song of the week 08: if you could read my mind

If You Could Read My Mind” by Johnny Cash

American V was recorded by Cash shortly before his death in 2003 and posthumously released in 2006. Similar to the four other albums in the series, it features many cover versions of old songs. American V was the first Cash album to reach No1 in 37 years.

American V features the very last song written by Johnny Cash (“Like the 309“) but it is this song that is the stand out track on the album for me. Cash’s voice is raw and full of age, you can hear and feel his many years and his impending death. It is simultaneously heart-breaking and uplifting.

“If You Could Read My Mind” was first recorded by Gordon Lightfoot and had its first release in 1970.

Lyrics

If you could read my mind love
What a tale my thoughts could tell
Just like an old time movie
‘Bout a ghost from a wishing well
In a castle dark or a fortress strong
With chains around my feet
You know that ghost is me
And I will never be set free
As long as I’m a ghost that you can’t see

If I could read your mind love
What a tale your thoughts could tell
Just like a paperback novel
The kind the drugstore sells
When you reach the part
Where the heartaches come
The hero would be me
Heroes often fail
And you won’t read that book again
Because the ending’s just too hard to take

I walk away like a movie star
Who gets burned in a three way script
Enter number two
A movie queen to play the scene
Of bringing all the good things out in me
But for now love, let’s be real

I never thought I could act this way
And I’ve got to say that I just don’t get it
I don’t know where we went wrong
But the feeling’s gone and I just can’t get it back

If you could read my mind, love
What a tale my thoughts could tell
Just like an old-time movie
‘Bout a ghost from a wishing well
In a castle dark or a fortress strong
With chains upon my feet
The stories always end
And if you read between the lines
You’ll know that I’m just trying to understand
The feeling that you left

I never thought I could feel this way
And I’ve got to say that I just don’t get it
I don’t know where we went wrong
But the feeling’s gone
And I just can’t get it back

Header image from 8Tracks.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.