I’d never listened to Johnny Cash before hearing this track, but it’s so good I’m planning to find some back-catelogue to listen to.
I saw this cover of the Nine Inch Nails song a while ago in one of those ‘top 100′ type shows. The commentator at the start said “Every guy I know listens to this, watches this, and comes away crying. Women don’t seem to get it in the same way, they say ’sure, its sad, but why are you blubbing like a girl?’”. I can’t attest to whether the ladies cry, but I can tell you that it makes my eyes water, brings a lump to my throat, and sends wave after wave of tingles shooting down my spine. This is one hell of a powerful song, and I love it for that, despite it’s intense sadness. It’s very clear that Cash knew he was close to dying when he recorded it, and it’s very clear that his wife knew it too. This sort of power to effect your emotions is what music is all about, and this is one of the most powerful songs I’ve ever heard. It’s also one of the rare songs that benefits hugely from the video. Just crank up your speakers and watch it.
Learn more about the song at the Wikipedia entry.