I've been surfing music this morning. First, it was the song "I Shall Not Walk Alone," sung by the Blind Boys of Alabama. And, as my daughter and her friend were playing my Johnny Cash CD Hurt, I did a little more digging around, listening to the Nine Inch Nails (original) as well, and also found this note:
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This is from Songfacts:
"Trent Reznor has confessed that originally he was angry that Johnny Cash had covered this, as it was such a personal song to him. However, once he heard Cash's heart-wrenching version and saw the poignant video, he changed his tune.
Reznor recalled to The Sun Newspaper August 1st 2008: "The Cash thing was a couple of years into being clean I was very unsure of myself. Did I have anything to say? Could I still write music? Did anyone still care? I'd been out of the limelight for a while. I'd put the brakes on everything to try to get my life in order, to try to get healthy and stay alive. I'd been friends with Rick Rubin for several years. He called me to ask how I'd feel if Johnny Cash covered Hurt. I said I'd be very flattered but was given no indication it would actually be recorded. Two weeks went by. Then I got a CD in the post. I listened to it and it was very strange. It was this other person inhabiting my most personal song. I'd known where I was when I wrote it. I know what I was thinking about. I know how I felt. Hearing it was like someone kissing your girlfriend. It felt invasive."
It was when Reznor finally saw the video that his attitude changed. He continued: "It really, really made sense and I thought what a powerful piece of art. I never got to meet Johnny but I'm happy I contributed the way I did. It felt like a warm hug. For anyone who hasn't seen it, I highly recommend checking it out. I have goose bumps right now thinking about it." "
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So, from an artistic standpoint, I find both of these versions intriguing, and disturbing. And yes, deeply personal. There are several versions on Youtube of the Nine Inch Nails, two having many more views than the one I chose. I'm posting this one, because it is one that was used in concert, with images chosen by them. And that, to me, makes it all the more compelling.