This is a case where I like the song more than the music video. This video was actually filmed three years after Johnny Cash’s death. As far as “official” music videos are concerned, I always feel like a musician should have some sort of say into how their music is visually interpreted. Obviously, Johnny Cash wasn’t around to have anything to say about the video for God’s Gonna Cut You Down.
Since Cash wasn’t available, director Tony Kaye filled the video with cameos from other actors and musicians, a few of whom (though not many) were previous Cash collaborators. Among the celebs who make an appearance in this video: David Allan Coe, Patricia Arquette, Travis Barker, Peter Blake, Bono, Sheryl Crow, Johnny Depp, the Dixie Chicks, Flea, Billy Gibbons, Whoopi Goldberg, Woody Harrelson, Dennis Hopper, Terrence Howard, Jay-Z, Mick Jones, Kid Rock, Anthony Kiedis, Kris Kristofferson, Amy Lee, Adam Levine, Shelby Lynne, Chris Martin, Kate Moss, Graham Nash, Busy Philipps, Iggy Pop, Lisa Marie Presley, Q-Tip, Corinne Bailey Rae, Keith Richards, Chris Rock, Rick Rubin, Patti Smith, Sharon Stone, Justin Timberlake, Kanye West, Brian Wilson, and Owen Wilson. Some of the celebs — like Dennis Hopper and Kris Kristofferson — seem like they naturally belong there. Others seem so out-of-place that you’ll want to throw something. You know how that works,
God’s Gonna Cut You Down is a traditional folk song. I’ve heard countless versions of it. I prefer Cash’s version to the more traditional gospel arrangement but, then again, I tend to find gospel music to be dull in general. Cash’s arrangement brought new life to an old song.