This article was originally published in November 2016.
Without question, this year’s Thanksgiving will be different. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen this level of disagreement between Americans. And if your family is anything like the average family, we’ve got loved ones on both sides of the spectrum.
So, who do we turn to in times of turmoil and doubt? Johnny Cash, obviously.
In this obscure video, Cash offers up a beautiful poem followed by an otherwise unreleased (we think) song. Cash sits down at a dinner table before sharing his Thanksgiving prayer. In it, a farmer gives his thanks for the warm sun and singing birds, despite not having a turkey to put on the table.
And he shares perhaps the most pertinent line in the whole performance. “And thank you for this country, too,” Cash says. “We’ve troubles now, and pain. But with your help, Lord, we’ll get back to where the road is smooth again.” Take a listen.
There’s not much information about the source of the video. And, aside from this performance, there’s no documentation of the song, or even a title for it.
But the message, just like Cash’s prayer beforehand, rings true. He sings of cursing his aching feet and measly pay. But then corrects his tune when he sees a crippled man smiling, remembering that he’s really doing fine despite his troubles.
So before you engage in the inevitable family discussions this week, maybe play this clip for your whole family and keep it all in perspective. Be truly thankful for what you have, even if it’s just the sun shining. Johnny Cash knows best.