Ring of Fire (song)


Ring of Fire (song)

Infobox Single
Name = Ring of Fire


Artist = Johnny Cash
from Album =
B-side =
Released = 1963
Format = Vinyl
Recorded = 1963
Genre = Country
Length = 2:38
Label = Columbia Records
Producer = Don Law
Last single =
This single = "Ring of Fire" (1963)
Next single =
Misc =

"Ring of Fire" is a country music song popularized by Johnny Cash and co-written by June Carter (wife of Johnny Cash) and Merle Kilgore. The single appears on Cash's 1963 compilation album, "". The song was recorded on March 25, 1963 and became the biggest hit of his career, staying at number one on the charts for seven weeks. [ [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=33:zt3ibkh9fa1q "Song Review"] . AllMusic.com. Retrieved on March 23, 2007.]

Conception

Although "Ring of Fire" sounds somewhat ominous, the term refers to falling in love - which is what June Carter was experiencing with Johnny Cash at the time. Some sources claim that June had seen the phrase, "Love is like a burning ring of fire," underlined in one of her uncle A. P. Carter's Elizabethan books of poetry. [ [http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_19990804/ai_n14247083 "Obituary: Anita Carter"] . The poem was "Love's Ring Of Fire by Bob Johnston, according to Johhny Cash by Stephen Miller. The (London) Independent. August 4, 1999. Retrieved on March 23, 2007.] [http://books.google.com/books?id=NZDEbEHKMPsC&pg=PA117&dq=Love+is+like+a+burning+ring+of+fire&ei=0kLDSOSNLYaCjwGDt7HrDQ&sig=ACfU3U3mIboyeCkaw1zmY5_2DwbPYwZekQ "Google Books Search, Johhny Cash, by Steve Miller"] ] She worked with Kilgore on writing a song inspired by this phrase as she had seen her uncle do in the past. In the 2005 film, "Walk the Line" June is depicted as writing the song while agonizing over her feelings for Cash despite his drug addiction and alcoholism as she was driving home one evening. She had written: "There is no way to be in that kind of hell, no way to extinguish a flame that burns, burns, burns". [ [http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/6595932/ring_of_fire "Ring of Fire"] . RollingStone.com. December 9, 2004. Retrieved on March 23, 2007.]

The song was originally recorded by June's sister, Anita Carter, on her Mercury Records album "Folk Songs Old and New" (1962) as "(Love's) Ring of Fire". [ http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/1051367/a/Ring+Of+Fire.htm "Ring of Fire CD"] . CDUniverse.com. Retrieved on March 23, 2007.] Mercury released Anita's version as a single and it was a featured "pick hit" in "Billboard" magazine.

After hearing Anita's version, Cash claims he had a dream where he heard the song accompanied by "Mexican horns". [http://www.bobdylanroots.com/ringfire.html "(Love's) Ring of Fire"] . BobDylanRoots.com. Retrieved on March 23, 2007.] Cash allowed some time for Anita's song to catch on, stating:

When the song failed to become a major hit for Anita, Cash recorded it his own way, adding the mariachi-style horns. This sound was later used in the song, "It Ain't Me Babe", which was recorded around the same time. Mother Maybelle and the Carter sisters are prominently featured in the Cash recording singing harmony. It is also of note that Cash tinkered with a few of the original phrases in Anita Carter's version of the song:

Love is a burning flame
and it makes a fiery ring
bringing hurt to the heart's desire
I fell in the ring of fire
I fell into, into the burning ring of fire
I fell down, down, down, down into the deepest mire
and it burns, burns, burns, burns
the ring of fire, the ring of fire, the ring of fire
The taste of love is sweet
When two fiery hearts meet
I believed you like a child
Oh but the fire went wild

Four years after the song was released, Carter and Cash were married which Cash states helped to stop his alcohol and drug addictions. Cash's daughter, Rosanne has stated, "The song is about the transformative power of love and that's what it has always meant to me and that's what it will always mean to the Cash children." [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/3498749.stm "Cash family blocks haemorrhoid ad"] . BBC.com. February 18, 2004. Retrieved on March 23, 2007.]

Legacy

Infobox Single
Name = Ring of Fire


Caption =
Artist = Eric Burdon & The Animals
from Album = Love Is
B-side = I'm an Animal
Released = 1969
Format = 7" single
Recorded =
Genre = R&B, rock, soul, psychedelic
Length = 5:25
Label = MGM
Writer = June Carter Cash
Producer = Tom Wilson
Certification =
Chart position =
Last single = "White Houses" (1968)
This single = "Ring of Fire" (1969)
Next single = "River Deep Mountain High" (1969)

Numerous cover versions of "Ring of Fire" have been produced, the most commercially successful version being by Social Distortion, who released their punk rock version on the album, "Social Distortion" (1990). The single reached #25 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks, 27 years after the single was first recorded by Cash.

The song has also been covered by singer and satirist, Frank Zappa. Zappa's version is a deconstructed, reggae rendition which appears on their album, "The Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life" (1991). The arrangement was concocted in anticipation of a guest appearance by Cash in Europe which was canceled at the last minute.

"Ring of Fire" ranked #4 on "CMT's 100 Greatest Songs in Country Music" in 2003 and #87 on "Rolling Stone"'s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The Eric Burdon & The Animals version who was recorded in the end of 1968, charted in 1969 in the following countries: UK: #25, GER: #19, AUS: #10, AU: #8, NL: #4, it failed to chart in the US.

Cover versions

Parody versions

* Country music parodist Cledus T. Judd recorded a Christmas-themed parody, called "Tree's on Fire", on his 2002 album "Cledus Navidad".
* On Rush Limbaugh's radio program, comedian Paul Shanklin parodies former Vice President Al Gore in singing "Ball of Fire" regarding the issue of global warming.
* Doc Adams of Sarcasticgamer.com, recorded a version of Ring of Fire parodying the failure rate of Microsoft's Xbox 360, also known as the Red Rings of Death.

In popular culture

The song was among a number of Cash songs covered by Joaquin Phoenix for the 2005 film, "Walk the Line". A duet version of the song, recorded by Jeff Bridges and Kim Carnes, can be heard in the opening scene in the 2000 film "The Contender", although the track is notably absent on the movie soundtrack and has, in fact, never been released. The song briefly plays in one scene of the 2006 horror film, "Silent Hill". It is also featured on the CBS reality television show, "", performed by Dilana Robichaux. Dilana is scheduled to release the Gilby Clarke produced cover on February 20, 2007 on iTunes, Napster and other digital download websites. This song was included in the soundtrack to "Tony Hawk's Underground 2" and British dance group Dario G released a mix of the famous tune in time for the FIFA World Cup 2006. A recent cover version is by Tim Speed, Apollo 440 and Ian McCulloch and it was Liverpool FC's official 2006's FA Cup song. The song was also included in the Singstar game Singstar Legends. Ring of Fire was also featured in an episode of My Name is Earl and in the 12th episode of the 3rd season of Numb3rs entitled, "Nine Wives". Travis Barker and DJ AM also used the song for their new "Fix Your face" mixtape.

In sports

"Ring of Fire" was first adopted by Liverpool Football Club fans in the year 2002, with the song growing in popularity as the team and its supporters travelled across Europe en route to the 2005 UEFA Champions League final in Istanbul. [ [http://web.archive.org/web/20070210193710/http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/news/drilldown/N152258060505-0922.htm "LFC Aiming for no.1 with cup final song"] . LiverpoolFC.tv. May 5, 2006] The song was played by the Liverpool football team prior to their victory on May 25th and is frequently played during half-time at Anfield. [ [http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/news/archivedirs/news/2005/nov/14/N150564051114-1420.htm "Revealed: The tunes that inspired Euro glory"] . Hothersall, Steve. LiverpoolFC.tv. Retrieved on March 23, 2006] The song has since been adapted by fans of Manchester United as a controversial chant about Liverpool supporter Michael Shields.

The song was later played by the England cricket team at lunch in the dressing room on the final day of the 3rd Test match against India on 22 March 2006. The English cricketers were inspired and came out and took seven wickets for 25 runs in the space of 89 balls to complete their first victory on Indian soil in 21 years. [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/2006/03/23/scindi23.xml "England summon Ring of Fire to ignite triumph"] by Derek Pringle, Daily Telegraph, 23 March 2006, retrieved 23 March 2006 ]
Andrew Flintoff and Matthew Hoggard of the England cricket team played it before they came out to play on the last day of the 2005 Ashes series between them and Australia to spur them on Fact|date=August 2007.

The NHL's Calgary Flames played the song on the tannoy of the Pengrowth Saddledome during their 2004 Stanley Cup run and also sang it in the dressing room after each win. It was also constantly played on the Red Mile during the run, and has become the team's victory song. The Saskatoon Blades of the WHL began to use this song as their victory song during the 2006 playoffs. It continues to be played after each victory by the team.

Cardiff City FC have started using it as their celebratory winning song. They have revamped the song to get the crowd excited when they score a goal at home. It is also played before Heart of Midlothian F.C. matches as the players take to the field to create more atmosphere. It was adopted by Hereford United in the 2005/06 season and is chanted at almost every game. After the team won the playoffs, players for Hereford United were seen chanting the song in celebration at Walker's Stadium in Leicester. The song is a crowd favorite at Adelaide United games, Rotherham United, Leicester City, Walsall FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers games. It is sung for Adelaide United young Talent Nathan Burns. This song is also played before every Wellington Phoenix home game. Southend United away fans also have adopted the song, as a means of encouraging and lifting the players away from home. QPR have also recently adopted the song. The song is also played at Ipswich Town F.C. as the players emerge from the Tunnel at Portman Road.

The song has also been used in an ESPN promotional ad for NASCAR.

Charts

References


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