Kim Kizyma
Graphic Designer + Creative Technologist

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SOTD: Mercy seat

[Produced by John Carter Cash and Rick Rubin]

[Intro-Johnny Cash]
It all began when they took me from my home
And put me on Death Row
A crime for which I am totally innocent, you know

[Verse 1--Johnny Cash]
I began to warm and chill
To objects and their fields
A ragged cup, a twisted mop
The face of Jesus in my soup
Those sinister dinner deals
The meal trolley's wicked wheels
A hooked bone rising from my food
All things either good or ungood


[Chorus--Johnny Cash]
And the mercy seat is waiting
And I think my head is burning
And in a way I'm yearning
To be done with all this weighing of the truth
An eye for an eye
And a tooth for a tooth
And anyway I told the truth
And I'm not afraid to die

[Verse 2-Johnny Cash]
I hear stories from the chamber
Christ was born into a manger
And like some ragged stranger
He died upon the cross
Might I say, it seems so fitting in its way
He was a carpenter by trade
Or at least that's what I'm told
My kill-hand's
Tatooed E.V.I.L. across it's brother's fist
That filthy five! They did nothing to challenge or resist
In Heaven His throne is made of gold
The ark of his Testament is stowed
A throne from which I'm told
All history does unfold
It's made of wood and wire
And my body is on fire
And God is never far away
Into the mercy seat I climb
My head is shaved, my head is wired
And like a moth that tries
To enter the bright eye
I go shuffling out of life
Just to hide in death awhile
And anyway I never lied

[Chorus-Johnny Cash]
And the mercy seat is waiting
And I think my head is burning
And in a way I'm yearning
To be done with all this weighing of the truth
An eye for an eye
And a tooth for a tooth
And anyway I told the truth
And I'm not afraid to die

[Verse 3-Johnny Cash]
And the mercy seat is burning
And I think my head is glowing
And in a way I'm hopin'
To be done with all this twisting of the truth
An eye for an eye
And a tooth for a tooth
And any way there was no proof
And I'm not afraid to die
And the mercy seat is glowing
And I think my head is smoking
And in a way I'm hoping
To be done with all these looks of disbelief
A life for a life
And a truth for a truth
And I've got nothing left to loose
And I'm not afraid to die
And the mercy seat is smoking
And I think my head is melting
And in a way that's helping
To be done with all this twisting of the truth
An eye for an eye
And a tooth for a tooth
And any way I told the truth
But I'm afraid I told a lie

I recently really got into this Johnny Cash tune, Mercy Seat. I first heard about it on that podcast with Rick Rubin I listened to and wrote about weeks back. I do know a few Johnny Cash songs, but not many, so this is a favorite until I find more.

The tone of it reminds me of a Dylan song. Not the Blowin’ In The Wind sounding song, but more of the Dirge sounding song.

The prisoner claims innocence, but also subtly hints at his guilt. As the song progresses, the protagonist slowly inches towards both external confession and internal realization of guilt.

This is an example of apophenia: “unmotivated seeing of connections” accompanied by a “specific experience of an abnormal meaningfulness”, but it has come to represent the human tendency to seek patterns in random information in general, such as with gambling and paranormal phenomena."

The onset of schizophrenia is characterized by this habit.
Being put on death row could definitely make one develop this habit.

This sound is a really interesting story and with each listen you pick up more and more details in the narrative.

kk