A collection of photos and videos marking the 20th anniversary of Motherland.
It’s time for a little milestone. Twenty years ago, I was in the studio recording my third solo album, Motherland. The title song has been recorded by many musicians around the world since.
I’d like to share one of my favorite versions with you by an Isreali singer named Yonatan Tal. He performs a hauntingly beautiful Hebrew version, “Eretz Or”/”Land of Light” with translation by acclaimed Jewish poet and novelist, Tzruya Lahav (who also appears in this video).
“I think Natalie Merchant’s most recent album, Motherland, is the finest piece of work she’s ever made. I play this album non-stop. The title track is so like Jacques Brel it makes me cry; it’s just sensational stuff. The album is timeless; it does not sound as if it will ever date or you will ever get fed up with it. And that is such an incredible thing to achieve.”
In 2014, a Hawaiian artist named Keale recorded an album titled, Motherland / Aina Kaula in which he included a beautiful version of my song “Motherland”. In the liner notes he described the song as “… a haunting anthem to our enduring connection to the Land.” In this video, hear Keale sing and explain the meaning of Aina Kaula.
In 2006, I was honored when legendary Irish singer-songwriter Christy Moore recorded “Motherland” on his album, “Burning Times”. Three years later, when he released a live album, he included it in his set. Christy’s versions have been so popular that when I do “Motherland” in Ireland, they think I’m covering his song! You can hear both versions at the links in my bio. Learn more at www.christymoore.com.
“Motherland”, from Burning Times – Listen on Spotify
“Motherland”, from Live From Dublin – Listen on Spotify
Continuing our celebration of MOTHERLAND’s 20th anniversary, here’s a performance of ‘Put the Law on You’ by kind permission of Austin City Limits TV.
In June of 2013, I organized a benefit concert for victims of domestic violence and a film resulted called, SHELTER. I found this footage of my dear friends Simi Stone and Amy Helm rehearsing “Build A Levee” for the event.
This week’s Motherland 20th offering is a performance of “Tell Yourself” from a truly acoustic benefit to renovate the historic Shaker Meeting Hall at Watervliet, NY. Thank you to my helpmate who directed the audience sing-a-long.