Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)

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About Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)

"Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" was the second single from Marvin Gaye's 1971 album, What's Going On. Following the breakthrough of the title track's success, the song, written solely by Gaye, became regarded as one of popular music's most poignant anthems of sorrow regarding the environment. Led by Gaye playing piano, strings conducted by Paul Riser and David Van De Pitte, multi-tracking vocals from Gaye and The Andantes, multiple background instruments provided by The Funk Brothers and a leading sax solo by Wild Bill Moore, the song rose to number 4 on Billboard's Pop Singles chart and number one for two weeks on the R&B Singles charts on August 14 through to August 27, 1971. The distinctive percussive sound heard on the track was a wood block struck by a rubber mallet, drenched in studio reverb. The song also brought Gaye one of his rare appearances on the Adult Contemporary chart, where it peaked at number 34. In Canada, "Mercy Mercy Me" spent two weeks at number 9. In 1991, a music video of the song was released by Motown Records, featuring appearances by celebrities such as Smokey Robinson, Johnny Gill, Big Daddy Kane, Holly Robinson Peete, Ralph Tresvant, Bobby Brown, Rosie Perez, Bell Biv Devoe, Wesley Snipes, Tyler Collins (singer), Malcolm Jamal Warner, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, Stephanie Mills, Debbie Harry and Vanessa L. Williams. 


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Whoa, ah, mercy, mercy me
Oh things ain't what they used to be, no no
Where did all the blue skies go?
Poison is the wind that blows from the north and south and east (Father)

Whoa mercy, mercy me (oh mercy)
Oh things ain't what they used to be, no, no (mercy Father)
Oil wasted on the oceans and upon our seas, fish full of mercury

Ah, oh mercy, mercy me
Ah, things ain't what they used to be, no, no (help us, Father)
Radiation underground and in the sky
Animals and birds who live nearby are dying (help us, help us, Father)

Oh mercy, mercy me (mercy Father, please help us)
Oh things ain't what they used to be (mercy Father)
What about this overcrowded land (oh, have mercy Father)
How much more abuse from man can she stand? Ooh

Oh, no, no, no, nah, nah, nah (Ooh-ooh my sweet Lord)
My sweet Lord, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah (my, my sweet Lord)
My, my Lord, my sweet Lord, ooh-ooh (help us Father, please help us)

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Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye (April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984), born Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr., was an American singer-songwriter and musician whose career spanned more than two decades. Born and raised in Washington, D.C., he was the son of a storefront minister of a local Pentecostal church sect and grew up singing gospel in church revivals as a young child. Gaye branched out into secular music as a teenager, joining the doo-wop group The Marquees, after returning from an honorable discharge from the United States Air Force, before the group was hired by Harvey Fuqua to be Harvey & The Moonglows. Following the band's separation in 1960, Gaye began working as a session drummer for the Detroit music label, Anna, before signing with Motown Records in 1961, adding an "e" to his s… more »

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Written by: Marvin Gaye

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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