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Lyr Req: The Big Battle (Johnny Cash)


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Gern 22 Sep 00 - 09:36 AM
Bert 22 Sep 00 - 11:23 AM
mousethief 22 Sep 00 - 11:30 AM
Quincy 22 Sep 00 - 11:51 AM
Tiger 22 Sep 00 - 02:04 PM
Bert 22 Sep 00 - 02:51 PM
Jim Dixon 23 Feb 05 - 08:08 PM
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Subject: Johnny Cash's 'Big Battle'
From: Gern
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 09:36 AM

Anyone know anything about this song? I think it's on his "Legend of John Henry" LP, and it starts with a young soldier telling his commander "I think, sir, the battle is over." Of course, he needs to be straightened out, and the commander dashes his exhuberance with reminders concerning "the dead and dying." It's a neat story that poses as a Civil War song, and gives credits to Cash. I'll bet it's older. Does anyone know more?

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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash's 'Big Battle'
From: Bert
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 11:23 AM

I remember the song, don't know anything about it though.

I think 'Our Johnny' is greatly underrated by folkies.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash's 'Big Battle'
From: mousethief
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 11:30 AM

Hope this isn't too much thread-creep: I was looking over a so-called Johnny Cash "Greatest Hits" CD last night, and was shocked and horrified and amazed that it didn't include "Folsom Prison Blues." Does this song go by another name?


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash's 'Big Battle'
From: Quincy
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 11:51 AM

Alex, it is called folsom Prison Blues....on the lyric link anyway!

clicky thing

Gern, still looking for yours!!!!
best wishes, Yvonne

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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash's 'Big Battle'
From: Tiger
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 02:04 PM


I have it on LP and will transcribe for you if it doesn't show up in a day or two.

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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash's 'Big Battle'
From: Bert
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 02:51 PM


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Subject: Lyr Req: THE BIG BATTLE (Johnny Cash)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 23 Feb 05 - 08:08 PM

Lyrics copied from
(But see footnote)

(Johnny Cash)
« © '61 Southwind Music »

"I think, sir, the battle is over," and the young soldier laid down his gun.
"I'm tired of running for cover, for I think the battle is done.
Oh, see over there where we fought them: it's quiet, for they've all gone away.
All left is the dead and the dying. The ground's covered with them today."

"So you think the battle is over and you even lay down your gun.
You carelessly rise from your cover, for you think the battle is done.
Now, boy, hit the dirt. Listen to me, for I'm still the one in command.
Get flat on the ground here beside me, and lay your ear hard to the sand.

"Can you hear the deafening rumble? Can you feel the trembling ground?
It's not just the horses and wagons that make such a deafening sound.
[For every shot fired had an echo, and every man killed wanted life.
There lies your friend Jim McKenny. Can you take the news to his wife?

"No, son, the battle's not over. The battle has only begun.
The rest of the battle will cover the part that has blackened the sun.]*
The fight yet to come's not with cannon, nor will the fight be hand-to-hand.
No one will regroup the forces. No charge will a general command.

"The battle will rage in the bosom of mother and sweetheart and wife.
Brother and sister and daughter will grieve for the rest of their lives.
Now, go ahead; rise from your cover. Be thankful that God let you live.
Go fight the rest of the battle for those who gave all they could give."

"I see, sir. The battle's not over. The battle has only begun.
The rest of this battle will cover the part that has blackened the sun;
For though there's no sound of the cannon, and though there's no smoke in the sky,
I'm dropping the gun and the saber, and ready for the battle am I."

[*The part in brackets was not on the Czech site mentioned above, but it's found at some other lyric sites. I thought it was too good to leave out. Maybe JC recorded more than one version?

[I thought this song sounded older, too, but all the versions I've found on the 'Net were attributed to Cash.]

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