Saturday, February 27, 2010

Natalie Merchant on Chicago's Filthy Weather

They say that some Eskimo tribes have as many as two dozen different words to describe snow. Well, I think Chicagoans need every bit as vast a lexicon to describe grey skies. Today, February 27th with temperatures struggling to crack the freezing point the sky is grey from one end of the horizon to the other. Today it's a kind of crayola crayon silver grey punctuated by little billows of bituminous grey.

And to think we only have four months or so left of this depression-inducing, filthy Chicago weather. They don't call it the land of the endless winter for nothing.

Natalie Merchant grew up in upstate New York, but she might as well have been writing about Chicago in her 1988 hit with 10,000 maniacs, "Like the Weather."

It is, to my knowlege, the only hit song ever written about clinical depression. She was such a cheery little leftist vegetarian.

So here it is from a live performance: the perfect paean to Chicago's filthy weather.

Please note that by the time of this performance, Miss Merchant had begun to clean up her aging Catholic schoolgirl appearance and was said to have been washing her hair at least once a month -- whether she needed it or not.

The dance steps in this video were choreographed by the Elaine Benes School of Dance, of which Miss Merchant seems to have been a graduate, summa cum laude.

"The color of the sky
as far as I can see
Is coal grey..."


  1. "cheery little leftist vegetarian"

    HAHahahahahah! :D

  2. Well she was. Who else was performing a cover of Cat Stevens' "Peace Train" in 1990?


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