No Feet on the Cowling

by Mercyland

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wlf2sheds Great energy, combined with well-crafted songwriting, and hard-hitting music. They were a punk band with a commercial core. Mercyland is one of the great, overlooked bands of the 1980s (and really, of all time). Favorite track: Guessing Time is Gone.
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This is the remixed version of Mercyland's first album.


released July 1, 1989

David Barbe - Vocals/Bass
Andrew Donaldson - Vocals/Guitar
Joel Suttles - Drums

Recorded at John Keane Studio in Athens, Ga.

Remixed in 2010 by David Barbe



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Mercyland Athens, Georgia

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Track Name: Guessing Time is Gone
Everyone loves you now
Why don’t you comply?

There’s too many people
There’s too many souls
There’s too many stories
that I want to unfold
Don’t disappoint your
wildest dreams like
walking the camel with the king.

You’ve seen me by your side
Why can’t you decide?

Tell me what you want
I’m too tired to
tell me what you want
Your guessing time is gone.

I will stand in the end
I’m so tired of asking
all my former friends.
Track Name: Big Wind from East Jesus
My poor sweet thing
What have you done
What have you stumbled upon
The uninvited anger of a man
Twice your age

And I am the big wind from east jesus
And I have come to find peace of mind
I won’t leave until I am thrown out
Or until you are a friend of mine

I like you and
Will you buy this round and
Will speak to me and
Tell me of your dreams
Will you think of me as your
Savior from this land

I had a wife
She knew me too well
I had a landlord
He was always at the door
I had a reason
To be at this bar but
I have forgotten
What that reason was
Track Name: Chains
you’ve been down 100 roads
none of them were right
you would never call my name
you’ve had tribulations
without a hope in sight
you still are playing children’s games
you’ve been walking around again
and you wonder why your spirit’s maimed
I can make you smile again
I don’t have to hold your chains

love is all around
you tell me it always
brings you down
look again
it’s what you crave
ambivalent slave
your pointing fingers
with no one to blame

like a stubborn blind man
who cannot find his cane
you never let me ease your pain
smashing out the mirror
doesn’t do a thing
your shadow never goes away
walking forth and back again
is driving you insane
you never let your efforts wane
I can make you smile and laugh
without ill-gotten gains
I don’t have to hold your chains

you can sit in quicksand
and talk about your pain
or the sympathy you never got
or hang around the kind of friends
who’ll tell you just the same
no matter if it’s right or not
you can keep on telling me
it’s really not your fault
that your spillage doesn’t
leave a stain
I can make you smile again
without ill-gotten gains
I don’t have to hold your chains
Track Name: King Clover
do your smiling teeth shield you from the truth?
or did I see you flinch?
your mirror is unimpressed with your sale
kills your dreams with no more than a pinch.

all you said you wanted
was a lucky rabbits foot
to use
all the time you were unaware
of the scars from the abuse of your fortune

the second biggest shame to me
is you cast your own pall
tooth decay is plain to see
if you ever notice at all

I’m glad your luck is a gift to the world
King Clover
taking stock in your bondage of toil
King Clover
and every knave who won’t listen is branded a churl
King Clover
you’re a silver-tongued, goldbricking,
copperhead foil.

King Clover, what have you got now?
Track Name: Ives St. Cocklebur
there’s nothing in the world
in the whole wide world
like the ives st. cocklebur
he’s on the scene: really got a grip
he’s a full-fledged man-o-war
he can have anything
anything he wants
he’s unusually attractive
there’s nothing in the world
in the whole wide world
like the ives st. cocklebur

do you remember from the stories of your life
where the good guy ever won
is it expected to learn anything from that tripe
or is there garbage in your mind

he’s got a girl
she’s on the floor
with a dagger in her back
she’s spilling her gut’s
he’s lapping it up
you know he’s loving every minute of it
he’s a real man
a macho man if you know what I’m talking about
there’s nothing in the world
in the whole wide world
like the ives st. cocklebur

he can have sugat in an LTD
if he ever really wants to
he likes fire like a spotted bird likes
his worms in a wine glass
Track Name: Proceed with Discretion
the extended glances happened many times too often
for extraordinary ideas not to blossom in his head
a year of those tight pants wore his inhibition thin
there's no reason not to it might ruin everything
it's a notion so crazy that it might not work

and now each night there are two beds to chose from
and the idle thoughts of previous
have become the norm
all the physical aspects live up to their claims
feelings to consider but it's just a game
that good friends never seem to make any rules to

I knew you once by your first name
and now by your smell
since there is a secret
that we love not to tell
and I'm sorry for my curiosity
in certain situations
I should smile to my self and proceed with discretion

"maybe it's just a form of self defense"
he mused to himself
or perhaps the attraction is stronger than he thinks
the knots in his stomach
mark off each correspondence
the day draws nearer when he'll come to his home
and courtesy finds itself distasteful

now she's putting in the spermicide
but do not bother to decide
if you are the best
or simply the next
Track Name: Fall of the City
sound of the city came crashing through
I was such a young boy
angry youth has hungry views
but I still played with toys
when I finally heard the sound
wouldn’t you believe it
there was one man
a solitary man
like flames rising out of black

I never learned a thing in the
“gilded age”
when the sky caved in and the
blitzkrieg raged. the fall of
the city didn’t come a minute too soon

every chord you played rang true
we were driven to a frenzy.
I believed every word you said
like the truth of a prophet.
and when you said it would never
end, of course we all believed you.
something must have died inside
you don’t stand for anything.

countless thousands following
the orders of a dead man
I guess they don’t realize
that you died a long time ago
we’re still trudging through the
muck when all of you are dead
and gone. Do you want to know
just what I learned? I learned
nothing at all.

thank you very kindly, captain
seize them
that’s a grave situation.
Track Name: Distant Line
I ran away and then I kept running
And you know what they say
Harder they come
Harder they fall
I never meant to fall at all
But it all came crashing down

And I just made that change
It was once and for all
You know I’m not very close to perfect
And sometimes very far from honest

Favorite gift this year
Was a voice on a distant line
There was no anger in her tone
And I told no lies

I know I keep forgetting to write
I just can’t seem to find the time
But ten minutes of your time
Could be the most valued of all
It should be as simple as that
Or so it seems since the dreams
That we screened always seemed
To have the same review
Once you made my cheeks
Running wet with laughter
Now I’m shitting in my pants

There is a nervous apprehension
That is causing this cruel dissension
You were a stranger once
But now it’s strange
Not knowing anything about you
Track Name: Gets My Soul to Vigor
gets my soul to vigor when I think of what we had
it made my heart grow bigger
until everything went bad
then I had to face the rain
and see what I should see
now I feel like the world’s coming down around me

she was only one girl, but one who stirred me deep
she touched my face
and woke me from
my long and troubled sleep
but then I had to face the rain
and see what I should see
now I feel like the world’s coming down around me

we had a perfect picture
a handmade Camelot
we didn’t always get what we wanted
but we always wanted what we got

then you answer problems with an angry silent freeze
am I to fly into a rage or to beg upon my knees
forgiveness of a crime that is a mystery to me
when you don’t care
that my world’s falling down around me

there’s a ringing in my brain
that just won’t go away
my vision and emotion only let me see one way
don’t you think it’s hard to care
when you’re just ignoring me
you don’t care
that my world’s falling down around me
Track Name: Rotten on the Vine
Something’s rotten on the vine
Should have fallen off a long time ago..
And it starts perhaps with a youthful burst
That creative surge
Of which we search
Sap it for what’s it’s worth
‘Cause in this profession
There is no pension
The bomb of frustration is just ticking away
To a judgment day
In which you are the last
To hear the verdict

All these heroes that we had
They seemed so profound
Now simply are bad at realizing the fact
That this music is finite
It borders upon trite
An elevated height
Is what is needed
When a voice does plead
For a different sustenance
Depending on what you wanted anyway..

So how does the narrator escape
If his preference
Is of the same taste
It’s easier to berate
And follow suit
What I would rather do
Is adopt another medium
Fend of my tedium
This enlightened hedonism
will not last for much too long
Track Name: White Cross
Bitter and self-critical
Condemn my moves as immature
Better to have acted and have failed
Than to comfortably endure.

Frigid guts but in my sore skull
I’m about to burn
When I should have screamed
Your head off
I stayed taciturn

White cross branded in my eyes.

All her soulful beauty
Opens passion’s heart to me
Naked in clean black water
My shaking hands are all I see.

We look all around for what should be inside
Now we wonder why the prophet
Whom we sought for answers
Found his god in suicide.

Bethel-hollow plastic heads
sharing empty stares with me
Did she mean it when she said
“I would love to set you free.”