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Johnny Cash – Folsom Prison Blues – 1956

About The Song

“Folsom Prison Blues” is a classic country song by Johnny Cash, released in 1956. The song is one of Cash’s most well-known and iconic tracks, reflecting his signature deep voice and storytelling style.

Five facts about Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues”:

  1. Prison-Inspired Lyrics: The lyrics of “Folsom Prison Blues” were inspired by the movie “Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison” and Cash’s own experiences performing at various prisons. The song tells the story of a man who regrets committing a crime and expresses a longing for freedom.
  2. Famous Opening Line: The song opens with the famous line “I hear the train a comin’, it’s rolling ’round the bend,” which has become one of the most recognizable and iconic phrases in country music history. This line sets the tone for the rest of the song.
  3. Live at Folsom Prison: Cash’s connection to prisons became even more significant when he recorded a live album, “Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison,” in 1968. The live version of “Folsom Prison Blues” from this album became one of his most celebrated performances and contributed to the revival of his career.
  4. Chart Success: “Folsom Prison Blues” achieved commercial success, reaching the top five on the country music charts. The song’s popularity was boosted by Cash’s charismatic delivery and its relatable theme of confinement and longing for freedom.
  5. Guitar Style: The song is notable for its distinctive guitar sound, featuring Luther Perkins’ signature “boom-chicka-boom” rhythm style. This guitar pattern, along with Cash’s deep voice and straightforward lyrics, became characteristic elements of Johnny Cash’s unique sound.



I hear the train a comin’
It’s rollin’ ’round the bend,
And I ain’t seen the sunshine,
Since, I don’t know when,
I’m stuck in Folsom Prison,
And time keeps draggin’ on,
But that train keeps a-rollin’,
On down to San Antone.

When I was just a baby,
My Mama told me, “Son,
Always be a good boy,
Don’t ever play with guns,”
But I shot a man in Reno,
Just to watch him die,
When I hear that whistle blowin’,
I hang my head and cry.

I bet there’s rich folks eatin’,
In a fancy dining car,
They’re probably drinkin’ coffee,
And smokin’ big cigars,
But I know I had it comin’,
I know I can’t be free,
But those people keep a-movin’,
And that’s what tortures me.

Well, if they freed me from this prison,
If that railroad train was mine,
I bet I’d move out over a little,
Farther down the line,
Far from Folsom Prison,
That’s where I want to stay,
And I’d let that lonesome whistle,
Blow my Blues away.