This is a cover of a song by Sting. I haven't heard Sting's version but I am not a fan of what I have heard. Anyway, Cash's version is stripped down to the bare essentials, acoustic guitar and piano with a little bit of keyboard in the background to add some depth, but the music is secondary to the great mans voice. He's in his seventies, and all the age an experience in his voice just makes the youth and experience of the lyrics all the more poignant. His voice reminds me of my grandfather (May he rest in peace). The whole Album (American Recordings IV - The Man Comes Around) is incredible and this song is a stand out track among many, both original and covered.
from American Recordings IV The Man Comes Around (American 063 339-2), available on CD
This is (for me) one of the greatest songs of love ever written. The song describes the appearance of a goddess among women and is pure (if at times naive) poetry. The arrangement is simple lead and rhythm guitars and bass with an organ giving a more filled out feeling from the second verse and violin in the fourth. The tone is melancholy but happy, as if the singer is basking in the light of this most beautiful woman. It must have been written for someone, someone lucky to be thought so beautiful. But there is sadness in that the singer may be singing of his unrequited love. Some of the alliteration is fantastic too.
from Townes Van Zandt (Pppy Records CDGR 212), available on CD
11 Jan 07 ·booblikon: there is a great story in the documentary film "Be Here To Love Me", as told by Guy Clark: this song apparently came to Van Zandt in a particularly peak morning of inspiration, when Clark describes finding Townes uncharacteristically fit and alert. after making his bed to military specification, he played Clark a new song (this one), which he intended to perform at an appearance that same evening. i may have rendered parts of this story incorrectly, so i definitely recommend the movie if you are a fan; even if not, as it is sad but quite revelatory.