Christmas As JR Cash Knew It

One of my fellow bloggers, who often posts just a simple quote, posted today the quote: “Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritance.” Shortly after I had read and commented on her post, the song “Christmas As I Knew It” by Johnny Cash came on my iPod. (I’ve been listening to Christmas music all day!) It was a perfect complement to Rea’s quote because it shows the wonderful gifts of gratitude and generosity that Johnny Cash’s dad taught him, even though they were quite poor. So I decided to share the lyrics with you all today!

Christmas As I Knew It, by Johnny Cash

One day near Christmas when I was just a child
Mama called us together and mama tried to smile
She said you know the cotton crop hadn’t been too good this year
There’s not a lot of spending money and well at least we’re all here

I hope you won’t expect a lot of Christmas presents
Just be thankful that there is plenty to eat
That’ll make things a little more pleasant
And us kids got to thinking how really blessed we were
At least we were all healthy and most of all we had her

Roy cut down a pine oak tree and we drug it home Jack and me
Daddy killed a squirrel and Louise made the bread
Reba decorated the tree with popcorn strings before we went to bed
Mama and daddy sacrificed because this Christmas was kind of lean
After all there was the babies Tom and Joanne
And babies need a few things

I whittled a whistle for my brother Jack
And though we disagreed now and then
When I gave Jack that whistle he knew I thought the world of him
Mama made the girl’s dresses out of flour sacks
And when she ironed them down
You couldn’t tell that they hadn’t come from town

A sharecropper family across the road didn’t have it as good as us
They didn’t even have a light and it was way past dusk
And mama said “Well I bet they don’t even have coal oil
Let alone apples and oranges and such”

Me and Jack took a jar of coal oil nd some hickernuts we’d found
We walked to the sharecropper’s porch and set ’em down
A poor old ragged lady eased open the door
She picked up the coal oil and hickernuts and said
“I sure do thank you” and quickly closed the door

We started back home me and Jack
And about halfway we stopped looked back
And in the sharecropper’s window at last was a light
So for one of the neighbors and for us it was a good Christmas night

Christmas came and Christmas went
Christmas that year was heaven-sent
And my daddy put on his rubber boots
And paced the floor waiting for the thaw
Back home in Dyess Arkansas

May you experience a heaven-sent Christmas with your family and neighbors!

I am a Jesus Freak, and I don't care who knows it. I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend. My blood family is only part of the larger family of Christ that I belong to. I love to write, especially about my dear Savior.


4 Responses

  1. Thanks kindly, Linda.

    A wonderful Christmas to you and yours as well! Praying we will leave a Godly heritage for those who follow our footsteps.


  2. Beautiful stories like this touch the heart
    and add faith to the kindness of mankind.
    How little it may seem to some
    the light actually burns endlessly within.
    Thanks Linda!

  3. Linda . . .this was so beautiful. We have too much, sometimes, when it distracts us from Jesus. Thank you so much. You are really blessing me with all your posts! love, deb

    • Deb, This is particularly good to hear Johnny Cash “sing” it. He really talks all the way through the song, but his voice is so wonderful. The same CD has him reading “There Was a Man” with music in the background. Glad you liked this one. Peace, Linda

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: