Lyric of the Week: Johnny Cash – Ring of Fire

Lyric of the Week - Regular (20)

Lyric: Love is a burning thing and it makes a fiery ring

Song: Johnny Cash – “Ring of Fire”

Album: Ring Of Fire: The Best Of Johnny Cash (1963)

Background: Perhaps Johnny Cash’s most famous song, “Ring of Fire” was first released by the Man in Black on his 1963 record Ring Of Fire: The Best Of Johnny Cash. The song was initially written by June Carter Cash and Merle Kilgore and recorded by June’s sister Anita Carter. After Carter’s version did not receive the notoriety Cash believed it should have, he recorded and released his own rendition, which added the famous mariachi style horns. Despite the ominous tone Cash’s deep bass-baritone voice carries throughout the song, the so-called “Ring of Fire” is a reference to what it’s like falling in love with someone whom you shouldn’t be with, which is what June Carter experienced with Johnny Cash at the time. Cash’s daughter Rosanne has described the song as depicting “the transformative power of love and that’s what it has always meant to me and that’s what it will always mean to the Cash children.”

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