2 Feb 2017

Mary Chapin Carpenter: 'I believe in the human spirit'

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 1:27 pm on 2 February 2017
Mary Chapin Carpenter

Mary Chapin Carpenter Photo: Jo Cox / CC BY-NC 2.0

“The soul survives its adventures” is a favourite quote of five-time Grammy winner Mary Chapin Carpenter.

Chapin Carpenter’s 14th album The Things That We Are Made Of  celebrates something the entertainment industry generally condemns - middle age.

The GK Chesterton quotation chimed with the themes of her new songs, she says.

“The idea that as you grow older and hopefully wiser you take stock of all the things you’ve been through the, the losses as well as the joys, that it’s entirely possible to come out the other side and feel like life is beginning anew.”

Chapin Carpenter says that at 59 she has never felt more in control as a songwriter and an artist - although she still avoids reading reviews.

“If I couldn’t handle the bad reviews there was no real reason to read either good or bad.”

Looking back at our lives from the vantage point of middle age is a good way to realise our own strength, Chapin Carpenter says.

“The idea that you are where you are, just to have gotten this far … you wonder how did I get through that? And then you realise you’re in in one piece because you are resilient.”

Looking forward, Chapin Carpenter says she puts her trust in Barack Obama’s optimism.

“I believe in the human spirit and believe that kindness and love will out.”