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Carnival (song): Wikis


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Single by Natalie Merchant
Released 1995
Format Single
Recorded 1995
Genre Rock
Length 5:59 (Album Version)
4:01 (Edit)
Label Elektra Records/Warner Bros. Records
Writer(s) Natalie Merchant (lyricist/composer)
Producer Natalie Merchant
Natalie Merchant singles chronology
N/A "Carnival" "Wonder"

"Carnival" is a 1995 song written and produced by singer-songwriter Natalie Merchant and was the lead single from her debut solo album Tigerlily.

The single was released to U.S. airwaves in the summer of 1995 and went straight to the number ten spot on the Billboard Hot 100. The single received a radio edit cutting the song down from the six-minute LP version.

In the lyrics, the protagonist compares the many colorful sights and sounds of day-to-day life in New York City to a carnival.

The video for the song, directed by Melodie McDaniel, shows scenes of Merchant walking the streets of New York City taking street photographs with a Leica M3.



By her own request, this song was played at the funeral of a convicted female serial killer, Aileen Wuornos, after she was executed in 2002.


1. Carnival (Edit)
2. Carnival (LP Version)
3. I May Know The Word


  • John Holbrook - Organ, Guitar (Electric), Engineer
  • Katell Keineg - Vocals (bckgr)
  • Barrie Maguire - Bass, Guitar (12 String)
  • Natalie Merchant - Vocals, Piano, Organ, Vibraphone
  • Peter Yanowitz - Percussion, Drums
  • Matt Henderson - Bass, Guitar (Electric)
  • Eric Schenkman - Guitar (Electric)
  • Jennifer Turner - Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Vocals (bckgr)


Year Single Chart Peak Position
1995 "Carnival" Adult Top 40 #8
1995 "Carnival" Billboard Hot 100 #10
1995 "Carnival" Modern Rock Tracks #12
1995 "Carnival" Top 40 Mainstream #6
1995 "Carnival" Adult Top 40 #8
1995 "Carnival" Top 40 Adult Recurrents #1
1995 "Carnival" Australian ARIA Charts #15


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