By Nick The Record Lover
Hello Fellow Music Lovers,
Welcome to Flip-Side Feature, a new addition to my blog “Music: A Friend For Life”. Today we go back to 1962 and “Mr. Soul” himself, Sam Cooke.
I first heard “Somebody Have Mercy” by Sam Cooke on a CD compilation “Sam Cooke: The Man and His Music” from 1986. I purchased it around 1995 or so, and sang along with all of the classics (“Cupid”, “Shake”, “You Send Me”, and “Another Saturday Night”, to name more than a few). When I arrived at “Somebody Have Mercy”, I was blown away. This was one of the greatest songs I had ever heard in my young life. It sounded like it should have been an A-Side number one hit. Then I found out it was the B-Side of “Nothing Can Change This Love”.
“Somebody Have Mercy” was written by The man himself, and he pours his heart out over a woman who does him wrong no matter how hard he tries to satisfy her. When I first heard the chorus which starts off the song-“Somebody Have Mercy, and Tell me What is Wrong with Me” it brought tears to my eyes. Young love is anything but what you see in the movies. I mean dig those lyrics “I’m gonna grab me an arm full of Greyhound, and ride just as close I can…and BLOW that thing for me yeah..” Then the blues harmonica comes in and all hell breaks loose. He could have just wrote that he was “taking a bus and getting the hell out of here”, but instead it’s “An Arm Full of Greyhound”. Genius! It makes me wonder if the band just started jamming an R&B feel, and Sam just started singing away. This is indeed one of the best (if not THE best) of Sam Cooke’s underrated songs and in the original mono mix.
Nick The Record Lover