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Mercy, mercy me
Turn up that radio, I want my ears to bleed
You hear the sound of the music, that’s the life for me
Cry me a river, mercy me

I was born in the back of a ’57 Chevy
With my daddy doing 90, my mama breathing heavy
Her water broke at midnight in the grocery store
She yelled, “Cleanup in aisle 4!”
Seems like all the girls in my town got hitched to Marines
Knocked up and settled by the age of eighteen
But I would not be tamed by some small town dame
I had one foot on the pedal, the other in my grave
In fact one time when I was fifteen
I sat a girlfriend of mine on the washing machine
My older brother told me though it didn’t make sense
“She’ll get the ride of her life for just 25 cents!”
I got a malt liquor tan from my old man
A busted-up hand me down old Trans Am
The rabbit in my blood, itch I shouldn’t scratch
The women on my mind and the monkey on my back

Mercy, mercy me
Turn up that radio, give me room to breathe
Crack open that bottle, roll a joint for me
Well lordy lordy, mercy me

I went down to the pawnshop and bought a guitar
A set of steel strings and an old chord chart
I stepped into my room and I disappeared
I didn’t come out for nearly three years
By eighteen the alimony had run dry
My daddy up and left my mama high and dry
She couldn’t keep on the lights waiting tables at night
So I thought I’d get me a job, play some music on the side
I looked old for my age so they didn’t ID
I played a bar down in Macon a couple nights a week
When I started strumming, the strangest thing happened
Women started staring, hollering, and clapping
And good goddamn I was sure impressed
That this old six-string could have such an effect
Like a woman in the backseat of my Trans Am
I popped the clutch a few times but she made this boy a man

Mercy, mercy me
Turn up that radio, fix me a drink
You see that woman, what she does to me
Well thank God I’m a sinner, mercy me

Some producer spotted me, now I play all the time
I’ve got a big tour bus on the record label’s dime
The drinks are always free, so are the pills
I grew a taste for them like I did pretty girls
I stopped sending mama paychecks long ago
You know the court costs are high and I’m deep in the hole
My first wife took my heart and she drug it around
My second wife took what they didn’t bolt down
And I tried getting clean, I tried going straight
But you can sell more records once you’re fresh in the grave
I'd give the drugs and the fame and the tour bus
To go back to when the music was enough
The judge can string me up but the rope it’ll snap
I’ve cut a deal with the devil and he cut me some slack
There’s no rest for the weary, I’ll sleep when I’m dead
I’ll leave note on the bureau and I’ll step out on the ledge

Mercy, mercy me
Shut off that radio, I think they’re playing me
You see this life I’m living, what it’s done to me
Cry me a river, mercy me


from Heart In A Mason Jar, released December 7, 2012



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Alex Culbreth & The Dead Country Stars Fredericksburg, Virginia

Breaking strings and breaking hearts. alexculbrethmusic@gmail.com

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