The never ending pursuit of the beautiful -- part 6

We are quick to praise people who bring a little light into the world. We look up to those who succeed and surround themselves with others who do the same. We admire these kinds of people and are right to do so. However, there are a rare breed of beautiful people that dedicate their lives to showing us the other side of things. They show us the unpopular truths of the human race. Lives have a way of getting messed up at times. Sometimes this is our own fault and sometimes circumstances work against us even when we are trying hard. Johnny Cash, through his own life and his lyrics, brought this truth to light in a creative and often times entertaining way. Primarily, his songs and his life were not pretty and were not polished. He didn't woo us into liking him or attempt to convince us that he was anything but exactly who he was. Sometimes we need the harsh and cold darkness to truly appreciate the light and the warmth of day. Johnny Cash reminded us of that darkness while also pointing us to the light and warmth of a new day. Because he possessed and used this gift to strengthen those who had ears to hear I say that Johnny Cash was absolutely beautiful.

Well, you wonder why I always dress in black,
Why you never see bright colors on my back,
And why does my appearance seem to have a somber tone.
Well, there's a reason for the things that I have on.

I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down,
Livin' in the hopeless, hungry side of town,
I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime,
But is there because he's a victim of the times.

I wear the black for those who never read,
Or listened to the words that Jesus said,
About the road to happiness through love and charity,
Why, you'd think He's talking straight to you and me.

Well, we're doin' mighty fine, I do suppose,
In our streak of lightnin' cars and fancy clothes,
But just so we're reminded of the ones who are held back,
Up front there ought 'a be a Man In Black.

I wear it for the sick and lonely old,
For the reckless ones whose bad trip left them cold,
I wear the black in mournin' for the lives that could have been,
Each week we lose a hundred fine young men.

And, I wear it for the thousands who have died,
Believen' that the Lord was on their side,
I wear it for another hundred thousand who have died,
Believen' that we all were on their side.

Well, there's things that never will be right I know,
And things need changin' everywhere you go,
But 'til we start to make a move to make a few things right,
You'll never see me wear a suit of white.

Ah, I'd love to wear a rainbow every day,
And tell the world that everything's OK,
But I'll try to carry off a little darkness on my back,
'Till things are brighter, I'm the Man In Black.


Bar Kochba said...

Great post. The world needs real beauty, not the spiritually and physically anorexic garbage promoted by the media.

Elmer's Brother said...

I saw Mr. Cash in concert at the local University when I was in high school...

after the concert we were walking back to the car and out came the man in black

he was bigger than life

Yehudi01 said...

I agree with BK....but that picture is very intense!

The Frank Family said...

A picture is worth a thousand words so they say. A couple of weeks back, Johnny Cash spoke volumes with an ad in the music industry trade publication Billboard. A black-and-white photo of Cash saluting Nashville with his middle finger dominated a full-page layout. The copy read "American Recordings and Johnny Cash would like to acknowledge the Nashville Music establishment and country radio for your support."

Cash is no stranger to controversy and this latest antic was pretty much taken in stride (and with more than a few chuckles) by most of the folks on Nashville's famed Music Row. The legendary performer was, in a cheeky sort of way, celebrating his recent Grammy win. Cash's American Recordings album, Unchained, was named the Country Album of the Year by the voting membership of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS).

Although no harm was intended by Cash's gesture, he was making a pointed (no pun intended) statement not only for himself but also for his fellow disenfranchised country performers: We're still viable artists.We can still win awards. Just give us some support! It is no secret that older country artists such as Cash, Merle Haggard, George Jones and other older, established performers are finding it increasingly more difficult to garner airplay on today's country radio stations. You can rest assured that Jones, Haggard, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson all got a real belly laugh out of Cash's ad.

Much has been said and written about the absence of older artists from the radio airwaves recently. A great deal of the criticism levied upon country radio has come from the artists themselves. It appears to be a frustrating situation for all involved. Jones, Cash and Haggard all have released outstanding albums in recent years with very little fanfare and even less airplay.

nanc said...

loved him.

and, the movie "walk the line" was a very good depiction of his younger days.

Brooke said...

Nanc, I liked that movie as well. Joaqin Phoenix did Cash well.

Elmer's Brother said...

I'm sorry to see you removed your other post...???

The Frank Family said...

ElBro -- yeah it just got too big and cluttered and I didn't want it in the middle of my posts of beautiful people. I couldn't figure out how to move it so I ended up just deleting it.

Elmer's Brother said...

I'm sorry...repost it. without the comments...we'll start over

Michael said...

There is definitely somthing beautiful about Johnny Cash's unique style.

Shortly after he died, I read an interview with U2, in which the band was reminicsing about Cash, and a dinner they had with him. Apparrently, as they sat down to eat, Cash insisted on saying grace, which he did with great passion. Then he muttered, "I sure do miss the drugs, though."

Sort of captures the man, doesn't it?

Interesting post.

nanc said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.