Thursday, May 13, 2004

Man in Black

I've never known much about Johnny Cash, other than he was an older country singer. Of course I knew his songs, such as "A Boy Named Sue" and "Ring of Fire." When he died a couple of months ago, suddenly it was really trendy to like him and to be very grieved over his passing. I tend to be very skeptical towards trendy things and people, so I almost purposefully tried to not pay much attention to his life or music. However, tonight I caved in and watched CMT's Inside Fame about Johnny Cash. Call me a Johnny-Come-Lately (no pun intended), but what can I say, I'm a fan now. He was a man with principles, beliefs, and a message, and the people closest to him respected and loved him. I'm not going to pretend I have anything profound to say about Johnny Cash after just watching one hour long show about him, but I will close with a song that I find extremely touching and relevant.

What Is Truth?
The old man turned off the radio
Said, "Where did all of the old songs go
Kids sure play funny music these days
They play it in the strangest ways"
Said, "it looks to me like they've all gone wild
It was peaceful back when I was a child"
Well, man, could it be that the girls and boys
Are trying to be heard above your noise?
And the lonely voice of youth cries "What is truth?"

A little boy of three sittin' on the floor
Looks up and says, "Daddy, what is war?"
"son, that's when people fight and die"
The little boy of three says "Daddy, why?"
A young man of seventeen in Sunday school
Being taught the golden rule
And by the time another year has gone around
It may be his turn to lay his life down
Can you blame the voice of youth for asking
"What is truth?"

A young man sittin' on the witness stand
The man with the book says "Raise your hand"
"Repeat after me, I solemnly swear"
The man looked down at his long hair
And although the young man solemnly swore
Nobody seems to hear anymore
And it didn't really matter if the truth was there
It was the cut of his clothes and the length of his hair
And the lonely voice of youth cries
"What is truth?"

The young girl dancing to the latest beat
Has found new ways to move her feet
The young man speaking in the city square
Is trying to tell somebody that he cares
Yeah, the ones that you're calling wild
Are going to be the leaders in a little while
This old world's wakin' to a new born day
And I solemnly swear that it'll be their way
You better help the voice of youth find
"What is truth?"

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