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YMMV: Ten Thousand Maniacs
  • Anvilicious: Natalie Merchant's lyrics could be at times.
    • As was her somewhat schoolmistressy demeanour at live gigs. She once solemnly informed the gallery at a late 80s London gig not to crane too far forward to see her because once in the 19th century people had fallen out of the gallery doing that, implicitly suggesting that the venue had learned absolutely nothing in the intervening 100 years about audience safety.
  • Awesome Music: In My Tribe
  • Broken Aesop: "What's the Matter Here" is ostensibly a song about how cruel it is to be beat your kid, making it a case of Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped, but in fact the narrator observes a parent threatening to beat a kid, wonders if the parent is really being cruel, silently wishes that the parent would show some sign that things aren't what they look like, wants to ask the question "What's the matter here?" but in the end does absolutely nothing. What makes it a Broken Aesop is that the song consists almost entirely of the narrator's purely internal finger-wagging to the parent, but no actual confrontation takes place; within the song, the narrator completely fails to realise just how weak and self-righteous she's being.
  • Captain Obvious Aesop: "Poison in the Well" tells us that pollution is bad. "Candy Everybody Wants" tells us that commercial TV networks try to broadcast programs that are popular as opposed to programs that are unpopular.
  • Ear Worm: Nearly all of their songs.
  • Face of the Band: Natalie Merchant appeared by herself in most of the band's music videos.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Toward the band's albums without Merchant.
  • Les Yay: "Stockton Gala Days" is positively moist with it.
  • Narm: The need to rhyme sometimes lured Merchant in this direction. From "What's the Matter Here", there's her curiously euphemistic rendition of an angry parent's threats: "Threats like / 'If you don't mind / I will beat on your behind / Slap you, slap you silly'"

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