Johnny Cash needs no introduction, even to people who don't listen to Country. His is old school Country, with simple arrangements and not much in the way of electrified Rock 'n Roll. But he loved his wife with a flame so bright that when she finally burned out at 73, so did he.
Shortly after her death in 2003, and very ill, he made a surprise appearance at a concert. Just before singing "Ring of Fire" one last time, he talked to the audience about June:
The spirit of June Carter overshadows me tonight with the love she had for me and the love I have for her. We connect somewhere between here and heaven. She came down for a short visit, I guess, from heaven to visit with me tonight to give me courage and inspiration like she always has.He died two months later, heartbroken.
Some people might think that this is a sad story, but I think that it's a triumph of the spirit. That a man could find - and keep - a woman like that: a friend, a lover; through good times and bad. I couldn't really ask for more, myself.
My friend Lissa is getting married today, to a fine young man who doesn't look like he has the outlaw image and drug trouble that Cash had. But still, I hope that their life together has that same burning that Johnny and June captured, and lived, and loved.
Ring of Fire (June Carter, Merle Kilgore)
Love is a burning thing
and it makes a firery ring
bound by wild desire
I fell in to a ring of fire...
I fell in to a burning ring of fire
I went down,down,down
and the flames went higher.
And it burns,burns,burns
the ring of fire
the ring of fire.
The taste of love is sweet
when hearts like our's meet
I fell for you like a child
oh, but the fire went wild.
UPDATE 6 June 2009 18:24: Welcome visitors who found this via Google Images. I have another Johnny Cash post about his cover of Nine Inch Nail's Hurt. I also have a bunch of country music posts for other artists. It's a weekly thing, so if you like this sort of thing, stop back on Saturdays. Or more often, even!