While everyone is up watching Disney stars twerk at the VMA’s, I choose to recollect on some Johnny Cash memories. It’s high time that I gave him a post in the segment. I was thinking of sharing, maybe, “I Walk the Line” or “Man in Black,” but “Hurt,” a song that was originally by Nine Inch Nails, has so much effect on me that I didn’t want to let it pass.
The track is recorded prior to the legend’s death and it has since become one of the most heartbreaking songs that I’ve listened to. The haunting juxtaposition of clean, melodic instrumental and what the legend has gone through for the six months after his wife died, just hits me at the core. Nine Inch Nails’ version was about drug addiction; Johnny Cash’s is about life’s emptiness in the end. I like both versions, but the latter is much relative to many lives, to which, vocalist Trent Reznor agrees, that in the moment Johnny Cash sang the song, “it became his.”
Accompanying the melancholic track is an impressive video that recollects Johnny’s illustrious career. It shows aplenty of his appearances in the business and there’s a climactic end to the film that hits the gut. You can taste Johnny’s regret and longing. “I hurt myself today,” he whispers, almost like a sob. “To know if I still feel.” He tells us that we “can have it all,” his “empire of dirt.” He’d go back in time to change things, would trade his fame if he must, to be with her wife again.
If I could start again, a million miles away.