“Folsom Prison Blues” is one of those near-perfect songs. More folk/Americana than country.
I hear the train a comin’
It’s rolling round the bend
And I ain’t seen the sunshine since I don’t know when,
I’m stuck in Folsom prison, and time keeps draggin’ on
But that train keeps a rollin’ on down to San Antone..
When I was just a baby, my mama told me. Son,
Always be a good boy, don’t ever play with guns.
But I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die
When I hear that whistle blowing, I hang my head and cry..
The bass line is easily identifiable. It starts and right away you know the song. You know also the “I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die” is one of most cold-blooded lyrics ever in popular music.
Today I heard the Surreal McCoys (“The top cowpunk band to ever come out of Notre Dame Law School”) and their mashup of Folsom Prison Blues and Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Lovin’.” It is a song I didn’t know I needed to hear.
And it is coooool.
But I also like the many versions of Stairway to Heaven, particularly The Geezinslaws cover which includes an inspired use of a kazoo. It is surpassed only by the Yayhoos and Dancing Queen which turns crap into something worth hearing.