10000 Maniacs — Please Forgive Us lyrics

"Mercy, mercy," why didn't we hear it?
"Mercy, mercy," why did we read it buried on the last page of our morning
Papers?
The plan was drafted, drafted in secret.
Gunboats met the red tide, driven to the rum trade for the army that they
Created.
But the bullets were bought by us, it was dollars that paid them.

Please forgive us, we don't know what was done,
Please forgive us, we don't know what was done in our name.

There'll be more trials like this in mercenary heydays.
When they're so apt to wrap themselves up in the stripes and stars and find that
They are able to call themselves heroes and to justify murder by their fighters
For freedom.

Please forgive us, we don't know what was done.
Please forgive us, we didn't know.
Could you ever forgive us? I don't know how you could.

I know this is no consolation.
Please forgive us, we don't know what was done,
Please forgive us, we didn't know.
Could you ever believe that we didn't know?
Please forgive us, we didn't know.
I wouldn't blame you if you never could.
Please forgive us, we didn't know.
I wouldn't blame you if you never could.
Please forgive us, and you never will.
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