U2: Mercy Lyrics, Video and Analysis

This song was played live for the first time ever today. Feel free to comment any corrections or additions!

I’ve made some corrections from your input!

Lyrics here, video, analysis below:
I was drinking some wine
And it turned to blood
What’s the use of religion
If you’re only good

I know I’m weed killer, sugar
You’re honey
If you’re the prosecution
I’ll get away with murder

You’re gravity
Searching for the sound, ground
I’m silence
Searching for a sound

You’re heart is aching
You’re heart is my home
It’s fascinating
I know I’ll never be alone

You’re gonna kill me
And I’m wanna die
We were meant for each other
You and I
Souls allowed to love
And there’s nowhere else to turn

You’re not sorry
You’re not gonna cry
You put the blue back in my eye
It’s just us
Because, because, because,
We can, we must

If you hunger or ache
Baby let me feed it
If your heart is full
Baby let me bleed it
And happiness is for
Those who don’t really need it

I love her too much

You wanna kill me
And I’m wanna die
We’re a perfect match
You and I
Slaves without the drugs
And there’s nowhere else to trust

I’m not sorry
You’re not gonna cry
You put the blue back in my eye
It’s just us
Because, because, because,
We can, we must

I wanna kill me
And I’m wanna die
We were meant for each other
You and I
Souls that I can touch
And there’s no one else to trust

I’m not sorry
You’re not gonna cry
You put the blue back in my eye
It’s just us
Because, because, because,
We can, we must
Because, because, because,
We can, we must
Because, because, because,
We can, we must

In some ways this seems like an obvious push on faith. It opens with what looks like a good question. Except none of us are only good. And though Bono does a nice job flipping from love of a woman to love of God, this one is definitely a God song to me. The ‘you want to kill, I’m gonna die’ bit can’t be a fight but a statement of the obvious. God will kill me and I’m okay with that!

Bottom line? Searching for a saviour who is already there. So why the title Mercy? I think it’s that no matter what, God will come for you one day. So no matter what happens, His mercy will bring you home. Pretty interesting stuff!

Video:

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9 Responses to U2: Mercy Lyrics, Video and Analysis

  1. kimi says:

    Mercy is about a fight between two lovers and before they actually kill the relationship they have mercy for it and let it live on… Because they both sacrefice for it..

  2. Will says:

    I’m not a religious person, but I have been a true U2 fan since the early eighties. I would put Mercy in a love song perspective, although I haven’t figured it our exactly.

    I saw them in Hannover last month and they still rock. Can’t wait for a new album..

    • larrylootsteen says:

      I don’t consider myself religious either though I would use spiritual without the whole God context. But I always have to keep the religious side of the lyrics in mind simply because of Bono beliefs. I do love the fact that he writes in such a way that it can apply with or without those beliefs being in our hearts.

  3. Erik Swanson says:

    hey Larry,

    nice job.

    A correction for you as I am familiar with the studio version of this song. You have

    If your heart is cold
    Baby let me bleed it

    it should be

    “if your heart is FULL
    baby let me bleed it”

    I am a fan of this song as well, I really miss the bridge to the chorus “rippen the stitches”…love the “because we can we must”, the edge solo, and although some of the verses have been axed, somethings had to go to make this song a little shorter. It would be hard to imagine that the song would be exactly the same after 5 or 6 years.

  4. Paul Kube says:

    I still heard Bono sing “you love me too much.” still coming to grips with the new lyrics. Looking forward to more clarity.
    Thanks for the attempt to decipher the new lyrics. They weren’t easy to hear. Hopefully there will be more performances.
    My favorite old lyric was with the binary code, violins and Nero. I personally hope some more of the old lyrics stay before this song is finished.

    • larrylootsteen says:

      I have a feeling that won’t happen. You never know though. I think Bono would change the lyrics forever unless he got cut off. There was some great stuff in the original we heard. This one is cool in a different way. I find this one a bit of a departure from his usual writing…thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  5. Andy says:

    Love the song!
    Although I think it sounds more like “I wanna die” rather than “I’m gonna die” in all the verses. I also hear it as “and there’s no where else to trust” not “no where else to turn.”

    It’s pretty interesting if you think of some of the lyrics coming from Christ’s perspective, talking to his contemporaries. Then consider the line “you wanna kill me, and I wanna die.” This then becomes a statement of his willingness to die for his people. Mercy. He willingly takes it on himself. The following lyrics support his decision to give his life. “I’m not sorry” Why? Because he is giving his life as an act of love. “You’re not gonna cry” Why? Because you either will be grateful, or you are a contemporary who wanted him crucified.

    Now that I think about it, parts of the song sound to me like a conversation between someone and Christ. Although not all of it…
    The first few lines, for example, don’t sound like something Christ would say. Sounds more like a man’s point of view.

    Another thought. When Bono says “sound, ground” I am convinced he messed up the lyric and corrected himself, although simultaneously making it sound intentional. Logically the word “sound” does not belong in that line. It’s more simple and poetic without it.

    I must say, this is the first new song from U2 in quite a while that has caused me to actually sit down and analyze the lyrics. And that’s a good thing.
    It’s catchy too, so I think this one will do well.

    • larrylootsteen says:

      Yeah, I wasn’t sure if I heard ‘wanna’ on at least one verse. I’ll go back over it again. I know when people suggest things and I go back, it often becomes clearer. Thanks for that.

      Wow, that’s a great perspective!! I totally see how that would work. Very cool!

      Yep, the sound, ground thing was definitely an error correction. Mind you, I always get a kick out of the screw ups!

      Thanks for sharing this! I love hearing other ideas because it opens up the song. And when you get a lot of different ideas, I see that as really amazing writing…

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