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ø 4.7 at 21 votes
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Johnny Cash

Folsom Prison Blues

Rock & Roll
  • Blues
  • Country
  • Rock
  • Folk
  • Other
song from
  • 1968
  • 1955
  • 1956
  • 2003
  • 1932

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“Folsom Prison Blues” is an American country music song by Johnny Cash. The song combines elements from two popular folk genres, the train song and the prison song, both of which Cash would continue to use for the rest of his career. It became one of Cash’s signature songs. In the lyrics, the jailed protagonist listens to the whistle of a train outside his cell and recounts his crimes (“I shot a man in Reno/just to watch him die”), imagines the free people inside the train (“They’re probably drinking coffee and smoking big cigars”) and dreams of what he would do if he were free. “I know I had it coming/I know I can’t be free,“ sings the imprisoned man. “But those people keep a’moving/and that’s what tortures me.“ Read on...

Current Rank: ...

This song is listed #164 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Popularity on the Web


Most votes come from United States, Argentina, Spain, Finland, Germany, Sweden, and Czech Republic.


More songs by Johnny Cash (See Charts): Danny Boy, Ragged Old Flag, The Ways Of A Woman In Love, One Piece At A Time, Home Of The Blues, I'M Free From The Chain Gang Now, Would You Lay With Me (In A Field Of Stone), Why Me Lord, Don'T Take Your Guns To Town, and Delia'S Gone.

Popular in Rock & Roll (See Charts): Jailbamboozle.


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