Inspiring Music

The song “Wonder” by Natalie Merchant is one of my favorite songs. I regard it as a disability anthem. Here is the music video of the song in which the singer and many women and girls sing along to the music. The women and girls are a variety of ages, body types, and races. At least one of the people in the video has Down Syndrome. I love everything about this song. It is joyful, it centers the narrative on the disabled girl/woman’s experience, and it pokes back at the abled people–doctors and journalists– who are so fascinated by her.

Wonder

Natalie Merchant / Indian Love Bride ©1995
Doctors have come from distant cities
just to see me
stand over my bed
disbelieving what they’re seeing
They say I must be one of the wonders
of god’s own creation
and as far as they can see they can offer
no explanation
Newspapers ask intimate questions
want confessions
they reach into my head
to steal the glory of my story
They say I must be one of the wonders
of god’s own creation
and as far as they can see they can offer
no explanation
O, I believe
fate smiled and destiny
laughed as she came to my cradle
know this child will be able
laughed as my body she lifted
know this child will be gifted
with love, with patience and with faith
she’ll make her way
People see me
I’m a challenge to your balance
I’m over your heads
how I confound you and astound you
to know I must be one of the wonders
of god’s own creation
and as far as you can see you can offer me
no explanation
O, I believe
fate smiled and destiny
laughed as she came to my cradle
know this child will be able
laughed as she came to my mother
know this child will not suffer
laughed as my body she lifted
know this child will be gifted
with love, with patience and with faith
she’ll make her way

5 responses to “Inspiring Music”

  1. Vertigo

    Funny that you posted about this song… I just got Ms Merchant’s 5 albums, and for the past couple of weeks, she is all I listen to. She is brilliant in her art. Her new CD about children’s poems is very ambitious and warm.

  2. Jo

    Oh, I love that song! always have.

  3. Ms. M

    I too have always felt this is a disabilty anthem. I have PTSD from dr’s standing over my bed staring (among other medical trauma) and I always felt when I hear this song it is finally someone speaking up about all that invasiveness.

    My husband introduced me to Natalie Merchant in college, and I’ve been listening to her ever since. He once played “Trouble Me” and said I could tell him all my troubles, he was there for me. One of the most important moments (to me) in our relationship.

  4. Joanna

    Amazing lyrics and in fact just what I needed to be reminded of again this evening.. Thanks.

  5. Sasha_Feather

    Thanks for all your lovely comments! This song speaks to me and I’m glad others feel the same.

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