Story Behind the Song: Brett Young, ‘Mercy’
On the heels of "Like I Loved You," the third single from and second No. 1 hit off of his self-titled debut album, Brett Young released "Mercy." Accompanied by a brooding piano line, the ballad describes the painful, messy ending of an ill-fated romance.
The Boot caught up with Young to learn more about the story behind his emotional fourth single. Read on for all the details!
"Mercy" was supposed to be an uptempo song. It was my first write with Sean McConnell, and I went in and told him that the label had said we needed more uptempo songs. I immediately fell in love with Sean when he replied, "I don't really care about that. We're gonna write whatever we're gonna write today, and I want to write the best song we can."
It started with us talking and getting to know each other. Eventually, we got to talking about our previous relationships. That's when "Mercy" started to come out. One we got started, it came out really fast.
The reason why I like "Mercy" so much is because, while I haven't lived [that story] exactly, I have lived multiple versions of that. There are so many different versions of heartbreak. I think it's vague enough that it could be anybody's story.
That song made the album at the 11th hour. We thought we were going to stop at 11 tracks, and then we found out iTunes needed us to have 12. Of course, I'm really happy "Mercy" made it on to the record.
It's interesting that the first two singles were happy love songs, and then the third ["Like I Loved You"] was this angry breakup song, and now there'll be another one of those dark songs about things not working out happily ever after. I think the [four singles] connect pretty well that way.
Watch Brett Young Cover "Hallelujah"