He puts music to the country star's poem 'You Never Knew My Mind'.
The ultimate posthumous meeting of artists has got our heartstrings all tangled in a knot as a new tribute to Johnny Cash sung by the late Chris Cornell is premiered on the radio this week. The latter puts two of the country star's poems to music in the sensational 'You Never Knew My Mind'.
Chris Cornell performing with Audioslave
The contribution marks the first posthumous musical venture for the Soundgarden singer, who committed suicide in May 2017, and is set to appear on a collection of previously unrecorded writings of Cash entitled 'Forever Words'.
According to Cash's son John Carter Cash, 'You Never Knew My Mind' was a poem written in 1967 that came with a companion piece entitled 'I Never Knew Your Mind'. Cornell's rendition is a combination of both pieces.
'They were basically the same lyric that was written from two different standpoints', John said on Zane Lowe's Beats 1 show. 'I'm fairly certain it was written for his first wife, Vivian. That was the year that their divorce was legal. It was also the year where his love for my mother flourished. So 'You Never Knew My Mind' was not something that he would have released at that time because my mother was standing beside him.'
The song, which premiered on what would have been his father's 86th birthday, has a lot of emotional significance for John. 'Chris took the two pieces and put them together in this one', he continued. 'I can't listen to it without it laying me down. I mean it still and it did that before Chris passed.'
It was almost a no-brainer that Chris would contribute to 'Forever Words'; he is a long-time fan of Johnny Cash, who returned his affections with by covering the Soundgarden track 'Rusty Cage' in 1996 for his 'Unchained' album.
'Chris told me that he loved my dad not only when country wasn't cool with all his friends but you know not that many of them knew who Johnny Cash was, but Chris said that he was listening to those live albums of my dad's, his concept records from the Sixties', said John.