Our Top 5 Johnny Cash Songs

Feb 26, 2015

Johnny Cash would have turned 83 today. The ‘man in black’ is regarded as one of the most influential men not only in country music, but in all of music history. To celebrate the legend’s day of birth, we decided to list our top 5 Cash songs of all time.

 

1. Folsom Prison Blues (Live Version)- 

  • My favorite thing about this song is the fact that he sang it at the actual Folsom Prison. To my knowledge, no one had performed at a prison before, and no one has since. Truly a testament to his personality and his innovative spirit.
  • I love that it is a country song but it has a classic folk feel to it.
  • Favorite Lyrics- 

                  “Well if they freed me from this prison,
                  If that railroad train was mine
                  I bet I’d move it on a little farther down the line
                  Far from Folsom prison, that’s where I want to stay
                 And I’d let that lonesome whistle blow my blues away…..”

2. Boy Named Sue-

  • ‘Boy Named Sue’ in my mind tells one of the greatest stories ever told in a song. The mix of dark humor and word play is something only Cash could come up with.
  • It is a song that teaches us a lesson, a boy that has to grow up fighting will grow up to be a tough man.
  • Favorite Lyrics-
                 ” And if I ever have a son, I think I’m gonna name him
                 Bill or George! Anything but Sue! I still hate that name!”

 

3. I Walk The Line-

  • One of the most well known of Cash’s songs, ‘I Walk The Line’ is a love poem from Johnny to his new wife back at home. I like this song because when I hear it I always imagine Johnny in his dressing room singing this song with his door closed and all the bad temptations of fame knocking for him.
  • The chord progression in this song was inspired by the backwards playback of guitar runs on Johnny’s tape recorder.
  • Favorite Lyrics-

                    “I find it very, very easy to be true
                    I find myself alone when each day is through”

 

4. Ring Of Fire-

  • ‘Ring Of Fire’ was Johnny’s biggest hit of his career. Ironically, the song was actually written by June Carter Cash.
  • I like this song so much because it was written by June about falling in love with Johnny, yet Johnny was the one singing it. In a sense he was singing a song about falling in love with himself!
  • Favorite Lyric-

                    “The taste of love is sweet
                      When hearts like ours meet.
                      I fell for you like a child,
                      Oh, but the fire went wild.”

 

5. The Man Comes Around-

  • ‘The Man Comes Around’ was one of the last songs that Cash ever wrote before his death in 2003.
  • I like this song because it is a beautiful song about the revelations alongside the second coming of Jesus Christ.
  • Favorite Lyric-

                  “And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts,
                    And I looked and behold: a pale horse.
                    And his name, that sat on him, was Death.
                    And Hell followed with him.”