I used to be a Michelle Shocked fan. I’ve seen her play live. Twice. But in the early 2000s she completely lost her mind and starting doing homophobic diatribes at shows. Her husband says it’s because she went off her meds, but she’s also admitted to being born again. It’s hard to reconcile her rants with her past as an artist who used to pretend to be a lesbian, was arrested for protesting corporate corruption of the political process, and made civil rights folk songs about gender-switching and being into punk rock.
Michelle Shocked had a few hits in the 1990s: Anchorage was probably her biggest, but you might also When I Grow Up, On the Greener Side, or The Quality of Mercy. Her lyrics are poignant, her music is catchy, her performances felt honest and moving…And her best song wasn’t even a hit: Come A Long Way is a simply song about having been on the run for a while and finally giving up, stopping running, and looking for peace.
THE GREATEST OF ALL TUNES (G.O.A.T.) is a series of posts, producing my 100 favorite songs of all time. The master list is here, and I update it about every two weeks or when I have another 10 songs or so. When I do, this song will come in at #53.
Covers: Almost none. Just about everything Michelle Shocked related is wiped off youtube. Even Michelle herself can no longer be found performing this song.