Cash, Johnny - Man in Black
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Cash – The autobiography of Johnny Cash
First there's the song 'Man in Black,' which I wrote in 1971. I had my network TV show at the time, and so many reporters were asking me Question Two that I saw an opportunity to answer with a message. I wore the black, I sang, 'for the poor and beaten down, livin' in the hopeless, hungry side of town. I wore it 'for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime, but is there because he's a victim of the times.' I wore it for 'the sick and lonely old' and 'the reckless whose bad trip left them cold.' And with the Vietnam War as painful in my mind as it was in most other Americans', I wore it 'in mournin' for the lives that could have been. Each week we lose a hundred fine young men. I wear it for the thousands who have died, believin' that the Lord was on their side.'
The last verse summed it up:
Well, there's things that never will be right, I know,
And things need changin' everywhere you go,
But until we start to make a move to make a few things right
You'll never see me wear a suit of white.
Oh, I'd love to wear a rainbow every day,
And tell the world that everything's okay,
But I'll try to carry off a little darkness on my back,
Till things are brighter, I'm the Man in Black.
BY JOHN R. CASH, @ 1971 HOUSE OF CASH INC.
And ultimately, everything else aside, that was the real deal: it just felt right. I wore black because I liked it. I still do, and wearing it still means something to me. It's still my symbol of rebellion - against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others' ideas.