"Mercenary" as written by Alice Glass and Ethan Kath....
Just a dime store poet
Keeping pace, talking his face blue
Two dollar store tramps
To get a glance, a new chance at you

Walk past the dance floor
That's always been a dear friend of mine
Cuckolds and concubines
Dancing in four, four time

'Hey mister' the bellman says 'I can only recall and spend some time I said'
So he replies 'Then how do you manage'?
I dodge the blast, and apologize for collateral damage

In love, I've always been a mercenary, but I never leave my post when the cash runs out
I want to make you quiver
Make your backbone shiver
Hey kid, take the stage and deliver
'Hey mister' the bellman says 'I can only recall and spend some time I said.'
So he replies 'Then how do you manage'?
I dodge the blast, and apologize for collateral damage

'How does it feel to stand on the very stones that ran with your parent's blood?
Do you feel sad? Full of rage? Or does that outfit help you bury your feelings?
Hiding your true self
You're truly an extraordinary specimen; I look forward to breaking you'

I dodge the blast, and apologize for collateral damage

'Hey mister' the bellman says 'I can only recall and spend some time I said.'
So he replies 'Then how do you manage'
I dodge the blast, and apologize for collateral damage

'Hey mister' the bellman says 'I can only recall and spend some time I said.'
So he replies 'Then how do you manage'
I dodge the blast, and apologize for collateral damage


Lyrics submitted by babyghostrogue, edited by Xerorei

"Mercenary" as written by Ethan Kath Alice Glass

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Mercenary song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentReally? I think it's Dr. Strange speaking, since it look like he's becoming a more important villian in both Arkham City and The Dark Knight Rises. Especially when he calls him a 'speciman'.

    "Hey mister, the bellman says, I can only recall last night's hotel, I said
    So he replies, "Then how do you manage?"
    I dodge the blast, and apologize for collateral damage"
    -I'm pretty sure this is Batman speaking as Bruce Wayne. He hides that he's been out all night as Batman by pretending that he's really been out partying and remembers nothing of last night except the name of the hotel. The bellman asks how he can do all this (meaning Wayne's success, not his role as Batman) and he replies with a line that can be taken two ways: literally, because he's actually Batman and he literally has to avoid getting killed and then apologize for the mess the villains are making. OR metaphorically, in that Wayne avoids trouble as a businessman and is always apologetic. So he safely answers the bellman's question while still alluding to the fact that he's Batman.
    babyghostrogueon September 25, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionWOW, this song is aweeeesssome!!!!! Today, when I found out about this, I started telling all my friends and mashed a key off my keyboard... ._.

    Anyways... I don't exactly get what this means...

    But does anyone else think that in the spoken part, the xylophone sounds like the tune in the beginning of Mona Lisa?
    ObessedWithEverythingon September 23, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe spoken part is the Joker speaking because this is a song for/about Batman and it is in the Batman: Arkham City video game soundtrack.
    And I'm not sure if it is a xylophone (because I am so used to marimbas) but it defiantly sounds like Mona Lisa and I thought that from the very first time I heard it.

    Here are some things that I picked up on from the lyrics.

    "I dodge the blast and apologize for collateral damage" is about how Batman does just that. He takes all the heat for what the villains do when he's the one trying not to be killed by them.

    "I want to make you quiver, make your backbone shiver" is about how Batman wants the villains to fear him because he is the vengeance and the night.

    "Hey kid, take the stage and deliver" is about Robin.

    He is a mercenary because he thinks that he is only acting for the reward of revenge.
    SomethingBatmanon September 24, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Lyric Correctionit should be "store" not "stone'
    xdragonxfirexon October 07, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBesides the chorus, it seems pretty straightforward.

    "Just a dime-store poet, keeping pace, talking his face blue
    Two dollar store tramps, to get a glance, a new chance at you"
    - He's talking about the streets of Gotham
    "Walk past the dance floor. It's always been a dear friend of mine
    Cut coils and concubines, dancing in four/four time"
    - I'm not sure whether the dance floor is a metaphor for Bruce Wayne's extravagant lifestyle, Arhkam, or Gotham's criminal underworld

    I definitely hear:
    "Hey mister, the bellman says, I can only recall last night's hotel, I said
    So he replies, 'Then how do you manage?'"

    The spoken part is Hugo Strange (he is, after all, the main villain). No other villain would analyze Batman in the same way.
    kieranron October 25, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThat is definitely Dr. Strange. in the game, you find the spot where his parents were shot and theres a tape from Strange that says exactly that.
    theniceguy1135on January 02, 2012   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningThe song is all about Batman, duh. The spoken part is spoken by HUGO STRANGE which you find on a side mission.

    "Just a dime store poet, keeping pace, talking his face blue. Two dollar store tramps, to get a glance a new chance at you." Isn't about Batman, it's about Selina Kyle. Or, Catwoman. She's a theif, they stay in the store as she steals from them to attempt to catch Catwoman.

    "Walk past the dancefloor, it's always been a dear friend of mine. Curt chords and concubines, dancing in four-four time." Isn't actually meaning a dance, it means going into a fight. Which could mean either Batman or Catwoman, I'm thinking that since it's in first person it would be Batman.

    ""Hey Mister," the bellman says "I can only recall last night's hotel" I said. So he replies "And how do you manage?" I dodge the blast and apologise for collateral damage." Is spoken as Bruce Wayne, not Batman, as a conversation between him and the bellman of the hotel.

    "In Love I've Always Been A Mercenary, but I never leave my post when the cash runs out." Again, refering to the "Playboy" that is Bruce Wayne.

    "I wanna make you quiver, make your back bone shiver!" I think is how he wants to come off against his foes, the reason he took the identity of a batman is because bats scare people, he wants to scare criminals.

    "Hey Kid, take the stage and deliver!" Robin reference.

    The spoken part is obvious, I'm not sure about how obvious it is for people who don't play the games, so here goes. Hugo is talking about the fact that he knows who Batman is, and he leaves this message behind on the same street that Bruce's parents died on. Hugo is determined to one up Bruce, and his little deduction is basically him referencing to how he can one up him.
    CusImMrBrightsideon February 26, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think the first verse alludes to a particular duo of Batman villains that play pivotal roles in the story.

    The first references a 'dime-store poet' who is 'keeping pace and talking his face blue.'

    This in particular references the Joker I believe, as the 'dime store poet' line may be referring to his constant use of rhyme and jokes when he speaks. Secondly, he 'keeps pace' with Batman as his complete opposite, matching every good action from the Dark Knight with a fierce retaliation everytime. Also (spoilers) The Joker is incredibly sick during Arkham City, and also, well... Never shuts up. Hence 'talking his face blue'

    The second villain, then, would undoubtedly be two-face. When viewed as a singular statement, 'Two dollar store tramps' seems like he's talking about cheap prostitutes, or at least that is often the first inflection to come to mind. This is not the case, when viewed separately, we have 'Two', 'Dollar', 'Store', 'Tramps'. 'Two', meaning the two personalities of Harvey Dent, 'Dollar' being his signature coin, the word 'store' is possibly just a connecting word, or the way Catwoman views Dent, and the word 'Tramp' may be referring to her sultry behavior, or simply insulting Two-face.

    The last part of the beginning states 'To get a glance, new chance at you'. This could be from both the perspective of both Hugo Strange and Batman. Batman who is trying to stop Strange and his nefarious 'Protocol 10', and Strange who is always analyzing the mind of the Dark Knight.

    Okay, this next one is interesting, but a clear innuendo towards a separate meaning exists. Quick vocab for anyone reading this, a 'cuckold' is either a man whose wife has committed adultery, or a man who has accepted an EXTREMELY submissive role in his relationship with a wife or girlfriend. A concubine is essentially the female version of the same thing with a minor variation. Anyway, this partnered with the dance floor reflects the two lives of Bruce Wayne: The debauchery and lies of the social high class with bumbling scandalous lovers left and right, and the paved battlegrounds of Gotham City, this time with the cuckolds and concubines referring to the hundreds of lower-grade thugs who allow their wills to be bent and forced by criminals like The Joker, The Penguin, Two Face... Need I go on? 4/4 time is a basic time signature, that repeats every four beats- meaning a steady flow of both the lavish lies of the high class and brutal beatings of the ruthless criminal element in the underworld.

    Now, this may not be a popular opinion, but I think the Bellman is actually representative of no other than Alfred Pennyworth. "Hey mister" Could be a call of concern, and as always, Batman/Bruce deflects the worry with a level-headed, witty retort. Alfred then asks exactly how he continues his crusade after every beating ("How do you manage"). And Bruce tells him by saying more or less, "The only thing I CAN do." (I Dodge the blast... Collateral Damage") As he is well aware that he is excellent at preserving himself, he cannot save everyone.

    The last part of note are spoken in-game lines from Hugo Strange, taunting Batman at the site of his parents murder.

    The fact that 'I dodge the blast and apologize for collateral damage' line is repeated again here could be considered as Batmans resistance to the Strange's taunts and plans, although at this point I may be looking a bit too far into it. But hey, there was a point where I could have stopped and I passed that long ago, so lets continue and see where this goes.

    I suppose, if I were looking any deeper, than I would say the repetition of the chorus could simply represent the strength of Batmans unyielding resolve. Or maybe they're there to make the song longer, hey, just a theory.
    JackTheRabbiton November 25, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationOops! Missed one. The verse regarding this songs titular word refers mostly to Catwoman and her love of money, being that it is her primary goal (/hence why she never 'leaves her post when the cash runs out'), and that as a 'mercenary of love' she often uses seduction and sultry teases to either get what she wants, or distract her mark. The second half, however, refers to her love of the Batman, and the final line states she serves as his support when all else fails- in the game, she actually does play a role in both saving him and motivating him. That, or an unknown announcer is telling Catwoman directly to take action- 'taking the stage' could refer to her occasional switching to the main character if you downloaded her story or bought Arkham City new.
    JackTheRabbiton November 25, 2013   Link

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