Friday, October 26, 2018

'Mercy Street' (for Anne Sexton) by Peter Gabriel

I'm interested in the ways that poetry slips its way into the more mainstream media and most especially, recently, in how songwriters respond to poetry or the lives of the poets themselves. I first heard Peter Gabriel's album So in the mid-eighties and it was a rather special occasion as it was the first time I heard music on CD (a richer childhood friend of mine had just got one!). Anyway, said friend played this album over and over and, to be honest, it sounded great on the new technology and almost seemed designed to showcase it, along with Kate Bush's The Hounds of Love, released around the same time. In any case, I especially loved the track 'Mercy Street' but the dedication to poet Anne Sexton meant nothing to me at that time. Obviously, all these years on it most certainly does and, knowing a fair amount about the poet now, I feel this is a beautiful response to her - often troubled - life. So here is the song and official music video. I hope you enjoy it.