photo of Johnny CashPhoto Credit: WikiMedia Commons

Quotes by Johnny Cash

Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Johnny Cash. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for Johnny Cash

John R. Cash (born J. R. Cash; February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. Much of Cash's music contained themes of sorrow, moral tribulation, and redemption, especially in the later stages of his career. He was known for his deep, calm bass-baritone voice, the distinctive sound of his Tennessee Three backing band characterized by train-like chugging guitar rhythms, a rebelliousness coupled with an increasingly somber and humble demeanor, free prison concerts, and a trademark all-black stage wardrobe which earned him the nickname "The Man in Black".

Born to poor cotton farmers in Kingsland, Arkansas, Cash rose to fame in the burgeoning rockabilly scene in Memphis, Tennessee, after four years in the Air Force. He traditionally began his concerts by simply introducing himself, "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash", followed by "Folsom Prison Blues", one of his signature songs. Alongside "Folsom Prison Blues", his other signature songs include "I Walk the Line", "Ring of Fire", "Get Rhythm", and "Man in Black". He also recorded humorous numbers like "One Piece at a Time" and "A Boy Named Sue", a duet with his future wife June called "Jackson" (followed by many further duets after their wedding), and railroad songs such as "Hey, Porter", "Orange Blossom Special", and "Rock Island Line". During the last stage of his career, he covered songs by contemporary rock artists of the time; his most notable covers were "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails, "Rusty Cage" by Soundgarden and, "Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode.

Cash is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 90 million records worldwide. His genre-spanning music embraced country, rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, folk, and gospel sounds. This crossover appeal earned him the rare honor of being inducted into the Country Music, Rock and Roll, and Gospel Music Halls of Fame.

Quote: God gives us life and takes us away as He sees fit. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of man and woman kissing beside body of water during daytime
Photo Credit: Jonathan Borba

God gives us life and takes us away as He sees fit.


Quote: Will you tell me somethin' Mr Lumberjack is it one for forward and three for back. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

Will you tell me somethin' Mr Lumberjack is it one for forward and three for back.




Quote: When I think about country music, I think about America. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

When I think about country music, I think about America.


Quote: The battle against the dark one, and the clinging to the right one, is what my life is about. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

The battle against the dark one, and the clinging to the right one, is what my life is about.


Quote: They're powerful, those songs. At times they've been my only way back, the only door out of the dark, bad places the black dog calls home. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

They're powerful, those songs. At times they've been my only way back, the only door out of the dark, bad places the black dog calls home.


Quote: Being rich means you get to worry about everything except money. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

Being rich means you get to worry about everything except money.


Quote: The beer and the wurst were wonderful, but I was dying to be back in the South, where the livin' was easy, where the fish were jumpin', where the cotton grew high. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

The beer and the wurst were wonderful, but I was dying to be back in the South, where the livin' was easy, where the fish were jumpin', where the cotton grew high.


Quote: When God forgave me, I figured I'd better do it too. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

When God forgave me, I figured I'd better do it too.


Quote: If I'm anything, I'm not a singer but I'm a song stylist. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

If I'm anything, I'm not a singer but I'm a song stylist.


Quote: There's a man going 'round taking names   And he decides who to free and who to blame   Everybody won't be treated all the same   There'll be a golden ladder reaching down   When the Man comes around. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

There's a man going 'round taking names And he decides who to free and who to blame Everybody won't be treated all the same There'll be a golden ladder reaching down When the Man comes around.


Quote: The hardest thing for me in Vietnam wasn't seeing the wounded and dead. It was watching the big transport jets come in, bringing loads of fresh new boys for the war. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

The hardest thing for me in Vietnam wasn't seeing the wounded and dead. It was watching the big transport jets come in, bringing loads of fresh new boys for the war.


Quote: Convicts are the best audience I ever played for. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

Convicts are the best audience I ever played for.


Quote: My mother told me to keep on singing, and that kept me working through the cotton fields. She said God has his hand on you. You'll be singing for the world someday. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

My mother told me to keep on singing, and that kept me working through the cotton fields. She said God has his hand on you. You'll be singing for the world someday.


Quote: I love Bob Dylan, I really do. I love his early work, I love the first time he plugged in electrically, I love his Christian albums, I love his other albums. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

I love Bob Dylan, I really do. I love his early work, I love the first time he plugged in electrically, I love his Christian albums, I love his other albums.


Quote: I sang those old gospel songs for my mother, and she said, is that you? And I said, yes, ma'am. And she came over and put her arms around me and said, God's got his hands on you. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

I sang those old gospel songs for my mother, and she said, is that you? And I said, yes, ma'am. And she came over and put her arms around me and said, God's got his hands on you.


Quote: Gospel music is so ingrained into my bones. I can't do a concert without singing a gospel song. It's what I was raised on. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

Gospel music is so ingrained into my bones. I can't do a concert without singing a gospel song. It's what I was raised on.


Quote: I think in my world of religion, you're called to preach or you don't preach. Called by God to preach. I never been ordained by God to preach the gospel. I have a calling, it's called to perform and sing. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

I think in my world of religion, you're called to preach or you don't preach. Called by God to preach. I never been ordained by God to preach the gospel. I have a calling, it's called to perform and sing.


Quote: Everybody was wearing rhinestones, all those sparkly clothes, and cowboy boots. I decided to wear a black shirt and pants and see if I could get by with it. I did and I've worn black clothes ever since. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

Everybody was wearing rhinestones, all those sparkly clothes, and cowboy boots. I decided to wear a black shirt and pants and see if I could get by with it. I did and I've worn black clothes ever since.


Quote: Some gal would giggle and I'd get red, and some guy'd laugh and I'd bust his head. I tell ya, life ain't easy for a boy named Sue. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

Some gal would giggle and I'd get red, and some guy'd laugh and I'd bust his head. I tell ya, life ain't easy for a boy named Sue.


Quote: Help me, Jesus. I know what I am. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

Help me, Jesus. I know what I am.


Quote: Rick Rubin had his hair -- I don't think it's ever been cut and very -- dresses like a hobo, usually -- clean but . Was the kind of guy I really felt comfortable with, actually. I think I was more comfortable with him than I would have been with a producer with a suit on. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of Johnny Cash quote; white text on black background

Rick Rubin had his hair -- I don't think it's ever been cut and very -- dresses like a hobo, usually -- clean but . Was the kind of guy I really felt comfortable with, actually. I think I was more comfortable with him than I would have been with a producer with a suit on.


Quote: So I simply don't buy the concept of Generation X as the lost generation. I see too many good kids out there, kids who are ready and willing to do the right thing, just as Jack was. Their distractions are greater, though. There's no more simple life with simple choices for the young. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of Johnny Cash quote: So I simply don't buy the concept of Generation X as the lost generation. I see too many good kids out there, kids who are ready and willing to do the right thing, just as Jack was. Their distractions are greater, though. There's no more simple life with simple choices for the young.- black text on quotes background

So I simply don't buy the concept of Generation X as the lost generation. I see too many good kids out there, kids who are ready and willing to do the right thing, just as Jack was. Their distractions are greater, though. There's no more simple life with simple choices for the young.




Quote: Six foot six he stood on the ground
He weighed two hundred and thirty-five pounds
But I saw that giant of a man brought down
To his knees by love. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

Six foot six he stood on the ground
He weighed two hundred and thirty-five pounds
But I saw that giant of a man brought down
To his knees by love.


Quote: Because you're mine, I walk the line. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

Because you're mine, I walk the line.


Quote: There is a spiritual side to me that goes real deep, but I confess right up front that I'm the biggest sinner of them all. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

There is a spiritual side to me that goes real deep, but I confess right up front that I'm the biggest sinner of them all.


Quote: I would take songs that I'd loved as a child and redo them in my mind for the new voice I had, the low voice. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

I would take songs that I'd loved as a child and redo them in my mind for the new voice I had, the low voice.


Quote: If you aren't gonna say exactly how and what you feel, you might as well not say anything at all. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

If you aren't gonna say exactly how and what you feel, you might as well not say anything at all.


Quote: He drank his first strong liquor then to calm his shaking hand, and tried to tell himself at last he had become a man. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

He drank his first strong liquor then to calm his shaking hand, and tried to tell himself at last he had become a man.


Quote: I always loved those songs. And with my high tenor, I thought I was pretty good -- you know? -- almost as good as Dennis Day. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

I always loved those songs. And with my high tenor, I thought I was pretty good -- you know? -- almost as good as Dennis Day.




Quote: I keep a close watch on this heart of mine I keep my eyes wide open all the time I keep the ends out for the tie that binds Because you're mine, I walk the line. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

I keep a close watch on this heart of mine I keep my eyes wide open all the time I keep the ends out for the tie that binds Because you're mine, I walk the line.




Quote: Could it be the girls and boys are trying to be heard above your noise? by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

Could it be the girls and boys are trying to be heard above your noise?






Quote: San Quentin, may you rot and burn in hell. May your walls fall and may I live to tell. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

San Quentin, may you rot and burn in hell. May your walls fall and may I live to tell.




Quote: Call him drunken Ira Hayes, he won't answer any more. Not the whiskey drinking Indian, nor the Marine that went to war. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

Call him drunken Ira Hayes, he won't answer any more. Not the whiskey drinking Indian, nor the Marine that went to war.


Quote: The fire and excitement may be gone now that we don't go out there and sing them anymore, but the ring of fire still burns around you and I, keeping our love hotter than a pepper sprout. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

The fire and excitement may be gone now that we don't go out there and sing them anymore, but the ring of fire still burns around you and I, keeping our love hotter than a pepper sprout.


Quote: You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

You build on failure. You use it as a steppingstone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.


Quote: Rick Rubin came to my concert in Orange County, Calif. I believe this was, like, '83 when he first came and listened to the show. And then afterwards, I went in the dressing room and sat and talked to him. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

Rick Rubin came to my concert in Orange County, Calif. I believe this was, like, '83 when he first came and listened to the show. And then afterwards, I went in the dressing room and sat and talked to him.


Quote: One day, I just decided I'm ready to go. So I went down with my guitar and sat on the front steps of Sam Phillips recording studio. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

One day, I just decided I'm ready to go. So I went down with my guitar and sat on the front steps of Sam Phillips recording studio.


Quote: Beneath the stains of time the feeling disappears, you are someone else I am still right here. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

Beneath the stains of time the feeling disappears, you are someone else I am still right here.


Quote: When I was a baby, my mama told me son, always be a good boy, don't ever play with guns. But I shot a man in Reno. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

When I was a baby, my mama told me son, always be a good boy, don't ever play with guns. But I shot a man in Reno.


Quote: Deep in the heart of the infinite darkness, a tiny blue marble is spinning through space. Born in the splendor of God's holy vision, and sliding away like a tear down his face. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

Deep in the heart of the infinite darkness, a tiny blue marble is spinning through space. Born in the splendor of God's holy vision, and sliding away like a tear down his face.




Quote: I expect my life to end pretty soon. You know, I'm 71 years old. I have great faith, though. I have unshakable faith. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

I expect my life to end pretty soon. You know, I'm 71 years old. I have great faith, though. I have unshakable faith.


Quote: Oh, I'd love to wear a rainbow everyday, 
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 author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

Oh, I'd love to wear a rainbow everyday,
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.


Quote: If you're going to be a Christian, you're going to change. You're going to lose some old friends, not because you want to, but because you need to. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

If you're going to be a Christian, you're going to change. You're going to lose some old friends, not because you want to, but because you need to.


Quote: I've been flushed from the bathroom of your heart. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

I've been flushed from the bathroom of your heart.


Quote: Inside the walls of a prison my body may be, but my Lord has set my soul free. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

Inside the walls of a prison my body may be, but my Lord has set my soul free.


Quote: Those that have lived longer than us always have something to teach us, that we can take with us for the rest of our lives. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

Those that have lived longer than us always have something to teach us, that we can take with us for the rest of our lives.


Quote: I wear black for those who never read or listen to the words that Jesus said, about the road to happiness, through love and charity. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

I wear black for those who never read or listen to the words that Jesus said, about the road to happiness, through love and charity.


Quote: Don't take voice lessons. Do it your way. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

Don't take voice lessons. Do it your way.


Quote: When you sing, you pray twice. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

When you sing, you pray twice.


Quote: Life is the question and life is the answer, and God is the reason and love is the way. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

Life is the question and life is the answer, and God is the reason and love is the way.


Quote: I came to believe in a power much higher than I. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

I came to believe in a power much higher than I.


Quote: I have tried drugs and a little of everything else, and there is nothing in the world more soul-satisfying than having the kingdom of God building inside you and growing. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

I have tried drugs and a little of everything else, and there is nothing in the world more soul-satisfying than having the kingdom of God building inside you and growing.


Quote: I don't like it, but I guess things happen that way. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

I don't like it, but I guess things happen that way.


Quote: I love the freedoms we got in this country, I appreciate your freedom to burn your flag if you want to, but I really appreciate my right to bear arms so I can shoot you if you try to burn mine. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

I love the freedoms we got in this country, I appreciate your freedom to burn your flag if you want to, but I really appreciate my right to bear arms so I can shoot you if you try to burn mine.


Quote: All music comes from God. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

All music comes from God.


Quote: I don't give up because I don't give up. I don't believe in it. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

I don't give up because I don't give up. I don't believe in it.


Quote: We're all in this together if we're in it at all. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

We're all in this together if we're in it at all.


Quote: What have I become, my sweetest friend. Everyone I know goes away, in the end. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

What have I become, my sweetest friend. Everyone I know goes away, in the end.


Quote: Life is rough so you gotta be tough. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

Life is rough so you gotta be tough.


Quote: 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. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

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.


Quote: I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.


Quote: A rose looks grey at midnight, but the flame is just asleep. And steel is strong because it knows the hammer and white heat. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

A rose looks grey at midnight, but the flame is just asleep. And steel is strong because it knows the hammer and white heat.


Quote: I wear my crown of thorns on my liars chair, full of broken thoughts I cannot repair, beneath the stain of time the feelings disappears. What have I become, my sweetest of friends? by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

I wear my crown of thorns on my liars chair, full of broken thoughts I cannot repair, beneath the stain of time the feelings disappears. What have I become, my sweetest of friends?


Quote: Loneliness is emptiness, but happiness is you. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

Loneliness is emptiness, but happiness is you.


Quote: I hurt myself today, to see if I still feel. I focus on the pain, the only thing that's real. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

I hurt myself today, to see if I still feel. I focus on the pain, the only thing that's real.


Quote: I love to go to the studio and stay there 10 or 12 hours a day. I love it. What is it? I don't know. It's life. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

I love to go to the studio and stay there 10 or 12 hours a day. I love it. What is it? I don't know. It's life.


Quote: When I record somebody else's song, I have to make it my own or it doesn't feel right. I'll say to myself, I wrote this and he doesn't know it! by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

When I record somebody else's song, I have to make it my own or it doesn't feel right. I'll say to myself, I wrote this and he doesn't know it!


Quote: I start a lot more songs than I finish, because I realize when I get into them, they're no good. I don't throw them away, I just put them away, store them, get them out of sight. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

I start a lot more songs than I finish, because I realize when I get into them, they're no good. I don't throw them away, I just put them away, store them, get them out of sight.


Quote: People call me wild. Not really though, I'm not. I guess I've never been normal, not what you call Establishment. I'm country. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

People call me wild. Not really though, I'm not. I guess I've never been normal, not what you call Establishment. I'm country.


Quote: It's like a novelist writing far out things. If it makes a point and makes sense, then people like to read that. But if it's off in left field and goes over the edge, you lose it. The same with musical talent, I think. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

It's like a novelist writing far out things. If it makes a point and makes sense, then people like to read that. But if it's off in left field and goes over the edge, you lose it. The same with musical talent, I think.


Quote: That was the big thing when I was growing up, singing on the radio. The extent of my dream was to sing on the radio station in Memphis. Even when I got out of the Air Force in 1954, I came right back to Memphis and started knocking on doors at the radio station. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

That was the big thing when I was growing up, singing on the radio. The extent of my dream was to sing on the radio station in Memphis. Even when I got out of the Air Force in 1954, I came right back to Memphis and started knocking on doors at the radio station.


Quote: I'm very shy really. I spend a lot of time in my room alone reading or writing or watching television. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

I'm very shy really. I spend a lot of time in my room alone reading or writing or watching television.


Quote: I am not a Christian artist, I am an artist who is a Christian. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

I am not a Christian artist, I am an artist who is a Christian.


Quote: I read novels but I also read the Bible. And study it, you know? And the more I learn, the more excited I get. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

I read novels but I also read the Bible. And study it, you know? And the more I learn, the more excited I get.


Quote: You've got a song you're singing from your gut, you want that audience to feel it in their gut. And you've got to make them think that you're one of them sitting out there with them too. They've got to be able to relate to what you're doing. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

You've got a song you're singing from your gut, you want that audience to feel it in their gut. And you've got to make them think that you're one of them sitting out there with them too. They've got to be able to relate to what you're doing.


Quote: My father was a man of love. He always loved me to death. He worked hard in the fields, but my father never hit me. Never. I don't ever remember a really cross, unkind word from my father. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

My father was a man of love. He always loved me to death. He worked hard in the fields, but my father never hit me. Never. I don't ever remember a really cross, unkind word from my father.


Quote: I was wearing black clothes almost from the beginning. I feel comfortable in black. I felt like black looked good onstage, that it was attractive, so I started wearing it all the time. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

I was wearing black clothes almost from the beginning. I feel comfortable in black. I felt like black looked good onstage, that it was attractive, so I started wearing it all the time.


Quote: You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. by author Johnny Cash overlaid on photo of photo of author Johnny Cash with quote

You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way.


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