Mercury Rev – Holes (1999)

Holes was the lead track of Mercury Rev’s fourth studio album Deserter’s Songs, which was released on the 29th September 1998 and was one of my favourite albums of the year. Holes was only ever released in single form, on the July 1999 in Australia, one of four tracks on a limited edition tour EP. The others being a live cover of Caroline Says Pt. II (Lou Reed), a live version of Car Wash Hair and Robert Creeley reading his poem I Dreamt over a Mercury Rev soundtrack.

Mercury Rev are an American indie rock band formed in 1989 in Buffalo, New York. Original personnel were David Baker (vocals), Jonathan Donahue (vocals, guitars), Sean Mackowiak (guitars, clarinet), Suzanne Thorpe (flute), Dave Fridmann (bass) and Jimy Chambers (drums). They are currently down to a three-piece of Donahue, Mackowiak and Chandler.

Mercury Rev band

The band Mercury Rev.

They released their latest album, their tenth, Bobbie Gentry’s The Delta Sweete Revisited, on the 4th February 2019, the album being is re-working of the Bobbie Gentry 1968 album, The Delta Sweete.


Time, all the long red lines, that take control
Of all the smoke-like streams that flow into your dreams
That big blue open sea that can’t be crossed
That can’t be climbed, just born between
Oh, the two white lines, distant Gods and faded signs
Of all those blinking lights, you had to pick the one tonight

Holes, dug by little moles, angry jealous spies
Got telephones for eyes, come to you as friends
All those endless ends, that can’t be tied
Oh, they make me laugh, and always make me cry
Till they drop like flies, and sink like polished stones
Of all the stones I throw, how does that old song go?
How does that old song go?

Bands, those funny little plans, that never work quite right

Mercury Rev-Deserter's song

Mercury Rev Deserter’s Songs cover art.

Watch this version taken from a live session they performed for BBC 6Music’s Lauren Laverne at Maida Vale in October 2015.