It’s a tossup today: I could write about how Al Capone was haunted to his own death by a gangster killed in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, or I could post love songs.
Well, I’ve posted bloody Valentines before–
so this year, I’m going with music.
The late Johnny Cash was–and remains, to me and many others–a wonder. He could go from a tough muscular song like “Folsom Prison Blues” or a rudely funny one like “A Boy Named Sue” or a working man’s fantasy like “Oney” without seeming even to draw breath.
And he sang a few devastatingly great love songs too.
One such is “Flesh and Blood”, recorded in 1970 for the soundtrack of a film called I Walk the Line, which starred Gregory Peck and is not to be confused with the 2005 biopic Walk the Line. I’ve always thought that surely JR wrote this for his beloved June Carter. It’s remarkably sweet and tender, and the nature imagery is perfectly suited to the sentiment.
In 1971, Cash recorded “A Thing Called Love”. Written and recorded by Jerry Reed in 1968, it had been recorded by other acts before Cash, but nobody–not even Reed, whose version is gently rueful–ever quite put it across exactly what this thing called love is the way JR did.
(The children’s choir doesn’t hurt either.)
Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends. May love be with you, this day and every day.