The concept of mercy suggests a quality deeper than mere compassion. Anybody can be compassionate. It’s a cheap and easy emotion that costs nothing. But mercy is bestowed by one in power. To refrain from punishing someone who has offended directly benefits the wrongdoer and does so at a cost.
Austin, Texas-based roots-rocker, Suzanne Santo has released the single and video for the song “Mercy” from her forthcoming sophomore album Yard Sale, due out on 27th August via Soundly Music. Santo understands the psychic cost of “Mercy”. She offers a three-step fable to tell the story.
First, there is the tale of somebody’s mother, who runs crazed out of her house. No backstory is given. The neighbors watch from safe inside their own homes. Then there is the old man with the keep-out sign who leaves out poison milk to kill the cats who cross into his yard. The thought of someone cold-bloodily killing a cat makes the narrator aware of her own fears. The last story concerns fighting with one’s sisters until things change and then relying on one’s kin for strength.
“Mercy” suggests there is some sort of spiritual reward for the person who was victimized. One often hears from people who admit to forgiving another person who harmed them because it was in their own self-interest to do so. Santo takes one through the three stages of mercy from sympathy to empathy for others to learning to adapt and grow from the experience.
Santo will go on tour soon to promote her new album, opening for such acts as Gary Clark, Jr., Jade Bird, Arlo McKinley, and Murder by Death.
Hear this song on the PM Picks Spotify playlist.