Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) chords by Marvin Gaye

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Mercy Mercy Me | Chords + Lyrics


| G#/A# | G#/A# | A/B | Amaj7/B |

Verse 1

| Emaj7 (Emaj9) | Emaj9 Emaj7 |
Woah, oh, mercy, mercy me.
| C#m7 (C#m9)| C#m9 C#m7 |
Oh, things ain’t what they used to be, no, no.
| F#m7 (F#m9) | F#m9 F#m7 |
Where did all the blue skies go?
| B9 B11 | B11 Amaj7/B |
Poison is the wind that blows from the north and south and east.

Verse 2

| Emaj7 (Emaj9) | Emaj9 Emaj7 |
Woah, mercy, mercy me.
| C#m7 (C#m9)| C#m9 C#m7 |
Oh, things ain’t what they used to be, no, no.
| F#m7 (F#m9) | F#m9 F#m7 |
Oil wasted on the oceans and upon our seas
| B9 B11 | B11 Amaj7/B |
Fish full of mercury.

Verse 3

| Emaj7 (Emaj9) | Emaj9 Emaj7 |
Oh, oh, mercy, mercy me.
| C#m7 (C#m9)| C#m9 C#m7 |
Ah, things ain’t what they used to be, no more.
| F#m7 (F#m9) | F#m9 F#m7 |
Radiation underground and in the sky.
| B9 B11 | B11 Amaj7/B |
Animals and birds who live nearby are dying.

Verse 4

| Emaj7 (Emaj9) | Emaj9 Emaj7 |
Oh, mercy, mercy me.
| C#m7 (C#m9)| C#m9 C#m7 |
Oh, things ain’t what they used to be.
| F#m7 (F#m9) | F#m9 F#m7 |
What about this overcrowded land?
| B9 B11 | B11 Amaj7/B |
How much more abuse from man, can she stand?


| Am7 (A7sus4) | A7sus4 Am7 |
| Dm7 (Dm9) | Dm9 Dm7 |
| Gm7 (Gm9) | Gm9 Gm7 |
| Bb/C | Bbmaj7/C |
||: Bbm7 (Bbm9) :||

End (free time)

| Bbm9 | Cm9 | Fdim7/G | Cmmaj7 |

Mercy Mercy Me’s verse chords and progressions

Marvin Gaye‘s Mercy Mercy Me is almost the same as another massive tune from the same album, What’s Going On.

Just like What’s Going On, the main chord progression is I – VI – II – V. What’s cool with Mercy Mercy Me’s chords is how the extensions go from maj7maj9, or min7min9, if you listen to the keyboards that is.

The V chord moves between 9 and 11, even 13 cords. I’ve written the chord progression like this throughout:

| Emaj7 (Emaj9) | Emaj9 Emaj7 |
| C#m7 (C#m9)| C#m9 C#m7 |
| F#m7 (F#m9) | F#m9 F#m7 |
| B9 B11 | B11 Amaj7/B |

The idea is that you mainly play maj7, with the occasional 9, then start with 9, and go back to maj7. See this as a good starting point and then start experimenting.

You don’t just play one chord here, you need to move around, swap chord shapes, keep adding that 9, and then remove it. Apply the same strategy for the minor chords.

The final bar says B9B11Amaj7/B. That last chord could be seen as a B13 as well.

Mercy Mercy Me TAB

You may be listening to the original above and notice how that guitar is more static than what I’ve just described, this is because I’ve considered the chords played by more instruments than just the guitar.

Here’s the original guitar part using chords and TAB.

Mercy Mercy Me chords and TAB, original verse part.

Using the concept of moving around between extensions like the keyboard does, here’s what that could look like using TAB.

Mercy Mercy Me chords and TAB, modified verse part.

Remember, you need to do this in an improvised way, it would be silly to memorize all you’ve seen above. And if you did, you’ve done what the first example showed, just using more chords, that would be missing the point.

I’ve written it out for you so you can see the concept more clearly, not to memorize it.

In my intermediate electric course, you’ll learn how to do this with simpler tunes than Mercy Mercy Me.

Mercy Mercy Me intro and outro chords

The intro is essentially two 11 chords a semitone apart, with that 13-chord, or Amaj7/B.

For the outro, we go to a completely new vibe as we start with an Am7, clearly, we’ve changed the key.

Following the Am7, we go up the cycle of 4th, maintaining min7 chords.

The Bb/C is like a C11, Bbmaj7/C is that 13-chord concept again.

Next, Marvin goes even crazier as we get a Bbm7 and loop it for seemingly until the end of time.

The end chords are so out there I doubt anyone will actually play them in a gig, but anyway:

Start with holding a Bbm9, go to Cm9, Fdim7/G (also known as a G alt) finish on a Cmmaj7, a chord usually only played in James Bond films!

I just said it but this bears repeating, the last section is so wacky, you’ll probably never play it in a gig. Work on getting that maj7maj9 movement to sound authentic instead, that’s the best part of Mercy Mercy Me’s chords.

Apart from every aspiring soul singer, and practicing jazz musician around the world, Mercy Mercy Me has been covered by many famous artists, including Michael McDonald, Craig David, Robert Palmer, Ben Harper, Boyz II Men, and even The Strokes.

Check them all out in the playlist above. Practice along with Marvin’s version using the chords and lyrics provided, this is a standard and you need to know it!

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Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye tunes

Marvin Gaye helped to shape the Motown sound as a drummer, session singer, writer, lead singer, and producer in the 60s and 70s.

Marvin’s hits include I Heard It Through The Grapevine, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Can I Get A Witness, and politically fueled What’s Going On.

Marvin Gaye tunes.

Marvin Gaye on the web

Listen to Marvin Gaye on Spotify.

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