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Johnny Cash — Hurt
Album: American IV
Avg rating:
8.6

Your rating:
Total ratings: 4551









Released: 2002
Length: 3:34
Plays (last 30 days): 1
I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that's real

The needle tears a hole
The old familiar sting
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything

What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know
Goes away in the end

And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

I wear this crown of thorns
Upon my liars chair
Full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair

Beneath the stains of time
The feelings disappear
You are someone else
I am still right here

What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know
Goes away in the end

And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

If I could start again
A million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way
Comments (912)add comment
From Hendon:” The depth and feeling are devastating. Great parting.” The legitimacy of Cash’s voice, the simply crushing honesty of the lyrics. Here the Bay Area our homeless problems are profound, and the factor of the numerous addicts is painfully obvious. Hearing this song reminds me of just how tragic the lives of these people are. Everyone they know (and care about) goes away in the end — the ultimate loss for social creatures.
 miquela75269 wrote:

He gave us a lifetime of great American music, and crowned  his career with a sound that inspires me every time......a 10.
 

 Decoy wrote:

It certainly is now. 
 
....and for ever.
 planet_lizard wrote:
Best cover ever?
 

No one could ever sing this song like JohnnyI It’s to real. Big 9
A great song when Trent wrote it.

One of the greatest songs ever when Johnny sings it.  Sublime.
boring
and i really like JC.......
 MSKDCT wrote:
I prefer the original version from Nine Inch Nails. While I get the appeal of Johnny's cover, NIN captured the sound of despair beautifully.
 
I hear you.  However, I found NIN's sound is one of desperation; Cash's is of despair.  Both are fantastic to my ear.
Such a different meaning when Johnny says:
Everyone I know, goes away in the end.
Long Live                                                                                                                                Radio Paradise
Rating to me                                                                                                                          9-OUTSTANDING
I love the low e (a music major told me it is the lowest key, e natural) finds it's way into a few songs by Johnny... 
Tears me apart whenever I hear this. The accompanying video starts playing in my head and I'm floored.
The depth and feeling are devastating.   Great parting.
When I heard and saw the video for Johnny's cover of this song it overwhelmed me.  Amazing cover!
He shouldn't change the lyrics
I prefer the original version from Nine Inch Nails. While I get the appeal of Johnny's cover, NIN captured the sound of despair beautifully.
ouch
Gorgeous as always.
didn't work
Certainly not as good as the original, but still an 8 for me, great cover!
just....awesome. makes me cry everytime.
Hell yes! The man in black smashed this one out of the park!
No kidding, he owns it.


 Decoy wrote:

It certainly is now. 

 
thewiseking wrote:
This is not a "Johnny Cash song"

 



I cannot abide this song.    {#Beat}
Still so good after so many years. What an amazing cover! 
I usually listen to Radio Paradise while I am working, because the vibe is always very good and it flows really well. But sometimes a song appears that makes me stop for a while and just listen to it, and this is one such marvelous song. Thank you for splashing my day with such beautiful music.

But I am also glad these songs are the exception and not the rule - otherwise I could never get any work done! :D 

JOHNNY CASH. AMERICAN TREASURE. 
He was dying and chose the music for what he knew could be his last musical effort accordingly.
Absolutely heart wrenching to hear him sing this.
Released in November of 2002.
He was gone 9 months later.
GOD BLESS YOU, JOHNNY CASH, FOREVER ~

 .
Best cover ever?
 It's utterly incredible.

Decoy wrote:

It certainly is now. 

 


 thewiseking wrote:
This is not a "Johnny Cash song"

 
It certainly is now. 
Love this. Thanks for sharing. I remember listening to Trent's original back in my Army days, and then hearing Cash's remake when I was older and wiser, brought new meaning to the words. Godlike.

wyrd wrote:
One of the few cases in which the cover is better than the original. Even Trent Reznor basically admitted that this is the superior version of his own song...
He was quoted to say: "I pop the video in, and wow… Tears welling, silence, goose-bumps… Wow. I just lost my girlfriend, because that song isn’t mine anymore… It really made me think about how powerful music is as a medium and art form. I wrote some words and music in my bedroom as a way of staying sane, about a bleak and desperate place I was in, totally isolated and alone. that winds up reinterpreted by a music legend from a radically different era/genre and still retains sincerity and meaning — different, but every bit as pure."

 


One of the few cases in which the cover is better than the original. Even Trent Reznor basically admitted that this is the superior version of his own song...
He was quoted to say: "I pop the video in, and wow… Tears welling, silence, goose-bumps… Wow. I just lost my girlfriend, because that song isn’t mine anymore… It really made me think about how powerful music is as a medium and art form. I wrote some words and music in my bedroom as a way of staying sane, about a bleak and desperate place I was in, totally isolated and alone. that winds up reinterpreted by a music legend from a radically different era/genre and still retains sincerity and meaning — different, but every bit as pure."
{#Crown}
 PeterMC3 wrote:
This song is so good it hurts..

 
ICWYDT
This is not a "Johnny Cash song"
When this is sung by Johnny Cash he instills it with all of his life experiences. Chilling!
 Steely_D wrote:
Cash was such a mature performer, but this such an adolescent song.

 
Totally agree. I know I'm in the minority here, but I've just never seen this as a great performance. It was cool when he covered "Rusty Cage" as part of his career revival, but this is stretching a good thing too far. 
Not a terrible cover, but like most, the original is better. 
this version of this song is fabulous, Cash is GODLIKE  imo

this bit of lyrics made me think of The Liar

"I wear this crown of thorns
Upon my liars chair
Full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair"


Johnny Cash is the man, but... geez, this is just kind of a morbid way to start my Friday.
This song is so good it hurts..
My favorite cover/version by far... 
Cash was such a mature performer, but this such an adolescent song.
{#Cheesygrin}
 On_The_Beach wrote:

I believe Trent himself said words to that effect.

 
I agree, I love listening to both versions
 dputlak wrote:
Almost seems that Nine Inch Nails wrote this song for Johnny Cash to sing it ultimately.  Perfect fit.
 
I believe Trent himself said words to that effect.
I enjoy this song so much better than Nine Inch Nails' original. So much emotion, and coming from someone who had experienced so much loss, and who was in his final days, makes it that much more moving.
Almost seems that Nine Inch Nails wrote this song for Johnny Cash to sing it ultimately.  Perfect fit.
So much better than the original by Nine Inch Nails
I don't really know or even like much Johnny Cash, but OMG the emotion, the emptyness, truly moving.

What a song, must look for the original - but I love this for the darker moments (usually Ian Curtis satisfies that)

Thanks Johhny ! 
I really want  like it but...........
A perfect snapshot of some dark times we all experience at one time or another, all stated in less than four minutes, very touching song.
Have it on my iPod.  Goosebumps every time.
 FrankRizzo wrote:

When Trent Reznor was asked if Cash could cover his song, Reznor said he was "flattered" but worried that "the idea sounded a bit gimmicky." He became a fan of Cash's version, however, once he saw the music video.

“ I pop the video in, and wow... Tears welling, silence, goose-bumps... Wow. I just lost my girlfriend, because that song isn't mine anymore... It really made me think about how powerful music is as a medium and art form. I wrote some words and music in my bedroom as a way of staying sane, about a bleak and desperate place I was in, totally isolated and alone. that winds up reinterpreted by a music legend from a radically different era/genre and still retains sincerity and meaning — different, but every bit as pure

The video was filmed in Feb 2003, Cash died seven months later on Sept 12.

 
Reading that gave me goose-bumps!
Haven't heard this in a while.  Easily a 10 in my book.

After reading the comments below, I will take the advice tonight and put on the headphones and listen to the whole album.  It has been a long time since I've done that.

Amazing cover.  Amazing song.   
 dparkerson wrote:
So poignant.  Those who listen to this song without the context of who Johnny Cash was are completely missing it. History is important.
 
And particularly the context of the recording of this song (and album, the last released before his death in 2003). His health was such that he could not sing the entire song in one take. Determination, grit, and persistence through the pain. It serves this song well.
{#Naughty}{#Naughty}{#Naughty}{#Naughty}{#Naughty}{#Naughty}{#Naughty}{#Naughty}{#Naughty}{#Naughty}{#Naughty}{#Naughty}{#Naughty}

AlanF wrote:


Always PSD.  Pity he can't sing but guess that suits the mood.
Why always play this after a really good track?
lemmoth wrote:

I am happy to loan you the money so you can afford to buy a clue whatever it costs where you live.

This is a brilliant interpretation of a great song by a giant of his time and in immensely gifted artist.

If you are looking for opera or perfect pitch show tunes you are listening to the wrong station.

Rock and roll, blues, soul and the best country are meant for singers who convey their own and others messages through emotion, and true feeling.

Your academic bullshit music teacher would probably so the following folks can't "sing" in the classic sense:

Dylan, Neil Young, Springsteen, Costello, Tweedy, Yorke, Vedder, Albarn, Verlaine....the list goes on.

But I thank the gods of rock everyday for them. 

 
{#Clap} Bravo lemmoth. Bravo. {#Clap}
Jeebus!  Amazing.  A truly inspired cover (btw, Trent approves).
So poignant.  Those who listen to this song without the context of who Johnny Cash was are completely missing it. History is important.
 AlanF wrote:
Always PSD.  Pity he can't sing but guess that suits the mood.
Why always play this after a really good track? 

 
You do realize you're in a tiny minority, yes?  Most would say "because this is also a really good track".  "Most excellent", in fact.
Ditto to Lemmoth's excellent post below.
 AlanF wrote:
Always PSD.  Pity he can't sing but guess that suits the mood.
Why always play this after a really good track? 

 
I am happy to loan you the money so you can afford to buy a clue whatever it costs where you live.

This is a brilliant interpretation of a great song by a giant of his time and in immensely gifted artist.

If you are looking for opera or perfect pitch show tunes you are listening to the wrong station.

Rock and roll, blues, soul and the best country are meant for singers who convey their own and others messages through emotion, and true feeling.

Your academic bullshit music teacher would probably so the following folks can't "sing" in the classic sense:

Dylan, Neil Young, Springsteen, Costello, Tweedy, Yorke, Vedder, Albarn, Verlaine....the list goes on.

But I thank the gods of rock everyday for them. 
Always turn it up.  Love the way he sings this, it really suits the mood.
I think it's awesome that this always plays after a really good track!!
Always PSD.  Pity he can't sing but guess that suits the mood.
Why always play this after a really good track? 
 aspicer wrote:
Still can't understand why Trent was so upset about him doing this cover?  Assuming what I have read is accurate.  {#Stupid} I love it, but can't be Godlike if he didn't write it - so a "9".

 
When Trent Reznor was asked if Cash could cover his song, Reznor said he was "flattered" but worried that "the idea sounded a bit gimmicky." He became a fan of Cash's version, however, once he saw the music video.

“ I pop the video in, and wow... Tears welling, silence, goose-bumps... Wow. I just lost my girlfriend, because that song isn't mine anymore... It really made me think about how powerful music is as a medium and art form. I wrote some words and music in my bedroom as a way of staying sane, about a bleak and desperate place I was in, totally isolated and alone. that winds up reinterpreted by a music legend from a radically different era/genre and still retains sincerity and meaning — different, but every bit as pure

The video was filmed in Feb 2003, Cash died seven months later on Sept 12.
The soundtrack for the greatest opening sequence in the history of broadcast television:


 aspicer wrote:
Still can't understand why Trent was so upset about him doing this cover?  Assuming what I have read is accurate.  {#Stupid} I love it, but can't be Godlike if he didn't write it - so a "9".

 
It's reported in several places that upon hearing Cash's cover, Trent liked it so much he said, "That's a Johnny Cash song".
In his later years, he recorded, along w/ producer Rick Rubin, perhaps some of his best work.  Wonderful.
Rating this song has always been a bit hard for me.   The original is a 10 for shure.   One of my favorites.  So, I'll split the vote.   9.9 goes to NIN and .1 goes to JC.  OK?  I have rated this a 10.  Are we all happy now?  Group hug? {#Hug}
"My empire of dirt!"
Extraordinarily impactful version of this song.  Rare instance where cover is more recognizable than original.  {#Clap}
Absobloodylutely amazing! One of the best covers ever done - great album also.
Do yourself a favor and listen to this with a set of quality headphones. 

I am no audiophile, but this song is transcendental when you can focus on Cash's powerful and vulnerable voice.  
{#Heartkiss} ..... powerful song delivered magnificently 
Still can't understand why Trent was so upset about him doing this cover?  Assuming what I have read is accurate.  {#Stupid} I love it, but can't be Godlike if he didn't write it - so a "9".
Ok Bill - that was a MASTERFUL TRANSITION!!! Very impressive! (from Rodrigo y Gabriela's Stairway to Heaven)  {#Cowboy}
 pepsiparanoia wrote:
Nothing gives me goose bumps quite like this song.

 
I know where you are coming from; amazing track.
Nothing gives me goose bumps quite like this song.

I remember seeing a documentary about the making of this album.  Rick Rubin was being thanked by Johnny Cash's family for producing this album and, really, extending Johnny's life before he passed.  They basically said that if he didn't have songs to work on and a goal in mind for how he wanted them to sound, he wouldn't have lived as long as he did.

 

Powerful stuff.


 Zep wrote: 
Agreed.  Thank you RP for a sublime evening of music.
 hencini wrote:
So powerful.  

 
Went to the Nine Inch Nails concert  2 weeks ago in Vancouver. "Hurt" was the last song of the concert. You have to hear Trent Reznor sing this live to truly appreciate the power of this song, especially with the videos playing in the background. {#Bananajam}
 jamelch wrote:
I'm not supposed to cry at work...

 
Exactly
I'm not supposed to cry at work...
So powerful.  
Thank dawg for mute buttons.
 quesarah wrote:

Thanks. - the images add tremendously to the impact of this song. Best way to experience it I think.   Youtube

 
Just to bounce this to the top - I defy anyone to watch this without a tear in the eye.
Powerful

Chilling

Foreshadowing

Incredible

 
How excellent and timely that Mr. Cash would record this song. Haunting. So sad.
 linzie wrote:

agreed...

 
Agreed. And he was dying of cancer. Sublime album sleeve too.
 
 wbeaver wrote:
"Ive said it b4, I'm not a country fan, but this BLOWS ME AWAY every time I hear it!!!!"
 
agreed...
Excellent playlist:

8:58 amJohnny Cash
Hurt
American IV (2002)8.6 8:53 amRodrigo y Gabriela
Stairway to Heaven
Rodrigo y Gabriela (2006)7.4 8:49 amLed Zeppelin
Bron-y-aur Stomp
Led Zeppelin III (1970)
A great build up destroyed by the "Loudness Wars"
"Ive said it b4, I'm not a country fan, but this BLOWS ME AWAY every time I hear it!!!!" <- Johnny Cash has no category.  More than one comment here mentions the word transcendent.  Johnny is that.
Stairway to Johnny.
Damn, room got awful dusty all of a sudden.
Too moving to listen to at work. Definately a late nighter.
VERY smooth transition from Rodrigo y Gabriela, it was like the song just continued right into this.

Love this song, brings lots of memories, not happy ones but still .... 
Another perspective.   Never heard this song before and wow, just wow!  Love Cash and now I have a new door to open about this song and its creator. RP is good. Live and learn.
 Cynaera wrote:

Well-said.{#Clap}  I still can't listen to this song without crying.  Why do all the good artists have to die, while the crappy ones seem to be eternal?

 

Miss you so much, Cynaera...

brilliant song...
 
The haters seem to be a little too loud recently here, which is not reflected in the average rating. My two cents: this is a brilliant cover, truly fantastic. Transcends the original, which is also brilliant.
Agree with the posts that recognize this as a brilliant interpretation, perhaps better than the original, and the video if you haven't seen it is also excellent.  If you don't know or like Johnny it may not strike you as much but those of us who understand and appreciate his place in the pantheon find the relationship of the song lyrics, performance, and visuals to his personal life to be sublime.
 LizK wrote:
Johnny on the pity pot.  Ugly song.
 
Christ your stupid....
Ive said it b4, I'm not a country fan, but this BLOWS ME AWAY every time I hear it!!!!
Love Johnny, but I just wanna vomit when I hear this song.....   yuk...
I'm having some work done in my house so it is pretty noisy.  Turns out Bill just said, "...especially not followed up by Johnny Cash."

I thought I heard "...especially not followed up by John Tesh."  I immediately ran to the window so I wouldn't miss the Four Horsemen.  What a relief to discover it was only an aural misunderstanding.

 
 le_colonel wrote:
Never was a cover version so much better than the original.
 
Never was a cover so much more overplayed than the original.

Except the damn Gary Jules cover of Mad World.

What is it about overexposure that makes one dislike something one used to like? :( 
 sirdroseph wrote:
One of the most powerful music videos you will ever see.{#Yes}
 
definitely.
Ah, Johnny. We miss you buddy. Hope you and June are together wherever you are.
Johnny on the pity pot.  Ugly song.
sonic napalm
This is now Johnny's song, Trent even admiits that.

So powerful, almost brings me to tears with every listen.
 mrgus wrote:

Here here, first time I hit PSD for Johnny.
 
I'm in agreement.  It sure hurt to do that for Johnny...  ha
 Typesbad wrote:

Agree.  I like it, but after just a few listenings, it starts to become just a matter of waiting for the next song.
 
Here here, first time I hit PSD for Johnny.
 hidey wrote:
This song usually moves me to tears but after an attack of U2 and Paul Weller it's making me SMILE ;-)
 
same sequence today

I agree with the earlier posting....this cover is much more striking than the original version.

Haunting and mesmerizing... {#Eek}
I can def appreciate this after Floyd...really!
Never was a cover version so much better than the original.
This song usually moves me to tears but after an attack of U2 and Paul Weller it's making me SMILE ;-)
 MirageRF wrote:
Great song, but I hear it a lot.  Not just on RP.
Overexposure can ruin a great song quickly. 
So an 8 soon becomes a 5 or less.............IMHO.
 
Agree.  I like it, but after just a few listenings, it starts to become just a matter of waiting for the next song.