"Mercy" as written by and Chris Ryan Greenough Mandeep Ruby Bumrah....
I stood in the water
In the middle month of winter
My camel skin was torture
I was in a state of nature
The wind, sir, it was wicked
I was so alone
Just as I predicted
My followers were gone

And I cried `Mercy'
Have mercy upon me
And I got down on my knees

Thrown into a dungeon
Bread and water was my portion
Faith - my only weapon
To rest the devil's legion
The speak-hole would slide open
A viper's voice would plead
Thick with innuendo
Syphilis and Greed

And she cried `Mercy'
Have mercy upon me
And I told her to get down on her knees

In a garden full of roses
My hands, tied behind me
My cousin was working miracles
I wondered if he'd find me
The moon was turned toward me
Like a platter made of gold
My death, it almost bored me
So often was it told

And I cried `Mercy'
I cried mercy on me
Cryind `Mercy'
Have mercy on me

Lyrics submitted by Dressed2Depress

"Mercy" as written by Chris Ryan Greenough Mandeep Ruby Bumrah

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., RESERVOIR MEDIA MANAGEMENT INC

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Mercy song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentGotta be one of my favourite Cave songs. The desperation is insane. The John the Baptist inspiration is obvious but I tend to think Cave puts more than a little of himself into the character as well.
    mackkaon June 18, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSo no one commented on this yet? Hard to believe. A great song about John the Baptist...a little creepy too, as is most of Nick Cave's work.
    milk_and_honeyon February 22, 2007   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningReally wonderful song,so touching!But could you explain why this has to do with John the Baptist??This relationship is not so obvious to me...
    armagezonon January 13, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe "She" in "She cried mercy" was Herods wife. John the Baptist was imprisoned by Herod because he renounced Herod's divorce from his first wife and marrying his brother's wife. I'm guessing the second verse refers to her asking John the Baptist to forgive Herod while he was improsoned. "I asked her to get down on her knew" is obviously his denial of that forgiveness. The third verse refers to his death at her request; to have his head brought to her on a platter. Brilliant, emotional depiction of a very grim Biblical event!
    dave152427on June 22, 2014   Link

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