The True Meaning Behind Jonny Cash’s “Ghost Riders In The Sky”
via Johnny Cash / Youtube
A few songwriters throughout the decades have made an effort to introduce a more mystic tone to country music. Lucky for us, we have legendary country singer Johnny Cash to do the job, especially with his cover of a classic, “Ghost Riders In the Sky.”
To give credit first, a musician named Stan Jones did write and initially record “Ghost Riders in the Sky” back in 1948. Jones worked as a ranger in the woods and, in his spare time, he composed music. When his mind wandered off, he remembered a tale once told by a Native American he knew from his childhood and decided to compose a song all about it.
“Ghost Riders in the Sky” serves as a warning to a cowboy that he would one day be damned along with them and destined to attempt to chase the Devil’s herd across this unending sky” if he doesn’t change his ways. Multiple musicians enjoyed success with this song, including Burl Ives, The Outlaws, Vaughn Monroe, Bing Crosby, Frankie Lane, and Marty Robbins. Yet perhaps, the person with whom the song is often associated with was Cash, who recorded the song for his Silver album. Cash’s version spent a whopping 16-week streak at Billboard, which was quite an impressive mark for a cover song.
Listen to the song below.