Johnny Cash’s poetry set to music on new album Forever Words

Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash (Image credit: Getty)

An album of songs created from Johnny Cash’s unknown poetry, lyrics, and letters, is to be released later this year.

Forever Words features performances by artists including Chris Cornell, John Mellencamp, Elvis Costello, Alison Krauss and Willie Nelson and will launch on April 6 via Legacy Recordings on CD, 2LP and digital formats.

Cash’s son John Carter Cash collected his father’s notes and, over the course of the last two years, he and producer Steve Berkowitz invited a range of contemporary artists to set new music to Cash’s written work.

Many of the songs were inspired by the book Forever Words: The Unknown Poems (opens in new tab), which was released earlier this month.

John says: “Determining the artist for each song was truly a matter of the heart. I picked the artists who are most connected with my father, who had a personal story that was connected with dad.

“It became an exciting endeavour to go through these works, to put them together and present them to different people who could finish them in a way that I believed that dad would have wanted.”

Forever Words is now available to pre-order (opens in new tab), while a list of songs and artists can be found below.

Johnny Cash Forever Words tracklist

  1. Forever/I Still Miss Someone - Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson
  2. To June This Morning - Ruston Kelly and Kacey Musgraves
  3. Gold All Over the Ground - Brad Paisley
  4. You Never Knew My Mind - Chris Cornell
  5. The Captain’s Daughter - Alison Krauss and Union Station
  6. Jellico Coal Man - T. Bone Burnett
  7. The Walking Wounded - Rosanne Cash
  8. Them Double Blues - John Mellencamp
  9. Body on Body - Jewel
  10. I’ll Still Love You - Elvis Costello
  11. June’s Sundown - Carlene Carter
  12. He Bore It All - Daily and Vincent
  13. Chinky Pin Hill - I’m With Her
  14. Goin’, Goin’, Gone - Robert Glasper featuring Ro James, and Anu Sun
  15. What Would I Dreamer Do? - The Jayhawks
  16. Spirit Rider – Jamey Johnson

The 10 best Johnny Cash songs, as chosen by Tom Russell

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.