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This song could be interpreted in a variety of ways. Is someone looking for literal mercy? Are they desperate for human contact? Are they searching for forgiveness? The track's mood is sombre and desperate.

It was inspired by the poetry of Anne Sexton and she is mentioned in the last verse, being in a metaphorical boat "riding the waves on the sea"

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Looking down on empty streets, all she can see
Are the dreams all made solid
Are the dreams all made real

All of the buildings, all of those…

Peter Gabriel - Mercy Street Lyrics


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