Johnny Cash – The Mercy Seat

cash mercy

Jeg tok til tårene samtidig som ståpelsen løftet meg fra stolen første gangen jeg høret Johnny Cash synge Nick Cave’s – The Mercy Seat. Aldri har en sang trengt lengere inn i meg enn den gjorde første gangen jeg hørte Johnny Cash synge ordene “an eye for an eye – and a tooth for a tooth – and I’ve got nothing left to lose – and I’m not afraid to die”…
Det er hans røst som gjør effekten av ordene større enn de allerede er.

Det er sånn fortsatt. Nesten sånn. Jeg gråter ikke, men pelsen reiser seg.
Det blir nok aldri så sterkt som den gangen jeg kom hjem en sen kveld etter en konsert på Blå Rock Café, med Ricochets, og med Johnny Cash’s nye album, American III: Solitary Man, i posen. Dette var høsten 2000, om jeg ikke husker helt feil. Jeg var ikke helt edru, men jeg var heldigvis helt alene.
Det store spørsmålet som satt igjen i kroppen da jeg prøvde å få sove den natta, óg da jeg sto opp for å jobbe litt neste dag, var: Hva i helvete er rettferdighet?

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.

Jeg vet fortsatt ikke hva rettferdighet er når alt kommer til alt. Jeg vet hva urettferdighet, kan være…
Men. Det er ingen som vet det, og alt for mange som tror de vet hva rettferdighet er. Det j
eg vet derimot, er at denne låten bør spilles i kirka eller hvor jeg eventuelt ender opp om noen gidder å begrave meg. Helst etter at jeg er død.

Vi har heldigvis avskaffet dødsstraff her i Norge. Men det er fortsatt mange som blir henrettet på “sin” respektive stats bekostning.
Og en stat har ingen samvittighet. Jeg bare sier det. Men det har denne sangen.
Jeg elsker og frykter den av en hel rekke forskjellige grunner, men de vil jeg beholde for meg selv, akkurat nå…

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