108+ Best Johnny Cash Quotes: Exclusive Selection

John R. “Johnny” Cash was one of the most influential singer-songwriter and guitarist. He is also one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 90 million records worldwide.

His genre-spanning songs and sound embraced country music, rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, folk, and gospel. Most famous and inspirational quotes by Johnny Cash will enrich your perspective while encouraging you to face life’s challenges.

If you’re searching for motivational quotes from musicians that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of best Dolly Parton quotes, inspirational Michael Jackson quotes, and Jimi Hendrix quotes.

Johnny Cash’s Legendary Quotes

Success is having to worry about every damn thing in the world, except money. – Johnny Cash

You build on failure. You use it as a steppingstone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space. – Johnny Cash

If you aren’t gonna say exactly how and what you feel, you might as well not say anything at all. – Johnny Cash

So, we raise her up every morning, we take her down every night, we don’t let her touch the ground and we fold her up right. On second thought, I do like to brag ’cause I’m mighty proud of the Ragged Old Flag. – Johnny Cash

San Quentin, may you rot and burn in hell. May your walls fall, and may I live to tell. – Johnny Cash

I expect my life to end pretty soon. You know, I’m 71 years old. I have great faith, though. I have unshakable faith. – Johnny Cash

God gives us life and takes us away as He sees fit. – Johnny Cash

My father was a man of love. He always loved me to death. He worked hard in the fields, but my father never hit me. Never. I don’t ever remember a really cross, unkind word from my father. – Johnny Cash

I was wearing black clothes almost from the beginning. I feel comfortable in black. I felt like black looked good onstage, that it was attractive, so I started wearing it all the time. – Johnny Cash

So, I simply don’t buy the concept of Generation X as the lost generation. I see too many good kids out there, kids who are ready and willing to do the right thing, just as Jack was. Their distractions are greater, though. There’s no more simple life with simple choices for the young. – Johnny Cash

You know, the man’s best friend is his dog… if he’s got nothing else. – Johnny Cash

I like to sit on the front porch of an old cabin I built in the woods and just listen to the birds; I like to fish in the pond and I always throw the fish back. – Johnny Cash

God’s the final judge for Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash too. That’s solely in the hands of God. – Johnny Cash

Of emotions, of love, of breakup, of love and hate and death and dying, mama, apple pie, and the whole thing. It covers a lot of territory, country music does. – Johnny Cash

[My father] did every kind of work imaginable from painting to shoveling to herding cattle. And he’s always been such an inspiration to me because of the very kinds of things that he did and the kind of life he lived. – Johnny Cash

When I record somebody else’s song, I have to make it my own or it doesn’t feel right. I’ll say to myself; I wrote this and he doesn’t know it! – Johnny Cash

I always loved those songs. And with my high tenor, I thought I was pretty good – you know? – almost as good as Dennis Day. – Johnny Cash

One day, I just decided I’m ready to go. So, I went down with my guitar and sat on the front steps of Sam Phillips recording studio. – Johnny Cash

When I was 17 – 16, my father and I cut wood all day long and I was swinging that crosscut saw and hauling wood. – Johnny Cash

Of travel I’ve had my share, man, I’ve been everywhere. – Johnny Cash

He went up to heaven, located his dog. Not only that, but he rejoined his arm. – Johnny Cash

You’ve got a song you’re singing from your gut; you want that audience to feel it in their gut. And you’ve got to make them think that you’re one of them sitting out there with them too. They’ve got to be able to relate to what you’re doing. – Johnny Cash

This business I’m in is different. It’s special. The people around me feel like brothers and sisters. We hardly know each other, but we’re that close; somehow there’s been an immediate bonding between total strangers. We share each other’s triumphs, and when one of us gets hurt, we all bleed – it’s corny, I know, but it’s true. I’ve never experienced anything like this before. It’s great. It turns up the heat in life. – Johnny Cash

Being rich means you get to worry about everything except money. – Johnny Cash

I started to write the song. And I was in Gladewater, Texas, one night with Carl Perkins and I said, I’ve got a good idea for a song. And I sang him the first verse that I had written, and I said it’s called Because You’re Mine. And he said, I Walk the Line is a better title, so I changed it to Walk the Line. – Johnny Cash

Why me, Lord? What have I ever done to deserve even one of the blessings I’ve known? Why me, Lord? What did I ever do that was worth love from you and the kindness you’ve shown? Lord, help me, Jesus, I’ve wasted it so. Help me, Jesus. I know what I am. Now that I know that I’ve needed you so, help me, Jesus. My soul’s in your hand. – Johnny Cash

[My mother] called [my voice] the gift. – Johnny Cash

You have to be what you are. Whatever you are, you gotta be it. – Johnny Cash

There’s no way around grief and loss: you can dodge all you want, but sooner or later you just have to go into it, through it, and, hopefully, come out the other side. The world you find there will never be the same as the world you left. – Johnny Cash

Life is rough so you gotta be tough. – Johnny Cash

I love the freedoms we got in this country, I appreciate your freedom to burn your flag if you want to, but I really appreciate my right to bear arms so I can shoot you if you try to burn mine. – Johnny Cash

Life and love go on, let the music play. – Johnny Cash

Life is the question and life is the answer, and God is the reason and love is the way. – Johnny Cash

There’s a lot of things blamed on me that never happened. But then, there’s a lot of things that I did that I never got caught at. – Johnny Cash

it’s good to know who hates you and it is good to be hated by the right people – Johnny Cash

I wore black because I liked it. I still do, and wearing it still means something to me. It’s still my symbol of rebellion — against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others’ ideas. – Johnny Cash

There is a spiritual side to me that goes real deep, but I confess right up front that I’m the biggest sinner of them all. – Johnny Cash

When God forgave me, I figured I’d better do it too. – Johnny Cash

Happiness is being at peace, being with loved ones, being comfortable…but most of all, it’s having those loved ones. – Johnny Cash

The Master of Lifes been good to me. He has given me strength to face past illnesses, and victory in the face of defeat. He has given me life and joy where other saw oblivion. He Has given new purpose to live for, new services to render and old wounds to heal. Life and love go on, let the music play. – Johnny Cash

No matter how much you’ve sinned, no matter how much you’ve stumbled, no matter how much you fall, no matter how far you’ve got from God, don’t give up. You can still be redeemed. As someone says, keep the faith. – Johnny Cash

As sure as God made black and white, what’s done in the dark will be brought to the light. – Johnny Cash

Sometimes I am two people. Johnny is the nice one. Cash causes all the trouble. They fight. – Johnny Cash

We’re all in this together if we’re in it at all. – Johnny Cash

I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down, Livin’ in the hopeless, hungry side of town, I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime but is there because he’s a victim of the times. I wear the black for those who never read – Johnny Cash

Those that have lived longer than us always have something to teach us, that we can take with us for the rest of our lives. – Johnny Cash

How well I have learned that there is no fence to sit on between heaven and hell. There is a deep, wide gulf, a chasm, and in that chasm is no place for any man. – Johnny Cash

I read novels but I also read the Bible. And study it, you know? And the more I learn, the more excited I get. – Johnny Cash

For you I know I’d even try to turn the tide. – Johnny Cash

I wear black because I’m comfortable in it. But then in the summertime when it’s hot I’m comfortable in light blue. – Johnny Cash

I’m very shy really. I spend a lot of time in my room alone reading or writing or watching television. – Johnny Cash

That was the big thing when I was growing up, singing on the radio. The extent of my dream was to sing on the radio station in Memphis. Even when I got out of the Air Force in 1954, I came right back to Memphis and started knocking on doors at the radio station. – Johnny Cash

I am not a Christian artist; I am an artist who is a Christian. – Johnny Cash

It’s like a novelist writing far out things. If it makes a point and makes sense, then people like to read that. But if it’s off in left field and goes over the edge, you lose it. The same with musical talent, I think. – Johnny Cash

I knew I wanted to sing when I was a very small boy. When I was probably 4 years old. My mother played a guitar and I would sit with her and she would sing, and I learned to sing along with her. – Johnny Cash

The things that have always been important: to be a good man, to try to live my life the way God would have me, to turn it over to Him that His will might be worked in my life, to do my work without looking back, to give it all I’ve got, and to take pride in my work as an honest performer. – Johnny Cash

You’ve got to know your limitations. I don’t know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren’t too many limitations, if I did it my way. – Johnny Cash

I start a lot more songs than I finish, because I realize when I get into them, they’re no good. I don’t throw them away, I just put them away, store them, get them out of sight. – Johnny Cash

When my wife died, I booked myself into the studio just to work, to occupy myself. – Johnny Cash

I love to go to the studio and stay there 10 or 12 hours a day. I love it. What is it? I don’t know. It’s life. – Johnny Cash

So, I learn from my mistakes. It’s a very painful way to learn, but without pain, the old saying is, there’s no gain. I found that to be true in my life. You miss a lot of opportunities by making mistakes, but that’s part of it: knowing that you’re not shut out forever, and that there’s a goal you still can reach. – Johnny Cash

I grew up in the ’40s and I heard all these great speeches, like Winston Churchill. His most famous, or infamous commencement exercise speech was one that consisted of seven words. He stood before this graduating class and said: Never, never, never, never give up. – Johnny Cash

I’d like to wear a rainbow every day, and tell the world that everything is o.k. But I’ll try to carry off a little darkness on my back. Until things are brighter, I’m the Man in Black. – Johnny Cash

I went down with my guitar and sat on his steps until he got there. And when he got there, I introduced myself and he said, you’re the one that’s been calling. I said, Yeah. You know, I had to take the chance, he was either going to let me come in, or he was going to run me off. Evidently, he woke up on the right side of the bed that morning. He said, come on in, let’s listen. – Johnny Cash

There’s no insecurity about my song writing. I start a lot more songs than I finish, because I realize when I get into them, they’re no good. I don’t throw them away, I just put them away, store them, get them out of sight. – Johnny Cash

After about three lessons the voice teacher said, don’t take voice lessons. Do it your way. – Johnny Cash

Take one fresh and tender kiss Add one stolen night of bliss One girl, one boy, some grief, some joy Memories are made of this. – Johnny Cash

I’m gonna break I’m gonna break my I’m gonna break my rusty cage and run – Johnny Cash

I remember everything What have I become? My sweetest friend? Everyone I know goes away in the end You could have it all My empire of dirt I will let you down I will make you hurt. – Johnny Cash

The beast in me Is caged by frail and fragile bars. – Johnny Cash

I recently found myself going through a period of uncertainty about my future as a performer, my status as a personality, the believability of my Christian witness and the knowledge of God’s will in my life. I felt a force bigger than myself saying, ‘Lay back. Take it easy. Study hard. Read your bible. Think, write and keep your mouth shut for a while.’ – Johnny Cash

They’re powerful, those songs. At times they’ve been my only way back, the only door out of the dark, bad places the black dog calls home. – Johnny Cash

All your life, you will be faced with a choice. You can choose love positivity and gratitude that things aren’t worse or hate negativity and bitterness that things aren’t better …I choose love positivity and gratitude that things aren’t worse. – Johnny Cash

Everything I have and everything I do is now given completely to Jesus Christ. – Johnny Cash

When you sing, you pray twice. – Johnny Cash

When people ask me who my favorite country singer is, I say, ‘You mean besides George Jones?’ – Johnny Cash

When I was a baby, my mama told me son, always be a good boy, don’t ever play with guns. But I shot a man in Reno. – Johnny Cash

I’m not bitter. Why should I be bitter? I’m thrilled to death with life. – Johnny Cash

I found out that there weren’t too many limitations, if I did it my way. – Johnny Cash

Until things are brighter… I’m the man in black. – Johnny Cash

Loneliness is emptiness, but happiness is you. – Johnny Cash

The ones that you’re calling wild are going to be the leaders in a little while. – Johnny Cash

I wear my crown of thorns on my liars chair, full of broken thoughts I cannot repair, beneath the stain of time the feelings disappears. What have I become, my sweetest of friends? – Johnny Cash

The fire and excitement may be gone now that we don’t go out there and sing them anymore, but the ring of fire still burns around you and I, keeping our love hotter than a pepper sprout. – Johnny Cash

Call him drunken Ira Hayes, he won’t answer any more. Not the whiskey drinking Indian, nor the Marine that went to war. – Johnny Cash

Six foot six he stood on the ground He weighed two hundred and thirty-five pounds, But I saw that giant of a man brought down To his knees by love – Johnny Cash

A rose looks grey at midnight, but the flame is just asleep. And steel is strong because it knows the hammer and white heat. – Johnny Cash

Convicts are the best audience I ever played for. – Johnny Cash

I’m not really concerned about boundaries. I just follow my conscience and my heart. Follow your heart. That’s what I do. Compassion is something I have a lot of, because I’ve been through a lot of pain in my life. Anybody who has suffered a lot of pain has a lot of compassion. – Johnny Cash

When I’m gone, I’ll be remembered as the workin’ man who put his point across with a right hand full of knuckles. – Johnny Cash

We’ll all be equal under the grass, and God’s got a heaven for country trash. – Johnny Cash

My daddy left home when I was three and he didn’t leave much to Ma and me, just this old guitar and an empty bottle of booze. – Johnny Cash

I have tried drugs and a little of everything else, and there is nothing in the world more soul-satisfying than having the kingdom of God building inside you and growing. – Johnny Cash

People call me wild. Not really though, I’m not. I guess I’ve never been normal, not what you call Establishment. I’m country. – Johnny Cash

What have I become, my sweetest friend. Everyone I know goes away, in the end. – Johnny Cash

You miss a lot of opportunities by making mistakes, but that’s part of it: knowing that you’re not shut out forever, and that there’s a goal you still can reach. – Johnny Cash

The gospel of Christ must always be an open door with a welcome sign for all. – Johnny Cash

I love songs about horses, railroads, land, Judgment Day, family, hard times, whiskey, courtship, marriage, adultery, separation, murder, war, prison, rambling, damnation, home, salvation, death, pride, humor, piety, rebellion, patriotism, larceny, determination, tragedy, rowdiness, heartbreak and love. And Mother. And God. – Johnny Cash

You can ask the people around me. I don’t give up. I don’t give up… and it’s not out of frustration and desperation that I say I don’t give up. I don’t give up because I don’t give up. I don’t believe in it. – Johnny Cash

I learn from my mistakes. It’s a very painful way to learn, but without pain, the old saying is, there’s no gain. – Johnny Cash

Burn my Flag and I will shoot you… but I’ll shoot you with a lot of love, like a good American – Johnny Cash

I think in my world of religion, you’re called to preach, or you don’t preach. Called by God to preach. I never been ordained by God to preach the gospel. I have a calling; it’s called to perform and sing. – Johnny Cash

I just hope and pray I can die with my boots on. – Johnny Cash

I’m so uncomfortable wearing colors in public. I really am. Even denim. If I’ve got a day off in a town, I want to go out for a walk I’ll put on denim. But almost everything I’ve got the black on. – Johnny Cash

My mother always told me that any talent is a gift of God and I always believed it. If I quit, I would just live in front of the television and get fat and die pretty soon. – Johnny Cash

A person knows when it just seems to feel right to them. Listen to your heart. – Johnny Cash

The first time I knew what I wanted to do with my life was when I was about four years old. I was listening to an old Victrola, playing a railroad song…I thought that was the most wonderful, amazing thing…That you could take this piece of wax and music would come out of that box. From that day on, I wanted to sing on the radio. – Johnny Cash

When I get an idea for a song it would gel in my mind for weeks or months, and then one day just like that, I’ll write it. – Johnny Cash

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