Folsom Prison Blues – Johnny Cash

Folsom Prison Blues Johnny Cash

Words and Music by

John R. Cash

Folsom Prison Blues Johnny Cash

© 1956 (Renewed 1984) HOUSE OF CASH, INC. (BMI)/Administered by BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT (US) LLC

This arrangement © 2016 HOUSE OF CASH, INC. (BMI)/Administered by BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT (US) LLC

All Rights for the World outside the U.S. Administered by UNICHAPPELL MUSIC, INC. All Rights Reserved Used by Permission

Reprinted with Permission of Hal Leonard Corporation

Folsom Prison Blues Johnny Cash

The sheer creative genius of Johnny Cash cannot be overstated and “Folsom Prison Blues” is a great example of it. With this song, we will explore major triad harmony in greater detail and analyze how Johnny Cash used major triads and diatonic chord progressions to great effect. Then we will take a look at some ways you can apply these concepts to add a little of Cash’s creative genius to your own work.

“Folsom Prison Blues” was written and recorded by Cash in 1955 . The song combines elements from two popular folk styles, the prison song and the train song, both of which this American singer-songwriter would continue to use for the rest of his career. It was one of Cash’s signature songs.

It was released on his debut album With His Hot and Blue Guitar and it was also included on All Aboard the Blue Train. A live version, recorded among inmates at Folsom State Prison itself, became a #1 hit on the country music charts in 1968. Cash took the song from a 1953 Gorden Jenkin’s song featuring Beverly Maher “Crescent City Blues”.

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