Johnny Cash “Hurt”

For those of you that don’t follow the music scene Johnny Cash just put out a new album recently called The Man Comes Around which has a cover of the Nine Inch Nails song “Hurt”. Initially I thought that this was laughable. In the past cross overs by country artists where never that successful. I mean Pat Boone became a heavy metal rocker!!! I saw the video for Johnny Cash’s version of Hurt and I must say I was surprised. The song hadn’t lost any of the emotion that Trent Reznor put into it, the amount of emotion actually seemed to be intensified in Johnny Cash’s rendition. The video follows a fair chunk of Johnny’s life and focuses on the absence of his wife and other unhappy times in his life. Not a happy video. I looked around on the web to see if I could find the video and all I could find was a 2:30 minute snippet of the video [be warned it is 23.7 megs but it downloaded quickly for me].
Give the song a try. Download the mp3 on Kazaa or one of the file-sharing systems. It’s well worth it and definitely not laughable. Unlike Pat Boone πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply


  1. Klemt

    This songs emotion is unreal. The aged voice of Johnny cash gives the song a gritty beauty. THis song kicks ass.

  2. I thought that i would not work. But i have listened to the song over and over. Its the best cover that could ever be done of that song. I wonder if Trent likes it.

  3. I would imagine that Trent had faith in Johnny Cash and probably does like the cover since he would have to give Johnny the rights to do the song.

  4. Lyndi

    I am a true NiN fan, and was surprised to realize that phrases in Cash’s new video were the same as NiN’s “Hurt”. I think very few people could have pulled off a cover quite like Johnny Cash. I was especially impressed that the deep emotion of the words was not lost in the cover. Good job, Johnny.

  5. Kyle From Ferndale

    I Love to see a cross over of country Legend Johnny Cash, who I was raised on. Redo one of the better slower, emotional songs of the younger generation. Not only does this song open new doors for a younger generation, it does also with the older.
    Praise to Cash for his ability to make the ignorant wise.
    Love ya Johnny

  6. 50gary

    JC is the man. He can make a song “his own” The emotion in this song is real and TR could not be blind to this. I’ve always felt that true artists have far less hang-ups about differences in style than fans. A life long JC

  7. Wow….what a great song and video…..This man never stops amazing me. Have you heard “Strong We Stand” by Johnny Rodgers. It is amazing. You can hear it at It is a new American anthem


    Esto esta de poca madre, es una grande cancion en un grande artista. FELIZIDADES!!!!!!!

  9. Fat kid

    Johnny cash is a mean son of a bitch
    and he does the song as good as trent and NIN
    when i heard the song i was fucked up on vicodin and i just sat there after it was over and said WOW!!!
    killer tune covered by a killer old man!!
    johnny cash rules!!

  10. helloes interwebfriends.
    video is disturbing due to crippled nose of johnny cash. x azs. qwerty

  11. Anonymous

    helloes interwebfriends.
    video is disturbing due to crippled nose of johnny cash. x azs. qwerty

  12. Jake

    I have never been to this board and I don’t imagine I will be again, But, I have to say this song is true and real. Never have I heard suck beauty in words or images.

  13. Jake

    I have never been to this board and I don’t imagine I will be again, But, I have to say this song is true and real. Never have I heard such beauty in words or images.

  14. Joe

    all I can say is that I giggled when I realized that Johnny Cash was doing a cover of a NIN song, but the video was extremely disturbing and a true patronage to NIN. all I can say is “wow…”

  15. Erik

    I about shit when I heard Hurt by Cash. This song is a tribute to all recovering junkies. I loved it before and love it even more now. push up Johnny

  16. milt

    This song is unreal!!!! its so true so hauntingly true……….its incredible !!!!!!!! it shows the raw side of our unsaved human nature. I LOVE THE SONG

  17. lou

    I just heard this song… I never heard a Cash song ever….. a little before my time I guess…. I saw the video on VH1 and am nearly in tears…… awesome

  18. tracey

    i have to admit, i have always been a closet cash fan. i grew up listening to country music. i saw the video one night when i was flipping channels. i had to run out and buy the cd. all addicts ‘get’ this song.

  19. PBabba

    I am a big fan of NIN, I even have their Smut video. Hurt is an Amazing song. Johnny Cash is the Man. His cover brougth a tear to my eye. The only other song to do that was Type O Negative Everyone I love is Dead.

  20. Anonymous

    Who else could cover such a great song other than Cash? You have to be darker than Trent Reznor to pull it off, and Cash is as dark as they come.

  21. Mojo

    The cover is better than the original.

  22. DrSpock

    Johnny’s cover is the most haunting yet beautiful song I can recall…ever.
    The NIN version was outstanding, because it had it’s own meaning.
    JC’s version is outstanding, because it has a new meaning.
    But it’s the same song, same lyrics. That’s power.

  23. ed

    When I first heard this, I thought, “Holy crap this is good”. It still amazes me after listening it a third and forth time. Man. Kudos to that dude.

  24. Anonymous

    Johnny Cash “Hurt”
    This is proably the most powerfull song that I’ve ever heard. I just cannot get it out of my head.

  25. Sharon

    wow, my husband was telling me about this song – we got the end of it on the radio – a few weeks ago. I didnt really pay attention to it…. heard it today and was blown away.
    I have never felt such emotion from a song before. Amazing.

  26. G

    This song is great. I sit and flip back and forth between crappy music channels looking for the video. I’m so bloody moved every time I hear it.
    The man knows he’s going to die soon and you can feel his need for redemption oozing out of every haggerd pore on his skin. Simply brilliant.

  27. kk

    The song has a new type of grit that only a man of his years can give. Is the song and video out on the web anywhere?

  28. Ed Vicious

    I can’t find the mp3 anywhere. Anyone know where I can download this song. I heard it on a Alternative Rock Station at 12 at night lastnight.

  29. bw

    I am a music fan in the truest sense and this is the best cover I have heard since Hendrix’s Watchtower. Yet this works on so many dimensions past just a change in an artist’s tone. The lyric is so universal…. from an tortured addict to an aged western hero. Few except you Johnny Cash could make such a cover. This song is a treasure.

  30. Phill Lancaster

    I was reading an article and Trent had just heard it, and he almost started cryin after he heard it. So that answers someones question from higher up

  31. I am recovering addict and a recovering self-abuser and I have to say that Johnny Cash’s song, “Hurt”, really hit home with me. It brings tears to my eyes each and every time I hear it. I can totally relate. I just love that song. Thanks JC!!

  32. satamatorni

    katselin juuri levyraadin ja kuulin ekaa kertaa.

  33. ~ren

    this song brought tears to my eyes.. evertime i hear it, it just gets better.. thanks so much for giving a link to download it, because i couldnt find it on kazaa.. defiantly the best song that i have heard in a long while..

  34. napsterdomus

    thanks for the clear download. nothing on kazza sounds good. But this one is ecxelent.
    the song is the best song i ever heard johnny sing.
    Hes awsome

  35. napsterdomus

    thanks for the clear download. nothing on kazza sounds good. But this one is ecxelent.
    the song is the best song i ever heard johnny sing.
    Hes awsome


    This video showed us what is truly THE most important thing in life….and Johnny Cash`s life. In the realization that the way to a happy and contented life is finding Jesus Christ.I pray that this video brings alot of people to know Him…Love Ya JC

  37. sascha

    biggest piece of shit i’ve ever heard. It’s a cold day and hell when a grissled old country singer butchers my favorite NIN song. I think it’s pathetic, he can’t sing it with emotion at least not the emotion that trent meant it to have. i despise it, I cringe everytime i here it. And I know alot of country fans are out there all like “that Johnny Cash is such a great lyricist” cause they’re too ignorant to know better. I don’t understand why country singers always do covers of newer “rock” songs. I just think it’s pathetic and i despise it. Think whatever you want about it that’s fine it’s your opinion. But personally it just pisses me off.

  38. faith

    his song really touched me, he relates to many ppl and it was great the way he took the pain people actually feel and captured it beautifly in a song

  39. I didn’t really like the cover much. I suppose it’s alright.. I just don’t like country and old people are funny.. He reminds me of a California Rasin Man! haha.. I definately enjoy Nine Inch Nail’s version much better. Ahem. hmm hmm..

  40. Oh yes. Could the owner of this site tell me the name of this posting program. Much Appreciation(sp?) and Thanks!

  41. Liquid: The weblog program used for my posts is called Movable Type which can be found here . I didn’t actually set it up on my server so I’m not the one to ask any technical questions about the program πŸ™‚

  42. SYsTEMofAdown

    I dont reall like the country stuff but this song kicks a$$!!! when i heard him play the cover, i was like wow i diddent no that song could get slower than the orignal! but its cool!!! MORE POWER 2 YA JOHNNY!

  43. sascha

    After listening to the song again and seeing the video, I retract my previous statement. I realize that this is the best thing I’ve heard in years. I was simply too young and stupid to realize it at first.

  44. ed

    I hate country music, but I love Johnny Cash, I always have. I am big NIN fan too, and I love Trent Reznor’s version of this song, but this version by Johnny Cash is even better then NIN’s. I thought it was funny how sascha retracted his statement, and admitted to being young and stupid. sascha, you should give Cash a chance and try listening to some of his old shit.

  45. Confederate Tyrant

    Hoestly i must say, daggum, WOW!!!!.
    NIN kicks major ass but this Johnny Cash version was just daggum GREAT!!!!
    I saw it on CMT and i never would have thought a country star would do an NIN song, much less see an NIN song on CMT.
    ROCK ON!!

  46. sascha (the real one)

    ok, i’d like to thank the person for posing as me and retracting the statement for being so mature. i am the real sascha and i still stick by the fact that johnny cash’s butchering of the original Nine Inch Nails song Hurt fucking sucks ass. I can’t believe Trent actually gave johnny cash permission to use it. Trent’s original version is full of feeling and emotion, johnny’s version is just some old bastard bitching. anyway, like i said before have your own opinions that’s fine. i’m not going to say you’re wrong and i respect your opinions, i don’t, however, appreciate others posing as me and trying to retract statements. that’s just immature and stupid. i will never like the cover of hurt, nor will i retract that statement.

  47. stephanie

    I love Johnny Cash; I grew up with him. I also love the Nine Inch Nails; I grew in to them. But when you listen to the NiN version, it’s about being a junkie… Cash made it into a love gone sour song… and all though I think both are wonderful, I was left slightly disturbed….

  48. PostMortum

    Johnny Cash has always been recognized as an alternative musician. His cover of Hurt really shows his full talent. Johnny’s version was extremly powerful, I haven’t seen something with that much emotion in quite a while. It’s really weird to see something that powerful on the cmt channel.

  49. Prince Roy

    Johnny did a brilliant job here. At first I thought it was better than NIN’s version, but after a few months I think they’re equally powerful when considered from the different perspectives of the singer. NIN’s is more raw, more dope addled. Cash’s seems to be just as much a reflection of his entire life rather than merely the ravages of addiction, which he certainly had his share of.

  50. MehYam

    Wow, that’s odd, unexpected, but cool.

  51. MetalRules

    I’ve listened to metal for 25 years and metal rules. The NiN song Hurt, although not metal, always stood out as exceptional. Johnny Cash’s version stands out more than any song I’ve ever heard before. Not just the song but the fact of who was singing it. I predict this to be his best selling song ever. This is a song to be sung by an old man and an icon who’s been through a lot and is about to die. Incredible.

  52. bken

    Sacha’s a dumbass. Rolling today has a cover story about how Trent Reznor saw Cash’s “Hurt” video and wept. You see, Cash lends the song something unique – history. Reznor’s a genious, Sacha’s a pretentious fool.

  53. bken: No need to call someone a dumbass. I don’t completely agree with his belief that it’s a horrible song (I wouldn’t have posted the song for you guys to download if I though that). He has the right to an opinion. Though by the number of people who have posted on here with praise for the song I would say that most of us agree that it’s a great song.

  54. JustDrivingBy

    Never been much of a NIN fan so when I heard JC did a NIN song I was hesitant to listen… until the raw emotion of the man, the song, and the video nearly brought me to tears… It must be a fluke, I thought, until I listened to it again and again. Its not.
    So, to be fair I checked out the NIN version…. That was a mistake. Sorry Sascha, NIN blows on this one… badly. The song was meant to be sung by the man in black at this time. I have to agree with Rolling Stone…. Video of the Year.
    (BTW, congrats to JC on his 12th Grammy….)

  55. kookyleroo1

    Johnny Cash brings a lifetime of pain and regret and love to Hurt that Trent Reznor is unable to bring, if for no other reason than Cash lived twice as long and twice as hard. Trent obviously has his demons since he’s the genius who wrote the masterpiece (which the entire The Downward Spiral album is) in the first place, but Cash was impossibly able to inject an already powerful song with even more life and emotion than it bargained for.
    Cash took it to another level.

  56. brett

    Trents version is amazing. JC’s cover is also amazing. If you did not “grow – up” hearing the original I can understand how it might not mean anything to you.
    “Cash’s rendition is bare-bones; a barely audible guitar and piano back Cash as he nearly talks his way through Trent Reznor’s words, and “Hurt” becomes an old man’s deathbed speech on guilt. That is, until the track swells up into an epic declaration of regret.”
    I dont think we can even begin to understand how powerful and meaningful it is to him….

  57. Dubs

    I’m 17 years old, but i’ve listened to some of Cash’s old favourites. My buddy sent me a link to this video a few days ago, and it blew me away. I watched it about 10 times in a row, and found myself singing various lyrics throughout the day.
    This video means the most to people who are aware of cash’s years of alcoholism and drug abuse. Very powerful. Best video of the 21st century so far.

  58. Murph

    I just saw the video on MTV2, Holy SHit. It blew me away. It just goes to show the impact Trent Reznors had upon music as a whole seeing as he’s got country legends covering him.
    BTW i put the Cash version up on my kazaa, hopefully more people will be able to find it

  59. Workingman

    I’m neither a diehard JC fan or a NIH fan I just like all music as long as its done well and grabs me in some way. I came across the JC version by pure accident and and all I can say is that this is done WELL and it grabbed me! So a thanks to NIH for a great song and thanks JC for a great personal remake and video. And Johnny if you ever read this lttle note email me and let me know what got you listening to this song and decide to apply it to your life! Ha ha as if that would happen.

  60. Sean Kirkland

    Does anyone know where I can find Johnny Cash talking about why he did this song? I thought it was very powerful but I am still very curious on his intentions with the video.

  61. Eric

    I don’t get emotional, but I just about cried.

  62. Anonymous

    I never heard the song- never saw they video either – but stumbled upon it on tv- after my first viewing it was unsettling- very brillant performance- brutal , harsh and honest– Im a die hard but let me tell you- I nearly cried, all those who see this and lived it will understand

  63. I don’t think I’ve ever been so moved by a song before.

  64. Anonymous

    I think this is 10000000000 times better than the original

  65. Anonymous

    The reason that this song moves us is that the song describes the prototypical feelings of people with borderline-personality disorders. We all know that feeling in a very mild way….

  66. Sascha

    I’d like to think MehYam for providing the link to how Trent felt about the song. It does please me to know that he likes the song, because it would be a tragedy if he didn’t. I also think that brett has a good point about not growing up listening to hurt, NIN’s hurt meant alot to me and helped me deal with some very hard times in my life upon its release about 7 years ago, and has had special meaning to me ever since. naturally when someone else (in this case johnny cash) takes the song and redoes it it’s like someone took something very dear to you and changed it which is almost offensive in any case. those who are very into music should be able to understand where i’m coming from. as i’ve said many times if you really like/love the song (as many of you seem to) that’s great! if JC’s version has meaning to you then that’s great as well and no one can take that from you. I respect JC as a very talented man, i just don’t happen to like his music. we’re all entitled to our opinions and i respect each and every one of yours. what does bother me, however, is being called a pretentious fool and a dumbass for mine. bken, calling someone a pretentious fool because of their opinions is foolishness in itself. when it comes to opinions there is no right or wrong, that’s why they’re opinions. i appreciate the majority of you respecting my opinions even though they diverge from your own. For those who don’t, I hope that one day you achieve a maturity level to respect the opinions of others without resorting to childish name calling. (sorry this is so long, and thank you to anyone who took the time to read this)

  67. Brett

    When I was a young boy My uncle and my dad would sit and listen to JC and say, “He can really sing! He is the greatest singer ever!” I didn’t think he could sing at all. I grew up. Now I have heard him sing “Hurt” and I know what my Dad and Uncle knew then. Johnny Cash still has what he always did. It took me 40+ years to see it myself:Wow! I wonder what other things I missed?

  68. Bredro

    I myself was not a huge Johnny Cash fan,until I saw him cover-Rusty Cage-[Soundgarden].
    His voice is so distinctive that he brings himself to any song that he does.
    But his cover of Hurt is nothing short of brilliant.
    It`s the perfect song for him at this time in his life.
    The video is haunting,with his frail appearance and that single piano note repeating over and over.
    So many videos today are such crap,but this is a mile above them in all respects.
    Can a video make you cry…yes.
    I have nothing but respect for Johnny..pure respect.
    In todays image style world …it`s all about the song for Johnny..not the image.

  69. Blackjack

    Johnny’s version really transformed this song into an Ecclesiastes like reminder of our own mortality and the brevity and sometimes seeming futility of our lives. Yet it was done in such a gentle manner with an underlying appreciation of love and life. Very moving. The video also reminds us that the original JC has suffered as much as any of us on behalf of those who believe in Him.

  70. tjdotcom

    I saw this video a few weeks ago……..found this thread today. I’m couldn’t say I am, or are not, a NiN fan……..for me, they’ve been pretty much irrelevant. Johnny Cash is not a musician I “grew up” with, although I’ve been a fan… a child watching his TV show…..and hearing songs haphazard like.
    I could have seen JC and other legends in a local theater when the performed as the HighwayMen…..(JC, Kris Kristoffersen, Willie Nelson, and Waylon Jennings)…..but I did not…….to my regret…..
    …..but when you watch this vid…..or hear this song….whatever Trent meant by his lyrics…..JC brings a new and vital meaning to this song……moving and indescriable……..I tear up every time I see/hear it……..
    Isn’t that what music is about……to reach into your soul…..and pull something out?? …….this time….its about ……Hurt
    dont’ matter what or why or who or when…’s about what hurts……..and I think this song/vid conveys that feeling……….

  71. Linda

    I have been a Johnny Cash fan most of my adult life–I am now 54 years old. What a soulful video. Up until this song my favorite Johnny Cash soulful song was “Sunday Morning Coming Down”–that song always had a strong message to me, but this one is that song plus more.

  72. nicole

    as a recovering heroin addict, NIN’s hurt has always had a place in my heart. a friend told me that jc did a cover of it and i was disgusted, until i heard it. the ideal of a cover is to take a song and make it your own. jc definitely accomplished that. NIN was talking about addiction, jc was talking about life. he took NIN’s picture and zoomed out. i don’t know if this makes sense, but the song and video are amazing

  73. Nicole: You make perfect sense. I think I mentioned the way that I interpret the song (and the video) in my entry, which is similar to yours.

  74. danib

    Does anyone know WHO wrote this song?

  75. I would imagine that it was Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. Though I would have to dig through my CD pile and find “The Downward Spiral” to do that (which I don’t feel like right now). So Trent Reznor is my final answer!

  76. Sascha

    Trent Reznor wrote “hurt”.

  77. hoffy

    i have to say that this truly is an amazing video. i was just flipping through the channels when i saw it on CMT (i hate country).
    the only point i really want to make is that i don’t believe that it’s cash’s version of the song that is so great… but mark romanek’s vision for the music video. without the video to aide johnny, the song would lose almost all of it’s power.
    a fantastic song/video, immensely powerful and a pleasure to watch. well done mr. cash. only gripe is that he changed the lyrics from “shit” to “thorn” (ie: reznor’s original – “i wear my crown of shit, on my liar’s chair”)

  78. DirtEater

    I agree…truley amazing. I’ve never liked country music….at all. I was told by someone the some country musician covered Hurt by NIN. I laughed…..i laughed very hard. But they didn’t say it was Johnny Cash….i hate country music…..but you gotta love Johnny Cash..and he covers this song beautifully. The only thing that disappointed me was changing “I wear this crown of shit” to “I wear this crown of thorns.” I feel the lyrics should have never been changed…..but other then that brilliant.

  79. nina

    i have never been a NIN fan. But I have to say that I have sincerely been moved by this song being sung by Johnny Cash and have to give Trent credit. It fits Johnny to a tee.

  80. leslie

    can someone PLEASE send me the lyrics to Hurt by johnny cash…thanks

  81. DirtEater

    You mean by Trent Reznor.

  82. the song is great by both trent reznor and now by johnny cash as it shows his talents and am happy to see that he has always tried to keep with the times and does so. he will got out on top. from the first times listening to my dads records of him to now he will always be one of the best.

  83. Nathan

    heartbreaking is the only word i have to describe this cover and video. I’m a punk-rock kid to the core, but have stayed true to the one artist that started my love of music… johnny cash. I think that johnny has taken something that wasn’t his… and made it amazingly his own. This man has endured decades of us… us kids, who refuse to bow to *cringe* country, and twangy knee slapping whimsicals. But he has taken a song that we all know.. that we mostly all loved with a passion.. and let us see through his eyes, what it does for him. If ever i have seen desperation, regret, solace… it’s in the eyes of this new video. this man has not a long time to live.. and i praise him for opening my eyes once again. Thank you johnny… i started my love with music on you… and i damn sure will end it with you.

  84. Richard

    The man is a true legand , a truly moving song . The new school of musicans should be looking at this man , he is all class . and somone who deserves our respect in all aspects of his carer

  85. cj

    i saw several posts about “addicts” & “junkies”
    really relating to this song. i have to say ditto on that.
    his defiant pouring out of the wine in the video
    while shaking has to be one of the most poignant
    things ive ever seen

  86. ML

    For those of you that don’t know johnny cash had a worse battle with heroin than most people who have tried the drug have. Far worse than Trent Reznor, so this song probably had alot more meaning to him as he sang it and reflected on his long life of drug abuse and how he got out of it through christianity. The song describes not only how powerful an addiction can be, but how you are willing to give up anything to subside it. This song describes Cash to a T, and I give him credit for having the cuts to stand up and sing a song like this which is totally not in his field, but he managed to do it very well. I think the video is great and shows Cash at the highest and lowest points of his life.
    Not many people can claim to be country stars singing NiN songs about heroin abuse.
    Keep it real cash, i hope you dont meet the man anytime soon, maybe a remix of shania twain’s you make my feel like a woman
    is the next thing on his list haha jus joking.

  87. The Urchin King

    My Grandfather was a hard drinking tough pool hall bastard in the 40’s and 50’s who always knew what my rebellious mind was up to and understood my ways As well as my Father who is an old worn down outlaw biker(pagan) from the late 60’s. I’ve always gone against the grain myself in society and when I first saw Cash’s hurt video, I was reduced to tears by the sheer power of the truth and depth it conveys. When you live a hard life and come to realize it, you pass on a warning to the next generation. Cash’s rendition compliments Reznor’s words. Reznor knows that (the video moved him nearly to tears) and real fans know it too. Johnny
    Cash and all the other oldtimers were “hardcore” long before this generation.
    Only those of limited mind and scope would criticize Johnny Cash’s cover of “hurt”.

  88. W

    This song made me sit up in bed. My alarm clock went off and it was fucking Johnny Cash singing my blues. The radio station I listen to doesn’t do Johnny Cash. Fucking God damn. Fucking God damn me.

  89. pud

    this song touches so many people because we can relate to it the way johnny cash sings it isnt in a catchy or fancy way it seems straight from the heart like its his lifes song like he is now able to see the big picture of his life that is a powerfull thing

  90. Bratty

    Too bad there’s only one Johnny Cash- when he goes we will have lost one hell of a voice. The voice of America.

  91. Jon

    heard it last night on the opening to some TV (cop with drinking prob) show, wow that was Johnny Cash

  92. Bill

    It seems kind of pointless to say what everyone else has, but I don’t care. The video is the best I’ve ever seen, the song is extraordinary. Nine Inch Nails deserves credit, of course, but it’s hard not to think that this just became a Cash song for now and forever.

  93. KakerMix

    The power of this song/video. . . holy shit

  94. Five

    I have watched the video about 10 times and i still dont know what to make of it. I am a huge NiN fan, but i think johnny did a good job with it. I wanna know how johnny got started listening to NiN and how he chose to cover one of their songs. I still am not quite sure what to think.

  95. Maggot

    JC has done many covers of “rock” bands over the years, Soundgarden just to name one. Do a search of his music and listen to as much as you can. As to the NIN cover, that song IS JC back in the day, 40 or so years ago b4 it was cool to do smack and pills. BTW, the video is very strong IMOP.

  96. Lee

    This is a stark and intimate reflection on a life of triumph and pain. Being a NIN fan, I was astonished at the intimacy of Cash’s delivery – the simple conviction in his delivery of each word against the backdrop of an acoustic guitar. Interspersed with scenes of his past, the now elderly Cash reflects “you are someone else, but I am still right here,” and reaches out to the young man he once was in a vain attempt to reconnect himself with his past. The wisdom of a man who understands this disconnection leaves a shattering impact on the viewer. His wife appears but is always just beyond his reach – emphasizing the isolation. This is dark poetry, infused with an honesty that gives it an impacting credibility. This is the real deal. It was a Trent Resnor creation, but Cash owns this one.

  97. hobo287

    Awesome. Blew me away. I have not seen the video yet. Heard this one time…on a hard rock station in the wee hrs of the morning. Awesome song. Not a heroin addict myself, but a victim nevertheless of my own self destructive behaviors…..the song speaks to me. Makes me want to cry.

  98. Hi. I actually admit that I heard Cash’s version before NiN’s, but they both had enormous power. I have to say that I felt that Cash’s cover just had something more, something that can only come with 70 years of hard life experiences. His version simply spoke to me on a deeper level. If you aren’t familiar with Cash, but liked his version of Hurt, I would encourage you to listen to some other Cash songs. You might be surprised at what you find. His music is a different breed of country than most of what you hear today. Check out “A Boy Named Sue” if you have a sense of humor (I’m from Texas, so no u in humor) πŸ˜‰ hehe. Take care!!

  99. kevin


  100. kris

    I’ve been a huge NiN fan since I was about 9 or 10, and hurt was always the song that spoke to me most- i first saw it on a real crap show and i was like HOLY SHIT!!! this rulz!!! Its hard to say which I like most- they both rule.

  101. Matthew

    “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” An awe inspiring, tearful glimpse at the twilght of an amazing man’s life— take note.
    It is the only song that has driven me to tears.

  102. Tori

    Ive been a Cash fan for the twenty years Ive been alive, and NIN for about ten, but when I saw that video, I sat down and, tears streaming down my face, took the song in a totally different way. Cash doesnt always open himself up like this and it can be taken twenty different ways. How humbling, though.

  103. Lynn Garrison

    Too bad these sorry ass “country” stations won’t play “Hurt” by Johnny Cash. I called and was told that most listener’s wouldn’t “get it”. I’ve got news for them, anyone listening to this song that doesn’t “get it”, never had “it”.

  104. jose

    here’s my 2 cents:
    i was over at a friends house stoned when this video came on TV. I was like “what the hell? is that who i think it is? are yall seeing this too?” the video was great. i have seen it many times since and it’s hard not to get teared up when i watch it, it’s just such a well-done, emotional video. my only beef with it is him (slightly) changing the lyrics from “crown of shit” to “crown of thorns”, but that’s no biggie. it may just be that way in the video, i haven’t heard the CD yet but i am going to buy it.

  105. Big Casino 79

    The only video I’ve seen that knocked me on my ass….

  106. Bill

    I’ve heard Johnny Cash’s version of Hurt four times on the radio here in Toronto… maybe a month ago? I still have not been able to get it out of my head. I liked the original version by Nine Inch Nails, but it didn’t stay with me like this. It’s not that Johnny Cash has a beautiful voice, or that the music in his version is all that memorable by itself. It’s the stark, barren simplicity of it. Deep down, you can feel the pain and regret. The man’s entire life-experience is distilled into just a few minutes. It’s almost too much to bear. Truly great.

  107. Bill

    I’ve heard Johnny Cash’s version of Hurt four times on the radio here in Toronto… maybe a month ago? I still have not been able to get it out of my head. I liked the original version by Nine Inch Nails, but it didn’t stay with me like this. It’s not that Johnny Cash has a beautiful voice, or that the music in his version is all that memorable by itself. It’s the stark, barren simplicity of it. Deep down, you can feel the pain and regret. The man’s entire life-experience is distilled into just a few minutes. It’s almost too much to bear. Truly great.

  108. Steve

    I heard Cash’s version on an alternative rock station after the DJ was “dared” to play it. I instantly fell in love with the version. I was surprised to get teary watching the video. Yes, as mentioned in other posts, he is old and his voice is shaky. But imperfection brings unique beauty. I think that many people aer moved by this video because it makes us feel human. Even those of us who have never been addicts can feel empathy while listening to Cash and watching him in the video. Now the line “everyone I know goes away in the end” has new meaning since his wife, who was in the video, just passed away. What an incredibly powerful thing that was done with an already terrific song. Wow.

  109. Anonymous

    Amazing and touching i just cant stop playing it. Thank you Johnny=D

  110. Zorak

    Song is just… Ethereally great. its just so awesome.

  111. Zopheal

    I’m not sure why you praise this song to no end. I love the NIN version, i can play it, sing it, know it inside out, have talked with those who lived it, including friends. I feel this song was totally lost with Johnny Cash. I was relieved to see that it was for sure NIN original, his cover, as an older sister of a friend had worried me by saying it was cash rereleasing the song. She’s a huge cash fan. The NIN version is incredibly more powerful to me, the music is so much better, and i like reznor’s voice over cash’s any day of the week. Before you attack me, i’m a listener of folk music, bluegrass, rock, true punk, techno, anime, true alt, and anything that just sounds plain good no matter what category. Country generally doesn’t, but there is some out there (Nelson, Kristoferson to name a couple recognizable ones). I am disgusted that johnny cash has killed this song, and waht’s worse, many will think it’s his song, not reznor’s, which is a true shame. For further discussion, e-mail me, as i shall not return here, i found this through research only.

  112. Vince

    I am neither a Cash fan nor a NIN fan, but the first time I heard this song was Cash and the video moved me to tears. There is something indescribeably “real” about it, whether it is his age, experience, hard living, or whatever, it remains a powerful tribute to a life of hard living repented, and perhaps regretted.
    I grew up listening to country, discovered “New Wave” then “New Romantics” then Heavy Metal, then a million other songs, but I don’t think a single song in all the millions I must have listened to before has touched me the way the Cash version of Hurt does….

  113. Leon

    Downward Spiral is a powerful album, both the sound of it, and the lyrics and performance. But when I first heard it, the song “Hurt” stood out. It came after the rage and bitterness and frenetic pacing of the rest of the album. It’s a song about defeat. It’s way beyond just a recovering drug addict. Maybe that’s what it sounded like with a fairly young guy like TR, but with Cash the true nature of the song is brought out. Life ends in defeat, it always does. The hard truth of this is what makes you tear up when you watch this video. Anyway, that’s my take on this remarkable work of art.

  114. turpentyne

    To clear up some confusion…
    Cash’s producer brought a copy of this song to Cash as a suggestion to cover. Before Cash ever heard the song, he removed the ‘crown of shit’ and changed it to ‘crown of thorns’. Cash had no idea. But what can you expect? He is a religious man. Two things saved his life. June Carter Cash and the religion she brought him. So I wouldn’t criticize his use of a word more descriptive than just ‘shit’.
    And yes… oh hell yes, this man has walked some rugged roads. Don’t think for a minute he doesn’t deserve to sing this song. The reason it speaks so strongly is because he HAS earned the right (and even said this is one of the best drug addiction songs he’s ever heard) to sing this song, but his drug addiction is only one facet of a wild ride.
    Think of those lyrics “Everyone I know goes away… in the end.” Look at his wife, watching over his shoulder. She died 5 months after this video was made. Go ahead, weep a little more. Life is as sad as it is beautiful. Johnny Cash is the best and worst in all of us. The man in black

  115. GILD

    i wondered about trent’s reaction as well
    i did a google search and found a page where he described his reaction the first time he watched the video in the studio along with zach de la rocha
    apparantly they were both pretty close to tears and had to have a coffee break before they could carry on with the work they were hoping to do in the studio
    read the article here

  116. sascha

    …after listening and listening, i am finally in agreement that JC is the best singer in the world. since his death i have realized what a confused listener i am. this version, in my opinion, is better than NIN. please accept this as my final comment. sorry to all those whom i have offended.-sascha

  117. KidFlash

    Johnny Cash finally passed today.
    This song was such a plain recognition of his mortality, it is shocking and awe inspiring.
    We can never thank him enough for lending his legitimacy to the music of our generation, before he passed.
    Rest in Peace, Man in Black. πŸ™

  118. Motti

    There are but a few music videos that bring a shiver to my spine and make the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. The last one that managed that was Ultravox with their Dancing with Tears in My Eyes video, and that was a very long time ago.
    Then along comes Johnny Cash, the big bad man in black when I last saw him on Es Sullivan show.
    Only now he’s a broken old man, singing the words twinged with melancholy yet defiance at the same time. The song is haunting, the images in the video chilling, a harbinger of the mortality that we must all face one day.
    Somehow that song is a fitting eulogy to Johnny – haunting and melancholy, but if you listen carefully, defiant at the same time. My last Johnny Cash music purchase was in the 60s. I think it’s time to update my collection with his latest.

  119. ash

    i just heard “hurt” for the first time yesterday. i had never even heard of johnny cash before that. when the song came on it almost made me cry. then i went to johnny’s website and read that he had just died that day. it was weird…

  120. Magua

    What in hell is Sascha’s problem? If you didn’t like Cash’s version, well, fine. I guess we know where your taste is located. But to use an obscenity tainted, insulting diatribe against Cash shows that you have not one ounce of class in your body. It moved Reznor to tears. The song ( & video ) were a perfect end cap to a man who knew more about life, death, pain & love than you. Cash was truly alive. You are not. I am not a “big” Cash fan, but seldom has a song & singer belonged this together. It was a monument to a man’s lifetime. I feel sorry for you, Sascha, that you are such a self aborbed jerk you can’t see it. Way to crap on a dead man’s memory.

  121. glen

    Best video/short video ever. If you don’t feel watching this, you’re already dead.

  122. hmmphh

    I’m not much for posting to blogs or forums, but felt compelled to comment here. I’ve read a lot of comments about how JC’s cover of HURT is either awesome, or horrible, or whatever. If I had never heard his cover, I would have gone with the horrible side of the argument. I have to say it was very impressive.I’ve never heard the NIN original. I’m still looking for it. But if I had never heard this version, I would have never listened to NIN. Reznor is another of those artists whose talent, I think, will transcend an equal number of barriers – similar to Johnny Cash. I think it only fair that Reznor do a cover, and possibly a video of a Johnny Cash song. Fair is fair, and I think some of the NIN fans might see how the crossover formula works in reverse. There have been several admonishments of “you’re entitled to your own opinion.” My opinion? Those who find JC’s vocals or interpretations of HURT hard to take should look, or listen, a little farther than the end of your nose. I’m not about to tell anyone what this song should be about. It’s different for everyone depending on your own reference point. But then, that’s the beauty of music. It speaks to you in a language that is meant for you.

  123. Pissedoff

    “Johnny Cash singing a NIN song?” I cried back in 2005. “What makes that old country singer think he can do it?” Then I heard the song, watched the video and cried like a baby.. Worked on different levels to the Reznor version. Made me realise back in the 90s, when I was off my tits on anything i could put in my body, the song had a different relevance to now, when I’m more fatalistic and less immortal than I was..
    So WHY is the shitty, nasty, totally immoral Nike corporation now using the song? They’ve subverted a beatiful song, and proven, once again that advertising execs haven’t got a fucking clue when it comes down to having a soul.