet on a traffic island stopped
And he raved of saving me

Have I been blind
Have I been lost inside myself and my own mind
Hypnotized mesmerized by what my eyes have seen

Have I been wrong
Have I been wise to shut my eyes and play along
Hypnotized paralyzed by what my eyes have found
By what my eyes have seen
What they have seen

Have I been blind
Have I been lost have I been wrong
Have I been wise have I been strong
Have I been hypnotized mesmerized
By what my eyes have found

In that great street carnival
In that carnival
Comments (257)add comment
Lifeless, and the studio version actually is OK, has a truly inspired guitar part. This version has the life sucked out of it ..Yawn {#Sleep}
 Krakus wrote:
Do not owe a single Natalie Merchant album or song and proud of it!

 
Who would you owe a Natalie Merchant album to anyhow?  That seems like a strange debt.
Wake up, Natalie!  You're supposed to be singing!! 
 Krakus wrote:
Do not owe a single Natalie Merchant album or song and proud of it!

 

Testify!!!!!
 Krakus wrote:
Do not owe a single Natalie Merchant album or song and proud of it!

 
Your back must be bruised from all the patting. 
 maggierob wrote:
Sometimes she hits a note flat as a pancake. Add to that her gargling marbles while she sings, and you have a couple pretty irritating vocal habits. Too bad — it's a good song, and the backup is great on this track. 

 
I always thought she was singing about Mr Coffee all these years .....guess she wasn't as I looked up the lyrics here for the first time.
 Krakus wrote:
Just a heads up  she is coming to Portland Oregon this June to play at the Portland Zoo for one of their concert series... You should come{#Motor}

 


 ScottN wrote:
Shoot the guitarist (metaphorically, of course).

 
No.  Let's go full barrel.
Do not owe a single Natalie Merchant album or song and proud of it!
 ThePoose wrote:
Should have the opportunity to meet her some day - you might change your tune. Sophomore year in college and the 10,000 Maniacs were playing at our school. I was tasked with following her around all day and being her personal secretary. She put me through my paces and had me running around all day - I think just to prove some point which I could never figure. Stuff like, 

Natalie: I need chewing gum.

Me: What flavor?

Natalie: I don't care, any flavor. 

(20 minutes later)

Me: Here's your gum Ms. Merchant.

Natalie: Oh, call me Natalie. What flavor is this?

Me: Spearmint

Natalie: I HATE spearmint! Go back and get me cinnamon - and I need a box of tampons (I am not making this up!)
Anyway, she was a bit of a c—t, and I don't use the term loosely.  Robert Buck was really cool however. He said at some point that day, "She's just being an a-hole because she signed a deal for a solo album and she's leaving the band after the next few gigs."

So many memories.
***************************************************************

sweet story...Why didn't you offer to install one of the tampons? Or two? 

Same story at George Mason University, when she came to Patriot Center in early 1990s. My buddy, who DJ-ed for the college radio asked if he could interview here and Ms. Merchant was also rude to him.

 


I'm not a Merchant fan at all, but this is one song where the music and instrumentals really seem to work well with her otherwise annoying (to me) vocal traits.
This is really good; probably my favorite of her stuff I hear on RP. The groove is transmitted between her voice and all the instruments!
 Phlegmaticman wrote:
Erik Della Penna is on guitar, apparently.

 
Pretty cool guitar on this track, nice bass too.
id comment but the stupid spell check keeps changing my text 

could be the wine but I don't think so

any way I really like this song

 
Loved her with 10,000 Maniacs, not such a fan of her solo stuff.
Wow, this stuff can send you into a trance. Much better than the album version, or at least a very different rendition. Excellent - thanks Nat!
Should have the opportunity to meet her some day - you might change your tune. Sophomore year in college and the 10,000 Maniacs were playing at our school. I was tasked with following her around all day and being her personal secretary. She put me through my paces and had me running around all day - I think just to prove some point which I could never figure. Stuff like, 

Natalie: I need chewing gum.

Me: What flavor?

Natalie: I don't care, any flavor. 

(20 minutes later)

Me: Here's your gum Ms. Merchant.

Natalie: Oh, call me Natalie. What flavor is this?

Me: Spearmint

Natalie: I HATE spearmint! Go back and get me cinnamon - and I need a box of tampons (I am not making this up!)
Anyway, she was a bit of a c—t, and I don't use the term loosely.  Robert Buck was really cool however. He said at some point that day, "She's just being an a-hole because she signed a deal for a solo album and she's leaving the band after the next few gigs."

So many memories.
***************************************************************

sweet story...Why didn't you offer to install one of the tampons? Or two? 
Erik Della Penna is on guitar, apparently.
Sometimes she hits a note flat as a pancake. Add to that her gargling marbles while she sings, and you have a couple pretty irritating vocal habits. Too bad — it's a good song, and the backup is great on this track. 
 BowTieDad wrote:
how plays guitar on this?

 
Steve Howe?
how plays guitar on this?
 jgriffin56 wrote:
I don't know why, but I am a sucker for over driven amps.

 
well said
Great Live Version. I always really like this song and her voice.
Its fine.
Good music for solitary night shift workers who have nothing else to do except sit comfortably and tune in to RP.
Interesting music, thanks.
 
There are so many artists out there, yet I hear this track pretty consistently. I don't quite get the attraction. Not a big fan of the original, let alone this live version. I really liked Natalie when she was with Ten Thousand Maniacs. Solo, not so much. Played too often here.
Too much Natalie Merchant play on RP, IMO.  I like her, she is a diva....but I need some variety - there are a lot of great female artists out there.  Please play others more frequently.
The same happened when I saw them in Memphis. Natalie was talking about something, someone yelled for her to shut up and just sing, and she walked off, never to return. In my mind, she was about to sing Verdi Cries, one of my favorites, but I don't know that for sure. Oh well ...  

wgsu_1978 wrote:
Saw her with 10000 Maniacs in Poughkeepsie. A woman started screaming in front and Natalie walked offstage and didn't come back.

Good show otherwise. Tired of her voice quickly after, though.
 


I don't know why, but I am a sucker for over driven amps.
Saw her with 10000 Maniacs in Poughkeepsie. A woman started screaming in front and Natalie walked offstage and didn't come back.

Good show otherwise. Tired of her voice quickly after, though.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aileen_Wuornos#Execution:

Wuornos requested that Natalie Merchant's song "Carnival" be played at her funeral. Merchant commented on this when asked why she permitted "Carnival" to be played during the credits of the documentary Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer:

When director Nick Broomfield sent a working edit of the film, I was so disturbed by the subject matter that I couldn't even watch it. Aileen Wuornos led a tortured, torturing life that is beyond my worst nightmares. It wasn't until I was told that Aileen spent many hours listening to my album Tigerlily while on death row and requested "Carnival" be played at her funeral that I gave permission for the use of the song. It's very odd to think of the places my music can go once it leaves my hands. If it gave her some solace, I have to be grateful.


This is better than the album version if only for the lack of the annoying backup singer echoing "Wise" "Lost" etc from the album.
My new favorite version, much better live!
{#Sunny}
 Kaisersosay wrote:
Wildeyed Misfit Profit,,,,,,,,,I thought she was saying Mr Coffee, so I thought she needed caffeine all these years in this song....wow who'd a thunk it.....

 
Prophet.,,,,,I thought you thought she was saying, "crazy oddball financial gain"....wow....
Wildeyed Misfit Profit,,,,,,,,,I thought she was saying Mr Coffee, so I thought she needed caffeine all these years in this song....wow who'd a thunk it.....
Always moves me.
Natalie Merchant, so soulful.
 
A perfect melody to listen to, sitting in the winter dark with a nice cup of coffee and a piece of Stollen, and let the mind drift away.
Guitarist has many hints of Robin Trower.
 ScottN wrote:
Shoot the guitarist (metaphorically, of course).

 

Wow. . .lots of diametrically opposed opinions here :-) I was actually going to check out this guitarist because I find this playing to be totally rocking and inspiring! 
I don't hate this song as much as her other crap. Too bad she's such a pompous beatch.
Shoot the guitarist (metaphorically, of course).
 Caino wrote:
I always enjoy hearing this version until she completely screws up the timing at the end.

 
OMG

I can't stand her music -- usually -- but I always enjoyed this little ditty....  this version, though, wowee...  it's horrid...
I always enjoy hearing this version until she completely screws up the timing at the end.
THX for the new app radio paradise! Just awesome
 PisToff wrote:
Less frequent play please!

 
Less frequent bitching, please!
Seems to me this version doesn't do any justice to the original's excellent syntax. Maybe Natalie tries too much to make it different form the recorded version. Still an awesome song.
One of my all time favourite albums to me she has not matched it since.

The intro to this reminds me of Kathleen Edwards' Goodbye, California, another gem of a singer that RP introduced me to. 
I enjoy this more at each listening.  Thanks RP.