Holly HendlerProfessor GuldenLit 2008 December 2017″Hurt” by Johnny Cash Analysis The song “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails was released in 1994 to cope with the band’s issues with regret ad the consequences the had to face.
The song was then redone by Johnny Cash with the help of Nine Inch Nails to bring light the issues of Johnny Cash faced with depression and regret. The moving song was written in the last months of Mr. Cash’s life to bring to light the issues Cash has with himself and also the issues one has with others around him.
The composure of this song and the inner lying meaning of the song really show that not everyone is made it be who they want to be and that’s why I love this song so much. The song “Hurt” basically lays out all of Johnny Cash’s struggles before he was able to lay peacefully in his grave. I believe Johnny Cash sang the song “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails as a way to show that his life is coming to an end and he wants the listeners to know the regrets he has and teach the life lesson that you won’t always be able to accomplish everything you want to. Through the song, Johnny Cash struggles with recognizing his own struggle through a man vs. man conflict. One line in the song,”My sweetest friend” is not referring to drugs, nor his wife and family, but rather he is referring to himself. He refers to himself as “My sweetest friend” to show that in the end he nearly only has himself to rely on and everyone else would just come and go. When most people hear “Hurt” for the first time, they may come to believe that he wrote it himself, but then are surprised to learn it is a cover.
The struggles Johnny Cash faced in his life match up perfectly to the lyrics of this song, when watching the music video I had to hold back the tears because it was as if Johnny Cash was letting all the struggles and pain go. Another verse of the song,”I might have promised and will promise to myself (“my sweetest friend”) to turn my life around, but I haven’t changed and I won’t” This verse shows the struggle Mr. Cash has had with himself and how he has never changed for anyone regardless if the industry wanted him to. The struggle sJohnny Cash has had through his life and the regrets he has with himself are shown through this song is such a way that it is instilled in you when you listen to this song. While listening and reading the lyrics of “Hurt” by Johnny Cash, you the listener can sense a pattern within in the song that really instills the “hurt” that Johnny Cash faced throughout his life.
This entire song is very emotional and I believe it is because of the archetypical criticism through the song. The inner working of the song and the repetition of different verses really brings to light the ideas behind the song and the “hurt” that Johnny Cash had through his life into his last days. The recurring images of Mr. Cash being alone brought to light the idea that he maybe was happy to be alone during his last days and maybe he was happy to finally be able to live on in legacy and peace.
With the passing of Johnny Cash just a few months after the song was produced, it really brought the emotions alive within me. Every time I listen to this song, the lyrics are brought alive and bring a whole other meaning to the song. Johnny Cash tries to prove to the world that he couldn’t complete everything he wanted to and that the industry expected him to. Throughout the last years of his life, Johnny Cash lives in regret by facing the loss of his wife and the fact that everyone forgot about him as a person just to let him rot away alone.
Through the last years of his life, Mr. Cash was facing a man vs. world conflict. Many people had these feelings at some point in their lives, the fact that you may have wanted to make changes in your life, but you can’t, you are desperate. One line of the song, “I focus on the pain, it is the only thing that is real” shows that Johnny Cash was focused on pleasing all of the fake people around him, when in reality he should have been focusing on what made him happy. Johnny Cash also instilled in listening that you are who you are and there is no changing that and that you only have one chance so you better give it the best shot you can. The struggles Johnny Cash faced while being a star really showed to not pay off and he really shows that through his music video. The video pans around his apartment and shows that regardless of the fame, he is left with himself and just the fading memories of his loved ones.
Johnny Cash was alone when he died and throughout the song, he instilled the struggles he had with other people and I think he just wanted to die alone to be able to finally die peacefully without the struggles of other people and society. Through the song “Hurt” originally done by Nine Inch Nails and re-sung by Johnny Cash, it instills in you that great depression that Mr. Cash faced, and also shows you the great heartache that he went through in his last few months on this Earth. Johnny Cash lived in a world where he was expected to be someone he never wanted to be and he lives with that inside of him until the day he died.
The inner and outer struggles of his life took Mr. Cash to his grace. Throughout the song, it left me with a sense of easiness that Johnny Cash has passed on, he can now be in a more peaceful and stress-free place with the woman he loves.Work CitedDFTranslateBR. “Hurt by Johnny Cash.
” YouTube, YouTube, 5 Apr. 2012, www.youtube.
com/watch?v=vt1Pwfnh5pc.”Johnny Cash – Hurt.” Genius, 5 Nov. 2002, genius.com/Johnny-cash-hurt-lyrics.