Mercy, Mercy

Don Covay, Don Convay, Jimi Hendrix

About Mercy, Mercy

"Mercy, Mercy" (sometimes referred to as "Have Mercy") is a soul song first recorded by American singer/songwriter Don Covay in 1964. It established Covay's recording career and influenced later vocal and guitar styles. The songwriting is usually credited to Covay and Ron Alonzo Miller, although other co-writers' names have also appeared on various releases. In late 1964, the song became a hit, reaching number one on the Cash Box R&B chart and number 35 on the Billboard Hot 100. Several artists have recorded "Mercy, Mercy", including a well-known version by the Rolling Stones in 1965. More recently, Covay's original version has received attention as one of Jimi Hendrix's first recordings as a sideman. 


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Have mercy
Have mercy baby
Have mercy
Have mercy on me

Well I went to see a gypsy
And had my fortune read
She said Don, your baby's gonna leave you
Her back is packed up under the bed
And I cry

Have mercy
Have mercy baby
Have mercy
Have mercy on me

I say, if you leave me baby
Girl if you put me down
Well I'm a goin' to the nearest river, child
And jump from above to the ground
Don't leave me

Have mercy
Have mercy baby
Mercy yeah
Have mercy
Have mercy on me

Well hey hey baby, hey hey now
What you tryin' to do, huh?
Hey hey baby, hey hey now
Please don't say we're through

I said if you stay, baby
I tell you what I'm gonna do
I'm gonna work to a job seven days a week
And bring my money home to you

Well I say mercy,
mercy, mercy, mercy...

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Don Covay

Don Covay (born Donald Randolph, 24 March 1938, Orangeburg, South Carolina, United States) is an American R&B/rock and roll/soul music singer and songwriter most active in the 1950s and 1960s, who received a Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1994. Covay was the son of a Baptist preacher who died when Don was eight. more »

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Written by: Don Covay, Ronald Miller

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

10 facts about this song

Song's Origin
"Mercy, Mercy" is a popular song that was originally recorded by American soul singer Don Covay in 1964.
Song's Theme
This song is an appeal for mercy or leniency, appears to have a strong emotional context, and is generally considered to be under the genres of Soul and R&B.
Song's Composition
"Mercy, Mercy" was co-written by Don Covay and Ronald Alonzo "Ronnie" Miller.
Album Success
"Mercy, Mercy" was a big hit and peaked at #1 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart and at #35 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Rolling Stones' Version
In 1965, the British rock and roll group The Rolling Stones covered "Mercy, Mercy" for their third British and fourth American studio album "Out of Our Heads."
Influence on Popular Music
The song's catchy riff and emotive lyrics have made it a classic of the soul genre. It’s been recorded by many artists across different musical genres, indicating its high influence on popular music.
Spectacular Music Lineup
The original recording featured some great musicians including Jimi Hendrix, who played guitar on the track.
Impact on Covay's Career
"Mercy, Mercy" set the stage for Don Covay's successful music career. Following this, he continued to write and perform hit songs.
"Mercy, Mercy" has been recognized across the globe for its unique blend of soulful lyrics and beats.
Lasting Legacy
Despite being released over five decades ago, "Mercy, Mercy" continues to be popular today. It's still played on radio stations worldwide and is considered a significant song in American music history.

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    Mercy, Mercy

    245     6

    Top Hot 100 Songs 1964

    Billboard #35

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