DEATH DON’T HAVE NO MERCY

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs
DEATH DON’T HAVE NO MERCY
Reverend Gary Davis was a powerful singer and a masterful guitar player. He was a giant
in the field of acoustic blues and gospel music and many of the rock and roll legends of
the 1960s learned his songs and his playing style, some from him personally.
Davis began recording in 1945 and continued to record and perform for the rest of his
life. He also continued to teach guitar. By this time he had stopped playing the blues,
focusing instead on gospel and old time songs. The only exceptions were “gospel blues”
such as “Death Don’t Have No Mercy”, which he first recorded in 1960. He also recorded
“Samson and Delilah” for the first time in 1956, a song based on “If I Had My Way” by
Blind Willie Johnson.
With the advent of folk music explosion in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Davis found
many of the new folk and blues guitarists beating a path to his door and learning his
songs. David Van Ronk, Taj Mahal, Jorma Kaukonen, The Grateful Dead and Stefan
Grossman all recorded versions of his songs. Davis played at numerous folk festivals
including the Newport Folk Festival (1959, 1965, 1968) and the Cambridge Folk
Festival.
Y’ Know Death Don’t Have No Mercy In This Land
Death Don’t Have No Mercy In This Land, In This Land
Come To Your House, You Know He Don’t Take Long
Look In Bed This Morning, Children Find Your Mother Gone.
I Said Death Don’t Have No Mercy In This Land.
Death Will Leave You Standing And Crying In This Land,
Death Will Leave You Standing And Crying In This Land, In This Land, Yeah!
Whoa! Come To Your House, Y’ Know He Don’t Stay Long,
Y’ Look In Bed This Morning,
Children You Find That Your Brothers And Sisters Are Gone.
I Said Death Don’t Have No Mercy In This Land.
Death Will Go In Any Family In This Land.
Death Will Go In Any Family In This Land.
Come To Your House, you know he don’t take long.
Look in the bed on the morning, Children Find That Your Family’s Gone.
I Said Death Don’t Have No Mercy In This Land.
Death Will Leave You Standing And Crying In This Land,
In This Land. Whoa! Come To Your House,
Y’ Know It Don’t Stay Long, Y’ Look In Bed This Morning,
Children Find That Your Brothers And Sisters Are Gone