Not the Saddest Song Ever Heard:"Mercy Now" By Mary Gauthier

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy" (Matthew 5: 6-7). 

Every single one of us could us

Mary Gauthier is a Catholic who was born in Lousiana.
She's had troubles with alcohol and been sober since her late 20s.
She founded and cooked for a restaurant in Boston called the Dixie Kitchen.
She wrote her first song at age 35.

Speaking of those songs-some say she's written the saddest one of all time- a song called "Mercy Now".

Maybe it's because I don't mind what is usually considered sad music, but I don't think "Mercy Now" is the harbinger of doom and gloom. Yes, there are broad brushstrokes of painful introspection, but ultimately, "Mercy Now" has a tender heart. Here, Gauthier reflects on her family and friends before zooming out and surveying the funk, pain, and name of the human condition as a whole. We could all use a little mercy. Some days that mercy is granted by friends, by the world, by God. Other times, it is granted by a song, like this one. Everything about this tune sits right at home in your heart, from Gauthier's easy vocals and melodic acoustic guitar to the introspection that the song itself demands.


"Mercy Now" Lyrics:
My father could use a little mercy now
The fruits of his labor                                                         
Fall and rot slowly on the ground
His work is almost over
It won’t be long and he won’t be around
I love my father, and he could use some mercy now

My brother could use a little mercy now
He’s a stranger to freedom
He’s shackled to his fears and doubts
The pain that he lives in is
Almost more than living will allow
I love my brother, and he could use some mercy now

My Church and my Country could use a little mercy now
As they sink into a poisoned pit
That’s going to take forever to climb out
They carry the weight of the faithful
Who follow ‘em down
I love my Church and Country and they could use some mercy now

Every living thing could use a little mercy now
Only the hand of grace can end the race
Towards another mushroom cloud
People in power, well
They’ll do anything to keep their crown
I love life, and life itself could use some mercy now


Yea, we all could use a little mercy now
I know we don’t deserve it
But we need it anyhow
We hang in the balance
Dangle ‘tween hell and hallowed ground
Every single one of us could use some mercy now
Every single one of us could use some mercy now
Every single one of us could use some mercy now

Popular Posts

"Torch Songs" and "Cast Iron Ballads": Deep Cuts from the Planet Waves Era

Review: Bob Dylan at the Oakdale Theatre

Peace, Bullets, Schools, Chaos, Life, and The Drive by Truckers

Along for the Ride with Tell Tale Signs

Jeff Lynne's on the Phone

"Tangled Up In Blue": What's the Best Version?

If Street Legal was the Question, Bob Hopped on the Slow Train for the Answer

This Train is Bound For Glory: Blood on the Tracks

Lost in a Dream: Bob Dylan, 1967-1974

1968: The Songs that Went the Other Way