March 29th, 2010


CD-a-Day: Cut Down Edition

Johnny Cash: American V - A Hundred Highways

From "God's Gonna Cut You Down"
Go and tell that long tongued liar
Tell that midnight rider
Tell the rambler, the gambler the backbiter
Tell 'em that God's gonna cut 'em down
Tell 'em that God's gonna cut 'em down.

When John Cash sings this on track 2, there is a sense of immediacy. His old, failing voice is desperate but powerful. There is an urgency to the delivery, like a man en route to the threshing floor. There is something steady though, and fearless. Cash wasn't afraid of the cutting down, but was distinctly aware of it's inevitability.

I like this CD more than American IV. It seems more pure. There is little experimentation with duets or odd song choices. Every song here seems poignant and a fitting farewell from The Man in Black. Even on "If You Could Read my Mind" by Gordon Lightfoot, there is a sweetness that endears me to Cash even more.

Towards the end, Johnny sings "Four strong winds that blow lonely; Seven seas that run high; all these things that won't change come what may; Well our good times are all gone, and I'm bound for moving on; I'll look for you if I'm ever back this way". I am gently reminded that we are fleeting, and would do well to love one another while we yet have breath and voice to do so.

Proverbs 27:6 - Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.