Cash, Johnny - Reverend Mr. Black Lyrics




He rode easy in the saddle. He was tall and lean, and at first you'd a-thought nothing but a streak of mean could make a man look so down right strong, but one look in his eyes and you knowed you was wrong. He was a mountain of a man, and I want you to know. He could preach hot hell or freezin' snow. He carried a Bible in a canvas sack and folks just called him The Reverend Mr. Black. He was poor as a beggar, but he rode like a king. Sometimes in the evening, I'd hear him sing:

[Chorus:]
I gotta walk that lonesome valley. I got to walk it by myself. Oh nobody else can walk it for me. I got to walk it by myself.
You got to walk that lonesome valley. You got to walk it by yourself. Oh nobody else can walk it for you. You got to walk it by yourself.

If ever I could have thought this man in black was soft and had any yellow up his back, I gave that notion up the day a lumberjack came in and it wasn't to pray. Yeah, he kicked open the meeting house door and he cussed everybody up and down the floor! Then, when things got quiet in the place, he walked up and cusses in the preacher's face! He hit that Reverend like a kick of a mule and to my way of thinkin' it took a real fool to turn the other face to that lumber jack, but that's what he did, The Reverend Mr. Black. He stood like a rock, a man among men and he let that lumberjack hit him again, and then with a voice as quiet as could be, he cut him down like a big oak tree when he said:

I gotta walk that lonesome valley. I got to walk it by myself. Oh nobody else can walk it for me. I got to walk it by myself.
You got to walk that lonesome valley. You got to walk it by yourself. Oh nobody else can walk it for you. You got to walk it by yourself.

It's been many years since we had to part and I guess I learned his ways by heart. I can still hear his sermon's ring, down in the valley where he used to sing. I followed him, yes, sir, and I don't regret it and I hope I will always be a credit to his memory 'cause I want you to understand. The Reverend Mr. Black was my old man!

I gotta walk that lonesome valley. I got to walk it by myself. Oh nobody else can walk it for me. I got to walk it by myself.
You got to walk that lonesome valley. You got to walk it by yourself. Oh nobody else can walk it for you. You got to walk it by yourself.





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Cash, Johnny Reverend Mr. Black Comments
  1. Marjory Rainey

    The lumberjack came in the church to prey not pray!

  2. Henri Vogt

    Epileptic fit?

  3. David Hudson

    Not a bad version of a great old folk song.  Johnny Cash was extremely versatile in all his music.  This was not country music it was straight folk music  I have  heard several versions of this song and this is a good one.

  4. Randy Stout

    When you think you've heard every song he's done to perfection , then you come upon another one that's better, Johnny Cash is plain and simple the greatest of all time. God I miss him!!

    Cornelia Denninger

    I miss him immensely. I regret so very much that I never got to see him live /CD

    Peggy Arnold- Booker

    @Randy Stout I miss Mr. Cash, The Man In Black who stood up for the poor, hungry, the troubled, almost every person out here. I've never heard a song he sung that I didn't like & that's very rare in a musician. This man was a LEGEND in his time and will Forever be one. I raised my 2 kids (who are now 34 & 30) on him and my 30 year old Son still can't get enough of him & respects everything about him & even plays his songs on guitar. Johnny Cash will Forever be missed and loved.
    💖🌹🙏🌹💖

  5. Michalle

    oh man everybody who disliked this video is risking eternal damnation, I hope clicking that thumbs down felt worth it

  6. Marty Nowell

    Love this!

  7. russell campbell

    The voice of experience.

  8. Tonithenightowl

    Some people are good at telling a story within song. I would say Johnny was among the absolute best.

  9. Melissa Dawes

    he is a good singer

  10. Melissa Dawes

    he is a good singer

  11. Bad Babboo

    Memories from my childhood.... :)

  12. Cornelia Denninger

    His voice is so awesome. Both spoken and sung. Simply great. CD

  13. firebase delta

    this is simply an awful version

    Michael Rogers

    you're simply simple son

    Peggy Arnold- Booker

    @Michael Rogers More like a Dufus & doesn't know GREAT music when he hears it.🙄😁

  14. Joe Leicht

    You don't hear this one much anymore. Even the "country oldies" stations don't have it on their play list. I've always thought it was one of Johnny's best.

    Ceri Cat

    To the point I'm always surprised when I see/hear someone reference it, same with Marty Robbins' Cowboy in a continental suit.

  15. ACcountryFan

    @1918union: That revelation in the Billy Edd version you're referring to isn't in the recording from Johnny Cash (on his "Baron" album) and so it's not in the performance on this television program. Also, this IS a live performance and it doesn't sound like the studio recording as far as background harmony and crisp audio goes but Johnny's voice is still the same. There's a YouTube upload of that studio recording available.

  16. Ingried Boeke

    in welchem jahr war das

    Bill Overbeck

    the description said 1981

    Ingried Böke

    @Bill Overbeck
    Danke für die Nachricht

  17. Ingried Boeke

    gefällt mir

  18. 19pointer19

    and by The Kingston Trio, wonderful

  19. uglymoon78

    He should have had the Statlers doing the chorus for him.

  20. 1918union

    "You've got to woak that lonesome valley"?
    He forgot the punchline, "The Reverend Mr. Black was my old man". That's the way Billy Ed Wheeler wrote it. The Kingston Trio version is 10 times better. The chorus or bridge should be in 3 part harmony. The echo chorus Cash uses is too weak. Lacks depth.

  21. Dale Evenhouse

    I loved this song since I first heard it. According to one source it charted at number 8 in 1963 when done by the Kingston Trio. I always sang it in a way that I imagined Johnny Cash would do it. Today is the first time I've heard him do it and it is Great! The chorus is so true in that only you can decide to make a faith commitment to trust Christ as your forgiver and Lord. After that one may walk a difficult path alone in the sense that people may not be there for you, but Christ is there

  22. Dale Evenhouse

    Great song.

  23. TheOriginalMoc

    reminds me of swan song

  24. Johnny Cash Infocenter

    @DarthSeptic , jeeeezzz were I sleeping when I wrote the title down??? Of course it's The Reverend Mr. Black!! Gonna change it now!!

  25. Johnny Cash Infocenter

    @50sJohnny , thanks, he does a great job, as usual :) (well almost lol)

  26. DarthSeptic

    The Reverend Mr. Black from the Baron! Never saw him do it live before. It is a variation of You Got To Walk That Lonesome Valley. :)

  27. ILOveOldies

    thats an old carter family too ,johnny sings it great, nice upload :)

    slimturnpike

    The song was written by Billy Edd Wheeler, Mike Stoller, and Jerry Leiber in 1963. The chorus comes from the 1931 folk song, "The Lonesome Valley."