I Walk the Line

Originally Performed ByJohnny Cash
Original AlbumSingle (1956)
Music/LyricsJohnny Cash
Phish Debut1992-11-19
Last Played1993-03-09
Current Gap1215
HistorianEllis Godard
Last Update2016-03-09


Well, Johnny Cash, the Man in Black, was a dark mysterious male. Sang kinda slow, and talked real low, and performed in a sketchy jail. His ballads crooned, but not the tunes you’d sing while wearing white. But “I Walk the Line” Mike sings real fine, in neon green at night.

The narrator sings of the joy love brings, but not in pastel cheese: He’s a happy fool, and obeys the rules, but from what does he retreat? The entire song suggests no wrongs, and mentions no temptations. It’s all devotion, with calm emotions, and no sin (save, perhaps, masturbation).

About what crimes did Mike sing nine times, of which two were in “Reba” (12/5/92 and 12/30/92)? Did he get engaged during the 111 days from the debut (11/19/92) to the leaver (3/9/93)? He didn’t betroth for five years more, but the rock star spin is full of sin, and he walks the line no more. 

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