- Mercy is a wonderful worship song with a great swing, memorable melody and deep truth. It is usable in all church situations and offers accessibility for all levels of musicians.
The Rock Music’s new release, Mercy, explores God’s compassion and love, the core of His ever present mercy. Based out of The Rock Church in Draper Utah, sitting at the base of the Wasatch Mountains, The Rock Music is a collaboration of musicians dedicated to writing, recording and performing Christ-centered music without compromise. The Rock Church is committed to doing church in a revolutionary way, and that’s reflected in The Rock Music movement, led by pastor and musician Steele Croswhite.
You won’t put out the flickering candle.
Music and Production
Mercy opens with a porch swing pick and strum. This gives it a homely intimacy reflecting the theme of God’s mercy. As the song progresses, a fuller band is layered in, with ethereal synths providing depth. But the pick and strum recurs throughout, giving consistency.
The 79bpm 6/8 swing is deep and wide, daring anyone listening not to sway along. The recorded song is in the key of ‘D’ with an easy 1-6 chord progression in the verse, while the chorus falls into a 1-6-5-4 progression. This gives the song accessibility for all levels of worship musician.
In the verses, a repeated rhythmic motif makes the melody memorable and easy to sing. The Chorus starts with a variation of the motif, then moves into a two-line rejoinder. At the halfway point, the bridge uses a repeating melodic line that echoes the original theme.
The bridge lyrics go back and forth from, “That is why I run to you,” and “That is why I love you.” It’s always a challenge to balance repetition in a worship song. Full disclosure I’m not a huge fan of excessive repetition, things playing over and over, or duplicative prose (see what I did there). In Mercy, the bridge repeats for one minute and fifteen seconds of the four minutes and forty-five second song. That’s a lot of time used to say the same thing. But, the use of dynamics, from very intimate to big worship sound, keeps it from becoming too much of a problem.
Worship Function and Accessibility
This song fits well into corporate worship. Its construction promotes creative arrangement possibilities. The melody is memorable and easy to sing after just one or two listenings. The standard chord structure makes it easy to play for an inexperienced musician, with room to add color, more imaginative transitions, and replacement chords for the more experienced.
Mercy is often alluded to in worship songs, but in the song Mercy, the imagery is especially poignant. The lyrics, “You won’t put out the flickering candle,” and “You won’t crush down the weakest reed,” are vivid visual metaphors. The chorus then focuses on God’s love and compassion, which is at the core of God’s never ending mercy.
You won’t crush down the weakest reed.
Mercy is a wonderful worship song with a great swing, memorable melody and deep truth. It is usable in all church situations and offers accessibility for all levels of musicians.
Great musical feel and theme.
The repetition in the bridge is a little much for me.
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Christopher Watson is an author of six books, both fiction and non-fiction. He is also a musician and composer with a B.A. in Music from Azusa Pacific University. For several years Christopher led worship at The Springs Church while attending Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas Texas. He's been involved with worship in a number of churches in California and the Pacific Northwest both as a musician and in production and technology. Now he lives and writes in Washington State with his amazing wife, wonderful daughters, and highly intelligent dog, Ellie Mae.