IN THE CRIMSON GLOW OF THE HEAVENLY STREET
In the crimson glow of the street
Many a tramp is looking for sign posts.
There is an empty bottle next to me,
A crumpled box of cigarettes,
An old guitar
And a straying homeless man.
Next to the old orphanage,
A boy is standing
In dirty black clothes.
He is softly picking the strings of an old black guitar,
As if fondling his mother’s hair.
A harlot and her client pass him by
As if he’s not even there,
And he defiantly sings:
“Hello, I’m Johnny Cash!”
A sensual, humanly painful sound
Is left by a coin in the small tin can,
The echo of his poverty hovers in the air
Like a constant warning to the world;
In the crimson glow of the street,
The sweet sounds of an old ballad
Woke up all of my memories.
Oh, Lord, You know how much memories mean to a man
When he loses his dearest friends.
It’s time for me to move on,
Not because of the empty bottle of good old Irish whiskey,
The extinguished glow of the cigarette,
The extinguished ember of the homeless peoples’ eyes,
The extinguished glitter of a lone star,
The tear in the boy’s eye,
But because of the call of the dream road,
Because now that the end is near,
Why would I stop singing and straying?
Why should I quit looking for old friends within music?
After all, the day will come when
Willie, Kris, Johnny and Waylon shall
Travel and sing together again
In the crimson glow of the heavenly street.
©Walter William Safar
Due to his rebellious spirit, Johnny Cash became SOMEONE during both his life and his afterlife. Now he proudly treads the heavenly alleyway of immortality, leaving behind him an inebriating scent of burning tobacco that is reminiscent of the terrestrial battle of the two selves. His legacy to mankind, his immortal melodies, is proof of his victory. Regardless of how much the anti-smoking activists were bothered by his timeless smoke, they should know that life teaches us that some cigarettes burn out soon, while others burn forever.
Kris Kristofferson – Sunday Morning Coming Down
The Highwaymen – Living Legend