Is Natalie Merchant Giving Up Everything?

“Rarely is an artist as honest and revealing as Natalie Merchant in her new video and song, ‘Giving Up Everything,'” says NPR Music’s Bob Boilen. “Watch the video, let it settle in your bones, and watch again.”

This is a familiar Natalie Merchant. If this song is indicative of her new self-titled album, I’m going to enjoy the hell out of it. As a critic, you can’t expect my un-biased criticism when it comes to her songs. I’ve liked everything. I even (mostly) liked her last concert in Tampa…and that was a bit of a mess.

I don’t believe “Giving Up Everything” is a new song. It sounds like it might have been in at least a show or two in 2008: “A minor-key rocker held vows of “giving up everything” in a somber crescendo, with images of emptiness hinting at Buddhism.” John Pareles.

I couldn’t find the lyrics anywhere, so I’ve transcribed a bit of the beginning:

Giving up everything,
my hungry ghost of hopefulness

Giving up everything,
Not haunted by wanting this

Giving up everything,
The fortune I was saving

Giving up everything,
I mercykilled my craving

Giving up everything,
I’ve opened up my eyes for this

Giving up everything,
See the whole magnificent emptiness

Give what I want for how it is
For the stone inside and the bitterness
The sweetness at the ???????

…and it continues….

Order the new album, Natalie Merchant, from Nonesuch Records.
I don’t get a cut of album sales.

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