Song of the Day #1,617: ‘Hurt’ – Johnny Cash

40thToday is my 40th birthday. It happens to fall on one of my Random Weekends, so I’m spared the pressure of having to select a song appropriate to the occasion.

On car trips with my family, I will often say something like “the next song that comes on the radio will describe the rest of our lives” or “the next song that plays sums up my relationship with your mother.” The many times the resulting song makes no sense whatsoever are completely erased by the few times it’s hilariously perfect or perfectly hilarious.

So I’m going to take advantage of this Random Weekend to try the same thing here on the blog.

Whatever song I randomly fire up next will describe the meaning of my life at the ripe old age of 40.

Here we go…

Well, that could have gone better. The classic Johnny Cash cover of Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Hurt,’ the final single that (accompanied by its haunting video) came to symbolize the end of his legendary career and life.

Not exactly ‘Walking On Sunshine.’

Still, I like that I wound up with a song with depth and meaning, as opposed to some Jewel B-side or an Eminem song about club girls. Depressing as it is, ‘Hurt’ feels worthy of the moment.

Still, I’d rather this have popped up on my 80th birthday than my 40th. I’d like to think I’m closer to killing a man just to watch him die than bequeathing my empire of dirt.

I hurt myself today,
To see if I still feel,
I focus on the pain,
The only thing that’s real,

The needle tears a hole,
The old familiar sting,
Try to kill it all away,
But I remember everything,

What have I become,
My sweetest friend,
Everyone I know,
Goes away in the end,

And you could have it all,
My empire of dirt,
I will let you down,
I will make you hurt,

I wear this crown of thorns,
Upon my liars chair,
Full of broken thoughts,
I cannot repair,

Beneath the stains of time,
The feelings disappear,
You are someone else,
I am still right here,


And you could have it all,
My empire of dirt,
I will let you down,
I will make you hurt,

If I could start again,
A million miles away,
I will keep myself,
I would find a way

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,617: ‘Hurt’ – Johnny Cash

  1. Dana says:

    It’s the perfect melancholy birthday song for you!

  2. Amy says:

    I think it’s just a wink and a nod that you will be knocking around for the next 40 doing just that 😉 Or maybe only the title is significant, and the iPod fairy knew those paintball bruises were going to HURT like hell (especially the next day; happy belated birthday, blogger!)

    Regardless, I love the song roulette game. 🙂

  3. Andrea Katz says:

    What an evocative song. I agree that this look at one’;s life and mortality is not usually the province of 40 but much more like, oh…58 🙂
    Happy birthday Clay!

  4. peg says:

    Sorry I missed this on your special day! Would have preferred “Walking on Sunshine” 🙂

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