Man in Black

I heard this song a couple of weeks ago. It was on our ipod but I hadn’t ever listened to it before. Although the music did not set the Thames on fire, so to speak, the lyrics were very thought provoking and they stuck fast in my mind, speaking into the things that I do at work and the things that I see on the TV.

Man in Black – Johnny Cash

Well you wonder why I always dress in black
why you never see bright colours on my back
and why does my appearance seem to have a sombre tone
well there’s a reason for the things that I have on

I wear the black for the poor and beaten down
living in the hopeless hungry side of town
I wear it for the prisoner whose long paid for his crime
but is there cause he’s a victim of the time

I wear the black for those who’ve never read
or listened to the words that Jesus said
about the road to happiness through love and charity
while you think he’s talking straight to you and me

Well we’re doing mighty fine I do suppose
in our streak-of-lightning cars and fancy clothes
but just so we’re reminded of the ones who are held back
up front there oughta be a man in black

I wear it for the sick and lonely old
for the reckless ones whose mad trip left them cold
I wear the black in mourning for the lives that could have been –
each week we lose a hundred fine young men

And I wear it for the thousands who have died
believing that the Lord was on their side
I wear it for another hundred thousand who have died
believing that we all were in their side

There’s things that never will be right, I know
and things may change in every where you go
but ’til we start to make a move to make a few things right
you’ll never see me wear a suit of white

I’d love to wear a rainbow every day
and tell the world that everything’s OK
but I’ll try to carry off a little darkness on my back
’til things are brighter, I’m the man in black

It’s a song that you actually calls you to respond in some way, and I’m trying to work out what the best way to do that is without throwing out all my colourful clothes.

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One thought on “Man in Black

  1. voice_of_aslan

    Wow- that’s a very thought provoking song! All of it, but this particular part struck me:

    “And I wear it for the thousands who have died
    believing that the Lord was on their side
    I wear it for another hundred thousand who have died
    believing that we all were in their side”

    There are so many people out there who truly think they *do* have the right way and they die without knowing the difference. It may not be from a lack of those who do have the truth not telling them otherwise, or it may be. But it’s all around sad. I’ll have to check out the song and listen to it. I will definitely be praying for you as you think on the best way to respond!

    Reply

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