Kyrie (song)

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Mr. Mister.jpg
Single by Mr. Mister
from the album Welcome to the Real World
Released December 21, 1985 (US)[1]
Recorded 1985
  • 4:25 (album version)
  • 4:18 (single version)
Label RCA
Mr. Mister singles chronology
"Broken Wings"
"Is It Love"
"Broken Wings"
"Is It Love"
Audio sample

"Kyrie" (/ˈkri./) is a song by American pop rock band Mr. Mister, from their album Welcome to the Real World. Released in late 1985, it hit the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in March 1986, where it was number one for two weeks. It also hit the top spot on the Billboard Top Rock Tracks chart for one week. In the UK, the song peaked at number 11 in April 1986.

Background and writing[edit]

The lyrics to "Kyrie" were written by Arizona-born John Lang who co-wrote the songs on all of Mr. Mister's albums. The music was composed by Richard Page and Steve George while on tour with Adam Ant.

Kýrie, eléison means "Lord, have mercy" in Greek, and is a part of many liturgical rites in Eastern and Western Christianity. Kýrie, eléison; Christé, eléison; Kýrie, eléison is a prayer that asks "Lord, give me charity - mercy, eléison comes from the word eleēmosynē (Alms - Charity given by one that feels mercy or pity to another); Christ, have mercy; Lord, have mercy".[2] According to Page the entire song is, essentially, a prayer.[3] Also, in contemporary Greek, one of the English translations of the root word, κύριος (kyrios) is "Mister".[4]

There is a myth that singer Richard Page wrote this song while lying in a hospital bed following an attack. John Lang has stated that he was the one who was attacked, three years before "Kyrie" was written, and that the incident has nothing to do with the song.[5]

The video for this song was directed by Nick Morris, and features the band in performance mixed with footage taken at the tail end of their Fall 1985 tour with Tina Turner.[6]

The U.S. 7" single can be found pressed on transparent purple vinyl or polystyrene, depending on where it was manufactured.

Track listing[edit]

7" single
  1. "Kyrie" (single edit) – 4:10
  2. "Run to Her" – 3:36
12" single
  1. "Kyrie" (album version) – 4:24
  2. "Run to Her" – 3:36
  3. "Hunters of the Night" – 5:07

The single edit of the song (which was also used for the video version) ends with the a cappella phrase "Kýrie, eléison, down the road that I must travel", while the album version simply fades out.


Cover versions[edit]

In 1993, Acapella Vocal Band, a traditional Southern gospel group, included a version of the song on their album U And Me And God Make 5 (Word). The cover charted on the Contemporary Christian Music charts of 1994.[citation needed] The group later recorded a Spanish version of the song as well. Also in 1993, the song, retitled as "Kyrie Elieson", was covered by Contemporary Christian music duo East to West on their self-titled debut album.

Contemporary Christian artist Mark Schultz recorded a version of the song on his 2001 album Song Cinema.[19]

Kevin Max has covered this song on his "Serve Somebody" Album from 2017.