God's Gonna Cut You Down

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"God's Gonna Cut You Down" (also known as "God Almighty's Gonna Cut You Down", "God's Gonna Cut 'Em Down", "Run On" and "Sermon") is a traditional American folk song.[1] It was first recorded by the Golden Gate Quartet in 1946 and first issued in 1947 by the Jubalaires.[2] Since then, the track has been recorded in a variety of genres, including country, folk, alternative rock, electronic and black metal.[3] The lyrics warn evildoers that they cannot avoid God's eventual judgment.[4]

As "God's Gonna Cut You Down", it was performed by Odetta on Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues (1956), Johnny Cash on the posthumously released American V: A Hundred Highways (2006). Marilyn Manson also used this title for a non-album single in 2019.[5] As "Run On", it has been recorded by Elvis Presley and Tom Jones, and The Blind Boys of Alabama. The song has been covered by many other artists.[1] A version by Bill Landford & the Landfordaires from 1949 was later sampled heavily for the 1999 song "Run On" by Moby.[6]

Johnny Cash version[edit]

"God's Gonna Cut You Down"
Single by Johnny Cash
from the album American V: A Hundred Highways
ReleasedJuly 4, 2006
Producer(s)Rick Rubin
Johnny Cash singles chronology
"God's Gonna Cut You Down"
"Help Me"

Johnny Cash recorded a version of "God's Gonna Cut You Down" on American V: A Hundred Highways in 2003, with an arrangement quite different from most known gospel versions of the song.[citation needed] As of January 2016, this version of the song sold 672,000 copies in the United States.[10]

A music video, directed by Tony Kaye,[11] was made for this version in late 2006, three years after Cash's death. The video was shot entirely in black and white and features a number of celebrities: David Allan Coe, Patricia Arquette, Travis Barker, Peter Blake, Bono, Sheryl Crow, Johnny Depp, the Dixie Chicks (now known as The Chicks), Flea, Billy Gibbons, Whoopi Goldberg, Woody Harrelson, Dennis Hopper, Terrence Howard, Jay-Z, Mick Jones, Kid Rock, Anthony Kiedis, Kris Kristofferson, Amy Lee, Tommy Lee, Adam Levine, Shelby Lynne, Chris Martin, Kate Moss, Graham Nash, Iggy Pop, Lisa Marie Presley, Q-Tip, Corinne Bailey Rae, Keith Richards, Chris Rock, Rick Rubin, Patti Smith, Sharon Stone, Justin Timberlake, Kanye West, Brian Wilson, and Owen Wilson.[12]

This version has appeared in the Fox series Gotham, during the episode titled "What the Little Bird Told Him".[13] It also featured in the season three episode of NBC series The Blacklist, "The Director: Conclusion", and in the CBC series Republic of Doyle, where it closed episode 10 of season 2, "The Special Detective".[citation needed]

The song is used by St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Andrew Miller, Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Cody Allen, as well as Kansas City Royals closer Brad Boxberger as entrance music.[14] In Independent baseball, Tyler Nordgren of the Ottawa Champions also uses this song as his walk-up song.

The song is featured in the single-player campaign of Battlefield 3, and a version of Cash's performance that was remixed by Ninja Tracks is used in the Gamescom gameplay trailer for Battlefield 1.[15]

The song is also used in the Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction launch trailer, and in the initial trailer for the 2010 Coen brothers remake of True Grit.

The "Mondkopf Plus de Sommeil" remix of Cash's performance appeared in an ad campaign for the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee (WK2).

The song is also used in the Frostpunk official release date trailer, "Serenity".[16]


Chart (2008) Peak
UK Singles (OCC)[17] 77

Marilyn Manson version[edit]

"God's Gonna Cut You Down"
Marilyn Manson - God's Gonna Cut You Down (Streaming Cover).jpg
Single by Marilyn Manson
ReleasedOctober 18, 2019[18]
GenreGothic country[19]
LabelLoma Vista[18]
Producer(s)Tyler Bates[20]
Marilyn Manson singles chronology
"Cry Little Sister"
"God's Gonna Cut You Down"
"The End"
Music video
"God's Gonna Cut You Down" on YouTube

Marilyn Manson recorded a cover version of the track during sessions for their tenth studio album, Heaven Upside Down, which was released in 2017.[21] They performed the song live several times during that album's supporting concert tour.[22] Their studio version of the track first appeared on the Ethan Hawke film 24 Hours to Live,[23] the soundtrack of which was issued via Varèse Sarabande on December 8, 2017.[24] The song was then released as a standalone digital download and streaming single on October 18, 2019, in tandem with a tour by the band.[20] A vinyl picture disc was released on December 13, 2019 and limited to 3,000 copies worldwide.[25] The vinyl single features one of Manson's watercolor paintings as its artwork.[20][26]

A music video directed by Tim Mattia, who previously directed the video for the Born Villain track "Hey, Cruel World...",[20] was filmed in Joshua Tree, California and was also released on October 18.[26][27][28] The track peaked at number eight on Hot Rock Songs and at number one on Rock Digital Songs—the band's highest peak on either chart.[29][30]


Chart (2019) Peak
Canada Hot Digital Songs (Billboard)[31] 44
Hungary (Single Top 40)[32] 26
US Hot Rock & Alternative Songs (Billboard)[29] 8
US Rock Digital Songs (Billboard)[30] 1

Other recordings[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Butkewicz, Niholas (July 22, 2013). "Johnny Cash and the Many Versions of 'God's Gonna Cut You Down'". No Depression: A Journal of Roots Music. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Cover versions of God's Gonna Cut You Down by Golden Gate Quartet". secondhandsongs.com. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
  3. ^ "God's Gonna Cut You Down (Johnny Cash cover), by Panzerfaust". Bandcamp. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  4. ^ "Hear Marilyn Manson's Dark Rendition Of Traditional American Folk Song 'God's Gonna Cut You Down'". Blabbermouth.net. October 18, 2019. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  5. ^ Hartmann, Graham (October 18, 2019). "Marilyn Manson Releases Video for 'God's Gonna Cut You Down'". Loudwire. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  6. ^ "Run on for a Long Time by Bill Landford and The Landfordaires". WhoSampled. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  7. ^ "9 MLB All-Stars & Their Country Music Walk-Up Songs". March 21, 2016. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
  8. ^ a b JeffK (July 22, 2013). "Johnny Cash and the Many Versions of "God's Gonna Cut You Down"". No Depression. Archived from the original on October 11, 2016. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
  9. ^ Klein, Joshua (February 28, 2007). "Johnny Cash: Ultimate Gospel Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  10. ^ Bjorke, Matt (January 25, 2016). "The Top 30 Digital Country Singles: January 25, 2016". Roughstock. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  11. ^ by (November 7, 2006). "Tony Kaye No Longer Just History". Archived from the original on March 16, 2018. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
  12. ^ Johnny Cash: God's Gonna Cut You Down (Video 2006) - Full Cast & Crew - IMDb
  13. ^ Abrams, Simon (January 19, 2015). "Gotham Recap: Finally, a Decent Episode!". Vulture. New York. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  14. ^ "Cleveland Indians Ballpark Music". Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  15. ^ "Battlefield 1 Official Gamescom Gameplay Trailer". Archived from the original on 2021-12-13. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  16. ^ 11 bit studios (March 9, 2018), FROSTPUNK | Official Release Date Trailer - "Serenity", retrieved March 31, 2018
  17. ^ "Johnny Cash: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
  18. ^ a b "God's Gonna Cut You Down by Marilyn Manson on Amazon Music". Amazon Music. October 18, 2019. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  19. ^ Baroni, Nastassia (November 22, 2019). "Marilyn Manson Has Unveiled His Haunting Cover Of The Doors' Epic Track 'The End'". Music Feeds. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  20. ^ a b c d e Grow, Kory (October 18, 2019). "See Marilyn Manson's Creepy 'God's Gonna Cut You Down' Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
  21. ^ Hartmann, Graham (October 5, 2017). "Marilyn Manson: 'Heaven Upside Down' Needs to Be 'Chaos and Fuck Shit Up'". Loudwire. Archived from the original on October 18, 2017. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  22. ^ Burks, Tosten (October 18, 2019). "Marilyn Manson Buries Himself in New "God's Gonna Cut You Down" Video: Watch". Spin. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  23. ^ Munro, Scott (October 18, 2019). "Watch Marilyn Manson face the grave in video for God's Gonna Cut You Down". Metal Hammer. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  24. ^ "Marilyn Manson to cover Johnny Cash for film soundtrack". NME. October 19, 2017. Archived from the original on November 11, 2017. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  25. ^ "Marilyn Manson - God's Gonna Cut You Down, Vinyl LP, Loma Vista Recordings". Loma Vista Recordings. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  26. ^ a b "Hear Marilyn Manson's Snarling Rendition of Folk Song "God's Gonna Cut You Down"". Revolver. October 18, 2019. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  27. ^ Bacior, Robin (October 18, 2019). "Stream Marilyn Manson - "God's Gonna Cut You Down"". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  28. ^ Gwee, Karen (October 18, 2019). "Marilyn Manson releases ominous video for new single 'God's Gonna Cut You Down'". NME. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  29. ^ a b "Marilyn Manson Chart History (Hot Rock & Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
  30. ^ a b "Marilyn Manson - Chart History - Rock Digital Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  31. ^ "Marilyn Manson - Chart History - Hot Canadian Digital Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
  32. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
  33. ^ "Run On For a Long Time" b/w "Troubled, Lord, I'm Troubled" (liner notes). Bill Landford and the Landfordairs. California, United States: Capitol Records. 1949. 30203.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  34. ^ "Review". Liguorian. The Redemptorist Fathers. 63: 68. 1975. In a marvelous new album of recorded folk songs (Vanguard Recording Co.), a gifted folk singer, Odetta, sings, 'God's A-gonna Cut You Down!' It is a powerful warning, in the style of the 'preaching hymn' of the old-time revivals and camp meetings which were such an important feature of frontier life during the entire 19th century.
  35. ^ Lynskey, Dorian (January 15, 2013). "Hidden treasures: Bobbie Gentry – The Delta Sweete | Music". The Guardian. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
  36. ^ Weingarten, Christopher R. (July 2, 2009). "'Play' 10 Years Later: Moby's Track by Track Guide to 1999's Global Smash". Rolling Stone. New York. Archived from the original on February 3, 2013. Retrieved May 10, 2013.
  37. ^ Moore, Rick (July 13, 2010). "Tom Jones: Praise And Blame". American Songwriter. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
  38. ^ "The Hollow Point (2016) - Soundtracks". IMDb. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  39. ^ Ham, Robert (February 11, 2019). "Mercury Rev Shine a Welcome Light on Bobbie Gentry's The Delta Sweete Revisited". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved October 30, 2019.

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