Cash's Songs of "Life" Due

New set follows successful thematic collections

February 20, 2004 12:00 AM ET

The late Johnny Cash will again have his catalog tapped for a thematic compilation, Life, due March 23rd on Columbia/Legacy.

The eighteen-song Life will include Cash favorites like "Man in Black" "Ballad of Ira Hayes," "Wanted Man" (written by Bob Dylan) and "Ragged Old Flag" along with "I Can't Go On That Way," a previously unreleased original from 1977. Life arrives four years after the popular Love, God and Murder albums (also released together as a box set), which included some of Cash's best-known songs shuffled onto categorical CDs.

As with Love, God and Murder, Cash was involved with the song selection on Life prior to his death last September of complications from diabetes. He actually emailed the final track listing to his manager just four days before passing. "I just [pick] some titles," Cash said of the original compilations. "I don't listen to my records except for when I'm making them. I keep going back to a line of Dylan's: "I will know my song well before I start singing."

Despite being plagued by ill health for several years, Cash remained true to the title of the new collection during his last year. "I don't think about death at all," he said in his final interview with Rolling Stone. "What's to think about? I enjoy my life."

Life track list:

Country Trash
The Night Hank Williams Came to Town
Time Changes Everything
I Talk to Jesus Every Day
You're the Nearest Thing to Heaven
I'm Ragged, but I'm Right
These Are My People
Ballad of Ira Hayes
Man in Black
I'm Alright Now
Ragged Old Flag
I Wish I was Cray Again
Where Did We Go Right (with the Carter Family)
Wanted Man
I Can't Go On That Way
Lead Me Gently Home

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Stillness Is the Move”

Dirty Projectors | 2009

A Wim Wenders film and a rapper inspired the Dirty Projectors duo David Longstreth and Amber Coffmanto write "sort of a love song." "We rented the movie Wings of Desire from Dave's brother's recommendation, and he had me go through it and just write down some things that I found interesting, and they made it into the song," Coffman said. As for the hip-hop connection, Longstreth explained, "The beat is based on T-Pain. We commissioned a radio mix of the song by the guy who mixes all of Timbaland's records, but the mix we made sounded way better, so we didn't use it."

More Song Stories entries »