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Monday, November 22, 2010

249. "I Walk the Line" by Johnny Cash

This was Gen's request for the 5th anniversary of our first date, which was a dinner and a movie thing when the film Walk the Line came out. Originally we'd been planning to see Pride & Prejudice, which we did on our second date and which Gen has watched countless times on DVD by now, but the chat before Walk the Line was especially interesting. We were talking about our own experiences with Johnny Cash's music and I told her a bit about doing the Cash medley with my dad in Thunderhill and so forth, and she told me that she had been really close friends with Carlene Carter (who was depicted in the movie as a young girl), and had the dress for Carlene's wedding to Nick Lowe, footage of which made up the video for "Cruel to Be Kind". So that happened. After a few years I started getting used to finding out she knew people I thought of as sort of unreachably cool, but that was pretty much the start of it.

I'm almost positive that somebody else before me has covered "I Walk the Line" interpolating, for obvious reasons, John Cale's "I Keep a Close Watch", but I have never personally heard it done, so I did it. I probably didn't take as much time working out the logistics of it as I should have. I basically pulled up a chord and lyric chart for the Cale song, noted that it was in D instead of E as the Cash tune was, and said to myself, okay, I'll go into this after the third verse of "I Walk the Line" and transpose all the chords up a whole step as I go... how hard can that be? And it wasn't too bad aside from the vocal leaping up a little more than I expected; the clunkiest part, really, is the transition back into the first tune. Not perfect, but now it exists for sure and I can sleep a little better at night.

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