Most of us know about Johnny Cash’s bone chilling song, “God’s Gonna Cut You Down.”
It was released posthumously on Cash’s 2006 American V: A Hundred Highways album, which is a collection of some of the last songs he recorded before passing away in 2003.
“God’s Gonna Cut You Down” is a warning to sinners, from midnight riders, long-tongue liars, gamblers, to back biters, that if they keep to their same old ways, God is gonna “cut you down” eventually.
Not to mention, the music video features a TON of celebrities, from Travis Barker and Kanye West, to Kid Rock, Kris Kristofferson, Justin Timberlake, Sheryl Crow, Woody Harrelson, Chris Rock, and more.
Several MLB players, as well as some UFC fighters, have also used the song as their walkup song over the years as well.
With that being said, I had no clue that “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” was inspired by an old American folk song, titled “God Almighty’s Gonna Cut You Down.”
The song was first recorded by the Golden Gate Quartet in 1946, and first issued by the Jubalaires in 1947.
The original song and Cash’s version have a number of similarities, like the chorus, as well as calling out the exact same sinners.
Cash decided to take the original and mix it with several known gospel versions of the song, and make it his own.
The original is more upbeat, of course, since it’s sang by a quartet, but it’s pretty intriguing to hear the similarities between the lyrics of the two songs.
Check it out:
And of course, the badass Johnny Cash version:
And if you really wanna go off the rails, there’s a Marilyn Manson version: