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".
- "Political World" (3:43)
- "Where Teardrops Fall" (2:30)
- "Everything Is Broken" (3:12)
- "Ring Them Bells" (3:00)
- "Man In The Long Black Coat" (4:30)
- "Most Of The Time" (5:02)
- "What Good Am I?" (4:45)
- "Disease Of Conceit" (3:41)
- "What Was It You Wanted?" (5:02)
- "Shooting Star" (3:12)
- Added Alliterative Appeal: "Man In The Long Black Coat"Crickets are chirpin' , the water is high
- Alliterative Title: "Shooting Star".
- As the Good Book Says...:
- "Ring Them Bells" name-drops St. Peter and St. Catherine.Ring them bells so the world will know that God is oneOh the shepherd is asleepWhere the willows weep
- "Ring Them Bells" name-drops St. Peter and St. Catherine.
- 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 mindI wouldn't know her if I saw herShe's that far behindMost of the time I can even be sureIf she was ever with meOr if I was ever with her?
- Continuity Nod: In his Chronicles: Volume One memoir, Dylan described "Political World" as "a catalogue of troubles... almost an update on "With God On Our Side" from The Times They Are A-Changin'.
- 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 placeThings fall to pieces in my faceBroken hands on broken ploughsBroken treaties broken vowsBroken pipes broken toolsPeople bending broken rulesHound dog howling bullfrog croakingEverything 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".
- Production Foreshadowing: Parts of the sound on this album sound like an early preview of Time Out of Mind, also produced by Daniel Lanois.
- Questioning Title?: "What Good Am I?" and "What Was It You Wanted?"
- 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.