Natalie Merchant's new album, Leave your Sleep, is lyrics interpreted from 19th and 20th century poems and nursery rhymes. I have been a big fan of Natalie Merchant and her band 10,000 Maniacs for a long time and I just love this new release that celebrates motherhood and childhood. Natalie was clearly inspired by her little one! Listen to Natalie talk more about the mystery surrounding these childhood nursery rhymes and poetry here.
Here are two of my favorites.
Maggie and Milly and Molly and May
maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach (to play one day)
and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles, and
milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;
and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles: and
may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.
For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea
The Sleepy Giant
My age is three hundred and seventy-two,
And I think, with the deepest regret,
How I used to pick up and voraciously chew
The dear little boys whom I met.
I’ve eaten them raw, in their holiday suits;
I’ve eaten them curried with rice;
I’ve eaten them baked, in their jackets and boots,
And found them exceedingly nice.
But now that my jaws are too weak for such fare,
I think it exceedingly rude
To do such a thing, when I’m quite well aware
Little boys do not like to be chewed.
And so I contentedly live upon eels,
And try to do nothing amiss,
And I pass all the time I can spare from my meals
In innocent slumber—like this.