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Peter Gabriel — Mercy Street
Album: So
Avg rating:
8.4

Your rating:
Total ratings: 4189









Released: 1986
Length: 6:13
Plays (last 30 days): 2
Looking down on empty streets, all she can see
Are the dreams all made solid
Are the dreams made real

All of the buildings, all of the cars
Were once just a dream
In somebody's head

She pictures the broken glass, pictures the steam
She pictures a soul
With no leak at the seam

Let's take the boat out
Wait until darkness
Let's take the boat out
Wait until darkness comes

Nowhere in the corridors of pale green and gray
Nowhere in the suburbs
In the cold light of day

There in the midst of it, so alive and alone
Words support like bone

Dreaming of Mercy Street
Wear your inside out
Dreaming of mercy
In your daddy's arms again
Dreaming of Mercy Street
Swear they moved that sign
Dreaming of mercy
In your daddy's arms

Pulling out the papers from the drawers that slide smooth
Tugging at the darkness, word upon word
Confessing all the secret things in the warm velvet box
To the priest, he's the doctor
He can handle the shocks

Dreaming of the tenderness
The tremble in the hips
Of kissing Mary's lips

Dreaming of Mercy Street
Wear your inside out
Dreaming of mercy
In your daddy's arms again
Dreaming of Mercy Street
Swear they moved that sign
Looking for mercy
In your daddy's arms

Mercy, mercy, looking for mercy
Looking for mercy
Mercy, looking for mercy
Mercy, looking for mercy
Looking for mercy
Oh, mercy
Looking for mercy

Anne, with her father, is out in the boat
Riding the water
Riding the waves on the sea
Comments (610)add comment
Peter Gabriel is one of the 2 artists who I have stuck with through my whole life. The other is Pink Floyd. I mean that I still like any new releases (far and few between these days). God I'm old.
 SmackDaddy wrote:
How many times a day do we have to hear this guy? Every damn day.
 
Smack that “skip” button 
 bking wrote:
My 16 year-old self: 8.  My 49 year-old self: 3. 
 

My 19 year-old self: 8.  My 53 year-old self: 10.
My 16 year-old self: 8.  My 49 year-old self: 3. 
How many times a day do we have to hear this guy? Every damn day.
Solid PG.
Musically uninteresting, hard to listen to disjointed rhythm such as this with cacaphonic inchoherence
I was surprised to see I'd never rated this. I just gave it a solid 9, partly for the wonderful comments. Maybe I need to go read Anne Sexton.

Thank you, RP.
c.
 talexb wrote:
I'm loathe to comment while [Trustocity]'s beautiful is at the top, but their story is heightened by the contrasting pictures of Mr. Gabriel -- on the left, a youthful looking thirty-something, and on the right, a gentleman of retirement age.

Bless this wonderful source of most excellent music and this thoughtful community.
 
And one of our blessed souls pointed me to this 23 year old Gabriel performance from 1973. Brilliant. 
So would be in my top 10 albums of all time, no questions. Gabriel is pure genius
Four comments:
1) Like many others here, this is one of my favorite PG songs. Every listen takes me away for a moment, to both literal and figurative places
2) I wasn't aware of the connection to an Anne Sexton poem until I back-tracked through 18 years of comments (and read all of the thoughtful ones)
3) Knowing there's at least of 18 years of comments reminded me that I;ve been listening to RP since 2004. Tempus Fugit!  Whoa ...
4) RP listeners -- not your average musical bear ...  
I'm loathe to comment while [Trustocity]'s beautiful is at the top, but their story is heightened by the contrasting pictures of Mr. Gabriel -- on the left, a youthful looking thirty-something, and on the right, a gentleman of retirement age.

Bless this wonderful source of most excellent music and this thoughtful community.
easmann wrote:
And then of course there's this: Scientific American: Are We Living In a Computer Simulation?

MattRudely wrote:
I've got this.

No.

Probably. At least, I hope you're right. But you don't know, no matter how strongly you may believe, nobody does.

I find it interesting that it's a legitimate scientific theory that warrants consideration and investigation. You know, every far-fetched theory is a joke until it isn't. Not saying this will go that way, but, it could …

"Hey, have you heard? They're saying the Earth is round, not flat!"
"Ha ha ha, RIGHT!"

"Hey, have you heard? They're saying the Universe is round, not flat!"
"Ha ha ha, RIGHT!"
 Pjesnik wrote:
"All of the buildings, all of the cars
Were once just a dream
In somebody's head."

I used to write this quote (translated, of course) in the Acknowledgement  of my MSc thesis.  
 

It's my favorite line from this song, and I quote it all the time when thinking about the manifestation of our goals/dreams. Congratulations on completing your thesis 
"All of the buildings, all of the cars
Were once just a dream
In somebody's head."

I used to write this quote (translated, of course) in the Acknowledgement  of my MSc thesis.  
...joy division, peter gabriel...okay
Akazungu wrote:
One of the best songs, from one of the best albums of the 80s. I really like Peter post-Genesis, and I really like Genesis post-Peter.
 
I agree with what you say enough to go 5+1 on this one.  I was a bit too young to get PG then, I'm slowly liking him more, and find the PG Genesis is not what PG Solo was. So Long Live RP and changing tastes!!
 Trustocity wrote:
Every corporate drone in America with a used car and a mortgage was once a teenager staying out too late on a Tuesday night with a group of friends speeding down their town's main strip with the windows open and the radio loud, and when I was that teenager, "So" was the album in the tape deck. I sat in the passenger's seat with my right foot dangling out the window as my best friend drove. The girl he pined for sat in the back with the boy she was dating, my other best friend, and it felt more like a romantic triangle among true comrades from a French movie than the angst-riddled tripe you see on "One Tree Hill." When you love the guy your girl is dating as much as you love the girl, it's the definition of "bittersweet." Whenever "Mercy Street" started trickling through the speakers of that old Grand Am, with its tender, discordant synths followed by the triangle, the atmosphere in the car was hushed. My pal turned the stereo up so loud we couldn't even hear the wind rushing through four open windows. Today, reinhabiting the boy I was, my heart swells like a sponge cake in my chest to remember how happy and at peace I was. We all knew the words by heart, had all read Anne Sexton just to better understand the song, and the unfiltered sadness we experienced from the beginning to the end of that song made us feel magnificently alive and vulnerable, and connected to each other. What I'm trying to say is, I'm never going to finish this report my boss wants by 4:30. Not with "Mercy Street" playing...
 

Getting older sucks, but it does give you perspectives like this :)
 Trustocity wrote:
Every corporate drone in America with a used car and a mortgage was once a teenager staying out too late on a Tuesday night with a group of friends speeding down their town's main strip with the windows open and the radio loud, and when I was that teenager, "So" was the album in the tape deck. I sat in the passenger's seat with my right foot dangling out the window as my best friend drove. The girl he pined for sat in the back with the boy she was dating, my other best friend, and it felt more like a romantic triangle among true comrades from a French movie than the angst-riddled tripe you see on "One Tree Hill." When you love the guy your girl is dating as much as you love the girl, it's the definition of "bittersweet." Whenever "Mercy Street" started trickling through the speakers of that old Grand Am, with its tender, discordant synths followed by the triangle, the atmosphere in the car was hushed. My pal turned the stereo up so loud we couldn't even hear the wind rushing through four open windows. Today, reinhabiting the boy I was, my heart swells like a sponge cake in my chest to remember how happy and at peace I was. We all knew the words by heart, had all read Anne Sexton just to better understand the song, and the unfiltered sadness we experienced from the beginning to the end of that song made us feel magnificently alive and vulnerable, and connected to each other. What I'm trying to say is, I'm never going to finish this report my boss wants by 4:30. Not with "Mercy Street" playing...
 

Reading your comment 14 years later, new to RP. Very evocative of my own memories of that album. Thanks.
The video for this is SO hot.
 easmann wrote:
And then of course there's this:

Scientific American: Are We Living In a Computer Simulation?
 
I've got this.

No.
 Stingray wrote:
33 very poor souls voted this song "1" (no kidding)!

Freedom of taste or the terror of idiocy?


 
Don't be mean !
One of the best songs, from one of the best albums of the 80s. I really like Peter post-Genesis, and I really like Genesis post-Peter.
dsd wrote:
having bipolar family members, I grieve over those we have lost to the hell of depression. I thank God and our technology that we are making progress in treating this stuff and keeping many alive—but we have so much more to do—not just in development of treatment, but particularly in distribution—RIP Anne

 radioparadise9 wrote:
Someone has to point out the obvious - why did your god create depression - and then fail to fix it?

... because your imaginary friend doesn't exist.

I'll not comment on the existence of God but I don't find your argument very compelling. You may as well also ask:
"Why is there pain as well as pleasure?"
"Why is there bitter as well as sweet?"
”Why is there ugliness as well as beauty?”
"Why is there poison as well as balm?"
"Why is there darkness as well as light?"
"Why is there risk as well as reward?"
"Why is there poverty as well as wealth?"
"Why is there consequence as well as volition?"

 You seem to suggest that the nature of reality precludes a designer, perhaps because that nature does not conform to one that you would have approved? 
To me that's no better than the many comments like "it's a bad song because I don't like it".

And then of course there's this:

Scientific American: Are We Living In a Computer Simulation?
Increasing my rating from 8 to 9 - O U T S T A N D I N G 
But why is that worth a " Thumbs down" ?
 radioparadise9 wrote:

Someone has to point out the obvious - why did your god create depression - and then fail to fix it?

... because your imaginary friend doesn't exist.

 
Congratulations.  You're an Asshole.
<3
 dsd wrote:
having bipolar family members, I grieve over those we have lost to the hell of depression.  I thank God and our technology that we are making progress in treating this stuff and keeping many alive—but we have so much more to do—not just in development of treatment, but particularly in distribution—RIP Anne 
 
Someone has to point out the obvious - why did your god create depression - and then fail to fix it?

... because your imaginary friend doesn't exist?
This whole album is brilliant! Listened to it non stop in my 20's
 hagz21 wrote:
One of my few 10's. Well done Mr Gabriel. Well done.

 
me too, well done indeed
great song..

Such a perfect song!


Thank you Peter Gabriel for
Mercy Street

This is 8 - Most Excellent  to me  TY RP :)

More  Peter Gabriel  please, please


 melzabutch wrote:
clwguy wrote:
Mercy Street is one of the few songs that truly merit a 10.

Trustocity, your comment is as perfect and memorable as this song.


Trustocity wrote:
Every corporate drone in America with a used car and a mortgage was once a teenager staying out too late on a Tuesday night with a group of friends speeding down their town's main strip with the windows open and the radio loud, and when I was that teenager, "So" was the album in the tape deck. I sat in the passenger's seat with my right foot dangling out the window as my best friend drove. The girl he pined for sat in the back with the boy she was dating, my other best friend, and it felt more like a romantic triangle among true comrades from a French movie than the angst-riddled tripe you see on "One Tree Hill." When you love the guy your girl is dating as much as you love the girl, it's the definition of "bittersweet." Whenever "Mercy Street" started trickling through the speakers of that old Grand Am, with its tender, discordant synths followed by the triangle, the atmosphere in the car was hushed. My pal turned the stereo up so loud we couldn't even hear the wind rushing through four open windows. Today, reinhabiting the boy I was, my heart swells like a sponge cake in my chest to remember how happy and at peace I was. We all knew the words by heart, had all read Anne Sexton just to better understand the song, and the unfiltered sadness we experienced from the beginning to the end of that song made us feel magnificently alive and vulnerable, and connected to each other. What I'm trying to say is, I'm never going to finish this report my boss wants by 4:30. Not with "Mercy Street" playing...


 
Trustocity, absolutely brilliant thank you for that. 
 

 Yeah, that was brilliant. brought a tear to my eye for my own memories...


 clwguy wrote:
Mercy Street is one of the few songs that truly merit a 10.

Trustocity, your comment is as perfect and memorable as this song.


Trustocity wrote:
Every corporate drone in America with a used car and a mortgage was once a teenager staying out too late on a Tuesday night with a group of friends speeding down their town's main strip with the windows open and the radio loud, and when I was that teenager, "So" was the album in the tape deck. I sat in the passenger's seat with my right foot dangling out the window as my best friend drove. The girl he pined for sat in the back with the boy she was dating, my other best friend, and it felt more like a romantic triangle among true comrades from a French movie than the angst-riddled tripe you see on "One Tree Hill." When you love the guy your girl is dating as much as you love the girl, it's the definition of "bittersweet." Whenever "Mercy Street" started trickling through the speakers of that old Grand Am, with its tender, discordant synths followed by the triangle, the atmosphere in the car was hushed. My pal turned the stereo up so loud we couldn't even hear the wind rushing through four open windows. Today, reinhabiting the boy I was, my heart swells like a sponge cake in my chest to remember how happy and at peace I was. We all knew the words by heart, had all read Anne Sexton just to better understand the song, and the unfiltered sadness we experienced from the beginning to the end of that song made us feel magnificently alive and vulnerable, and connected to each other. What I'm trying to say is, I'm never going to finish this report my boss wants by 4:30. Not with "Mercy Street" playing...


 
Trustocity, absolutely brilliant thank you for that.  

Thank you Peter Gabriel for
Mercy Street

This is 8 - Most Excellent to me      TY RP :)


A marvelous song for a great poet.
Mercy Street is one of the few songs that truly merit a 10.

Trustocity, your comment is as perfect and memorable as this song.


Trustocity wrote:
Every corporate drone in America with a used car and a mortgage was once a teenager staying out too late on a Tuesday night with a group of friends speeding down their town's main strip with the windows open and the radio loud, and when I was that teenager, "So" was the album in the tape deck. I sat in the passenger's seat with my right foot dangling out the window as my best friend drove. The girl he pined for sat in the back with the boy she was dating, my other best friend, and it felt more like a romantic triangle among true comrades from a French movie than the angst-riddled tripe you see on "One Tree Hill." When you love the guy your girl is dating as much as you love the girl, it's the definition of "bittersweet." Whenever "Mercy Street" started trickling through the speakers of that old Grand Am, with its tender, discordant synths followed by the triangle, the atmosphere in the car was hushed. My pal turned the stereo up so loud we couldn't even hear the wind rushing through four open windows. Today, reinhabiting the boy I was, my heart swells like a sponge cake in my chest to remember how happy and at peace I was. We all knew the words by heart, had all read Anne Sexton just to better understand the song, and the unfiltered sadness we experienced from the beginning to the end of that song made us feel magnificently alive and vulnerable, and connected to each other. What I'm trying to say is, I'm never going to finish this report my boss wants by 4:30. Not with "Mercy Street" playing...

I attended the So reunion tour at Red rocks a few years ago, magical...
 apd wrote:


 
That was touching and very illustrative.  I could visualize the scene.
Dao lived on Mercy St.  I miss her.
Man he captures the emotion {#Embarassed}
an awesome song with more ambience than in your eyes that i havent heard by gabriel astounding 9
One of my few 10's. Well done Mr Gabriel. Well done.
 
bump:
kcar wrote:
 Trustocity wrote:

Every corporate drone in America with a used car and a mortgage was once a teenager staying out too late on a Tuesday night with a group of friends speeding down their town's main strip with the windows open and the radio loud, and when I was that teenager, "So" was the album in the tape deck. I sat in the passenger's seat with my right foot dangling out the window as my best friend drove. The girl he pined for sat in the back with the boy she was dating, my other best friend, and it felt more like a romantic triangle among true comrades from a French movie than the angst-riddled tripe you see on "One Tree Hill." When you love the guy your girl is dating as much as you love the girl, it's the definition of "bittersweet." Whenever "Mercy Street" started trickling through the speakers of that old Grand Am, with its tender, discordant synths followed by the triangle, the atmosphere in the car was hushed. My pal turned the stereo up so loud we couldn't even hear the wind rushing through four open windows. Today, reinhabiting the boy I was, my heart swells like a sponge cake in my chest to remember how happy and at peace I was. We all knew the words by heart, had all read Anne Sexton just to better understand the song, and the unfiltered sadness we experienced from the beginning to the end of that song made us feel magnificently alive and vulnerable, and connected to each other. What I'm trying to say is, I'm never going to finish this report my boss wants by 4:30. Not with "Mercy Street" playing...


 
Screw your boss. That report was irrelevant dust before it was even finished. Hold onto memories and emotions like these. Thank you for sharing. 

 


Jeez, this album is 30 years old?  Where did the time go?  Where are my keys?
Some great youtube videos of this one live.
This sounds even better with headphones. 
This is an easy 10.
L2
Love this song, simply love this song. Good lyrics and emotion in his voice. 
Ah vintage PG - before the pretentiousness became too much for me. 
Truly one of the most amazing songs ever.
I love lunar rovers, boats, spaceships, and hate cars.
 SmackDaddy wrote:
Bill, you have an unhealthy obsession with Peter Gabriel

 
and yet he never plays 'Sledgehammer' {#Wink}
 SmackDaddy wrote:
Bill, you have an unhealthy obsession with Peter Gabriel

 
This is just an issue of differing tastes.

An unhealthy obsession would be demonstrated by trying to get rid of something you don't like by mischaracterizing a ... oh. 
 kicking wrote:
I can't believe it's been almost 30 years since the release of this album..

 
You CAN'T BE SERIOUS?!!  {#Cheesygrin}
{#Hearteyes}
I can't believe it's been almost 30 years since the release of this album..
having bipolar family members, I grieve over those we have lost to the hell of depression.  I thank God and our technology that we are making progress in treating this stuff and keeping many alive—but we have so much more to do—not just in development of treatment, but particularly in distribution—RIP Anne 
 SmackDaddy wrote:
Bill, you have an unhealthy obsession with Peter Gabriel

 
no such thing  {#Cheesygrin}
One of my first LP:s , know all sngs by heart 
Every song on this album gives me goosebumps.

I love the story about the making of this album, his colleagues actually nailed him shut in his garden studio to force him to finish the work and not get distracted on every other project that he was conjuring up from his over fertile imagination :)

Genius
 SmackDaddy wrote:
Bill, you have a healthy obsession with Peter Gabriel

 
8<    virtual editing scissors applied
 
good point - can't imagine Phil playing drums on this.


gjeeg wrote:
Chills
After all these years.
I know now why Peter left Genesis.
He had This to do.
They had That to do.
Too much genius in one band.

 


Bill, you have an unhealthy obsession with Peter Gabriel
Words are speaking for themselves.
A complete Artist. 
So is one of my favourite albums ever.  
"So" by Peter Gabriel has never been dislodged as one of my "Top Ten" favorite albums of all time.

I even flew across the Atlantic to watch him perform it live at the O2 arena hoping that Kate Bush might just show up but alas........ 
 fredriley wrote:

Seconded. Bosses never read reports anyway, just skimread the 'executive summary' - all else is pointless verbiage. As Bev wrote below, a post as poetic and poignant as this should be a permanent attachment to the song.

Who's Anne Sexton, and what's her connection to the song?

 
Thirded. Great story. Thanks.
 

Who was that balding grey frosted geezer I saw recently singing this song?

Damn, he looked lot like me.


 easmann wrote:
 fredriley wrote:
...
Who's Anne Sexton, and what's her connection to the song?

Anne Sexton’s Original Poem “45 Mercy Street”: The Genesis of Peter Gabriel’s “Mercy Street”


 
Thanks for posting this, easmann.
 glassbrain wrote:
I gave this an "8 - Most Excellent", 'cos it is. But, if Bill had played Elbow's cover...I would have given it "9".

 
Elbow's cover would get a PSD ....so awful!


I gave this an "8 - Most Excellent", 'cos it is. But, if Bill had played Elbow's cover...I would have given it "9".
 fredriley wrote:
...
Who's Anne Sexton, and what's her connection to the song?

Anne Sexton’s Original Poem “45 Mercy Street”: The Genesis of Peter Gabriel’s “Mercy Street”

 kcar wrote:
 Trustocity wrote:

Every corporate drone in America with a used car and a mortgage was once a teenager staying out too late on a Tuesday night with a group of friends speeding down their town's main strip with the windows open and the radio loud, and when I was that teenager, "So" was the album in the tape deck. I sat in the passenger's seat with my right foot dangling out the window as my best friend drove. The girl he pined for sat in the back with the boy she was dating, my other best friend, and it felt more like a romantic triangle among true comrades from a French movie than the angst-riddled tripe you see on "One Tree Hill." When you love the guy your girl is dating as much as you love the girl, it's the definition of "bittersweet." Whenever "Mercy Street" started trickling through the speakers of that old Grand Am, with its tender, discordant synths followed by the triangle, the atmosphere in the car was hushed. My pal turned the stereo up so loud we couldn't even hear the wind rushing through four open windows. Today, reinhabiting the boy I was, my heart swells like a sponge cake in my chest to remember how happy and at peace I was. We all knew the words by heart, had all read Anne Sexton just to better understand the song, and the unfiltered sadness we experienced from the beginning to the end of that song made us feel magnificently alive and vulnerable, and connected to each other. What I'm trying to say is, I'm never going to finish this report my boss wants by 4:30. Not with "Mercy Street" playing...


 
Screw your boss. That report was irrelevant dust before it was even finished. Hold onto memories and emotions like these. Thank you for sharing. 

 
Seconded. Bosses never read reports anyway, just skimread the 'executive summary' - all else is pointless verbiage. As Bev wrote below, a post as poetic and poignant as this should be a permanent attachment to the song.

Who's Anne Sexton, and what's her connection to the song?
 Trustocity wrote:

Every corporate drone in America with a used car and a mortgage was once a teenager staying out too late on a Tuesday night with a group of friends speeding down their town's main strip with the windows open and the radio loud, and when I was that teenager, "So" was the album in the tape deck. I sat in the passenger's seat with my right foot dangling out the window as my best friend drove. The girl he pined for sat in the back with the boy she was dating, my other best friend, and it felt more like a romantic triangle among true comrades from a French movie than the angst-riddled tripe you see on "One Tree Hill." When you love the guy your girl is dating as much as you love the girl, it's the definition of "bittersweet." Whenever "Mercy Street" started trickling through the speakers of that old Grand Am, with its tender, discordant synths followed by the triangle, the atmosphere in the car was hushed. My pal turned the stereo up so loud we couldn't even hear the wind rushing through four open windows. Today, reinhabiting the boy I was, my heart swells like a sponge cake in my chest to remember how happy and at peace I was. We all knew the words by heart, had all read Anne Sexton just to better understand the song, and the unfiltered sadness we experienced from the beginning to the end of that song made us feel magnificently alive and vulnerable, and connected to each other. What I'm trying to say is, I'm never going to finish this report my boss wants by 4:30. Not with "Mercy Street" playing...


 
Screw your boss. That report was irrelevant dust before it was even finished. Hold onto memories and emotions like these. Thank you for sharing. 


Near the end of his great period. I miss this guy.
Love it when I get to hear two songs rated 10 in a row (Bob Dylan - Shelter from the Storm, and now, my favorite Gabriel song)!
 gjeeg wrote:
Chills
After all these years.
I know now why Peter left Genesis.
He had This to do.
They had That to do.
Too much genius in one band.

 
Well said. Two good bands, two very different reasons for playing. OK...Make money is a single reason, but you can do it one way or another. 
 {#Clap}sparksfry wrote:

yes :)

 

 gjeeg wrote:
Chills
After all these years.
I know now why Peter left Genesis.
He had This to do.
They had That to do.
Too much genius in one band.

 
yes :)
Chills
After all these years.
I know now why Peter left Genesis.
He had This to do.
They had That to do.
Too much genius in one band.
wow - this song still stops me cold in my tracks every time..{#Cry}
Up to and including this album, Gabe was so good.

And now, his latest stuff makes me ashamed to have loved him so hard.
{#Frustrated} 
Wonderful,
beautiful music
deep, thoughtful lyrics
beautifully sung 

wow 
Awesome always.
Thank you, Bill.
Love this, Peter Gabriel - constant genius!
                          
 Trustocity's amazing, poetic, lyrical, post should be permanently attached to this song. Wow.

apd wrote:
hmmm.... seems we can't "bump" up old comments anymore (or is it just me?)
Anyway: this needs to be read with this song:



Trustocity wrote:
Every corporate drone in America with a used car and a mortgage was once a teenager staying out too late on a Tuesday night with a group of friends speeding down their town's main strip with the windows open and the radio loud, and when I was that teenager, "So" was the album in the tape deck. I sat in the passenger's seat with my right foot dangling out the window as my best friend drove. The girl he pined for sat in the back with the boy she was dating, my other best friend, and it felt more like a romantic triangle among true comrades from a French movie than the angst-riddled tripe you see on "One Tree Hill." When you love the guy your girl is dating as much as you love the girl, it's the definition of "bittersweet." Whenever "Mercy Street" started trickling through the speakers of that old Grand Am, with its tender, discordant synths followed by the triangle, the atmosphere in the car was hushed. My pal turned the stereo up so loud we couldn't even hear the wind rushing through four open windows. Today, reinhabiting the boy I was, my heart swells like a sponge cake in my chest to remember how happy and at peace I was. We all knew the words by heart, had all read Anne Sexton just to better understand the song, and the unfiltered sadness we experienced from the beginning to the end of that song made us feel magnificently alive and vulnerable, and connected to each other. What I'm trying to say is, I'm never going to finish this report my boss wants by 4:30. Not with "Mercy Street" playing...


 


Beautiful song.  And being able to read, and learn from, RP listener comments is a blessing.  Thank you RP adding quality to our lives.  
{#Heartkiss}{#Heartkiss}  8 >>>>>>>>>>>>>> 9
hmmm.... seems we can't "bump" up old comments anymore (or is it just me?)
Anyway: this needs to be read with this song:



Trustocity wrote:
Every corporate drone in America with a used car and a mortgage was once a teenager staying out too late on a Tuesday night with a group of friends speeding down their town's main strip with the windows open and the radio loud, and when I was that teenager, "So" was the album in the tape deck. I sat in the passenger's seat with my right foot dangling out the window as my best friend drove. The girl he pined for sat in the back with the boy she was dating, my other best friend, and it felt more like a romantic triangle among true comrades from a French movie than the angst-riddled tripe you see on "One Tree Hill." When you love the guy your girl is dating as much as you love the girl, it's the definition of "bittersweet." Whenever "Mercy Street" started trickling through the speakers of that old Grand Am, with its tender, discordant synths followed by the triangle, the atmosphere in the car was hushed. My pal turned the stereo up so loud we couldn't even hear the wind rushing through four open windows. Today, reinhabiting the boy I was, my heart swells like a sponge cake in my chest to remember how happy and at peace I was. We all knew the words by heart, had all read Anne Sexton just to better understand the song, and the unfiltered sadness we experienced from the beginning to the end of that song made us feel magnificently alive and vulnerable, and connected to each other. What I'm trying to say is, I'm never going to finish this report my boss wants by 4:30. Not with "Mercy Street" playing...

" ... in your Daddy's arms again."

Such evocative language, so much said in so few words.
Mesmerizing.  Outstanding.  Lovely. 

{#Meditate}
The most intriguing for this masterpiece was this bowinian foto cover!
One of my all-time favorite Peter Gabriel songs. Will always evoke amazing memories for me. :)      10

brilliant poem— as well as marvelously emotive music...  love it...
 
We know you are: no need to broadcast it.

 
nightdrive wrote:
Pretentious wanker.
 


Pretentious wanker.
The beauty of this song stuns me; it also soothes my little guy when he thinks too much and can't fall asleep, which may be the better complement in the end.  
This is my absolute favourite PG tune and I've just learned the inspiration behind this song, thank you RP followers. The man is a master! Unfortunately, we don't see him much in Australia - possibly too far to travel. Last time he was here (about ten tears ago) - I went to his concert two times in a row. Love him...


 ambrebalte wrote:
Thank you Lazarus and Unclehud !
 

Thank you, ambrebalte...  I hope you are having a marvelous time right this minute...

this song is incredible...  this album is a contender to be in the top 20 of all time...
 
 MsJudi wrote:
Possibly my most favorite PG song, ever.

 
Yes. Awesome. Was given this album at a time when things looked bleak. A good friend didn't explain anything, just handed it to me and said "listen to this". Now one of my Hundred Favorite Albums of All Time.
Possibly my most favorite PG song, ever.
 ambrebalte wrote:
Thank you Lazarus and Unclehud !
 
My pleasure! 

This song goes straight to my heart.  As a father of two grown sons, I miss the times they dreamed their childhood dreams held in their daddy's arms.  I love them as much as I ever did, but those times are gone and will never return. 

.... and I know that has nothing to do with the lyrics; it's just my reaction to a snippet that's immediately brought to mind when I hear this.
Thank you Lazarus and Unclehud !
 unclehud wrote:
A little Wikipedia insight on Anne Sexton:

"Her play Mercy Street, starring Marian Seldes, was produced in 1969, after several years of revisions.  Within twelve years of writing her first sonnet, she was one of the most honored poets in America: a Pulitzer Prize winner, a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the first female member of the Harvard chapter of Phi Beta Kappa." 
 

Good post...


this is on Wikipedia, too —  45 Mercy Street (1976; posthumous) — it is a poem she wrote...

and here is an interesting blog I just found that was posted back in November of last year that has a copy of the Anne Sexton poem  —  Anne Sexton’s Original Poem “45 Mercy Street”: The Genesis of Peter Gabriel’s “Mercy Street” 
—  here's a quote from the blog—


Both poems seethe with a boiling darkness just under the surface.  There is plenty of sexual suggestion (warm velvet box), as well as allusions to the unconscious (the sea, darkness, the unseen).  The priest in Gabriel’s song is also a father figure, and biographers know that Anne had a difficult relationship with her own father.  Another religious allusion:  kissing Mary’s lips, rhyming with “tremble in the hips”, makes it that much more powerful.  Sexton spent eight years in psychotherapy.  She was uneasy with success and winning such honors as the Pulitzer Prize;  it didn’t take the dark visions away from her powerful, confessional verse.
 
In an interview over a year before her death, she explained she had written the first drafts of The Awful Rowing Toward God in twenty days with “two days out for despair and three days out in a mental hospital.” She went on to say that she would not allow the poems to be published before her death (Wikipedia entry).
 
This posthumous title might have inspired Gabriel’s last line of his dark, haunting song.  Anne Sexton committed suicide, her 5th attempt successful, in 1974, twelve years before Gabriel’s album was released.


this really is a brilliant song by Peter Gabriel...  this whole album is incredible...


A little Wikipedia insight on Anne Sexton:

"Her play Mercy Street, starring Marian Seldes, was produced in 1969, after several years of revisions.  Within twelve years of writing her first sonnet, she was one of the most honored poets in America: a Pulitzer Prize winner, a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the first female member of the Harvard chapter of Phi Beta Kappa." 
 josephrlarsen wrote:
Top drawer.  Beautiful tribute to Sexton.
  

I agree... as good as a song gets...  it is from a truly magnificent album...

 gigikent wrote:
I really can't stand the guy's voice, I thought voting was a purely subjective exercise?! And I also think there's too much Peter Gabriel on RP.

Stingray wrote:

33 very poor souls voted this song "1" (no kidding)!

Freedom of taste or the terror of idiocy?

 
 
I agree that there is way too much Peter Gabriel on RP.
Top drawer.  Beautiful tribute to Sexton.

This is as good as music gets...  and poetry also...
 
Peter Gabriel owns a male voice in a (good) class by itself.  This type song is perhaps its strongest setting: slow tempo, spare orchestration, deeply emotional lyrics, and — of course — the usual wierdo assorted background noises that many equate with "world music".
Screw you Gabriel


Peter Gabriel's song "Mercy Street" is a wonderful poem about Anne Sexton, with beautiful music to match it...
 

“The future is a fog that is still hanging out over the sea, a boat that floats home or does not.”
― Anne Sexton, Anne Sexton: A Self-Portrait in Letters



brilliant poetry and great music...  love it... (this song is from a really incredible album...)
 

Completely unique voice he sounds at times like an organ pipe.
The vocal cords are at breaking point but miraculously keeps the tone even live
Has written 5-6 songs that is in master class one of my favorite musicians


 apd wrote:
what's this from?
 

Good question...

love this profound song...
 

absolutely incredible song...  as good as it gets...

This is a classic!

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