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Johnny Cash — Ring of Fire
Album: The Essential Johnny Cash
Avg rating:
8.3

Your rating:
Total ratings: 2666









Released: 1964
Length: 2:39
Plays (last 30 days): 2
Love is a burnin' thing,
And it makes a fiery ring
Bound by wild desire
I fell into a ring of fire.

I fell into a burnin' ring of fire
I went down, down, down
And the flames went higher,
And it burns, burn, burns,
The ring of fire, the ring of fire.

The taste of love is sweet
When hearts like ours meet.
I fell for you like a child
Oh, but the fire ran wild.

I fell into a burnin' ring of fire
I went down, down, down
And the flames went higher,
And it burns, burn, burns,
The ring of fire, the ring of fire.

I fell into a burnin' ring of fire
I went down, down, down,
And the flames went higher,
And it burns, burn, burns,
The ring of fire, the ring of fire.

The ring of fire
Comments (327)add comment
 Skydog wrote:

when June wrote this she was married to another man and Johnny was also married and she was falling in love with Johnny and she knew it wasn't right
 
I've also heard that the "ring of fire" is a wedding ring worn for someone who is no longer the focus of your love.  It burns, burns, burns.
This was our outhouse song. Usually after spicy foods.
 tichy wrote:

Their part certainly is, but the instrumentation doesn't fit in my ears. No need to pretend everything is perfect or unchangeable just because it's a classic.
 
Interesting critic. A fresh way to think about music, even if I don't agree. Thanks!
 jambo wrote:

they are. an essential. part. of the. song.

 
Their part certainly is, but the instrumentation doesn't fit in my ears. No need to pretend everything is perfect or unchangeable just because it's a classic.
 jbuhl wrote:
Great song but the Mariachi trumpets just dont fit for me.  like bolted on from the music parts bin.
 
they are. an essential. part. of the. song.
The "man in black" as he was called stood for social justice for the poor and underrepresented.  And for this he will always be my hero and one of my favorite musicians.  His musical talent speaks for itself.  In his own words:

“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."
Great song but the Mariachi trumpets just dont fit for me.  like bolted on from the music parts bin.
I hate it when those "Essential" albums come out and they do not denote if a song is live or not. I love the song but when I buy a greatest hits, like this one, I want the studio version.
This is the first "rock" song I became aware of and fell in love with as a kid (12 years old). So it still holds a special place. 
Ring of Fire is our favorite song. we are 36 years married. 
{#Heartkiss} and we love each other like the first day.
{#Kiss} Thanks Johnny, thanks Bill, thanks Rebecca
{#Wave}
Best regards from Leipzig, Germany
{#Devil_pimp}
Love me some Johnny
A timeless classic.

 
This is the 1987 version he did for the album 
Classic Cash: Hall of Fame Series

Overall it has the same arrangement as the original, with better recording, etc., but I think I like the vocal on the original a little more.  Either way, Johnny was great.
I Demand Justice:

I bought a Mac Mini - thereby paying The Apple Tax - and its video doesn't work.

I have an appointment to bring it back to the Apple Store but I want to play with my new toy NOW.
https://californiatortilla.com/caltort/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/AssInTheTub.jpg
Ha ha, I heard this for the first time when I was playing at my friend's house when I was five.  Her dad had ole' Johnny spinning on the turntable and I thought this song was the most bizarre thing I had ever heard.  I still love it.  Makes me laugh every time I hear it.  Yeah, I know it's a serious song, but I couldn't master that then, and have never had a moment of seriousness when I hear this song.  Ever.
thanks... one of the best i've heard on radio paradise

Ahhh...  OK, I guess it makes at least a little more sense in that context.  Thanks!
  

Skydog wrote:

when June wrote this she was married to another man and Johnny was also married and she was falling in love with Johnny and she knew it wasn't right
 

 
 Sloggydog wrote:
This song is about Garlic Chili Chicken Massala isn't it?

 
where's the tissue box, need to clean the spewed coffee off my keyboard, thank you Sloggy
 crogers wrote:
I'll claim ignorance to most things Johnny Cash, but seriously... I find this a very odd song.  Is June describing a love affair with Johnny or a witch immolation ceremony?  If I told my loving wife that she made me feel like I was burning in a ring of fire, I'm sure the last thing she'd want to do is start singing about it.  She'd probably cry, and I wouldn't blame her.  It's a horrible thing to say — especially considering how many nicer ways there are to express one's love or even passion, for another.

Is there some off-center-southern-U.S.-secret-society-metaphorical-mumbo-jumbo woven through these lyrics that I've not been privy to all these years?  Am I just being dense?  What am I missing here?  Enquiring minds want to know...

 
when June wrote this she was married to another man and Johnny was also married and she was falling in love with Johnny and she knew it wasn't right
 
Nice segue from Cake's Mexico.  Well played, sir. 
After hearing this by JC - I had to look up the Adam Lambert version as per gatorade....wow...an amazing arrangement and rendition...what a great voice he has.

 

gatorade wrote:
{#Dancingbanana_2} Fabulous song. Really loved Adam Lambert's cover too.

 


I'll claim ignorance to most things Johnny Cash, but seriously... I find this a very odd song.  Is June describing a love affair with Johnny or a witch immolation ceremony?  If I told my loving wife that she made me feel like I was burning in a ring of fire, I'm sure the last thing she'd want to do is start singing about it.  She'd probably cry, and I wouldn't blame her.  It's a horrible thing to say — especially considering how many nicer ways there are to express one's love or even passion, for another.

Is there some off-center-southern-U.S.-secret-society-metaphorical-mumbo-jumbo woven through these lyrics that I've not been privy to all these years?  Am I just being dense?  What am I missing here?  Enquiring minds want to know...


I once heard the great DJ Dan Ingram outro this song by saying..."Ring of Fire...when man makes love to a tube of Ben-Gay." 
Awesome classic, of course. But wait! Jesus! Who's that drummer? The first-ever drum machine or the Energizer Bunny?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiFQsxGUQOI
 
Dewey Cox Guilty As Charged

That is just one of those songs ... there is never a wrong time for it.

 
 gatorade wrote:
{#Dancingbanana_2} Fabulous song. Really loved Adam Lambert's cover too.

 
Who?

Love this song...  love rocking and rolling...

Man develops powerful love of Johnny Cash following deep brain stimulation

Brain implants have had the unexpected and intriguing side effect of causing a 60-year-old Dutch man to develop a sudden and powerful love for the music of Johnny Cash, a new paper reveals...

His favourite songs are Fulsom Prison Blues, Ring of Fire and Sunday Morning Coming Down...


{#Fire}   "O U T S T A N D I N G"  {#Fire}
Voice of an Angel
 Derecho wrote:
This version sounds like something The Rock-afire Explosion would play.

Not nearly the best Cash recording of this song.

 
With a mariachi band filling in for the horns on short notice. 

I swear, Johnny looks like he's sweating out a few greenies in that picture. No coffee for you, Mr. Cash!  
In '64 I would play the single loudly, just to let everyone else in the apartment house know how cool I was.
One of the greatest songs ever, especially considering the time and the context of an INTENSE real life love affair with. My whole family still screams this out when it comes on
{#Dancingbanana_2} Fabulous song. Really loved Adam Lambert's cover too.


This song is soooo awesome...

brilliant metaphorical conceit, plus great arrangement, plus the incredible voice of Johnny Cash...

love this song tremendously...
 
Easy 9 ... the perfect Cash song. And as Bill sez, written by June Carter Cash for Johnny. 
First heard this as a child, and its simplicity made it easy to sing -- every word over and over until Mom made me shut up.  Took 45 years to really understand the emotion.
{#Roflol}
 

Sloggydog wrote:
This song is about Garlic Chili Chicken Massala isn't it?

 



Everybody in my church loves this song!!!!
This version sounds like something The Rock-afire Explosion would play.

Not nearly the best Cash recording of this song.
 Art_Carnage wrote:

I prefer Social Distortion's version.

 
I really like Social Distortion's version, for sure, but....man, this is a classic.
 katzendogs wrote:
one of the first tunes that grabbed me and stuck, word for word lyrics.
 
Amen! {#Yes}  One of the core folk songs we learned in 7th grade music, which led to my user name.  Thanks, Mr. Lindvahl!
Makes me want to go back to the Carter Fold.
one of the first tunes that grabbed me and stuck, word for word lyrics.
 Art_Carnage wrote:

I prefer Social Distortion's version.

 
Stan Ridgway (Wall of Voodoo) has an interesting take on it as well.
 unclehud wrote:
Serious lyrics, man.  Very serious.  I mean it.
 
Does not look like you agree with Zappa.


Classic song made even better by a vocal icon. Wow!
{#Dancingbanana}
I heard that there was a company that wanted to use parts of this tune for a hemorrhoid commercial...
Nothing I could say is as good as this:


The Master.
One great song.
This song is about Garlic Chili Chicken Massala isn't it?
A truly great song. I'm probably going to catch some flack for this comment and, if it had some deeper meaning for me i probably wouldn't say this but let's be honest here, it's become something of a novelty over the years, considering that in it's day it was a modest hit peaking at 17 on the pop charts (1 on the country). I think of it as one of those songs that people love to love. It's sort of dark and silly at the same time. The Russians have an expression for this; I can't pronounce it because the words sound like pigs having sex but the loose translation is, "guilty pleasure."



June's love letter to John.  Masterpiece.
Social Distortion's version is the best one out there, IMHO, but I think Frank Zappa's rendition is pretty damn good too{#Laughing} 
Serious lyrics, man.  Very serious.  I mean it.
 kurtster wrote:
The best version of one of the best songs ever.
 
I prefer Social Distortion's version.

This is Phoenix singing - isn't he?

 kurtster wrote:
The best version of one of the best songs ever.
 
{#High-five} Must agree, this song goes down, down, down, very well.

The best version of one of the best songs ever.
overplayed RP .. Is he singing, or just talking in rhythm?
Driven so many miles listening to Johnny - R.I.P Mr Cash

 d-don wrote:
Johnny looks like he'd totally kick your ass in that picture. 10
 
...just to watch you die.
 d-don wrote:
Johnny looks like he'd totally kick your ass in that picture. 10
 

probably fixin' to...
RUN.
 seven7 wrote:
so many memories.........love it

would love to hear Calexico cover this 
 
Same here!

Johnny looks like he'd totally kick your ass in that picture. 10
so many memories.........love it

would love to hear Calexico cover this 
I had to change the 9 to 6.  Still classic, tho.
 More_Cowbell wrote:

Unfortunately yes you were...

 

Thank you so much for your luv & support!! Back to counseling. {#Cry}
Good song, but this arrangement sounds a little Las Vegasy. Isn't there a "grittier" version? I am sure I have heard another version as the "original." 
 oilydwarf wrote:
love JC but prefer the Social Distortion cover of this song!
 
My band segues from Folsom County Prison Blues(JC version)to Ring of Fire(Social Distortion version).....gets them every time!

 oilydwarf wrote:
love JC but prefer the Social Distortion cover of this song!
  SD really did tear into this one: as covers go it is one of the best. Johnny's version has much more of June's influence.


Ah Johnny, nobody could do it like you did!  Great way to sing a love song.
 olesonb wrote:
Yikes! I remember putting this 45 in my little 45 carrying case that had dividers in it so I could sort alphabetically. Please tell me I wasn't the only anal kid in the 60's

 
Unfortunately yes you were...

Yikes! I remember putting this 45 in my little 45 carrying case that had dividers in it so I could sort alphabetically. Please tell me I wasn't the only anal kid in the 60's

Love! I heart you, Johnny....

tumblr_l5yiomF00U1qbweg8o1_1280 by Nuclear Ukeleles
https://www.flickr.com/photos/nuclearukeleles/

John R. "Johnny" Cash

Copyright All rights reserved
.
Really like this!!
Nice!
Which reminds me - I'm doing a hot curry tonight, so that'll be a ring of fire the morrow {#Fire}

When I was a lad, 'johnny cash' was a Durex vending machine...{#Smile}

I'll get me coat.


I sure hope Johnny found that loving God he put his faith in.
love JC but prefer the Social Distortion cover of this song!
It's a good song but I don't think it's as good as an 8.6 average.
 drews wrote:
Great stuff, even if it reminds me of german bierkeller muzik
 
Nonsense. 

Great stuff, even if it reminds me of german bierkeller muzik

John Prine - Up on Bear Creek, Live
"Another John Prine Clip from the 2004 Philadelphia Folk Festival, with Jason Wilbur in guitar"


Johnny Cash by ~lucidity69
Frances   ©2008-2010 ~lucidity69

Took about 2 hours to do. I have wanted to do one of him for awhile so finally did. I hope I did him justice.





As many times as I've heard this song - I've never really paid any attention to the piano in the background. Very cool.
 katherinenz wrote:
Reminds me of my geological oceanography course in college... the old nutty professor would have this as a sound bite every time the pacific tectonic plate was mentioned in any of his powerpoints, classic. 
 
Reminds me of way too much mexican food.

I've never been much of a country music fan, but Johnny Cash has/had such a vivid and panoramic life that I can listen to pretty much anything of his without cringing.  "Ring of Fire" is one of his signature pieces, and he sings it with such dignity and solemnity that it cannot help but be good.  RIP, Mr. Cash. You left a hell of a pair of boots to fill.
 mfair1 wrote:
Always a favorite!  What is it about his voice?!?
 
maybe it's because it's bad and he doesn't care? Don't get me wrong, I love his voice, but it's not pretty. But boy, could he sing.

Reminds me of my geological oceanography course in college... the old nutty professor would have this as a sound bite every time the pacific tectonic plate was mentioned in any of his powerpoints, classic. 
 Otomi wrote:
Las trompetas le dan a esta canción justamente el toque sonoro que necesitaba.
 
They're also a little surreal...Of course the whole song is strangely upbeat given its subject matter: going to hell for having an extramarital affair (with June, who wrote this).

The Man.
This song always makes me think of that hilarious part in the horror film "Silent Hill" when it plays in such an incongruous context. Hmmm, well maybe then again it's not such a stretch to take the lyrics literally and imagine the persona is talking about Hell instead of a bad love affair. ;)

I can't get Frank Zappas version out of my head
(from Best Band You Never Heard)
I have a love / hate relationship with this song
 DigitalJer wrote:

Somehow Johnny transcended genres - he made music his own.

 
Ain't that the truth!

 DaveInVA wrote:
I always thought this song was about hemorrhoids.. 
 

AP Worldstream
02-19-2004
Dateline: NEW YORK
Advertising writers in Florida were planning to pitch hemorrhoid-relief products with a commercial featuring Johnny Cash's classic song "Ring of Fire," but his family says there's no way they'll let it happen.

"We would never allow the song to be demeaned like that," Cash's daughter, singer Rosanne Cash, told The Tennessean in Sunday's editions.

"Ring of Fire" was written by Cash's wife, June Carter Cash, and Merle Kilgore, who is now Hank Williams Jr.'s manager. Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash died last year.

Hells yeah!
Las trompetas le dan a esta canción justamente el toque sonoro que necesitaba.
 CyberCoyote wrote:
Johnney was cool.. but this is way cool too..:
Wall of Voodoo

 
too cool. . . I love Stan Ridgeway. . .


 mfair1 wrote:
Always a favorite!  What is it about his voice?!?
 
I call it "authenticity."
Love JC, like this song - horns make my ears bleed, tho.
I always thought this song was about hemorrhoids.. 
Johnney was cool.. but this is way cool too..:
Wall of Voodoo

 mfair1 wrote:
Always a favorite!  What is it about his voice?!?
  I thought the same thing....


Always a favorite!  What is it about his voice?!?
He's original and completely genuine
 FallOutOfWindow wrote:
It does burn.
 
Like a bad case of the clap


 Stave wrote:
You already played the Adam Lambert cover of this today, Bill.  Playing the real deal won't help.  The damage is already done. {#Neutral}

 
I thought Adam's "interpretation" was very interesting.  I like it the more I hear it.  The guy's definitely talented.