It Burns! It Burns!

Well, it looks like there is more Cash coming. (And that’s not a tax season joke.) After seeing Walk The Line, I was poking around looking at Johnny Cash websites. It turns out that there’s a new Broadway musical called Ring of Fire coming out featuring his work, and it’s coming out this March, just in time to capitalize on any good Oscar buzz from the biopic. Apparently the writer decided not to make it a biography because they thought it would lessen the story. So instead they’re featuring Johnny’s ‘songs and stories’.

I don’t know what they mean by stories, but I decided to share a few of my own thoughts on some of his songs.

‘A Boy Named Sue’ has a great story. If you want to hear it, listen to the song. Sue ends up forgiving his dad for all the crap he had to put up with a name like that once he finds out why dad did it. The moral of the story as I saw it is that you should always look at things from the other guy’s perspective. I really wish more people would do that. Opinions are always so rigid these days, and few people can participate in friendly debate without getting their feelings hurt. This song is also the inspiration for a great character in the soon to be classic movie Swingers. (Rent it. It's money baby.)

At first, ‘Ring of Fire’ always sounds like a number from this cheesy mariachi band I heard at the Mexican restaurant down the street. But if you listen to the lyrics, it gets a lot better. It’s all about why they call it ‘falling’ in love. Love is amazing and inspiring, but sometimes it burns. It was written by June Carter Cash, and if the movie is to be believed it’s inspired by her relationship with Johnny.

‘The Man Comes Around’ is obviously religious. I don’t have any grand cerebral insights into this one. I just have to say that it really creeped me out at the beginning of Dawn Of The Dead when they play it over a montage which essentially shows the world ending.

I think in ‘Long Legged Guitar Pickin Man’ he may be the only man to ever get away with calling his wife a big mouth woman. It helps that this one is a duet with June.

What can you really say about ‘Hurt’? It’s a powerful and it makes me hurt a little just to listen to it. Nine Inch Nails did it well, but Johnny Cash really took it home. You can hear the bitterness about growing old in his voice. The only thing I don’t really agree with his insinuation that everything he’s done in life is worthless. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but I sure hope I don’t end up feeling that way when my time comes. Watch the video if you haven't seen it.

There’s nothing to say about ‘Folsome Prison Blues’. But I have to mention it anyhow since it’s my favorite.

All of these songs can be heard on JohnnyCash.com. They have a nice selection of his greatest hits.


Blogger newscoma said...

Favorite line ever...
"I shot a man in Reno
Just to watch him die."
EVER, I tell you.

11:19 AM, February 16, 2006  

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