When I was just a baby my mama told me "son
Always be a good boy, don't ever play with guns"
But I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die

from Johnny Cash – Folsom Prison Blues Lyrics on Rap Genius


Iconic lines like these helped solidify Cash’s outlaw image once his career took off in the late ‘50s, however let it be known that Cash did not serve a prison sentence in his life, only minor one-night-in-jail infractions.

“I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die”, the most iconic line, is almost a straight lift from a traditional murder ballad, “Duncan and Brady”, recorded by Leadbelly in 1947.

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