In a week that has been very important to Americans, resulting in the re-election of President Obama, I have been immersed in another aspect of American life – the music of Johnny Cash.

I outlined in my previous post the parameters, and therefore the limitations of the 144 tracks which I have on my iPhone. Would this be sufficient to do justice to such a prolific artist about whom I know so little?

It turned out to be an exceptionally demanding week for me. Even more heavy travel and work demands than usual. The mother of all migraines thrown in the middle for good measure. Ironically, given the nature of JC's music, which formed a soundtrack to all these goings on, I had my very own mini places of trauma, challenge, restriction and, yes, even hell.

Of course, at the other end of the scale, I could also relate to his songs about love, light, support and hope. Getting home to Mr Tracks at the end of the week was the relief of all reliefs.

And then, on this most solemn of Sundays in our year, having watched the service at the Cenotaph in London this morning, there were links to all the hardships of life about which JC sang.

I can't do his work justice in this post – I just scratched the surface my week of listening. Maybe I'll come back for another go in due course. But it struck me that to call the tracks mere songs is not right – they are poems set to music. Here's an excerpt from The Man In Black:


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.



2 thoughts on “Life in all its glory

  1. My favourite Johnny Cash Quote is: “You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.”

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