"The Mercy Seat"

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.



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.



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.



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.



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



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 twistin' 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 hopin'

to be done with all these looks of disbelief.

A life for a life

And a truth for a truth

And I've got nothin' 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 helpin'

to be done with all this twistin' 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.

 
© 2017 Johnny Cash
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