The Dark Gospel Of Johnny Cash – ‘God’s Gonna’ Cut You Down’

Johnny Cash

Sometimes I need only the most tenuous* of links to select a brilliant song to play in closing on Newstalk ZB’s The Two (Pam Corkery / Tim Roxborogh – Fridays and Sundays from 8pm) and last night was one of those occasions.

Pam had mentioned “ramblers and gamblers” in passing and it made me think of Johnny Cash’s dark take on what had previously been a sunny sounding (and very old) gospel song God’s Gonna’ Cut You Down (usually known as Run On). A closer inspection of the lyrics reveals fairly bleak subject matter, so maybe Johnny was right in his approach.

Regardless, this song stands for me alongside his early 90s collaboration with U2 The Wanderer as one of his absolute finest latter-day recordings.

*SEPTEMBER 12 UPDATE: Today marks 10 years since Johnny Cash died, aged 71. Had I known that when I wrote this piece I would’ve not had to make do with such a tenuous link! Hope you enjoyed the song.

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