Follow TV Tropes


Funny / Johnny Cash

Go To

  • "A Boy Named Sue".
    "...and if I ever have a son, I think I'm gonna name him... Bill! Or George! Any damn thing but Sue! I still hate that name!"
  • "Chicken in Black", which is often claimed to have been recorded as a Take That! to Columbia Records, who had been treating him poorly for years (though Robert Hilburn's biography Johnny Cash: The Life reveals this isn't the case at all: Columbia offered the song to Cash, who loved it and had no trouble recording it, only to lose interest when his colleagues disappoved). Ironically, it actually became a hit and raised his status with Columbia for a time. The best thing about it is that John's delivery is pretty straight-faced and serious. Also had a legendary tongue-in-cheek music video, complete with chicken brain transplant!
    "For two long years my head hurt bad, so a doctor checked me and he shook his head. He said, 'I'm sorry to tell you, but your body's outlived your brain'."
  • Advertisement:
  • His tale of assembling a "custom" automobile in "One Piece at a Time". A worker steals pieces of a Cadillac every day for years on end... but doesn't account for the changes in model over the years. When he finally puts it all together, he winds up with a horrifying Frankencar that's some twenty-five different models at once, yet somehow runs.
    "What model is it? Well, it's a '49, '50, '51, '52, '53, '54, '55, '56, '57, '58', 59' automobile / It's a '60, '61, '62, '63, '64, '65, '66, '67, '68, '69, '70 automobile..."
  • Actually, considering Cash's reputation of recording so many somber songs during his career, he also had a very large repertoire of humorous songs, ranging from gallows humor like "25 Minutes to Go" to ironic songs like "The Man Who Couldn't Cry" which often had audiences in stitches when they realize the song actually pokes fun at many of the trope associated with sad ballads. In 1967, he even released an entire album of comedy songs, Everybody Loves a Nut.
  • Advertisement:
  • During "I Walk the Line" on the San Quentin album he cracks up during the final verse and jokingly warns a camera man that he's in the wrong place to bend over.
  • "Oney", which is about a man preparing for his retirement; those plans include sending a final message to the tyrant supervisor who tormented him over the years.
  • Among Cash's many recordings, there exists one titled "Flushed from the Bathroom of My Heart".
  • Cash occasionally inserted humorous comments into his live performances of "Rock Island Line" (in which he offered a definition for the song's reference to "pig iron" as meaning "slot machines), and the spoken-word section of "Orange Blossom Special".
  • "Starkville City Jail", which references a real situation where Johnny went out for a walk while at a hotel in Starkville, Mississippi, unaware that the town had a curfew. He wandered around for a while picking flowers, but was eventually spotted by a police officer and jailed until the next morning.
    "Well, I started pacing back and forth, and now and then I'd yell
    And kick my forty dollar shoes against the steel door of my cell
    I'd walk awhile and kick awhile, and all night nobody came
    Then I sadly remembered they didn't even take my name
    At eight a.m. they let me out, I said "Gimme them things of mine"
    They give me a sneer and a guitar pick and a yellow dandelion
    They're bound to get you, 'cause they've got a curfew
    And you'll go to the Starkville City Jail."
  • Advertisement:
  • "The One On The Right Is On The Left" is a cautionary ballad about how performers should leave their politics out of their music. The song describes a quartet whose members are mostly of widely diverging politics, leading the band to dissolve in an on-stage brawl. Except for the One In The Back, whose politics never come up, and ends up getting drafted by the end of the song.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: