20th Anniversary of Motherland

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A collection of photos and videos marking the 20th anniversary of Motherland.

Yonatan Tal – “Eretz Or”/”Land of Light”

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).

Elton John on “Motherland”

“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.”

-Elton John
(Interview Magazine)

Photos Taken at Allaire Studios, 2001

Keale – “Motherland”

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.

Christy Moore – “Motherland”, from Burning Times and Live From Dublin

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 TimesListen on Spotify

“Motherland”, from Live From DublinListen on Spotify

“Put the Law On You”, performed at Austin City Limits

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. 

“Build A Levee” Rehearsal, 2013

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.

“Tell Yourself” at Shaker Meeting Hall, 2009

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.

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