I know this is a bit controversial. Many people, including me, were pissed that Cash changed the "crown of shit" lyrics to "crown of thorns." At first, I was like, "Oh, man, does everything have to be Jesus all the time, Johnny?" But the more I thought about it, the more brilliant the choice felt, especially when read in conjunction with the next lyric, "upon my liar's chair." He's lying about being holy. He's lying about being a messiah. He's lying about being a country-music star. Because, in the end, we die. Our bodies fail. Our loved ones leave us, and all the trappings in the world and pretense of greatness will not save us. In the face of death, Cash is honest and humble.
"Stuck Inside a Cloud" by George Harrison
Y'know, I recently wrote an article where I got comments from people bragging about not knowing "Silly Love Songs" by Paul McCartney. Look, maybe music's not your thing, but if you think it's cool to act like it's weird that someone would be a aware of one of the biggest hit songs by the man who's written more hit songs than almost anyone, then I can't really help you. And I also can't help you if you don't know that George Harrison was the lead guitarist of The Beatles and had a half-dozen huge hits in his own right. But I can certainly forgive you if you've never heard of this song, because it was released posthumously on Harrison's not very well known Brainwashed album.
The Approaching Death
As he was a lifelong smoker, it's not surprising that Harrison succumbed to cancer. In 1997 he was diagnosed with throat cancer, and though they thought it was successfully treated, the cancer's believed to have spread to Harrison's lung and, ultimately, his brain. He died in November of 2001. The album, produced by his son, Dhani, and good friend Jeff Lynne from polished demos he recorded in the years before his death, featured "Stuck Inside a Cloud."