About the song

Johnny Cash’s Hurt is a cover version of a song by Nine Inch Nails, written by Trent Reznor. The song was released in 2002 as the last track on Cash’s album American IV: The Man Comes Around. It was also accompanied by a powerful music video directed by Mark Romanek, which featured images of Cash’s life and career.

The song is about the pain and regret that the singer feels for his past actions and mistakes. It also reflects on his declining health and mortality, as Cash was suffering from various illnesses and died a year later. The lyrics include references to self-harm and drug addiction, which were issues that both Reznor and Cash had faced in their lives. However, the song also expresses a sense of hope and redemption, as the singer acknowledges his faith and love for his wife.

Cash changed one line from the original song, from “I wear this crown of shit” to “I wear this crown of thorns”, which may have been a reference to his Christian beliefs and his identification with Jesus Christ. Reznor praised Cash’s cover of his song, saying that it was “sincere and meaningful” and that he felt honored by it.