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Music / Oh Mercy

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When were you kissing my cheek?

Oh Mercy is the twenty-sixth studio album by Bob Dylan, released in 1989. At the time it was well received by critics after a long period of weaker-reviewed albums and thus perceived as a comeback album. Many critics and Dylan fans regard it as his best album of The '80s. The record is best remembered for the single "Everything Is Broken".


Side One

  1. "Political World" (3:43)
  2. "Where Teardrops Fall" (2:30)
  3. "Everything Is Broken" (3:12)
  4. "Ring Them Bells" (3:00)
  5. "Man In The Long Black Coat" (4:30)

Side Two

  1. "Most Of The Time" (5:02)
  2. "What Good Am I?" (4:45)
  3. "Disease Of Conceit" (3:41)
  4. "What Was It You Wanted?" (5:02)
  5. "Shooting Star" (3:12)

Broken Tropes:

  • Break Up Song: "Most Of The Time" is from the perspective who is completely over a girl who he was in love with... most of the time.
    Most of the time she ain't even in my mind
    I wouldn't know her if I saw her
    She's that far behind
    Most of the time I can even be sure
    If she was ever with me
    Or if I was ever with her?
  • Design Student's Orgasm: The album covers depicts a mural of a Chinese restaurant in Manhattan, New York, designed by artist Trotsky.
  • Driven to Suicide: Dylan's "Political World" is one where people are selfish, no one knows what God even is, and when all this evil finally pushes someone to end it, "there's always more than enough rope."
  • List Song: "Everything Is Broken" basically lists all kinds of things that are broken, from bottles and dishes to bodies and hearts.
    Every time you leave and go off some place
    Things fall to pieces in my face
    Broken hands on broken ploughs
    Broken treaties broken vows
    Broken pipes broken tools
    People bending broken rules
    Hound dog howling bullfrog croaking
    Everything is broken.
  • Non-Appearing Title: The album title doesn't appear in any of the lyrics, though "Political World" mentions that "mercy walks the plank".
  • Shout-Out:
    • The line "We banged the drum slowly" in "Where Teardrops Fall" is a reference to Mark Harris' 1956 novel "Bang The Drum Slowly". The same song also quotes from the poem "Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue...".
    • "Shooting Star" references Joseph Addison Alexander's poem "There is a line by us unseen that crosses every path/The hidden boundary between God's patience and His wrath."
  • Shrouded in Myth: The title character of "Man In The Long Black Coat". Fan guesses of who he is include God, Satan, and Johnny Cash.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: "Most of the Time" is a list of situations in which the singer doesn't think about his ex. Nope. Not at all.