Song of the Day #5,200: ‘(Love’s) Ring of Fire’ – Anita Carter

The first three songs featured this week originated with men but were popularized by women. Today’s song is the opposite.

June Carter, soon to be June Carter Cash, wrote ‘Ring of Fire’ with Merle Kilgore in 1963, using the song’s central image as a metaphor for falling in love. But rather than give the song to her husband-to-be, she gave it to her sister, folk singer Anita Carter.

Anita recorded the song under the title ‘(Love’s) Ring of Fire’ for her 1963 album Folk Songs Old and New but failed to achieve success on the charts.

Johnny Cash, meanwhile, had his own ideas for the song, imagining a version featuring a mariachi band. He gave his future sister-in-law several months to score a hit with the song, then stepped in and recorded the horn-heavy classic we all know and love.

Love is a burning thing and it makes a fiery ring
Bringing hurt to the heart’s desire I fell into a ring of fire

I fell into into the burning ring of fire
I fell down down down down into the deepest mire
And it burns burns burns burns the ring of fire the ring of fire
The ring of fire

The taste of love is sweet when two very hearts meet
I believed you like a child oh but the fire went wild

I fell into into the burning ring of fire

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #5,200: ‘(Love’s) Ring of Fire’ – Anita Carter

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Another fascinating back story on the origins of a classic song.

  2. Amy says:

    What would lovely Anita and June think of this “Ring of Fire” cover?

    I continue to delight in imagining the conservative households across the country taking in Adam’s performances week after week. The fact that he made it to the top 2 13 years ago still amazes me.

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