Mercy Street

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"Mercy Street"
Song by Peter Gabriel
from the album So
ReleasedOctober 1986
Songwriter(s)Peter Gabriel
Producer(s)Daniel Lanois and Peter Gabriel
So track listing
Side one
  1. "Red Rain"
  2. "Sledgehammer"
  3. "Don't Give Up"
  4. "That Voice Again"
Side two
  1. "In Your Eyes"
  2. "Mercy Street"
  3. "Big Time"
  4. "We Do What We're Told"
  5. "This Is the Picture (Excellent Birds)"

"Mercy Street" is a song written by English musician Peter Gabriel from his 1986 album So.


The song was inspired by the personal and confessional works of the American poet Anne Sexton, who wrote a play titled Mercy Street and a poem titled "45 Mercy Street". Gabriel discovered Sexton's writings in a bookstore.[1]

A video was created for "Mercy Street",[2] though the song was not released as a single.


NME listed the song as one of the "10 Most Depressing Songs Ever", describing it as a "beautifully produced number" featuring Gabriel's "usual sensitivity". They concluded "it isn’t until you’re a few listens in that you understand how devastating the whole thing is."[3]


Release details and cover versions[edit]

As well as appearing on side two of So, "Mercy Street" was released (remixed by William Orbit) on Gabriel's 1992 CD-single "Blood of Eden". It was also reinterpreted by Gabriel on his 2011 orchestral album New Blood.[4]


  1. ^ White, Timothy (September 1986). "Gabriel". Spin. 2 (6): 63. ISSN 0886-3032.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Elan, Priya (25 April 2012). "10 Most Depressing Songs Ever". NME. London. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  4. ^ Andy Gill (2011-10-07). "Album: Peter Gabriel, New Blood (Realworld) - Reviews - Music". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2012-04-16.

External links[edit]