Friday, August 13, 2010

Delia's Gone

In high school my friend and I developed this theory: if you sing it slowly and with an acoustic guitar, you can pretty much get away with anything. One example we always provided, was Johnny Cash's Delia's Gone. It's your age old tale of a cheatin' lying woman getting her comeuppance from a vengeful lover. But it's how he does it that makes it so unerrving: he ties her to a chair, and shoots her. With a submachine gun.

I don't think it's a conicidence, that this song came out during the height of gangster rap. But unlike Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre and other of their ilk, their were no hysterical polticians and no complaints from NOW.

Like so many of my generation, this was the song that taught me that country could be cool. This dark, violent, "love song" with the coolest dude on the planet. I still get chills.

Here's an earlier version of the song, with slightly different lyrics. I think it proves that Cash was well aware of popular culture when he updated it for American Recordings:

No comments:

Post a Comment