The Front Porch Go to Mickey Newbury Back Porch
Back Porch


Author:  Doug Lang
E-mail:  dalang@telus.net
Date:  9/12/2003 4:17:57 PM
Subject:  Re: Remembering Johnny Cash

When I saw him singing I Walk The Line
on stage in that northern prairie town
I was just a boy and my eyes
in fascination were locked to that scar
imagining the fight he suffered it in
broken whiskey bottle cutting him
as he connected with a roundhouse right
and the other man went down

Or maybe it was a woman who cut him
after he'd let her down
and how he had to carry that scar
everywhere he went
asnwering the questions at first until
the questions bored him and he
made up a different answer
in every town he played

His voice had none of that singsong
lilt of the others, it being a lantern
too heavy to swing around
so he let its iron weight talk
and made sure the little light at its center
never went dark like the night around it

Toward the end he sang I Still Miss Someone
and my uncle, who took me to the show
choked and buckled when John sang
"when all the love was there"
and I figured there were other kinds
of scars, too, that you can't see

It his later years
there was rust on that iron lantern
rust that brought to it a tenderness
we always knew by the songs he chose
but now it was present in the voice
and it made you stand up and listen
and tell friends about him
tell them he's sounding stronger than ever

When June left us we knew
the wick of that lantern's flame
had been snipped shorter still
for love keeps us living
and June and John's love
kept them living
of that there is little doubt
and without her eyes and face
the loneliness would harden

Tonight it is darker than before
the lantern heavier still
its rust flaking in the wind
as we raise it up from where it fell

Tonight that lantern is ours to light
to lift, however heavy
to protect its flame from the winds

Our love keeps them living
Our love keeps them living
Our gift back, in the deepening night


 Remembering Johnny Cash by Roy at 9/12/2003 10:13:01 AM
 Re: Remembering Johnny Cash by Judy W.  at 9/12/2003 11:37:24 AM
 Re: Remembering Johnny Cash by Jonmark at 9/12/2003 11:49:25 AM
 Re: Remembering Johnny Cash by Ron L.  at 9/12/2003 2:24:20 PM
 Re: Remembering Johnny Cash by Doug Lang  at 9/12/2003 4:17:57 PM
 Re: Remembering Johnny Cash by y'know at 9/12/2003 6:16:18 PM
 Re: Remembering Johnny Cash by Ron L.  at 9/12/2003 6:21:05 PM
 Re: Remembering Johnny Cash by Larry larry  at 9/12/2003 2:50:07 PM
 Re: Remembering Johnny Cash by Lee F.  at 9/12/2003 7:14:29 PM
 Re: Remembering Johnny Cash by Mamie  at 9/12/2003 10:11:20 PM