Words to the song click here.
It is impossible to escape this song these days – it’s everywhere. Here’s the explanation of Duffy’s lyrics for “Mercy” in English.
“Gotta” is slang for “have to”
“Stay true” is to tell the truth
“To have someone on their knees” is to make them beg or plead, to make them ask with intense desire. To say “beg” or “plead” is more common in English.
Ex: He begged his daughter to attend university, but she wanted to pursue a career in acting.
“You got me” has several meanings. Here it means you have captured, caught or trapped me.
“Spell” is another word with multiple meanings. It can mean to say the letters of a word.
Ex: How do you spell “dog”? “Dog” is spelled D – O – G.
“Spell” is also magic. Normally witches cast (throw or put) a spell. In the classic situation when a witch changes a prince into a frog, she has “cast” a spell. The frog is “under” the spell. When the frog turns back into a prince the spell has been “broken”.
“Mercy” is forgiveness or compassion. When you are the authority and you control the destiny of someone with a problem, they might beg you for mercy.
Ex: He begged the judge for mercy – he didn’t want to go to prison.
“Release” is to set someone free or liberate them.
“On the side” in the context of a relationship means not your primary romantic relationship, but usually a secret extra relationship.