Monday, April 26, 2010

Natalie Merchant's Leave Your Sleep

Yesterday, I attended The Poetry Center of Chicago’s invited performance of Natalie Merchant’s, Leave Your Sleep.  This is a collection of poetry that Natalie Merchant composed music to and sang the poems and/or excerpts.  She took children’s poems from poets such as Charles Causley, Rachel Field, Robert Graves and E.E. Cummings to name a few.  It was a great way for me to enjoy National Poetry Writing Month.

Natalie admits to not having an interest in poetry until now, saying, “The poet holds the mirror that reflects the true shape and touch and taste and sound of all the things that bind us together and keep us apart.  The poet’s work is putting silence around everything worth remembering.”

I’ve been a fan of Natalie Merchant since her days with the 10,000 Maniacs drawn in by her unique voice.  When I saw her in concert years ago with the 10,000 Maniacs, I remember the closing of the concert, the bow and then the stage became empty.  There was a hush that spread throughout and Natalie Merchant came back on stage alone, sat behind a piano and played Verdi Cries.  It was the first non-classical/operatic song I cried to listening to her solemn voice take a strong hold of my emotions.

Natalie Merchant didn’t surprise me demonstrating her growth in talent.  During her performance of Leave Your Sleep, she had a slide show behind her as she clicked from slide-to-slide showing the name, dates, poem and pictures of the poet.  Natalie gave a small synopsis of the poets with intelligence and wit then sang the poems with an instrumental accompaniment of two guitars and a cellist.  Her voice fit perfect with every poem, and the music she composed only made the beauty of the poems shine more.

I urge anyone, especially parents with small children to go out and buy this wonderful collection of musical poetry.  You won’t be disappointed. 


  1. I love her. Such talent!! Reminds me to download some more of her music. Happy you had a great time. x0x0

  2. :D I'm glad I was able to remind you.

    Thanks for stopping by.