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Johnny Cash — Personal Jesus
Album: American IV
Avg rating:
6.6

Your rating:
Total ratings: 988









Released: 2002
Length: 3:16
Plays (last 30 days): 0
Your own, personal, Jesus
Someone to hear your prayers,
Someone who cares

Your own, personal, Jesus
Someone to hear your prayers,
Someone who's there

Feeling unknown
And you're all alone,
Flesh and bone,
By the telephone,
Lift up the receiver,
I'll make you a believer

Take second best,
Put me to the test,
Things on your chest,
You need to confess,
I will deliver,
You know i'm a forgiver

Reach out and touch faith
Reach out and touch faith

Your own, personal, Jesus
Someone to hear your prayers,
Someone who cares

Your own, personal, Jesus
Someone to hear your prayers,
Someone to care

Feeling unknown
And you're all alone,
Flesh and bone,
By the telephone,
Lift up the receiver,
I'll make you a believer
I will deliver,
You know i'm a forgiver

Reach out and touch faith
Reach out and touch faith
Reach out and touch faith

Reach out and touch faith
Comments (311)add comment
Yess!!! Thank you, RP!

Everybody in my church loves this cover...  (and Depeche Mode's original...)
.............
 oldsinger wrote:
Wasn't much of a fan until he got well toward the end with stuff like this.  Now I get to re-examine his work.
 
Exactly how I feel about him. I never took him seriously when I was young. In his older years, his artistry became clear to me.
 Jazbo wrote:
This just doesn't do it for me.......5..
 
I'm with you - the original wasn't strong enough to deserve the attention.  "Hurt" and "Rusty Cage" however...
 oldsinger wrote:
Wasn't much of a fan until he got well toward the end with stuff like this.  Now I get to re-examine his work.
 

My reaction exactly. This stuff towards the end of JC's life is profound.
Hard to top the brilliant original.. even though the American Recordings weren't about that.
Wasn't much of a fan until he got well toward the end with stuff like this.  Now I get to re-examine his work.
This just doesn't do it for me.......5..
I like Johnny Cash, but hearing him sing this song makes it sound even more ridiculous than the original NIN version...
Dear Johnny!
 RedGuitar wrote:
His recording of "Hurt" from this CD is haunting, even more so when you see the accompanying video.
 
Agreed this is great but Hurt is totally amazing.  Full of genuine emotion the kind we only come across from time to time.
 unclelonghair wrote:

A lot of words have been used to describe Cash's voice over the years, but "shaky" isn't one of them.

Note that when this song was recorded, he was about 4-5 years into a diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease and a list of related ailments, so his health was not very good, which weakened his voice.

I suppose this is the kind of thing that only a Johnny Cash fan could appreciate, but having grown to appreciate his bottomless baritone voice, the bit of shakiness in his voice in this recording and a few others on this album really add an edge to the song, as if you're hearing someone signing who has one foot in the grave.  Which, in a way, he did.  Add to that the subject of the song and the lyrics and you have something with a lot of punch to it IMHO.
 
For the sake of medical accuracy, Johnny Cash died of "Multiple Systems Atrophy," not Parkinson's disease. Although there is an overlap in some of the Parkinsonian symptoms (rigidity, slowness of movement) unfortunately that is only a small part of what patients with MSA experience. wemove.org is an excellent website for movement disorders.

 Poacher wrote:

Yes. I have noticed that songs with religious connotations seem to get marked down and it is interesting that some here do not mark any songs a 10. I believe this is something to do with those who are religious not being able to bring themselves to mark a track 'godlike'. 

I wonder if a hymn was played here they could only give it a 10.

Bill. . . could you run a test? ;) 
 
Or it could be that many people find this particular song only slightly more interesting to listen to than a metronome, and that religion isn't the reason for low ratings of this song. It's the music.

 mikexican wrote:
Oh God... I would rather listen to feral cats being eaten by hungry, wild dogs than listen to the unholy marriage of Johnny Cash and Depeche Mode. 
 
What I find fascinating about the last phase of Cash's life and recording career was how very, very personal and spiritual it became. Yes, he was always spiritual with that unique wear-it-on-your-sleeve Southernness, but in his last days, his spirituality and the subtlety of his personality—manifested mostly in his songwriting (e.g., "I Walk the Line")—coalesced. I find his adoption of "Personal Jesus," therefore, both a telling turn in his life as well as emotionally poignant. He was a fabulously complex, contradictory man, one of the bona fide giants of the second half of the 20th century.

 zanref wrote:
Did not expect to see anything less then 8.
Emotionally filled new age song about believing in your own powers.
 
Being a fan of the Depeche Mode version (and indeed DM as a band), I always thought that this was a satire on tele-evangelism. IIRC the DM version is the original and the best.

One of the few covers that actually adds something to a song. Not an improvement, rather
opens another door to meaning.
 zanref wrote:
Did not expect to see anything less then 8.
Emotionally filled new age song about believing in your own powers. And Johnny sounds much better then Depeche Mode or Marilyn Manson.
I guess most of the listeners are "real Jesus" believers. 
 
Yes. I have noticed that songs with religious connotations seem to get marked down and it is interesting that some here do not mark any songs a 10. I believe this is something to do with those who are religious not being able to bring themselves to mark a track 'godlike'. 

I wonder if a hymn was played here they could only give it a 10.

Bill. . . could you run a test? ;) 
His recording of "Hurt" from this CD is haunting, even more so when you see the accompanying video.

Did not expect to see anything less then 8.
Emotionally filled new age song about believing in your own powers. And Johnny sounds much better then Depeche Mode or Marilyn Manson.
I guess most of the listeners are "real Jesus" believers. 
Oh God... I would rather listen to feral cats being eaten by hungry, wild dogs than listen to the unholy marriage of Johnny Cash and Depeche Mode. 
The Man in Black tells it like it is and ROCKS it!!!! And he was like 100 years old when he recorded this.
{#Stop} Make it stop please................
I listen almost every day but rarely comment/rate. This song made my stop what I was doing and take notice. Johnny is just too freaking cool.
 dyharenas wrote:


Smack, center, on the head of the nail.
 
Agreed, that was very well put...

It's no "Boy Named Sue", but it'll have to do.
 unclelonghair wrote:

A lot of words have been used to describe Cash's voice over the years, but "shaky" isn't one of them.

Note that when this song was recorded, he was about 4-5 years into a diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease and a list of related ailments, so his health was not very good, which weakened his voice.

I suppose this is the kind of thing that only a Johnny Cash fan could appreciate, but having grown to appreciate his bottomless baritone voice, the bit of shakiness in his voice in this recording and a few others on this album really add an edge to the song, as if you're hearing someone signing who has one foot in the grave.  Which, in a way, he did.  Add to that the subject of the song and the lyrics and you have something with a lot of punch to it IMHO.
 

Smack, center, on the head of the nail.
JC singing 'bout JC! {#Laughing}
 thatch wrote:
  His shaky vocals add nothing to the originals
 
A lot of words have been used to describe Cash's voice over the years, but "shaky" isn't one of them.

Note that when this song was recorded, he was about 4-5 years into a diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease and a list of related ailments, so his health was not very good, which weakened his voice.

I suppose this is the kind of thing that only a Johnny Cash fan could appreciate, but having grown to appreciate his bottomless baritone voice, the bit of shakiness in his voice in this recording and a few others on this album really add an edge to the song, as if you're hearing someone signing who has one foot in the grave.  Which, in a way, he did.  Add to that the subject of the song and the lyrics and you have something with a lot of punch to it IMHO.


I completely agree. His talent is marginal, voice is uninteresting.  

+1

His covers are terrible. His shaky vocals add nothing to the originals and lack any sort of emotion or subtleties.

I think people are more intrigued by the idea of Johnny Cash rather than his talent, at least here. He could recite a cereal box and some fans would think it's genius.
 


No matter who does this song, I can't take it. Bleh.
 thatch wrote:

+1

His covers are terrible. His shaky vocals add nothing to the originals and lack any sort of emotion or subtleties.

I think people are more intrigued by the idea of Johnny Cash rather than his talent, at least here. He could recite a cereal box and some fans would think it's genius.
 

Sorry you can't recognize your own national icons.... Cash was, is, and will be....
 slimvincent wrote:
It's stunning and ads depth to the tune.  but i'm probably biased a little. I could listen to JC sing happy birthday and probably be brought to tears. there is no bigger american music icon in my opinion.
 

No doubt - what an incredible voice. And charisma to match.
It's stunning and ads depth to the tune.  but i'm probably biased a little. I could listen to JC sing happy birthday and probably be brought to tears. there is no bigger american music icon in my opinion.
 Maggle_Bish wrote:
I honestly don't understand how this is appealing to anyone.  I don't like any songs by Johnny Cash, but the covers are even worse than his originals.  It just sounds like he's speaking the lyrics throughout the song.  It's so boring I could almost fall asleep, but it's so annoying it's keeping me awake.
 
+1

His covers are terrible. His shaky vocals add nothing to the originals and lack any sort of emotion or subtleties.

I think people are more intrigued by the idea of Johnny Cash rather than his talent, at least here. He could recite a cereal box and some fans would think it's genius.




excellent...


I honestly don't understand how this is appealing to anyone.  I don't like any songs by Johnny Cash, but the covers are even worse than his originals.  It just sounds like he's speaking the lyrics throughout the song.  It's so boring I could almost fall asleep, but it's so annoying it's keeping me awake.
 Jimmy86 wrote:


To even mention Celine Dion in the same breath as Johnny Cash shows an ignorance of immeasurable proportions.

 
Immeasurable proportions are by definition unknowable. Therefore we are all ignorant.

Great song. I wonder what DM make of it.

 fredriley wrote:
So who was first with this - Depeche Mode or Johnny Cash? Just curious, as to the Nottingham jury the DM version scores a 9 and this a 3.
 
                https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_Jesus
It seems DM were firsts. I prefer the DM version too...

 suebee3 wrote:

This sounds like a Karaoke tune at a family wedding.

 
that is funny.  I like the song, but that is seriously funny.
quite the remake. Johnny makes it his own. (And I like the Depeche Mode version, as well)
 Jelani wrote:

YOu mean celine Dion gets violated - don't you?
 

To even mention Celine Dion in the same breath as Johnny Cash shows an ignorance of immeasurable proportions.



great cover...

Good line - "Reach out and touch faith".  Faith is indeed something you receive from God by reaching out to Him, not something you try to work up by your own strength.
 bitbanger wrote:


How do I put this so that non-Americans can visualize the frame of reference? Mr. Cash's point of view is of someone who truly believes in the efficacy of a "personal Jesus". It is filled with pathos and a tragedy borne of desperation. The Depeche Mode version was indeed satirical, more educated, and sarcastic, and in comparison a bit trite. I don't know enough about Germany to opine but I've never seen the kind of raw simple religious fervor in the UK that is demonstrated occasionally here in the USA. With all due respect, I suspect that it may be difficult for contemporary Europeans to understand the context from which Cash is coming. The performance is about simple and humble faith driven by deep desperation and as such is quite an insightful expression. Depeche Mode sees the subject of the song as an object of ridicule whereas Cash empathizes and exposes a rich sense of human tragedy through that empathy. This song might be about simple people who speak in tongues, are duped by TV preachers, and grasp their Bibles like shields to ward off the unknown; they are usually displayed as ignorant clowns buy mainstream culture but Cash is seeing the human nobility in their innocence and meekness.

Johnny Cash is not one of my favorite artists but this tune is truly great.
 
Although I am an non American (which is a definition I find very funny and a little mathematical) I truly totally relate to your explanation, so beautifully written. Thank you very much for your time.
I love this song by Johnny Cash.

This sounds like a Karaoke tune at a family wedding.


I suppose if your a believer.......
So who was first with this - Depeche Mode or Johnny Cash? Just curious, as to the Nottingham jury the DM version scores a 9 and this a 3.
Eeeeuuuw.
 rtrudeau wrote:
Next up, Celine Dion does Violator.
 
YOu mean celine Dion gets violated - don't you?
I love the groovy piano.
Next up, Celine Dion does Violator.
 joseseng wrote:
Yes, very smart Bill and fun, keeping it interesting for all of us. Johnny Cash wins hands down.
 
By a mile!


Something about guy was just so REAL! Love this...cojones grandes!

 Pyro wrote: 
Yes, very smart Bill and fun, keeping it interesting for all of us. Johnny Cash wins hands down.
Texas Lightning - Enjoy The Silence | Johnny Cash - Personal Jesus

2x1 Depeche mode reversioned! nicely done Bill!!!!

Greetings from Argentina!!!

8—->9

I generally don't give covers a 10.  maybe sometimes.  This is in the running.  Just kicks

He was his own personal jesus!!  I believe in you Johnny!!!!
Reeks of authenticity.  They broke the mold after they made this guy.
 romeotuma wrote:


This groovy song is so good for the ears...
 
And so good for the soul..........

jhorton wrote:
More pure genius from the man in black.

Just one man and a guitar. Almost seems impossible.

I think the pianist would take offense at that . . .

Ahh, it's the Depeche Mode covers set....

Johnny Cash - Personal Jesus
Texas Lightning - Enjoy The Silence


Now *this* is a great DP cover!
More pure genius from the man in black.

Just one man and a guitar. Almost seems impossible. 


This groovy song is so good for the ears...



I like JC and DM fine, but this never really worked for me, personally.

 bitbanger wrote:
How do I put this so that non-Americans can visualize the frame of reference? Mr. Cash's point of view is of someone who truly believes in the efficacy of a "personal Jesus". It is filled with pathos and a tragedy borne of desperation. The Depeche Mode version was indeed satirical, more educated, and sarcastic, and in comparison a bit trite. I don't know enough about Germany to opine but I've never seen the kind of raw simple religious fervor in the UK that is demonstrated occasionally here in the USA. With all due respect, I suspect that it may be difficult for contemporary Europeans to understand the context from which Cash is coming. The performance is about simple and humble faith driven by deep desperation and as such is quite an insightful expression. Depeche Mode sees the subject of the song as an object of ridicule whereas Cash empathizes and exposes a rich sense of human tragedy through that empathy. This song might be about simple people who speak in tongues, are duped by TV preachers, and grasp their Bibles like shields to ward off the unknown; they are usually displayed as ignorant clowns buy mainstream culture but Cash is seeing the human nobility in their innocence and meekness. Johnny Cash is not one of my favorite artists but this tune is truly great.
 
Awesome insight dude.  Me I'm a huge Cash fan and an evangelical Atheist, and I love this song.  You have expressed very elegantly what I love so much about spiritual music.

 darrenwwwa wrote:
I like Cash and I have even been to several of his concerts when I was a kid (thanks to my parents), but this cover is just wierd.

I bet if this was not Johnny Cash, nobody would like it.

 
This is fucking awesome.  I loved it years ago when I first heard.  It was the first American recording I heard, so I didn't recognize it as Cash until I was told it was his work.  I liked it so much I went out and bought all the American recordings.  I liked these so much I became a Cash fan.  I always thought he was okay, but the American recordings elevated him to my top ten musical-artists list.   My appreciation for those albums led me to listen to more Cash work more carefully, and I grew to appreciate his entire body of work more as a result of this.

This followed the opposite pattern that I observer with the majority of artists, where I like their early work but find their later stuff crappy.  Cash, like Tom Waits, is an awesome artist regardless of what phase of his career you chose to sampe.

I like Cash and I have even been to several of his concerts when I was a kid (thanks to my parents), but this cover is just wierd.

I bet if this was not Johnny Cash, nobody would like it.

I love Cash. But listen to the bass line on this cover. They took a rockin', syncopated phrase and flattened it out to the point of being awkward and heavy. Maybe that was the intent, but to me it makes for a flat-footed and swing-less version. 
I bet DM cry when they hear this cover thinking that the song is not theirs anymore.
Say what you want about his musical abilities; nobody could just grab a song and subsequently own it like Johnny Cash!

 holborne wrote:


Really like this mini-essay — thanks, bitbanger.
  

  Hah, thanks. I was beginning to suspect nobody was paying attention. ;-)
 bitbanger wrote:


How do I put this so that non-Americans can visualize the frame of reference? Mr. Cash's point of view is of someone who truly believes in the efficacy of a "personal Jesus". It is filled with pathos and a tragedy borne of desperation. The Depeche Mode version was indeed satirical, more educated, and sarcastic, and in comparison a bit trite. I don't know enough about Germany to opine but I've never seen the kind of raw simple religious fervor in the UK that is demonstrated occasionally here in the USA. With all due respect, I suspect that it may be difficult for contemporary Europeans to understand the context from which Cash is coming. The performance is about simple and humble faith driven by deep desperation and as such is quite an insightful expression. Depeche Mode sees the subject of the song as an object of ridicule whereas Cash empathizes and exposes a rich sense of human tragedy through that empathy. This song might be about simple people who speak in tongues, are duped by TV preachers, and grasp their Bibles like shields to ward off the unknown; they are usually displayed as ignorant clowns buy mainstream culture but Cash is seeing the human nobility in their innocence and meekness.

Johnny Cash is not one of my favorite artists but this tune is truly great.
 

Really like this mini-essay — thanks, bitbanger.
 RadioDoc wrote:
I dunno.  This sounds like he was dragged  to karaoke night and made to sing this.  There's no personal connection to the vocal.  Barely a 5, and I usually really like his stuff (all the way back to the beginning).
 Sums up my feelings exactly.

This is totally awful! {#Puke}
It's no secret Depeche Mode's songs have this influence.  Just watch the 101 movie and see Martin's adventures in Nashville and Memphis.  And his love for the Rickenbacker guitar.
I like the original, I like this cover. That's it.
Why Johnny?? Why did you have to go and do this?? Sorry but a 3.............
Yip!  What WAS I thinking when I gave this a 7?? Down it goes. Yuck.
GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! Why isn't there a zero!
now there's a cover i can get behind.
I dunno.  This sounds like he was dragged  to karaoke night and made to sing this.  There's no personal connection to the vocal.  Barely a 5, and I usually really like his stuff (all the way back to the beginning).
My own personal JESUS CHRIST make it stop!!!!!!{#Evil}
{#Stop}
 Rotterdam wrote:
Well, I admit to be a knee-jerk snob regarding country music. But Mr. Cash was the 'real article.' I love this song and I love the last few albums that he made. I have real respect for this music. It moves me.

 

well stated.  I have to say, I agree.  Cash was a believer - a devout Christian.  Gotta give the man points for singing this song - because you know he meant it.
prickelpit96 wrote:
...especially 'cause Depeche Mode has it's own (better) acoustic version of this song.
fredriley wrote:
Yep, and DM sing it with more pizzazz and conviction. Theirs is a far more ominous and satirical song, whereas yer man Cash sounds like he's reading the lyrics for the first time. Yucksville. 8 for the DM version, 3 for the JC effort.
How do I put this so that non-Americans can visualize the frame of reference? Mr. Cash's point of view is of someone who truly believes in the efficacy of a "personal Jesus". It is filled with pathos and a tragedy borne of desperation. The Depeche Mode version was indeed satirical, more educated, and sarcastic, and in comparison a bit trite. I don't know enough about Germany to opine but I've never seen the kind of raw simple religious fervor in the UK that is demonstrated occasionally here in the USA. With all due respect, I suspect that it may be difficult for contemporary Europeans to understand the context from which Cash is coming. The performance is about simple and humble faith driven by deep desperation and as such is quite an insightful expression. Depeche Mode sees the subject of the song as an object of ridicule whereas Cash empathizes and exposes a rich sense of human tragedy through that empathy. This song might be about simple people who speak in tongues, are duped by TV preachers, and grasp their Bibles like shields to ward off the unknown; they are usually displayed as ignorant clowns buy mainstream culture but Cash is seeing the human nobility in their innocence and meekness. Johnny Cash is not one of my favorite artists but this tune is truly great.
I don't really understand what he was trying to do here, but I give it points for weirdness.
nmcvaugh wrote:
Aigh! It burns! I love Cash, but ugh - not his best work.
As my brother says, that's why they make chocolate AND vanilla. This is about the only Johnny Cash song I like at all.
This gets several points just because of the idea that Johnny Cash even knew Depeche Mode.
I don't think his heart was in this one.
Aigh! It burns! I love Cash, but ugh - not his best work.
prickelpit96 wrote:
...especially 'cause Depeche Mode has it's own (better) acoustic version of this song.
Yep, and DM sing it with more pizzazz and conviction. Theirs is a far more ominous and satirical song, whereas yer man Cash sounds like he's reading the lyrics for the first time. Yucksville. 8 for the DM version, 3 for the JC effort.
Well, I admit to be a knee-jerk snob regarding country music. But Mr. Cash was the 'real article.' I love this song and I love the last few albums that he made. I have real respect for this music. It moves me.
Smoove_D wrote:
I don't think this cover was necessary.
...especially 'cause Depeche Mode has it's own (better) acoustic version of this song.
I've been enthusiastic about all of his covers thus far, but he doesn't sound like he's really trying on this one. The instrumentation's nice, but the vocals aren't doing it for me.
beautiful!
I actually like this better than DM. It is, in fact, the only Johnny Cash song I like. Since it's so uncool not to like Johnny's music, I'm glad there's at least one.
I don't think this cover was necessary.
Oh man. To have seen Johnny, with 6 strings, do that number. That would'a been one heck of a thing.
tony99 wrote:
The problem with evangelist Christians - they believe they have their own personal Jesus ...
Jesus is whatever you believe him to be. He's personal to me. Why he even died for me. How much more personal do you need to be? Oh, and I'm Lutheran, sonnyboy!
mrzipmann wrote:
JC=Jesus Christ?
Or Johnny Cash. :biggrin:
Great song, great cover.
majortom505 wrote:
I like Johnny Cash, but this pales to the original version. a solid 5.
I like this as much as the original. A solid 8.
shame he doesn't swing it like the original - bit clunky
I don't think it's one of his better cover versions but still pretty good. I still think Solitary man (N. Diamond) is his greatest cover along with Nine inch nails' 'Hurt' the video to the latter just reminds you how big a character Mr J Cash was. Sadly missed.
very cool I think.
Never should have happened. Bad move.
JC=Jesus Christ?
The problem with evangelist Christians - they believe they have their own personal Jesus ...
onlylynne wrote:
While I love the original song, JC does a pretty good job with this!
Agreed.
While I love the original song, JC does a pretty good job with this!
I heard my dad mention how awful he sounds on this record. He doesn't get it.
Shesdifferent wrote:
Giving that Cash is a legend songwriter singer-this is NOT the song for him
Agreed - he has done much better cover versions. Listen to his rendition of One by U2 - CLASS. This gets 5 from me.... let him sing something more suitable.
luv dat boogie woogie piano bit in da background
Cash remakes Hurt...10 Cash Remakes Personal Jesus...6 Observation...Cash does dark songs wicked good!
mr. cash can sing anything & it would sound brilliant!
Shesdifferent wrote:
Giving that Cash is a legend songwriter singer-this is NOT the song for him.......please make it stop. :beat: :frustrated: :stop: Let's get this set over with pleeeeeeeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
I beg to differ - love the piano! I may like this version better than the original - it drives along nicely.