Cash’s Forty Shades of Green

By Debbie McGoldrick, Contributor
Febuary / March 2006

With Johnny Cash in the news a lot recently thanks to the movie Walk the Line, many tend to forget the music legend’s ScotsIrish roots. Though he was always the Man in Black, Cash was also the guy who loved Ireland, so much so that he penned the song “Forty Shades of Green” after his first trip there in the 1960s. The lyrics go like this: “I close my eyes and picture the emerald of the sea, from the fishing boats at Dingle to the shores of Dundee; I miss the River Shannon and folks at Skibbereen; the moorlands and the meadows with their forty shades of green.” Lyrics from a proud Scots-Irish American for sure! Cash performed all over Ireland on a countless number of occasions, and he loved the country for being a place where he could “get away from it all,” as he was fond of saying. Of course Johnny’s beloved June Carter was with him on his Irish tours, and one Internet page reports on a show they did at the Carlton Cinema in Dublin in the early 1960s with the Statler Brothers as the opening act. ♦

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