Compare and Contrast II

 

 

Something for the weekend.  Two legendary singers singing one song, Hank Williams’  immortal “I Saw The Light“.  Simple and powerful, the song has not lost any of its force since it was composed in 1948.  Both Hank Williams and Johnny Cash were men very familiar with sin but who also testified to the power and mercy of God.  I hope and pray they are enjoying the mercy of God now.

8 Responses to Compare and Contrast II

  • I’m considering the implications of Jerry Lee Lewis joining Johnny & Carl Perkins on this one. Jerry Lee, as many of you know, is the cousin of Jimmy Swaggart. There’s much more palpable sense of the tension between sin and mercy in this music than in almost all “Contemporary Christian Music” and in any recent Catholic music I’ve heard. An exception would be some of the songs by Jars of Clay.

    This is a pity. While we should certainly praise God in our music, our lives are often more like some of the sadder Psalms, the ones in which we sing of our feelings of abandonment and sorrow and beg for God’s mercy.

    By the way, a young June Carter — later Mrs. Johnny Cash — is in the first video singing with Hank and Roy Acuff.

  • Gerard E. says:

    I Walk The Line- as much a metaphor as song for Johnny Cash’s life. Totally comfortable singing to lifers in Folsom Prison as at Grand Ole Opry. Carried on affair with June Carter pretty much in public long before it was pretty much accepted, but comfortable asking God for help. Quite the commentary- CMT refused to play the stripped-down videos from the first album he recorded with rap/metal producer Rick Rubin behind the controls. Gave his career new life in dingy clubs with young people wearing his beloved black. Matches lyrics from a song by his pal Kris Kristofferson- ‘he’s a walking contradiction/partly truth and partly fiction.’ Up to the time of his passing, clearly a man that one did not mess with. No one remotely like him. No other nation could have produced him. As for Hank- the progenitor of the trend of Death As A Career Move. Too many myths around him. Cash lived long enough to maintain his realness.

  • John Henry says:

    Some of the most honest music I’ve heard is on those Cash albums with Rick Rubin. Many of the songs aren’t his, and there are definitely some misses, but overall they are brilliant. Not many artists can make music like that in their 60′s (or in their twenties for that matter).

  • Mark DeFrancisis says:

    Johnny Cash is a class unto iself.

    For one, nothing compares to his rough, but most vulnerable vocal delivery. His “God” compilation on Sony, I believe, is amazing too.

    Thanks once, Donald, again for this compare and contrast series. I am enjoying it immensely.

    If I were you, I’d put next a Billy Holiday rendition of some standard, over against that by Ella…

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