I just heard a cover of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Songs” by Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer.

Wow.

Yes, I know, there are major cultural appropriation issues. Bob Marley lived in a particular social and political context, and his music is a response and challenge and a call to action. “How long will they kill our prophets while we stand aside and watch?” isn’t really metaphorical.

But Johnny Cash makes this song so personal. It’s not a political struggle, but the struggle all of us have to get by. And there is something just… right … about the man whose first big hit was “Folsom Prison Blues” singing about songs of freedom.

“Redemption Songs” was released posthumously, on the box set which includes his covers of “One” and “Hurt.” That last one breaks my heart.

Good music, even for people who are not Johnny Cash fans.

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