Man In Black

Album: A Man In Black (1971)
Charted: 58
  • Well, you wonder why I always dress in black,
    Why you never see bright colors on my back,
    And why does my appearance seem to have a somber tone.
    Well, there's a reason for the things that I have on.

    I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down,
    Livin' in the hopeless, hungry side of town,
    I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime,
    But is there because he's a victim of the times.

    I wear the black for those who never read,
    Or listened to the words that Jesus said,
    About the road to happiness through love and charity,
    Why, you'd think He's talking straight to you and me.

    Well, we're doin' mighty fine, I do suppose,
    In our streak of lightnin' cars and fancy clothes,
    But just so we're reminded of the ones who are held back,
    Up front there ought 'a be a Man In Black.

    I wear it for the sick and lonely old,
    For the reckless ones whose bad trip left them cold,
    I wear the black in mournin' 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,
    Believen' that the Lord was on their side,
    I wear it for another hundred thousand who have died,
    Believen' that we all were on their side.

    Well, there's things that never will be right I know,
    And things need changin' everywhere 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.

    Ah, 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,
    'Till things are brighter, I'm the Man In Black Writer/s: JOHNNY CASH
    Publisher: BMG Rights Management
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 11

  • Tan from NvWow!! I did not know he was closely related and felt out pain. Kudos for him. Love an American Indian.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 28th 1971, Johnny Cash was the surprised guest of honor on the NBC-TV program 'This Is Your Life'...
    Two weeks later on March 14th his "Man In Black" entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #80; two weeks later on March 28th it would peak at #58 {for 3 weeks} and it stayed on the chart for 6 weeks...
    It reached #3 on Billboard's Hot Country Tracks chart, and #2 on the Canadian RPM Country Singles chart.
    The song was track five on Johnny's 38th studio album, 'A Man In Black', and the album would peak at #1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart...
    One other track from the album, "Singin' in Vietnam Talkin' Blues", would also make the Country Singles chart, it peak at #18.
  • Chomper03 from Chambersburg, PaAs stated in his Autobiography, "Man In Black", it says that the reason Johhny Cash wore black is because he once shot a man in self defense, and regretted it. So he made a vow that from that point on, he would wear the color black for the rest of his life.
  • Linda from San Luis Obispo, CaMan in Black should accompany our "National Anthem" for the USA. Elitist versus non-elitist personified. Tribute to Johnny Cash live production in SLO, CA at Little Theatre was better than any Broadway Production could have been with the talented actors/musicians who portrayed Johnny's tortured life. Artists must tell their story their way-a fact of life. Linda
  • Mike from Matawan, NjSo....John from Mansfield, TX. A 'Neocon' can't like this song, understand it's meaning and love his country too? Whewwww. And you Dem's like to say conservatives label people? So much for the party of 'nuance', eh?
  • Jack from Oranevale, CaI am a huge fan of Johnny Cash!!! So much so that I have recently formed a Johnny Cash Tribute Band called, "California's Cash Only Band". Below is the url for those you that would like to hear us. Thank you for yourof time! Sincerely, Jack Azbill and California's Cash Only Band.

    http://www.gigmasters.com/johnnycashtributeact/California'sCashOnlyBand/
  • Tyler from Ashland, KyI saw an interview between Johnny Cash and Larry King. He said this song didn't exactly explain why he wears black, he really wears it because he's comfortable in it.
  • Don from Fairfield, OhLiving in the hopeless, hungry side of town. Cash never forget where he came from and he had an attitude of gratitude for his properity. And, since his life was such an open book, we all knew full well what his demons where. We were fortunate enough for him to bring us much joy as he did.
  • Pablo from Lubbock, Txi like the movies and the song
  • Jakob from Watauga Texas, Tx"I wear it for the poor and beaten down..living in the hopless hungary side of town" johnny cash hade a way of speaking to people in a true voice. you should all take the time to listen to his freight train voice that revolutinized country music. "id love to wear a rainbow every day and tell the world that everything is ok"
  • John from Mansfield, TxYou know,everytime some Neocon plays"God Bless The USA"by Lee greenwood,immediately aftyer that,he should be forced to listen to"Man In black"!!
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Rosanne Cash

Rosanne CashSongwriter Interviews

Rosanne talks about the journey that inspired her songs on her album The River & the Thread, including a stop at the Tallahatchie Bridge.

Chris Frantz - "Genius of Love"

Chris Frantz - "Genius of Love"They're Playing My Song

Chris and his wife Tina were the rhythm section for Talking Heads when they formed The Tom Tom Club. "Genius of Love" was their blockbuster, but David Byrne only mentioned it once.

Billy Joe Shaver

Billy Joe ShaverSongwriter Interviews

The outlaw country icon talks about the spiritual element of his songwriting and his Bob Dylan mention.

Devo

DevoSongwriter Interviews

Devo founders Mark Mothersbaugh and Jerry Casale take us into their world of subversive performance art. They may be right about the De-Evoloution thing.

Van Dyke Parks

Van Dyke ParksSongwriter Interviews

U2, Carly Simon, Joanna Newsom, Brian Wilson and Fiona Apple have all gone to Van Dyke Parks to make their songs exceptional.

Zac Hanson

Zac HansonSongwriter Interviews

Zac tells the story of Hanson's massive hit "MMMbop," and talks about how brotherly bonds effect their music.