Songs of our Soil

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Songs of Our Soil
Studio album by Johnny Cash
Released Original: September 1959
Re-issued: August 27, 2002
Recorded July 24, 1958 - March 16, 1959
Length Original: 25:40
Re-issue: 29:34
Label Columbia
Johnny Cash chronology
Hymns by Johnny Cash
(1959)Hymns by Johnny Cash1959
Songs of Our Soil
Sings Hank Williams
(1960)Sings Hank Williams1960
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]

Songs of Our Soil is the sixth album by the singer Johnny Cash. It was originally released in September 1959 (see 1959 in music), and later re-issued on August 27, 2002 (see 2002 in music) with two bonus tracks.

A majority of the songs involve dying. Death concludes "The Man on the Hill", "Hank and Joe and Me", "Clementine" and "My Grandfather's Clock." "Don't Step on Mother's Roses" is about a family losing their parents to death; first Mother, then Daddy. "The Great Speckled Bird" is a spiritual about the Second Coming of Jesus. "The Caretaker" is the story of a cemetery caretaker wondering who will mourn for him when his time comes. Even "Five Feet High and Rising" ("the hives are gone; I lost my bees") and "Old Apache Squaw" ("...the next white man that sees my face is gonna be a dead white man") mention death in some way. "I Want to Go Home" is a retitled version of the nautical standard "The John B. Sails".

By his own admission, Cash was becoming fascinated by death during this time, in part due to his growing amphetamine and barbiturate dependence.[2]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Drink To Me" Johnny Cash 1:54
2. "Five Feet High and Rising" Cash 1:46
3. "The Man on the Hill" Cash 2:09
4. "Hank and Joe and Me" Cash 2:13
5. "Clementine" Billy Mize, Buddy Mize 2:30
6. "Great Speckled Bird" Traditional 2:09
7. "I Want to Go Home" Traditional 1:58
8. "The Caretaker" Cash 2:06
9. "Old Apache Squaw" Cash 1:46
10. "Don't Step On Mother's Roses" Cash 2:34
11. "My Grandfather's Clock" Henry Clay Work 2:45
12. "It Could Be You (Instead of Him)" Vic McAlpin 1:50
Total length: 25:40


Additional personnel

  • Don Law - Original Recording Producer
  • Al Quaglieri - Reissue Producer
  • Seth Foster - Engineer
  • Mark Wilder - Mastering, Mixing
  • Billy Altman - Liner Notes
  • Don Hunstein - Photography
  • Steven Berkowitz - A&R
  • Howard Fritzson - Art Direction
  • Randall Martin - Design
  • John Christiana - Packaging Manager


Singles - Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1959 "Five Feet High and Rising" Country Singles 14
1959 "Five Feet High and Rising" Pop Singles 76


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ MAN IN BLACK by Johnny Cash, published in 1975

External links[edit]