|Song by Peter Gabriel|
|from the album So|
|Producer(s)||Daniel Lanois and Peter Gabriel|
|So track listing|
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.
A video was created for "Mercy Street", even 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."
- Djalma Correa – surdo, congas, triangle
- Larry Klein – bass
- Richard Tee – piano
- Mark Rivera – processed saxophone
- Peter Gabriel – vocals, CMI, Prophet, piano, CS-80
Usage in film and television
"Mercy Street" featured in the 1986 episode Killshot of the third season of Miami Vice, in the opening sequence of 1991 Brazilian TV series O Sorriso do Lagarto (The Lizard's Smile), in the 2006 episode of Cold Case entitled "The River," in 2009 episode of The Grim Adventures entitled "Chocolate Ice Cream and the Watermelon Bubblegum" in 2000, and in the film Life or Something Like It (2002), starring Angelina Jolie and Edward Burns. Also featured in the film Waking the Dead (2000) starring Jennifer Connelly and Billy Crudup. The song was featured in the "Origami" illusion performed by David Copperfield in his 1987 special "Explosive Encounter". The song was also used in the 2016 episode "And She Was" in the third season of the television series Halt and Catch Fire, the events of which take place in roughly the same time period as the song's 1986 release.
Release details and cover versions
As well as making up one of the songs 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.
- White, Timothy (September 1986). "Gabriel". Spin. 2 (6): 63. ISSN 0886-3032.
- Elan, Priya (25 April 2012). "10 Most Depressing Songs Ever". NME. London. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
- Origami (magic trick)
- Andy Gill (2011-10-07). "Album: Peter Gabriel, New Blood (Realworld) - Reviews - Music". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2012-04-16.
- "Happy Rhodes - "Mercy Street" live (Peter Gabriel cover, w Bon Lozaga)".
- "Miriam Stockley - Miriam (CD, Album) at Discogs".
- Kitty Empire (2010-09-12). "Fever Ray; Zola Jesus | Live review | Music | The Observer". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2012-04-16.
- "Mercy Street". Fever Ray. Archived from the original on January 27, 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-16.
- Rogers, Jude (2 June 2010). "Peter Gabriel: 'It doesn't have anything to do with witchcraft!'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 8 April 2016.