Johnny Cash Addresses Past Addiction In ‘The Junkie’s Prayer’

abargle / YouTube

Country music legend Johnny Cash was not only a profound musical influence, but a wild child with a rebellion for authority and social norms. While Cash battled his fair share of demons with substance abuse and addiction, the singer was more than genuine when he pleaded with anyone who was wrangling with addiction.

He spoke, “[The media] is saying that the narcotics problem has reached epidemic proportions. Everybody looks at the young people… when they talk about narcotics… The narcotic problem is not just with the young people. The problem is in almost all age groups, especially those who are past the teenage [years].

Cash continued to reason with his live audience, slowly transitioning into a performance that he called “heavy and powerful.”

He chillingly explained, “After the thrill that you get from a pill, or from the pot, or from the shots, there is a horror that comes later.

Admitting that he was aware some people might find his informative video in bad taste and not suitable for televised airing, he confidently stated, “I would say if it would save one person from the horrors that come after the thrill, it would’ve been worth it.”

He began to sing the crippling song “The Junkie’s Prayer” as he solemnly works his spoken words into a devastating song.

“That bed that I lay on is narrow and cold/ This sickness inside me tears at my soul/ And the devil awaits me, he calls me his son/ For he knows I’m cornered and too weak to run,” he sang.

Cash continued into his emotional performance, chilling us with his booming voice as he seemed to channel previous pain from the addictions he battled himself.

The song “The Junkie’s Prayer” was originally sung by The Statler Brothers, an American, country gospel band that frequently appeared and sang with Johnny Cash on his show The Johnny Cash Show. The heartbreaking ballad was on their 1970 album Bed Of Rose’s.

Cash’s cover is perhaps one of the most gut-wrenching monologues we’ve seen from a performer in quite some time. Be sure to watch his video and tell us what you thought. Did his words speak deeply to you, as well?