How Johnny Cash Taught Us to Own It Back
The Religion Wars Part I
"Suffering is unbearable if you aren't certain that God is for you and with you." -Tim Keller
I'm not here to sell you religion when I have a hard enough time describing my own. I just want to talk.
A couple of years ago I asked friends on Facebook to name song covers that were better than the original. A few good ones were named, and the uniquely graceful depth of the Gary Jules/Michael Andrews remake of the Tears for Fears New Wave hit "Mad World" gripped me when I first heard it as part of one of my favorite films, Donnie Darko.
A few other good songs were offered up, but one of those stands out above the others, and as one of the rarest songs I've ever heard.
I can't think of any other song that has changed so meaningfully by the hands of another artist than Hurt. Hurt was originally written by Trent Reznor under his industrial rock name, Nine Inch Nails. Some call it a "heroin song" or some such because it skims that emotional void and depth where heroin addicts go, and from which few return. When my brother Chad, a talented musician himself, died in 2019 with a needle in his arm, this song was among my thoughts for days.