Wednesday, August 24, 2005

"Sisters of Mercy" by Cher (2000)

Wait a minute...CHER?
Yes...that Cher.

In 2000, Cher released her CD "Not.Com.mercial," sold exclusively throught Artist Direct. The CD features nine songs written and composed by Cher herself after attending a writer's workshop in 1994.
One of the songs, "Sisters of Mercy," has a connection to Scranton, PA., though the song never mentions Scranton directly. The song is a harsh critique of the Sisters of Mercy, an order of Catholic nuns who serve the poor and sick, whom Cher refers to as "daughters of hell," "twisters of truth," etc.
In an article from People Magazine (November 27, 2000, pages 18-19) titled "Cher, Nuns & Trouble," Cher explained that she wrote the song for her mother. When Cher was a a few months old, her father abandoned her and her pregnant mother in Scranton, PA. Cher's mother took her to a Catholic orphanage to care for Cher during the day while she worked as a waitress in an all-night diner. Cher's mother ended up having an abortion, and she returned to the orphanage to collect Cher after a three-week hospital stay. The Sisters of Mercy responded by calling her an unfit mother and refusing to return her daughter to her. According to Cher, it took six months and help from a Scranton City Councilman for Cher's mother to regain custody of her daughter.
Cher has stated that the song "is about a particular incident--not a condemnation of the Catholic Church."
If you would like to read the article from People Weekly, it's available in Access Pennsylvania Power Library from the magazine database "Masterfile Premier." We also have a copy of the People Weekly article in the Local History Vertical File for "Diocese of Scranton".
You can read the lyrics to "Sister of Mercy" by clicking here.
Cher's CD "Not.Com.mercial" is only available from the Artist Direct web site:

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