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Johnny Cash - What Is Truth

Reached # 3 on the US Hot Country Songs charts, remaining on the charts a total of 14 weeks. On the Canadian RPM Country Tracks charts, it reached at #1 for three consecutive weeks. The song was only released in single, it was not included in any Johnny Cash studio album.

What Is Truth

“What Is Truth”, a song written and recorded by Johnny Cash for the Columbia label, was recorded on March 9, 1970, at Columbia Recording Studio B, 804 16th Ave. South, Nashville, TN. In the recording session Johnny Cash was accompanied by: Bob Wootton (guitar), Norman Blake (dobro), Marshall Grant (bass) and W.S. Holland (drums). With Bob Johnston's production, the song was released on March 18, 1970, and on May 30, 1970, reached # 3 on the US Hot Country Songs charts, remaining on the charts a total of 14 weeks. On the Canadian RPM Country Tracks charts, it reached at #1 for three consecutive weeks, from June 6, 1970, to June 20, 1970.

 

The song was only released in single, it was not included in any Johnny Cash studio album.

 

“What Is Truth”, is a protest song, about the Vietnam War, and of all wars in general, made the song a major crossover hit.

Versions:

 

Johnny Doe 1971 (Alshire)

The Scarlets 1971 (Polar)

Jonboy Langford & The Pine Valley Cosmonauts 1994 (Scout Releases)

Miquel Batlle Garriga
mbatllegarriga@gmail.com

Johnny Cash - What Is Truth? Lyrics

 

[Verse 1]

The old man turned off the radio

Said, "Where did all of the old songs go?"

"Kids sure play funny music these days!"

"They play it in the strangest ways."

Said, "It looks to me like they've all gone wild."

"It was peaceful back when I was a child"

Well, man, could it be that the girls and boys

Are trying to be heard above your noise?

And the lonely voice of youth cries

 

"What is truth?"

 

[Verse 2]

A little boy of three sitting on the floor

Looks up and says, "Daddy, what is war?"

"Son, that's when people fight and die."

The little boy of three says, "Daddy, why?"

A young man of seventeen in Sunday school

Being taught the golden rule

And by the time another year has gone around

It may be his turn to lay his life down

Can you blame the voice of youth for asking

 

"What is truth?"

[Verse 3]

A young man sitting on the witness stand

The man with the book says - "Raise your hand!"

"Repeat after me, I solemnly swear"

The man looked down at his long hair

And although the young man solemnly swore

Nobody seems to hear anymore

And it didn't really matter if the truth was there

It was the cut of his clothes and the length of his hair

And the lonely voice of youth cries

 

"What is truth?"

 

[Verse 4]

The young girl dancing to the latest beat

Has found new ways to move her feet

The young man speaking in the city square

Is trying to tell somebody that he cares

Yeah, the ones that you're calling wild

Are going to be the leaders in a little while

This old world's waking to a new born day

And I solemnly swear that it'll be their way

You better help the voice of youth find

 

What is truth?

 

And the lonely voice of youth cries

What is truth?



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