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Our empires of dirt

To follow up on the previous post on Christian platforms and networks… I was just re-introduced to this song Hurt, by Johnny Cash.  I haven’t really listened to this song since I was an angst filled teenager when it was originally by the Nine Inch Nails.  I loved the song because I felt it described my reality in raw form.

Hearing it now, I realize while it’s still a glimpse into reality, it’s moreso a reality without hope.

If I ever had the guts to slit my wrists back then, this song would definitely be on replay.

It’s intriguing that Johnny Cash chose to cover this song not long before he died.  After living a life that many others might envy, he lays it all on the line here and calls it an ’empire of dirt’ (Supposedy he re-embraced his Christian faith later in life).  The accompanying visuals in this are fantastic as well.

I wonder how many of us will look back at the end of our days wondering ‘what have we become’?  Even if we’ve impacted a million lives, who are we when we’re completely alone at our final gasps? What’s the kingdom, without the King?

Lyrics below.

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 liar’s 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

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

if I could start again
a million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • stephen November 25, 2008, 11:05 am

    love this song/video. we showed in one of our church gatherings last year and still occassionally get comments about it. i never heard the original. man, something about the way he speak/sings those lyrics is haunting.

  • Johnny Laird November 25, 2008, 5:33 pm

    “Hurt” is a staggeringly good song…just beautiful.

    Glad to be reminded of it.

    Pax

    J

  • Lon November 26, 2008, 3:11 pm

    Stephen, you should listen to the original as well… it’s just as good, but different. Cash’s life in the backdrop definitely as to it’s impact though.

    Johnny – I love the song as well… a bit dark… but great when you just want to wallow in the pain

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