Monday, February 26, 2007

Happy Birthday, JR

You know your friends know you when they call you on Johnny Cash's Birthday. Thank you, Kim.

John R. Cash was born February 26, 1932 in Arkansas, and I'm sure glad he was. Maybe at some point I'll use this blog space to expound the significance of Johnny Cash to my life and my spiritual journey, and alongside him, my two other faith/life heroes: Lady Jane Grey and Charlotte Bronte, but for now, on Johnny's birthday, I'll let his words do the talkin'. Here's the lyrics to "Man In Black" which I decided to carry in my back pocket today, which felt silly when I thought about doing it, but once I had it with me, it started feeling like, not a memento mori (listening to Johnny sing to me on my Ipod while knowing he's not currently on earth and that I one day will not be on earth) but more like a memento Histori (making this up) a reminder of legacies preceding me, timelines past and my fragile but real part in chronology. He's gone, but I'm here, and his words are here with me, and my words will go somewhere too, don't know where. But I'll leave you now with Mr. Cash, God rest his soul earnestly and tenderly...


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.


Cabe said...

None of my friends called me for Johnny Cash's birthday :( I guess they don't really know me.

in an (un)related story, I spent a brief period of time exploring your lists that you claimed to have enjoyed creating and couldn't help but notice CSNY at the top of your list of favorite musical artists. I'm impressed by that, and so I am awarding you 2 points. congratulations.

Ben said...

oh my God, KJ, this is what i'm talking about! you are a blog queen! who are you? just the coolest person ever?

"not a memento mori... but more like a memento Histori... a reminder of legacies preceding me, timelines past and my fragile but real part in chronology."

you're kidding me, right? where do you get this stuff? and, can i steal it?

you've made my cashian day... and you're my hero. :)

Kj said...

I dont know what touches me more:
that Seattle friends are reading my blog (why?)-
-that David Crosby just won me 2 more points
or that my ulitmate po-mo self-referential fantasy has come true- my blog has been quoted within my blog.
Yes Ben, please quote me at will. Who ever said gasoline and fire were a bad combo?