Song of the Day: God’s Gonna Cut You Down (by Johnny Cash)


This song has been a favorite Johnny Cash track of mine. God’s Gonna Cut You Down really brings the Old Testament gospel side of Johnny Cash to light. This song will probably get more mentions and airplay with it’s usage by Ubisoft in the release trailer for their latest Sam Fisher game, Splinter Cell: Conviction. While it’s probably not the way I would want young people to get introduced to Johnny Cash by way of video game at least they will get to hear and learn one of the greatest musical icons in American music history.

The Man in Black takes what really is a very upbeat and hopeful gospel folk song and turns it onto it’s head. Using a rhythmic stomp-clap to accompany his acoustic guitar playing, Cash imbues God’s Gonna Cut You Down with a grimness that shows God in vengeful, Old Testament flame and sword vengeance mode. It is difficult not to get into this song even if one is not religious. The way Cash song-speaks the lyrics just pulls one into the song until it’s completely hooked it’s talons onto one’s mind and won’t let go. I know I get into humming the song almost by instinct whenever I catch a bit of it on the radio and now on tv.

God’s Gonna Cut You Down

You can run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
Sooner or later God’ll cut you down
Sooner or later God’ll cut you down

Go tell that long tongue liar
Go and tell that midnight rider
Tell the rambler, the gambler, the back biter
Tell ’em that God’s gonna cut ’em down
Tell ’em that God’s gonna cut ’em down

Well my goodness gracious let me tell you the news
My head’s been wet with the midnight dew
I’ve been down on bended knee talkin’ to the man from Galilee
He spoke to me in the voice so sweet
I thought I heard the shuffle of the angel’s feet
He called my name and my heart stood still
When he said, “John go do My will!”

Go tell that long tongue liar
Go and tell that midnight rider
Tell the rambler, the gambler, the back biter
Tell ’em that God’s gonna cut ’em down
Tell ’em that God’s gonna cut ’em down

You can run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
Sooner or later God’ll cut you down
Sooner or later God’ll cut you down

Well you may throw your rock and hide your hand
Workin’ in the dark against your fellow man
But as sure as God made black and white
What’s done in the dark will be brought to the light

You can run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
Sooner or later God’ll cut you down
Sooner or later God’ll cut you down

Go tell that long tongue liar
Go and tell that midnight rider
Tell the rambler, the gambler, the back biter
Tell ’em that God’s gonna cut you down
Tell ’em that God’s gonna cut you down
Tell ’em that God’s gonna cut you down