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Man in Black

I found out from danger_chick's journal that Johnny Cash has passed away.

Johnny Cash was a crusader. He wasn't the best singer: his deep gravelly voice was more often spoken than sung. He wasn't the best guitarist, having learned how to play when he was serving in the Air Force in Korea. But his music was a sincere expression of what was in his heart, and there is no higher art than that.

He sang better songs, such as "Ring of Fire," "Folsom Prison Blues," and perhaps "A Boy Named Sue" and "Daddy Sang Bass," but one song sums up Johnny Cash better than any other. Can there be any more fitting tribute to this legend than the lyrics to "Man in Black"?


Well, you wonder why I always dress in black,
Why you never see bright colors on my back,
And why does my appearance seem to have a somber tone.
Well, there's a reason for the things that I have on.

I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down,
Livin' in the hopeless, hungry side of town,
I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime,
But is there because he's a victim of the times.

I wear the black for those who never read,
Or listened to the words that Jesus said,
About the road to happiness through love and charity,
Why, you'd think He's talking straight to you and me.

Well, we're doin' mighty fine, I do suppose,
In our streak of lightnin' cars and fancy clothes,
But just so we're reminded of the ones who are held back,
Up front there ought 'a be a Man In Black.

I wear it for the sick and lonely old,
For the reckless ones whose bad trip left them cold,
I wear the black in mournin' for the lives that could have been,
Each week we lose a hundred fine young men.

And, I wear it for the thousands who have died,
Believen' that the Lord was on their side,
I wear it for another hundred thousand who have died,
Believen' that we all were on their side.

Well, there's things that never will be right I know,
And things need changin' everywhere you go,
But 'til we start to make a move to make a few things right,
You'll never see me wear a suit of white.

Ah, I'd love to wear a rainbow every day,
And tell the world that everything's OK,
But I'll try to carry off a little darkness on my back,
'Till things are brighter, I'm the Man In Black.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
sonata960
Sep. 12th, 2003 09:06 pm (UTC)
You *must* listen to his version of Nine Inch Nail's "Hurt". I damn nearly cried in my Cheerios when I saw the video one morning.

*sniffle*
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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