A man in Reno

Cash hallmark gets new spin

Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” was one of his signature songs and one of its lines has long fostered comment in this community (“I shot a man in Reno,” RN&R, July 3, 2008).

The Toronto Sun reports it has now been put to political use. In the Sept. 13 debate among Republican presidential candidates, the tea party-heavy audience was aggressive in its comments. When moderator Wolf Blitzer asked whether an uninsured citizen with a preventable malady should be left to die, an audience member called out, “Let him die,” a comment that generated considerable online comment—including an anonymous rewriting of Cash’s song that showed up on YouTube: “I uninsured a man in Reno/Just to watch him die.”

The new lyric got almost a thousand hits on Google last week. This week it is over 3,000.