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The Mercy Seat Lyrics

Artist: Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds
Album: Best of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

It began when they come took me from my home
And put me in Dead Row,
Of which I am nearly wholly innocent, you know.
And I'll say it again
I..am..not..afraid..to..die.

I began to warm and chill
To objects and their fields,
A ragged cup, a twisted mop
The face of Jesus in my soup
Those sinister dinner meals
The meal trolley's wicked wheels
A hooked bone rising from my food
All things either good or ungood.

And the mercy seat is waiting
And I think my head is burning
And in a way I'm yearning
To be done with all this measuring of truth.
An eye for an eye
A tooth for a tooth
And anyway I told the truth
And I'm not afraid to die.

Interpret signs and catalogue
A blackened tooth, a scarlet fog.
The walls are bad. Black. Bottom kind.
They are sick breath at my hind
They are sick breath at my hind
They are sick breath at my hind
They are sick breath gathering at my hind

I hear stories from the chamber
How Christ was born into a manger
And like some ragged stranger
Died upon the cross
And might I say it seems so fitting in its way
He was a carpenter by trade
Or at least that's what I'm told

Like my good hand I
tatooed E.V.I.L. across it's brother's fist
That filthy five! They did nothing to challenge or resist.

In Heaven His throne is made of gold
The ark of his Testament is stowed
A throne from which I'm told
All history does unfold.
Down here it's made of wood and wire
And my body is on fire
And God is never far away.

Into the mercy seat I climb
My head is shaved, my head is wired
And like a moth that tries
To enter the bright eye
I go shuffling out of life
Just to hide in death awhile
And anyway I never lied.

My kill-hand is called E.V.I.L.
Wears a wedding band that's G.O.O.D.
`Tis a long-suffering shackle
Collaring all that rebel blood.

And the mercy seat is waiting
And I think my head is burning
And in a way I'm yearning
To be done with all this measuring of truth.
An eye for an eye
And a tooth for a tooth
And anyway I told the truth
And I'm not afraid to die.

And the mercy seat is burning
And I think my head is glowing
And in a way I'm hoping
To be done with all this weighing up of truth.
An eye for an eye
And a tooth for a tooth
And I've got nothing left to lose
And I'm not afraid to die.

And the mercy seat is glowing
And I think my head is smoking
And in a way I'm hoping
To be done with all this looks of disbelief.
An eye for an eye
And a tooth for a tooth
And anyway there was no proof
Nor a motive why.

And the mercy seat is smoking
And I think my head is melting
And in a way I'm helping
To be done with all this twisted of the truth.
A lie for a lie
And a truth for a truth
And I've got nothing left to lose
And I'm not afraid to die.

And the mercy seat is melting
And I think my blood is boiling
And in a way I'm spoiling
All the fun with all this truth and consequence.
An eye for an eye
And a truth for a truth
And anyway I told the truth
And I'm not afraid to die.

And the mercy seat is waiting
And I think my head is burning
And in a way I'm yearning
To be done with all this measuring of proof.
A life for a life
And a truth for a truth
And anyway there was no proof
But I'm not afraid to tell a lie.

And the mercy seat is waiting
And I think my head is burning
And in a way I'm yearning
To be done with all this measuring of truth.
An eye for an eye
And a truth for a truth
And anyway I told the truth
But I'm afraid I told a lie.
Comments/Interpretations
by me on 5/11/2008 11:04pm
fucking delightful
by Another me on 5/29/2008 6:15pm
Amen to that
by dr terror on 6/5/2008 2:23pm
it all started when they come took me from my home ... not earlier!
by Luce on 7/5/2008 8:05pm
Orgasmic...better
by Dado on 7/28/2008 9:21am
Criminal mind exposed in short:
"But I'm afraid I told a lie"
by Alexander078 on 8/29/2008 4:43am
intense
by Aisling on 1/25/2009 11:39am
Love it
by Liz. on 4/14/2009 11:41am
Beautiful, in an odd way.
by Zsu on 5/26/2009 2:53pm
*
by HorrorrX on 8/24/2009 5:28pm
Amazing song.
by JustMe on 10/7/2009 9:44am
One of his best songs
by matACCADACCA on 11/4/2009 11:01pm
It's funny, he only plays it because everyone likes it, but he hates it. He says he was stoned when he wrote it, and thinks it rhymes too much.
by SHAKEJUNT on 4/8/2010 8:35am
i like this song its got a dramatic feel to it i just finished listening to it 3 times in a row
by SpanishJew on 9/14/2010 9:24am
Why would someone like Nick Cave sign a song he hates?
by who on 1/21/2011 5:11pm
check original johnny cash version. this is quite an intense interpretation
by Rónán on 2/9/2011 6:25pm
This is the original version. Cash's was the cover, and an excellent one.
by mtandrews on 5/8/2011 12:51am
the lyrics for this song is totally different on the album I have (EMI). Just Youtube this song and sing along a read the lyrics here and you'll see its way off. I have the lyrics but don't know how to "post" them.
by Wrong on 8/19/2011 4:26pm
Whomever posted these lyrics up messed them up pretty good. Please don't post lyrics unless you can get them right. Also, to "who", the Nick Cave version IS the original - the Johnny Cash version is a cover. Get your facts straight before posting BS.
by Demba on 7/19/2013 6:15pm
This song remains me of every sunday... When my head is too messed up.
by Joe Doe on 11/10/2013 4:38am
@who. Like Wrong points out, This is actually a Nick Cave original, Johhny Cash covered it because he was a Nick cave fan! When you see things as they are - you will enjoy them even more. Tip, you wanna see Nick Cave intense, check out 'Oh my lord' from the 'God is in the House' concert on YT:)
by Bad Seed on 12/20/2013 7:42am
@Wrong is totally right. e.g."Life for a life". Never said that. Anyways, I always thought the last line was the prisoner confessing that he IS afraid to die. Every other line in its place is him claiming to not be afraid of dying and then on the last line he says "I'm afraid I told a lie." Just my interpretation.
by Donna R. on 1/16/2014 7:14pm
The "Mercy Seat" is beautiful and provocative. There are times when it is at the last minute that the truth is told. Unfortunately, it's often too late. Likewise, the fear of dying is often denied until it is time to die. Only then will one actually come to terms with their true feelings about death; of course, unless they believe heaven and hell and know in which realm their spirit will dwell.
by Donna R. on 1/16/2014 7:52pm
"The Mercy Seat" is both beautiful and provocative. There are often times when the truth is not told until the last minute (e.g. death-bed confessions). Unfortunately, it is often too late. Likewise, the fear of dying is often denied until it is actually time to die; and it is not uncommon to know that many people are afraid to die. However, there are those that believe in heaven and hell and know in which realm their spirit will dwell. Peace in heaven, torture in hell. He is afraid he told a lie which is a sin and a ticket to hell; therefore, he has reason to be afraid to die. If only he believed in and had time for forgiveness. Needless to say, if he is an atheist or agnostic he will just die in fear.
by Donna R. on 1/16/2014 7:55pm
I sent two comments that are basically the same because I thought the original one did not get submmitted. But as I read on the submission page, "it will be approved then posted" or similar. Anyway, you do not need to post both of my comments because they are so much alike. Just post the one you think is best (the second one). Thanks so much, Donna


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