Death is inevitable for everyone on the planet, and sooner or later, it will come to every home and take away all who are loved by the human heart. The song is a terrible embodiment of the variability of life, the sudden possibility of decease at any moment; this part of human existence greatly worried the author. The lyrics are based on the traditional spirit, lament the periodic inevitability of death, and reflect events from early life in South America (Komara 82). For example, the loss of his mother and the untimely death of his seven siblings. ‘Death Has No Mercy’ has a vital autobiographical element for Davis as the only surviving eighth child.
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In my opinion, the song describes death as an actual entity. The author hints at personified mortality in medieval works of art. Death has human features; he is always in a hurry, never takes a vacation. In addition, death does not occur in a nursing home or hospital; he comes to our house and lingers for a long time (Komara 83). This means that if one of the relatives died far from the house, the family will still grieve and suffer through the decease of a loved one forever.
The author also emphasizes that end spares neither children nor women with the following lines: ‘Children find your mother’s gone. I said Death don’t have no mercy in this land. Death will leave you standing and crying in this land’(Gary Davis – Death Don’t Have No Mercy 00:03:25-00:03:36). Decease just does the job despite the children’s cries and longing of relatives. In addition, I think that the most criticized in this song is not the possibility of death but its suddenness. It is difficult to mourn a young person because of an accident or a sudden coincidence of events that led to his death. Although, death is always a heavy loss, which is difficult to accept and learn to live on.
Komara, Edward. ‘Say No to the Devil: The Life and Musical Genius of Rev. Gary Davis’, ARSC Journal, vol. 48, no. 1, 2017, pp. 81–86.
‘Gary Davis – Death Don’t Have No Mercy.’ YouTube, uploaded by Shroomeryslearyfan. 2010. Web.