Natalie Merchant on World Cafe
Natalie Merchant
World Cafe Session
  • "Come On, Aphrodite"
  • "Narcissus"
  • "Big Girls"
  • "Tower of Babel"

A few years ago, she underwent spinal cord surgery, and in the aftermath, Merchant briefly lost her ability to sing. She says that, at the time, she was content finding something else to do. After all, she was busy with parenting, teaching and advocacy work. But a chance connection with another writer, a poet named Robin Robertson, helped put Merchant’s new album in motion.

Keep Your Courage revolves around love in all its forms. It’s a stunning record, and her voice sounds as great as ever. In this session, Merchant talks about her songwriting technique, and she also talks about her life outside of music making, including serving on the board of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.