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Natalie Merchant – Carnival lyrics

Well, I've walked these streets
A virtual stage, it seemed to me
Makeup on their faces
Actors took their places next to me

Well, I've walked these streets
In a carnival, of sights to see
All the cheap thrill seekers vendors and the dealers
They crowded around me

Have I been blind, have I been lost
Inside myself and my own mind
Hypnotized, mesmerized by what my eyes have seen?

Well, I've walked these streets
In a spectacle of wealth and poverty
In the diamond markets the scarlet welcome carpet
That they just rolled out for me

And I've walked these streets
In the madhouse asylum they can be
Where a wild-eyed misfit prophet
On a traffic island stopped and he raved of saving me

Have I been wrong, have I been wise
To shut my eyes and play along
Hypnotized, paralyzed by what my eyes have found
By what my eyes have seen, what do you see?

Have I been blind, have I been lost
Have I been wrong, have I been wise
Have I been strong

Have I been hypnotized, mesmerized
By what my eyes have found
In that great street carnival, in that carnival

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    Carnival is deeply beautiful, multifaceted thought-provoking, bittersweet song. This level of songwriting is rare especially nowadays. I think it is about the facades that are created by people who come into your life to victimize you, dupe you, and/or take advantage of you or to simply make themselves (or their lifestyles or belief systems) superior to you in some way. I think it is about the way we think we know a person and we really do not. We just play along. Knowing inside that it is not authentic. It is not right. This can be said for individual souls that meet us along the path of life and it can be about the injustices that so many of face in this world. Whole ways of life can be a façade of virtual smoke and mirrors. Simply an elaborate trick, not real--only lies and omissions that we seem to have become very capable of perpetrating onto each other to get our own needs met. To harm and abuse and selfishly take even from the most helpless, impoverished and vulnerable among us. Trusting adults, children, animals, elderly people whomever we can -get over on" it seems. I first heard this song when I was watching a documentary about aileen "lee" wuornos. No matter the reasons for what she did her life from childhood on was filled with unspeakable horror, poverty, desperation, tragedy, painâ€"and no one even when she was an infant was ever there for her in any way. I love this song now. It makes me cry yet it comforts me deeply when I am in pain or am confused about the cruel or senseless, unbelievable actions of others towards their fellow living beings in this world. Thank you natalie merchant for writing and singing this beautiful song, and thank you lee for loving it enough so that I could find it also.
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