Celebrate the Heart of Country, Americana, and Roots Music!

Drop Us A Line, Y'all

Y'all interested in advertising, partnering up, contributing stories, joining our team, or just got a question? Well, don't be shy, drop us a line!

Follow Us

“Forty Shades of Green”: Johnny Cash’s Ode to Ireland

Johnny Cash + Forty Shades of Green
by

Country legend Johnny Cash released an ode to Ireland appreciating its beauty with “Forty Shades of Green” as part of his album Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash in 1963. The song was initially released as a B-side of Cash’s song ‘The Rebel-Johnny Yuma.” 

Johnny Cash is an American country singer-songwriter who is known for songs that dwell on themes like sorrow, moral tribulation, and redemption. He has released many hit songs, such as “Ring of Fire” and “I Walk the Line.” Accompanied by his calm, deep, baritone voice, he immediately became a country legend over the coming years. 

“Forty Shades of Green,” which was inspired by his visit to Ireland, is considered one of Johnny Cash’s greatest hits. He wrote the song while on a trip to Ireland in 1951 and completed it in 1961 as a B-side on his album “The Rebel – Johnny Yuma.”

Throughout the process of composing the song, Cash even asked Irish friends where he could see the true beauty of Ireland. After asking so many people, he was eventually told to head for the Vee Pass, which is a stunning place that divides the Knockmealdown and Galtee mountains in southern Tipperary—exquisite scenery that he can’t get out of his mind.

So, if you are interested in the meaning behind the song, let’s dive right into it. 

Meaning Behind the Song

Written by Johnny Cash, the song simply describes the overall beauty of Ireland, from the fishing boats at Dingle to the shores of Donaghadee. Above all, the protagonist of the song describes how he misses the girl he fell in love with in this majestic place. 

In an interview, Cash’s son mentioned that his father had spent quite a time holidaying in Ireland during the 1950s. As soon as the legendary singer landed in this foreign land, he immediately fell in love with its beauty. Although some may think “Forty Shades of Green” is somewhat sentimentally corny, Cash still decided to release it as it is his heartfelt view of Ireland. 

Despite the song not landing any charts, it was still considered one of Cash’s greatest hits considering several Irish-born citizens and known country artists like Dexys Midnight Runners and Daniel O’Donnell have also released their version of the song. 

So if you haven’t listened to Johnny Cash’s “Forty Shades of Green,” you can listen to it below. 

Latest Stories

Travis Tritt + Help Me Hold On

Travis Tritt Begs His Lover For One More Chance In “Help Me Hold On”

Country singer Travis Tritt scored his first number-one hit with his second release from his 1990 debut album Country Club titled “Help Me Hold On.” He co-wrote it with accomplished ...

Carrie Underwood Falls Off Stage on Tail End of South Carolina Concert

Carrie Underwood Rocks Carolina Country Music Fest Despite Rain

Country singer Carrie Underwood graced the last day stage of the Carolina Country Music Fest 2024 in Myrtle Beach and delivered one hell of a performance despite the massive downpour. ...

Billy Ray Cyrus Files for Divorce from Firerose, Seeks Annulment on Grounds of Fraud

Billy Ray Cyrus Files for Divorce from Firerose, Cites Fraud

American country singer Billy Ray Cyrus reached a breaking point with Australian singer Firerose just after seven months of marriage. According to court documents obtained by the Associated Press, Billy ...

Travis Tritt + Best of Intentions

Travis Tritt Made A Career Comeback With “Best of Intentions”

It was 2000, and it had been six years since Travis Tritt hit the top of the charts and three since his last appearance in the Top 10. The first ...

Sonny James Death

A Moment To Remember: Country Singer Sonny James’ Death At 87

Country singer Sonny James, known for his 1957 track “Young Love,” which topped both country and pop charts, passed away on February 22, 2016, at Nashville’s Alive Hospice. According to ...

Wynonna Sings Coal Miner's Daughter with Loretta Lynn's Granddaughter Emmy Russell - Idol

Wynonna Judd Joins Emmy Russell On Idol To Sing “Coal Miner’s Daughter”

Emmy Russell started her American Idol journey with an original song. She fittingly ended it with a tribute cover of “Coal Miner’s Daughter” for her late grandmother and country legend ...

Randy Travis A Country Legend's Fight for His Voice and His Legacy

What Happened to Randy Travis After Massive Stroke and Dire Financial Situation?

What happened to Randy Travis? That has been the question of many of his fans after his massive stroke in 2013.  Randy Travis is a legend and an icon in ...

5 Must-Hear Lainey Wilson Collaborations

Here Are 5 Lainey Wilson Collaborations You Shouldn’t Miss Out On

Country singer Lainey Wilson’s discography isn’t just a string of solo hits. Over the years, she has also steadily stacked up her collaboration resume — earning several number ones from ...

Lukas Nelson And Sierra Ferrell + Crying Time

Lukas Nelson & Sierra Ferrell Harmonize on Buck Owens’ “Crying Time”

Buck Owen’s 1964 track “Crying Time,” popularized by Ray Charles, is making waves again after Lukas Nelson and Sierra Ferrell shared a casual snippet of their take on the song.  ...

Ashley Cooke on making country music history with her debut album

Ashley Cooke Reaches a Milestone with Debut Album “Shot in the Dark”

With her single ”Your Place” from the album Shot in the Dark, Ashley Cooke jumps into a huge leap in her career and turns into a Billboard Hot-100 artist at ...