Song of the Day #3,706: ‘Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)’ – Marvin Gaye

My top ten 1971 albums represent some of the best music of the whole era, but that year was loaded enough to produce even more albums worth mentioning.

This week, I’ll feature tracks from five celebrated 1971 albums I don’t know very well. Some I’ve heard before, some I’m hearing for the very first time. They might not have cracked my own top ten list, but they all help round out the musical portrait of 1971.

The most conspicuous absence on my list is Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, widely considered one of the greatest albums ever made. Inspired by his brother’s experiences in Vietnam, Gaye delivered a personal and political song cycle that pushed boundaries both musically and lyrically.

But as much as I love the title track and today’s SOTD, ‘Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology),’ I’ve never been able to get into the album as a whole. I find it lacking in memorable hooks and a bit meandering. Sure, it sounds great, but I’m never in the mood to listen.

This is a gorgeous song, though.

[Verse 1]
Mercy, mercy me
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

[Verse 2]
Mercy, mercy me
Things ain’t what they used to be, no no
Oil wasted on the ocean and upon our seas
Fish full of mercury

[Verse 3]
Mercy, mercy me
Things ain’t what they used to be, no no
Radiation under ground and in the sky
Animals and birds who live nearby are dying

[Verse 4]
Mercy, mercy me
Things ain’t what they used to be
What about this overcrowded land
How much more abuse from man can she stand?

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,706: ‘Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)’ – Marvin Gaye

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I don’t know the album beyond the title track and this song, but these are two great ones.

  2. Peg says:

    Always liked Marvin Gaye’s voice

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