A Message from Johnny Cash

August 4, 2007

Johnny Cash in 1958One of our favorite Johnny Cash songs from the Rick Rubin productions was Cash’s interpretation of “God’s Gonna Cut You Down,” sometimes also known as “Run On.” It was recorded not long before Cash’s September 2003 death for the American V: A Hundred Highways album, which was released posthumously on 4 July 2006.

The song never received a lot of airplay, despite its powerful arrangement and message. Different from typical gospel arrangements, Cash’s version has a rhythmic stomp-clap downbeat. Unlike more “uplifting” gospel versions of this traditional song, it’s somewhat grim and pessimistic, portraying an uncompromising God warning sinners to mend their ways.

Cash’s musical stature and the powerful nature of the song led to the creation of a memorial video for Cash featuring such luminaries as Iggy Pop, Kanye West, Kris Kristofferson, Patti Smith, Chris Rock, Justin Timberlake, Kate Moss, Sheryl Crow, Dennis Hopper, Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee, the Dixie Chicks, Sharon Stone, Bono, Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lisa Marie Presley, Kid Rock, Jay Z, Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, Johnny Depp, Graham Nash, Brian Wilson and producer Rubin, among others.

“Well you may throw your rock and hide your hand
Workin’ in the dark against your fellow man
But as sure as God made black and white
What’s down in the dark will be brought to the light.”

Read an inspiring post about the Hindu religion.

Photo credits: Don Hunstein

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