Lord Have Mercy on the Working Man

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"Lord Have Mercy on the Working Man"
Single by Travis Tritt
from the album T-R-O-U-B-L-E
B-side"Lord Have Mercy on the Working Man" (album version)
ReleasedAugust 10, 1992
FormatCD single
Length4:55 (album version)
LabelWarner Bros. Nashville
Producer(s)Gregg Brown
Travis Tritt singles chronology
"Nothing Short of Dying"
"Lord Have Mercy on the Working Man"
"Can I Trust You with My Heart"

"Lord Have Mercy on the Working Man" is a song written by Kostas and recorded by American country music singer Travis Tritt. It was released in August 1992 as the first of five singles from his third studio album, T-R-O-U-B-L-E. The song became Tritt's tenth entry on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts, where it peaked at number 5.


"Lord Have Mercy on the Working Man" is a moderate up-tempo whose lyrics centralize on a theme of economic injustice towards blue collar workers.

The instrumentation features various forms of percussion from Sam Bacco, including crotales, wobble board, spoons and a broom.[1] Richard Bennett and Wendell Cox play guitar solos before the third verse,[1] and Brooks & Dunn, T. Graham Brown, George Jones, Little Texas, Dana McVicker, Tanya Tucker and Porter Wagoner all sing background vocals on the final chorus.[1][2][3]


Critical reception[edit]

Teresa M. Walker, in her review for the Gainesville Sun, said that with the assistance from superstars on the final chorus, the song "should shoot up the charts."[4] Dave Larsen of the Dayton Daily News cited it as one of the stronger tracks on the album, saying that the album "works best when Tritt sticks with the populist approach."[5] Alanna Nash of Entertainment Weekly said of the song, "Tritt finds a solid image for his laborer's lament[…]But the melody is so slight that he resorts to an acoustic arrangement that evokes Jimmie Rodgers and the young Roy Acuff."[6] Deborah Evans Price, of Billboard magazine gave the song a mixed review, saying that while the final chorus of song features famous country artists, it was too bad that the entire song isn't as strong as the last verse.[7]

Music video[edit]

Jack Cole directed the song's music video. In the book Country Music Culture: From Hard Times to Heaven, Curtis W. Ellison wrote that the song's music video "confronted a litany of personal oppressions attributed to government policy" that coincided with Bill Clinton's presidential campaign.[8]

Chart performance[edit]

"Lord Have Mercy on the Working Man" spent 20 weeks on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts in 1992, peaking at number 5.[3] The song also reached number 10 on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks charts.

Chart (1992) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[9] 10
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[10] 5


  1. ^ a b c T-R-O-U-B-L-E (cassette insert). Travis Tritt. Warner Bros. Records. 1992. 45048.CS1 maint: others (link)
  2. ^ Hurst, Jack (13 August 1992). "Satellite show Travis Tritt to launch new album from Park West". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 28 August 2009.
  3. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2006). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Country Hits (2 ed.). Billboard Books. p. 353. ISBN 0-8230-8291-1.
  4. ^ Walker, Teresa M. (4 September 1992). "Travis Tritt's rockin' country". Gainesville Sun. Archived from the original on 12 July 2012. Retrieved 28 August 2009.
  5. ^ Larsen, Dave (18 September 1992). "Recordings on review". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved 28 August 2009.
  6. ^ Nash, Alanna (4 September 1992). "T-R-O-U-B-L-E in mind". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 28 August 2009.
  7. ^ Billboard, August 15, 1992
  8. ^ Ellison, Curtis W. (1995). Country Music Culture: From Hard Times to Heaven. Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. 233. ISBN 0-87805-722-6. Retrieved 28 August 2009.
  9. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 1864." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. November 28, 1992. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
  10. ^ "Travis Tritt Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.

External links[edit]