Well if they freed me from this prison
If that railroad train was mine

from Johnny Cash – Folsom Prison Blues Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

Cash never served a jail sentence in Folsom, but his “Live from Folsom Prison” album is widely recognized as one of the greatest live albums of all time. Though his record label was initially doubtful of the success the album would have, he decided to perform live for the inmates of Folsom Prison regardless. Folsom Prison Blues was written long before the live show, and served as his opener at the prison.

Cash never never needed to be “freed from this prison,” although he did have a long lasting struggle with amphetamine addiction and alcoholism.

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