October 17

Grin Your Troubles Away Like the Shoeshine Boy From “Get Rhythm” by Johnny Cash

Country legend Johnny Cash sings about his interaction with a shoeshine boy in his song “Get Rhythm.” The song was released in 1956 as the B-side to his single “I Walk The Line,” but in 1969, it was re-released as an A-side single with dubbed sound effects so it would sound like it was performed live. The re-released version then reached no. 23 in the country charts and no. 60 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Grin Your Troubles Away

Johnny Cash’s “Get Rhythm” teaches us about staying positive in life as the narrator tells the story of a sunny shoeshine boy who, despite having “the dirtiest job in town,” manages to grin his troubles away.

The narrator of the song asks the shoeshine boy how he “keep from getting the blues,” and the shoeshine boy responds with a grin and simply answers to “get rhythm,” all while focusing on doing his job. He later on added that he liked doing his job as he wiped his sweat away, with yet again a grin on his face.

Johnny Cash songs have taught us a lot of things, but the shoeshine boy in “Get Rhythm” teaches us about optimism and that no matter how down you are in life, a little grin might get you through it. The shoeshine boy has an extreme dedication to his job, and it should remind us of the importance of having a positive mindset. We should all be a little more like that shoeshine boy.

When you get the blues, listen to “Get Rhythm” by Johnny Cash in the video below.


Johnny Cash

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