November 27, 2009

Johnny Cash//Cocaine Blues, Folsom Prison Blues

I had a fantastic Thanksgiving. It included an amazing meal shared with amazing people, a lovely walk, foosball competition, saxophone performance and some kickass country songs. Round two was filled with whiskey, pie and a hilarious charades-style game called Celebrity. How was yours?

I have so much to be thankful for in my life! It's overwhelming! Since we're giving thanks, I want to give you a double dose of songs to be thankful for, by a man we should all be thankful for, Johnny Cash.

Mr. Cash passed away in 2003. If you want the full (overdramatic/exaggerated) history, go ahead and watch Walk the Line. What's worth knowing: he was a country legend who made incredible music, was an active advocate around a number of political issues and crossed paths with plenty of other country legends ( and their kids).

These songs were performed by Cash, who felt a lot of compassion for prisoners, live in Folsom Prison in '68 (he played San Quentin in '69). What's amazing: the first song tells about how a man (Willy Lee, or Bad Lee Brown in a much earlier version) gets himself into Folsom. The second is about a man's experience in Folsom, after killing a man (in Reno). You can almost imagine that these two men stuck in Folsom together, trading stories of their respective fates.

Last night, Karen's dad, Dr. Bob, played rousing renditions of both these songs for us. Karen also told us that when her mom wasn't around, and Dr. Bob was charged with putting her to bed, he used to play her "Cocaine Blues" to get her to sleep. Now, that's what I call awesome parenting.

Cocaine Blues.mp3

Folsom Prison Blues.mp3

I took a shot of cocaine and I shot my woman down.
I went right home and I went to bed.
I stuck that lovin' '44 beneath my head.

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