Natalie Merchant - Giving Up Everything Lyrics

Giving up everything,

my hungry ghost of hopefulness.

Giving up everything,

not haunted by wanting this.

Giving up everything,

the fortune I was saving. 

Giving up everything,

I mercy-killed my craving.

Giving up everything,

I’ve opened up my eyes for this.

Giving up everything,

see the whole magnificent emptiness.

Gave what I want for how it is,

for the stone inside and the bitterness,

for the sweetness at the core of it.

Giving up everything,

the master plan, the scheming.

Giving up everything,

my cursed search for meaning.

Giving up everything,

the compass and the map I was reading.

The hinterlands I’m leaving,

I’m finally leaving behind.

Giving up everything,

the big to-do, the hullabaloo,
the tug-of-war for some twisted truth.

For the everlasting ache of it,

no longer slave, not chained to it,

no gate, no guard, no keeper,

no guru, master, teacher.

See the slow-receding faces

dissolve to black, no traces.

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Natalie Merchant Giving Up Everything Comments
  1. Melissa O'Connell


  2. Allison Mandel- Giampietro

    So real thank you

  3. Boviss1

    I hope that this very personal statement comes with an aftermath of peace and stillness for NM. "Giving up everything" is another way of saying - Im throwing out the trash.
    What's left when you throw out the trash? Reality. Freedom. Love. Inner peace.
    I hope thats what she found there.

  4. yordanka

    Love for you!

  5. phototrope

    I get goosebumps every single time I hear this. It's been the silent soundtrack of my life since I turned 48 when this song came out. How can a soundtrack be silent? Well, how can a song about meaninglessness be so meaningful? I don't know if you will ever read this Natalie but I want to thank you with the utmost thanks.

  6. siarnne

    She's like a old soul who's lost her beginning. God, I love her.

  7. Michael Mair

    this song changed my life, not a little

  8. Yvette W

    You are so beautiful to me. <3

  9. Sam Malone

    I dont play bout my Queen

  10. Jess in king

    i loved this so much i gave my commentary on it and how your song gets me through the hard patches in life:

  11. HellRazor65

    I have been a fan of hers from the beginning- LOVE YOU!

  12. James Ruff

    This is one of the best songs ever made.

  13. John Dough

    I wonder why comments are disabled on her older videos?🤔

  14. Luca R

    how can someone dislike Natalie?


    Luca R.
    It's Totally Impossible.

  15. José Ribeiro

    I want to be invited for her...

  16. As Seen On TV

    Powerful! Natalie I love you.

  17. Kenneth May

    Speaking to my soul, even when it doesn't want to listen, it hears, it feels, it does..

  18. Will Warden

    My higher power’s number one but let me tell you Natalie you’ve carried me through some days as well.

  19. ed sanchez

    Some one with a very very very light inteligence wrote as a critical personal view "a self indulgency" argument againsta Natalie. A deep profound lack of understanding.

  20. Sublime Diakrisis

    That's how you find god

  21. Giovanni Vale

    really miss this band, one of my fave newwave band during the 80's.

  22. moonlitme

    This is stunning. Once again Natalie has made me love myself, by putting words to what i couldn't speak.

  23. Sonja Spielmann

    wow, großartiger song und super clip!!

  24. Christopher-David Bril

    this is everything.

  25. affenschwanz64

    Musically and visually stunning. Great lyrics. And what I wouldn't give to have those masks.

  26. Robert West

    Ghostly, reminds me of David Bowie's Dark Star, I hope this is not another farewell album.

  27. Dan Lynch

    Best. Lyrics. Ever.

  28. John Hogue

    Going to hear this song live later today and I am pretty excited, it is one of my absolute favorites of hers.

    This song to me almost seems meditative, maybe like a chant, and very much Buddhist? From Wikipedia: "As humans we tend to expect happiness from states and things which are impermanent and therefore cannot attain real happiness."

    The message of the song to me is that it is time to stop clinging to the past, craving things that you don't have, and wishing for things to be different than they are. Instead focus on the here and now, what you have, and the people around you.

    I remember thinking this song seemed depressing the first time I heard it, but after many more listens and much time spent considering what it meant to me I no longer feel that when I hear it. It is deeply calming to me now. I feel resignation and hear a reminder to refocus my life on what is important.

  29. anon nymous


  30. Tony Cairns

    Is this her greatest song? Could only have been written by someone who has been to, and emerged from, a very dark place. A strange combination of bleakness and ecstasy.


    Mr. Cairns
    If You Cannot Say Anything
    Pleasant About This Wonderful
    Caring, Loving, And Beautiful
    Gift To The Music Industry, Than
    Keep Your Obnoxious Comments To Yourself....Anything To Say, Feel
    Free To Text Me Back Sir.......

    Tony Cairns

    @MISTERPORCUPINE SIMON I'm a huge admirer of this song and have been listening to NM for most of my life, so your comments are a complete mystery to me. Furthermore, I don't expect to be described as 'obnoxious' for simply having a point-of-view about a song I like. I have no desire for a knighthood either, so please don't refer to me as 'sir', or in any other way if you can manage that. I look forward to never hearing from you again ...

  31. kevin urban

    ive always loved her

  32. maury mau

    She is still so beautiful and her voice is like no other. Love you Natalie merchant

  33. Aster*42

    Amazing song, amazing lyrics from start to finish! What a treasure!

  34. Jim Green

    A beautiful song but these days the type I'm no longer in the mood for. Guess I'm just too damned happy.

  35. ANISTAZI metal 94609

    Natalie , you are so so beautiful !

  36. JR T

    When God created Natalie, he gave us all a little gift. It is the little gifts that are the most meaningful.

  37. JR T

    Creepy video Dan, But Natalie never looked more lovely

  38. ANISTAZI metal 94609

    exquisite !

  39. Crystal Belle

    When Carnival was released it was at the time in my life I had realized that was my reality. Now this song is my timeline as well. Maybe we all have an artist to relate with and Natalie is mine, although I am a few years older than she is and we will never meet. Her music touches me and has grown with me emotionally. Wonder fits also is why I've had to edit so please excuse typos I may not have corrected due to visual problems.

    JR T

    Agree 100% Crystal. Nicely put!

    Toffee Me

    I met her when I was in grade school. She was a year behind me. We had the same music teacher. I could never compete with her. She was a shy shy shy and gifted little girl. A very lovely person, and she still is now.


    Crystal Belle You expressed yourself beautifully💙

  40. Dawn Anderson

    this is bad lame


    Dawn Anderson...
    What do you mean its Lame?
    Bad Lame???

  41. Camelia Stan

    sooo beautiful.

  42. Krystal Bristol

    I have been listening to your music since I was 14, 20 years. You Natalie are an inspiration!!! My 16 year old showed me this song, omg, I cried, heard it at the perfect time in my life. love, love , love you. Your words are deep and powerful, the impact is everlasting. Thank You!!!

  43. JR T

    The Album other than Texas and Tillula is one of of my favorites

    JR T

    so I have come to lime Texas and warming to Tilula. This album along with Jewels Christmas Album are perfection

  44. JR T

    what's with the plastic baby. Natalie must be smarter than this.

  45. JR T

    great song. Terrible video. horrible


    I disagree jr.

  46. Lawrence Leong

    This is so beautiful. Natalie IS beautiful. Bliss!

    Carl Lyom's

    wow, you are right

  47. Tony Harrell

    Natalie could sing the phone book and it would be terrific.

    Ken Jester

    Natilie Merchant's Phone Book is my all time favorite CD.

  48. Alexander Frank Castro

    Natalie haunts me...


    Hey Alexander......
    She Haunts You???
    Sounds kind of Strange. Can You
    Explain That??????

  49. Linda Louise Young



    But she is giving up everything ;)

  50. aprtuned75

    Natalie you are beautiful in every way. I Love You

  51. David Reilly

    This is beautiful, haunting.... but I'm not sure how to interpret it. I'd love to better understand her message, without putting someone else's interpretation (or my own) on it. Very courageous though.

    Dyann Jaxon

    Or her/our impending mortality?


    Breaking through: enjoining the sacrifice of self for Other. 
    As in, negotiating a new direction....
    Is it my LEFT or your RIGHT; my EAST or your WEST?
    It is every beautiful nuance of the word.

    JR T

    If you want the meaning to any song. Study the lyrics alone without video or audio. To me this song is about giving up control that creates anger and frustration in ones life and allowing our creator to lay out a path to follow.


    Pure Buddhism.


    JR T Amen!

  52. Swaye


    Daniel B. Metallo

    +FallenPixel Yeah, Natalie's a pretty righteous woman...[

  53. Martin Barreto

    Desde lo más profundo de mi corazón, amo a esta ARTISTA, MUJER, SER HUMANO!!!!

  54. Cristian Pc

    There are no words to describe this piece of art.  I wish miss Merchant could release  more music during this decade.


    yes i would like that to happen

  55. Tony Caballero

    Thank you Natalie...

  56. eduardo grachet


  57. hendra purbaya

    beautiful voice, love her always!!

  58. freeunion

    Profound. It must have taken a great deal of courage to write this.

  59. Joni Brewer

    Sorry... if you disagree, but she is even better without the Maniacs.  They were good, but she can stand by herself.  I love her. She has been without them for awhile now.


    Joni Brewer Absolutely. She is an artist and had to go solo for her creative freedom, expression, growth & sanity.

  60. Ewerton Bahia Black

    QUE CLIPE FEIO ... MUITO ASSUSTADOR MASCARA HORRENDA ... ;0 não sei mais você não canta nada .. só assusta mesmo .. pelo menos nesse clipe não sei nos outros .. #meassustopakas

  61. Jess in king

    this is amazing. i have to say even if you don't read you've always inspired me. i've always seen you as a wonderous brave beautiful authentic unqiue woman..that i aspire to be as i age to yours..your creativity and magic is just amazing. <3

    and this song touches mebecause this is a place i am right now in my life..and you expressed and this video ads a layer to what i can't put into words i'm going through as well.

    natalie is amazing..thank you for this. <3

  62. Fabi Ares

    Come to. Brazil! Please :)

  63. Billy Knaub

    My point system is no longer the $ as of years ago... My heart is the winner in all this. Don't let $ ruin your life. Live it.

  64. Marcelino Dreams

    She is amazing.

  65. Mother Nature On The Run

    Natalie, Don't give up your beautiful gift of natural inquiry challenging us to be more humane -- compassionate, loving, and giving human beings. 

  66. Luis Enrique Perez

    She has an exquisite voice that pierces the soul.


    Luis Enrique Perez Yes, she sure does! It stops you in your tracks. It’s profound, deep, mixed with a tinge of sadness and strength and truth

  67. Greg Stone

    I saw her in 10,000 Maniacs.  I saw her solo.  No comparison.  Maniacs all the way.  Bad mistake, leaving...

    A Stdy

    dont evolve


    Thats a matter of opinion
    Boston, Ma.

  68. ColoradoFlo

    On September 13, 2014, a perfect, exhilarating and unforgettable New York City concert.  Oh our dear Natalie, performed  21 songs, nobody does that these days. 

  69. Chris

    I prescribe Prozac. Don't get me wrong, the music and voice are beautiful, and the song and video an artistic success. But more often than not I turn to music to lift myself *up*, so I'm much more likely to listen to "Kind and Generous" on repeat. For the same reasons I won't listen to too much Depeche Mode or Pink Floyd in one sitting, it just gets to be a bit of a depressing slog.

  70. Kindiah

    This song just makes my heart so sad and makes me want to reach out to her with care, compassion, and concern.


    I agree...

  71. Hervé Lakotatashunka

    Deep song.My favourite.The music is so beautiful like lyrics .Touching heart and mind. A great artist. .

  72. stephen garrett

    I remember watching "Like the Weather" on MTV when I was ~16 - I'm 42 now.  I fell as in love with a celebrity as one could that day, and have remained so.  It's been lovely to grow up with Ms. Merchant.  

  73. mj layegh

    Love you ,lady.Amazing , as usual

  74. Frost Gaming

    Giving up everything
    My hungry ghost of hopefulness
    Giving up everything
    Not haunted by wanting this

    Giving up everything
    The fortune I was saving
    Giving up everything
    I mercy-killed my craving

    Giving up everything
    I've opened up my eyes for this
    Giving up everything
    See the cold magnificent emptiness

    Give what I want for how it is
    The stone inside and the bitterness
    For sweetness at the core of it

    Giving up everything
    The master plan, the scheming
    Giving up everything
    My cursed search for meaning

    Giving up everything
    The compass and the map I was reading
    The hinterlands I'm leaving
    I'm finally leaving behind

    Giving up everything
    The big to-do, the hullabaloo
    Talk of hope for some twisted truth
    For the everlasting ache of it

    No longer sleep, not chained to it
    No gate, no guard, no keeper
    No guru, master, teacher
    See the slow, see the faces
    Dissolve to black, no traces

    Sarah Khan

    thanks for posting the lyrics.


    Thank You💙

  75. Robt Bomba

    Incomparable sin duda alguna, no hay otra que tenga una voz tan profunda y bella como la que tiene y es este tesoro nacional

  76. Trey Handy


  77. JohnFive Eagles Szuros

    Holy moley we are all growing up or something.

  78. Billy Knaub

    Going to Stony Brook to see Natalie in December! CAN'T WAIT!!!!! :)

  79. joanne moesswilde

    I find the mask and baby kind of creepy

  80. SusieQ Gallagher

    Love her voice and always have. Truly a remarkable talent.

  81. Ladybug

    You'd only think this is terrible, if you can't relate. I love how so many say something is terrible, simply because they cannot relate with the message the artist is trying to convey. Get over yourselves... There are bigger things in this world than you and your piddly opinion. 

    Sting Ray

    It's all about truth and that all that she's tried to convey throughout her long career.  Some of us cant handle it...I just hear her voice and her words and it makes sence for many reasons.



  82. AJCN

    Finest album I've heard in long time.

  83. clifton stillman

    This is truly horrible


    Not everybody can appreciate Ms. Merchant's music.  

  84. swollencadaver

    I love you Natalie

  85. Pegasus windows

    I'm about to see her at the Chicago theater on Sept 11th...does anyone if she still will play songs from Tigerlilly?

    Jennifer Scott

    Just saw her in Milwaukee last night... and it was Amazeballs! Yes, she played many- Wonder, Beloved Wife, Carnival, Jealousy, and then Thank you... she said she went 45 mins over her normal set and I have never laughed at a concert as much as I did last night. And there was so much haze that the alarm system at the Pabst went off...and she faked a heart attack... a fantastic show. Beware the cellphone police as she wanted no phones at all... which was fine. You are gonna have a great time... 

    Jennifer Scott

    @Jennifer Scott Not thank you..durr Kind and Generous is the song she ended on. 

    Pegasus windows

    @Jennifer Scott She said you guys were a great audience in fact there people that saw her in Milwaukee at the concert in Chicago.

  86. Lou L

    Wow, I have my moments with words.. You own all of the media.

  87. Steve Elliott


  88. clarence

    I'm blown away....... awesome!

  89. Melissa Roheiler

    Nick, she's beautiful regardless of her light or dark.  I believe she has always had both within her 10,000 maniacs or Natalie Merchant career. I think she is authentic and never think of her as pretentious, just real.  We all show a bit or pretention in our lives.  Turning 42 this year, I feel exactly like she feels sometimes.  That doesn’t mean I always feel this way.  I’m so thankful; she can still hold our hand as years approach upon us. 

  90. jjalseth

    Beautiful Woman. Four years younger than me. Cool song!

  91. Richard Whitt

    Natalie's music & videos and her physical beauty to me are incredible works of art. Her songs touch my heart & soul like no one else. I adore her & am amazed by her talent!

  92. hategrinder

    top class

  93. pakibukas

    the kid in chronicles of narnia, forgot her name, looks so much like natalie. and btw, will she ever reconcile/make music again with her old band? that would be so nice

  94. billthestinker

    nice song Merchant still sings very well

  95. Ben Milli

    This song is fantastic!!!!!

  96. Maisha Topez

    Devouring time, blunt thou the lion's paws, and make the earth devour her won sweet brood; pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger's jaws, and burn the long-lived phoenix in her blood... Perhaps Natalie knows something about time and is not afraid. 

  97. sam malone

    Nick Harman she was the band.......she did not lose a step by going solo....this woman is one of god's believe i did not check for the band after she left