Friday, September 12, 2003

A Silent Moment That Will Last Forever

R.I.P, Johnny Cash.

from News 24:

Nashville, Tennessee - Johnny Cash, a towering figure in American music spanning country, rock and folk and known worldwide as "The Man in Black", died on Friday, his manager said. He was 71.

I saw Johnny Cash play back in, oh I guess it was, 1986 or 87. I was only 9 or 10. Believe it or not, it was in GTMO, Cuba. Back then, the base was operational as just another overseas post, not the concentration camp it is today. My father worked for the DoD and we were down there for three years. This was in the days before the world was completely wired and at the time there was very little entertainment to be had. So The Man in Black came down to sing a few songs to the troops and the civilians. It was probably the first concert I ever went to and if not, it is the first I remember attending, and so is just as good as the first.

Folsom Prison Blues

I hear the train a comin'; it's rollin' 'round the bend,
And I ain't seen the sunshine since I don't know when.
I'm stuck at Folsom Prison and time keeps draggin' on.
But that train keeps rollin' on down to San Antone.

When I was just a baby, my mama told me, "Son,
Always be a good boy; don't ever play with guns."
But I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die.
When I hear that whistle blowin' I hang my head and cry.

I bet there's rich folk eatin' in a fancy dining car.
They're prob'ly drinkin' coffee and smokin' big cigars,
But I know I had it comin', I know I can't be free,
But those people keep a movin', and that's what tortures me.

Well, if they freed me from this prison, if that railroad train was mine,
I bet I'd move on over 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.

I don't know why but this is my favorite song of his. I'm not a gun fighter. I don't even own a gun. Heck, I'm pretty much a pacifist. But we've all done things we aren't proud of. Mostly, we try to forget them, pretend they don't happen. Johnny talked about them. He let us know that it's OK to be week and fearful and brave and strong and everything else. That's what it means to be human.

Johnny Cash is dead, but his voice will haunt us for as long as their are people with ears to hear.


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