Jesus and God in Johnny Cash's lyrics
Some might say Johnny Cash was bad guitar player, an alcoholic, a fire starter, a womanizer and a brawler. That's all arguable but you cannot deny that Johnny Cash was a god fearing man. He's quoted as saying:
"The Master of Life's been good to me. He has given me strength to face past illnesses, and victory in the face of defeat. He has given me life and joy where other saw oblivion. He Has given new purpose to live for, new services to render and old wounds to heal. Life and love go on, let the music play."
"Creative people have to be fed from the divine source. I have to get fed. I had to get filled up in order to pour out."
Cash sure fed him self on songs whose lyrics refer to Jesus, especially for the American Recordings series. Here's quick run through of some of them.
I Came to Believe's lyrics suggest a man who has been through some troubled waters and has found solace in God, perhaps through necessity to survive.
God's Gonna Cut You Down is a classic Cash song where lyrics are a particular warning to sinners that no matter how hard they try, they will not avoid God's judgment. The same should probably be said of The Man Comes Around which tells the tale of The Second Coming.
Personal Jesus is a quite a different song. The reference to Jesus is some kind of quasi love song where the other party substitutes in for Jesus.
The Wanderer was a song Johnny Cash did with U2 on their Zooropa album - it refers to a man who has been making a journey in a post-apocalyptic world where he's finally realised that he better get on home to Jesus.
Meet Me In Heaven is a tender love song where the singer knows he's going to Heaven and when his partner dies, they'll end up at their side.
That Lucky Old Sun tells the story of man who works real hard and is disappointed he's not getting any reward while the sun gets to play in the heavens all day - the character ask's the Good Lord if he can hear his concerns. Even more heavy on the asking God to fix a problem is The Kneeling Drunkard's Plea - once you're at the bottom, sometimes the only way out is to look to the Heavens for help. I Hung My Head echoes this sentiment - a murderer has realized his shame and asks God for forgiveness.