Posted by: aprilcatherine2011 | January 21, 2012

Song: “Mercy Wheeler”

I sang this one at Arisia last weekend, and it’s high time I made the lyrics public.  The tune is original; as soon as I can afford a microphone, I’ll edit this to include an audio version.  In the meantime, here are the words.

Historical note: All the characters in this song are fictional, but it’s based on an actual superstition.  See here for the case which inspired the song, and other revenant and vampire beliefs of New England.

Mercy Wheeler

Now Mercy Wheeler’s in the grave; they buried her today.
And God knows what her folks will do, left up there on the hill,
Or how the girls will all get on, with Mercy and their mother gone.
The twins stayed home to tend her all the time that she was ill.

And she said, “Oh, I’m cold,
It’s so cold in the night.”
Head to toe, pale as bone,
Clothes and skin, ashy white.
She said, “Oh, I’m cold,
It’s so cold in the night,”
She said, “Let me get warm,
Hold me tight.”

They say she’s coming in at night to see the girls alone,
A white sheet wrapped around her, as they laid her in the clay.
The twins and little Callie said she came and tried to get in bed.
Elias and their father woke, and so she went away.


Now all the Wheeler girls are gone–Amanda, Callie, Grace.
Elias and his dad are seeing Mercy every night.
She wants them with her in the ground, so up she comes, without a sound,
And walks home to the Wheeler place by pale and starry light.


Elias dug her coffin up when he began to fail,
And though she had been buried through the summer and the fall,
The lid was cracked, and underneath, there Mercy lay with gaping teeth.
There she lay, white, plump, and warm, and not decayed at all.

Elias took a hammer and a rusty railway spike,
And when he drove it through her heart, she gave a little scream.
We burned her up.  It took all day.  I thought she’d never burn away.
I waited till the ashes cooled, and threw them in a stream.

[To tune of chorus]
She comes to my bed in the night just the same,
As though she had never been touched by a flame.



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