#SLS — Five Feet High and Rising by Johnny Cash

Jim Adams is the music aficianado host of Song Lyric Sunday.  Jim says:
This week we have Ankles/Hands/Feet/Fingers/Toes/Wrists and I think we will all be able to find a song that uses of these prompt words which can be singular or plural and we should all have fun while we are doing this.

Here are the “rules”:
• Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it fits the theme or not. If it does not fit, then please explain why you chose this song.
• Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due.
• Make sure you also credit the singer/band and if you desire you can provide a link to where you found the lyrics.
• Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song.
• Ping back to this post or place your link in the comments section below.
• Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
• Feel free to suggest future prompts.
• Have fun and enjoy the music.

Image result for johnny cash
Johnny Cash

Songs of Our Soil is the sixth album by the singer Johnny Cash. It was originally released in September 1959 and later re-issued on August 27, 2002 with two bonus tracks.

A majority of the songs involve dying. Death concludes “The Man on the Hill”, “Hank and Joe and Me”, “Clementine” and “My Grandfather’s Clock.” “Don’t Step on Mother’s Roses” is about a family losing their parents to death; first Mother, then Daddy. “The Great Speckled Bird” is a spiritual about the Second Coming of Jesus. “The Caretaker” is the story of a cemetery caretaker wondering who will mourn for him when his time comes. Even “Five Feet High and Rising” (“the hives are gone; I lost my bees”) and “Old Apache Squaw” (“…the next white man that sees my face is gonna be a dead white man”) mention death in some way. “I Want to Go Home” is a retitled version of the nautical standard “The John B. Sails”.

By his own admission, Cash was becoming fascinated by death during this time, in part due to his growing amphetamine and barbiturate dependence, and also due to the premature death of his brother. (On Saturday, May 13, 1944, Cash’s older brother Jack, at age 15, with whom he was close, was seriously injured in an accident at his job in a high school. He was pulled into an unguarded table saw while cutting oak into fence posts, and was almost cut in two. He died from his injuries a week later.)

Five Feet High and Rising” is a first person account of the 1937 Mississippi flood that Cash, then aged four years and 11 months, endured with his family. They had to leave their home and flee.

The video is a double feature, with “Big River” following.

How high’s the water, mama?
Two feet high and risin’
How high’s the water, papa?
She said it’s two feet high and risin’

We can make it to the road in a homemade boat
That’s the only thing we got left that’ll float
It’s already over all the wheat and oats,
Two feet high and risin’

How high’s the water, mama?
Three feet high and risin’
How high’s the water, papa?
She said it’s three feet high and risin’

Well, the hives are gone,
I lost my bees
The chickens are sleepin’
In the willow trees
Cow’s in water up past her knees,
Three feet high and risin’

How high’s the water, mama?
Four feet high and risin’
How high’s the water, papa?
She said it’s four feet high and risin’

Hey, come look through the window pane,
The bus is coin’, gonna take us to the train
Looks like we’ll be blessed with a little more rain,
Four feet high and risin’

How high’s the water, mama?
Five feet high and risin’
How high’s the water, papa?
She said it’s five feet high and risin’

Well the rails are washed out north of town
We gotta head for higher ground
We can’t come back till the water goes down,
Five feet high and risin’

Well, it’s five feet high and risin’
Songwriters: Johnny R. Cash

BIG RIVER

Now I taught the weeping willow how to cry,
And I showed the clouds how to cover up a clear blue sky
And the tears that I cried for that
Woman are gonna flood you Big River
Then I’m gonna sit right here until I die

I met her accidentally in St. Paul (Minnesota)
And it tore me up every time I heard her drawl, Southern drawl
Then I heard my dream was back Downstream cavortin’ in Davenport,
And I followed you, Big River, when you called

Then you took me to St. Louis later on (down the river)
A freighter said she’s been here but she’s gone, boy, she’s gone
I found her trail in Memphis, but she just walked up the block
She raised a few eyebrows and then she went on down alone

Now, won’t you batter down by Baton Rouge, River Queen, roll it on
Take that woman on down to New Orleans, New Orleans
Go on, I’ve had enough; dump my blues down in the gulf
She loves you, Big River, more than me

Now I taught the weeping willow how to cry, cry, cry
And I showed the clouds how to cover up a clear blue sky
And the tears that I cried for that
Woman are gonna flood you Big River
Then I’m gonna sit right here until I die
Songwriters: Johnny R. Cash / Johnny R. Cash

27 Comments Add yours

  1. This is a fun song Li. How can you not like lyrics that say, “I lost my bees The chickens are sleepin’”. I heard the Grateful Dead play Big River many times, but they do it a little faster than Johnny Cash.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glad you like them, Jim. I’ve been watching Ken Burns’ Country Music series and there is so much to know about Johnny Cash’s impact on country music and our nation as a whole through his music.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. msjadeli says:

      p.s. maybe you can do a post on Big River from The Grateful Dead performance perspective? (request hint)

      Like

  2. Lisa Coleman says:

    You went country this week. You made me happy! We are watching ken burns too. Some of the we’ve watched 2-3 times. I thought he has done a great job as he does with everything he does.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yay so glad you’re enjoying the series also. Mine is a library borrow so only a week to watch right now. When it gets off the new list I can borrow again for 2 weeks. Yes Ken does a great job!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lisa Coleman says:

        We’ve had them on our DVR but we were missing 2 that didn’t record. They just came on again she we have them back in order. I think we have 3 left.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. badfinger20 says:

    Never heard this one before…thanks Lisa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Really? I’m happy you heard it. You are very welcome.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. badfinger20 says:

        Anytime a new Cash song is introduced to me… it’s a great day.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          They talked about this song on a Johnny Cash doc I watched and also about his brother who was killed. Otherwise I never would have known about it. If you want me to try to find the name of that doc, I will.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. badfinger20 says:

            Please do Lisa… if it’s a good one I’d like to know the name of it if it’s not much trouble.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. msjadeli says:

              Johnny Cash: The Line: Walking with a Legend It was easy to find in my viewing history on netflix/dvd.com

              Like

  4. Jen Goldie says:

    I’m not a big fan but there’s just something about Johnny Cash you have to like! Thanks Li Great share!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yes, The Man in Black is “everyman” but at the same time an extraordinary hero. Glad you enjoyed the song, Jen 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jen Goldie says:

        Thank you for reminding me of him. You’re right! Extraordinary hero. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      So glad you enjoyed it, Susan.

      Like

  5. I hadn’t heard this one before Lisa but it was so good! How sad about Johnny Cash’s brother. what a terrible accident 😢

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glad you enjoyed Johnny’s song and yes what a tragedy 😦

      Like

  6. freefallin14 says:

    I never heard this song before. Great choice!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Ricky, glad you heard it then 🙂

      Like

  7. willowdot21 says:

    Great choice 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glad you liked it, Willow.

      Like

      1. willowdot21 says:

        I certainly did 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  8. aisasami says:

    I love Johnny Cash and this is a song that I like! ❤ I miss him!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I do too. We have his echoes through his music.

      Like

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