Mercenary of Love

“A couple Christmases ago I got a joggin’ suit. And I got a stocking cap that matched it rather smartly. And I was lookin’ at myself in front of the mirror and I hadn’t shaved for a couple of days and I came to the conclusion that I looked an awful lot like a hostage so I wrote this hostage of love song. But then Hasenfus was happening so we turned it into a mercenary of love. For all you Hasenfus fans.”

-Introduction from a live performance on 23 June 1988



South of the border, babe, they got some secret wars.
I took some pictures there, just for your chest of drawers.
You can’t imagine it from where you’re sleeping now.
I’ll make you understand, I’ll get to you somehow.

Yes I believe in you, that’s why I’m fighting here.
I’d die for all that’s true, but that’s a short career.
And so I run for you, through mud and blood for you.
Before I fade away, I’ll have you running too.

They held me prisoner, locked from the light of day.
Called all the generals and threw the keys away.
They stripped my dignity, they stole your picture too,
For bein’ a mercenary runnin’ love to you.

Walls of limestone surround an iron cage,
It’ dust and rust alone, outlive the outrage.
And so I run for you, through mud and blood for you.
Before I fade away, I’ll have you running too..

He never saw the blade, but for the final gleam
I left him lying there to dream his dying dream.
The dogs just hounded me, but I was bloodless then.
I ran from hell and back just to get to you again.

Won’t be killed or caught, there ain’t no rest for me.
The only roads I got are death and destiny.
And so I run for you, through mud and blood for you.
Before I fade away, I’ll have you running too.

I drank the alkali ’till I was dumb and blind.
Found by some villagers who’d never seen my kind.
Their dirty children begged me to the bone.
They cursed my sorry hide, then I was all alone.

From every hillside, I cried your echoed name.
Rode out the mudslide until it stumbled lame.
And still I run for you, through mud and blood for you.
Before I fade away, I’ll have you running too.

I’ll never plead the fifth, the truth can stand the light.
And I can stand the pain, if you will stay the night.
I’d trade lost victories and all my sad defeats,
Just to be some kinda hero on your silken sheets.

 

“Mercenary of Love” appears on Living and Dying in the Coffee generation, Medicine and Live at the Pres House.


© and ℗ 1988, 1990, 2001 Marques Bovre