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Sheryl Crow wrote this song and recorded it on her 1996 self-titled sophomore album. It was covered by Johnny Cash on his posthumous American VI: Ain't No Grave album and she told Reuters that when recording the song, the Man In Black frequently called her on the phone to gain insights into the lyrics. "If he was going to sing a song, it was going to be a part of his molecular makeup," she said. "He was going to deliver it as if he wrote it. The questions that he asked and his concern for whether I would like what he was doing, it was just really humbling."
Sheryl Crow's original was a politicized song about national redemption. Cash's cover transformed it into a tune about personal redemption.
The song was one of the last things Johnny Cash recorded before passing away. "Having Johnny Cash record one of my songs was my biggest accomplishment as a songwriter," Crow told Southern Living magazine. "Talk about bringing weight to a song. He owned it. Afterward, he called me and asked if I liked his version and quizzed me about why I wrote 'Redemption Day.' But we never got to sing it together. He died three months later."
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