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From the liner notes:
Remember Aladdin? We may figure him to be a bit out of his skull, but we love him for his crazy lamp!
We still quote what “‘Confucius say,” and shake our heads. But doesn’t he put us on beautifully with that fortune-cookie wisdom?
You realize, too, that the Pied Piper gained his popularity and gathered crowds because he was hung up on parades.
You don’t have to dig into an encyclopedia, reference book or your librarian’s memory to understand that screwballs have a timeless, universal appeal. And now, in a captivating collection of fun songs, Johnny Cash steps forward to remind us that EVERYBODY LOVES A NUT.
Johnny doesn’t need history to prove the eternal popularity of lovable nuts, but he does have much to contribute to our understanding of the world today. His philosophical comments are offbeat, personal and often devastating. Listen, for example, to The One on the Right Is on the Left, a laugh-provoking look at a politically mixed-up falk group.
Johnny Cash is a wise wayfarer who sings about foibles that strike his fancy. Most of the songs are about man and his environment; some are about un-usual occupations: A Cup of Coffee is the saga of a genial truckdriver; A Singing Star’s Queen is about just that; Austin Prison concerns a jailbird and his escapades; Take Me Home describes the woes of a sick-and tired traveler, and Please Don’t Play Red River Valley tells the story of an amateur harmonica player. Joe Bean is the tragicomic story of a hanging. The Bug That Tried to Crawl Around the World is about an itinerant insect: there is a musical warning to a Dirty Old Egg-Sucking Dog, and an appeal to a Boa Constrictor, complete with the first sound of a snake’s satisfaction ever recorded. Johnny Cash sees laughter and life all around him!
Although these are not folk songs, like them they tell the tales of people and places and things. They’re way out, full of surprises and just plain funny. Johnny Cash knows that EVERYBODY LOVES A NUT. Listen, and you’ll agree. Only a nut wouldn’t! – Mort Goode