What's The Matter Here?

Album: My Tribe (1988)
Charted: 80
  • That young boy without a name I'd know his face
    In this city the kid's my favorite
    I've seen him I see him every day
    Seen him run outside looking for a place to hide from his father
    The kid half naked and said to myself "Oh, what's the matter here?"
    I'm tired of the excuses everybody uses, he's their kid I stay out of it
    But who gave you the right to do this?

    We live on Morgan Street
    Just ten feet between and his mother, I never see her
    But her screams and cussing, I hear them every day
    Threats like: "If you don't mind I will beat on your behind"
    "Slap you, slap you silly"
    Made me say, "Oh, what's the matter here?"
    I'm tired of the excuses everybody uses, he's your kid, do as you see fit
    But get this through that I don't approve of what you did to you own flesh and blood

    "If you don't sit on this chair straight
    I'll take this belt from around my waist and don't think that I won't use it!"

    Answer me and take your time
    What could be the awful crime he could do at such young an age?
    If I'm the only witness to your madness offer me some words to balance out what I see and what I hear
    All these cold and rude things that you do I suppose you do because he belongs to you
    And instead of love, the feel of warmth you've given him these cuts and sores won't heal with time or age

    And I want to say, I want to say "What's the matter here?"
    But I don't dare say "What's the matter here?"
    But I don't dare say Writer/s: ROBERT BUCK, NATALIE MERCHANT
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 5

  • Gregmon from Intelbuquerque, NmI went to Natalie's official site and was startled to find a significant change to the chorus,
    "I'm tired of the excuses everybody uses, he's your kid
    do as you see fit, but get this through that I know what you do
    and what you did to your own flesh and blood"

    This of course differs from, "that I don't approve of what you did...". It's her song, artistic freedom and all of that, but let me say, I don't approve of the softer message.

  • Toni Marie from Lake City, FlI have to agree with Fred as well. I would love to see more of Natalie's songs on here. She is outstanding. I was actually looking for information about the song Wonder.
  • Kilgoretrout from Bouca, CoThis is one of my favorite 10,000 Maniacs songs. Incredible lyrics and Natalie is an angel. Saw them when they opened for REM in 1986, all else pales. I agree with Fred, more Maniacs. Cotton Alley is my favorite, but I would listen to Natalie sing a soup ingredients label.
  • Ray from Brooklyn, NyI agree with Fred. My personal favorites (in no particular order) are Don't Talk, Verdi Cries, Trouble Me, Happy Puppet, and a number of lesser known but beautiful songs from "The Wishing Chair."
  • Fred from Laurel, MdI'd like to echo the title of this song, and ask, "What's the Matter Here?" when, as of 2009 Oct 27, only this and one other Maniacs song, "Eat for Two," and one Natalie Merchant entry, "Carnival," appear on this site. How about, "Candy Everybody Wants," "Don't Talk," "Jealousy," "Like the Weather," "These Are the Days," "Trouble Me," and "Wonder," just to get the ball rolling? A paltry three songs by this/these smashingly magnificent artist(s) is pathetic. OK, I'm down off my soap box now, and I'll go quietly, officer. But Natalie and her voice still give me goosebumps.
see more comments

Eric BurdonSongwriter Interviews

The renown rock singer talks about "The House of the Rising Sun" and "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood."

Loudon Wainwright IIISongwriter Interviews

"Dead Skunk" became a stinker for Loudon when he felt pressure to make another hit - his latest songs deal with mortality, his son Rufus, and picking up poop.

90210 to Buffy to Glee: How Songs Transformed TVSong Writing

Shows like Dawson's Creek, Grey's Anatomy and Buffy the Vampire Slayer changed the way songs were heard on TV, and produced some hits in the process.

Todd RundgrenSongwriter Interviews

Todd Rundgren explains why he avoids "Hello It's Me," and what it was like producing Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell album.

Allen Toussaint - "Southern Nights"They're Playing My Song

A song he wrote and recorded from "sheer spiritual inspiration," Allen's didn't think "Southern Nights" had hit potential until Glen Campbell took it to #1 two years later.

Yacht Rock!Song Writing

A scholarly analysis of yacht rock favorites ("Steal Away," "Baker Street"...) with a member of the leading YR cover band.