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"God's Gonna Cut You Down", also known as "Run On", is a traditional folk song which has been recorded by numerous artists representing a variety of genres. The lyrics are a warning to sinners that no matter how hard they try, they will not avoid God's judgment; in the chorus, God tells the narrator of the song to

Go tell that long tongue liar,

go and tell that midnight rider,
tell the rambler, the gambler, the back biter,
tell 'em that God's gonna cut 'em down.

The song has, in the past, been modified to fit the boundaries of genres like country, folk, gospel and techno. As "God's Gonna Cut You Down", it was performed by Odetta on Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues (1956) and Johnny Cash on the posthumously released American V: A Hundred Highways (2006). As "Run On", it was recorded, among others, by Elvis Presley. A version incorporating sampled vocals by Bill Landford & The Landfordaires was included on Moby's album Play. The Blind Boys of Alabama also included the song on their Grammy-winning album "Spirit of the Century" in 2001. In 2007, Kevin Max of dc Talk covered the song as "Run on for a Long Time" with Chris Sligh.

Contents

Moby version

"Run On"
Single by Moby
from the album Play
Released May 18, 1999
Genre Pop/Gospel
Length 3:45
Writer(s) Traditional
Producer Moby
Moby singles chronology
"Honey"
(1998)
"Run On"
(1999)
"Bodyrock"
(1999)

Electronic musician Moby released "Run On" as the second single from his studio album Play. Two versions of the CD were released. The first, with a red cover featuring a vertically-aligned mousetrap, featured two remixes of "Run On" and two other tracks. The second, with a yellow cover featuring a horizontally-aligned mousetrap, contained four different "Run On" remixes.

The vocal content of the song comes from a 1943 recording of "Run On" by Bill Landford and the Landfordaires, and features a mix of house music and instrumental music.

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Track listing

CD 1

  1. "Run On"- 3:33
  2. "Spirit"- 4:12
  3. "Running"- 7:04

CD 2

  1. "Run On (extended)"- 4:24
  2. "Sunday"- 5:00
  3. "Down Slow (full length)"- 5:56

Music Video

There are two music videos for the song:

Video 1

The first video involves Moby working at an office where everyone wears white. It then shows an earlier scene involving a workout instructor teaching a class when she passes out. Moby then comes in and puts an inhaler in her mouth. It then continues to show an earlier scene, going backwards to tell the entire story: the office Moby works in is heaven, the instructor is self-conscious and not sure of her capabilities, and heaven is a self-help phone line. Eventually, it shows a scene of Moby dead in a parking lot, with another employee checking his pulse. It then concludes with a shot of Moby working in the same office, but it has a green light to it, and everyone is unkind and emotionally distant.

Video 2

The second music video involves an animated version of Moby's disembodied head floating through technicolor backgrounds, singing the song, with background voices provided by demons.

Johnny Cash version

"God's Gonna Cut You Down"
Single by Johnny Cash
from the album American V: A Hundred Highways
Released July 4, 2006
Genre Country, Folk, Gospel
Length 2:38
Label American Recordings
Lost Highway Records
Writer(s) Traditional
Producer Rick Rubin
Johnny Cash singles chronology
"Hurt"
(2006)
"God's Gonna Cut You Down"
(2006)
"Help Me"
(2007)

Johnny Cash recorded a version of "God's Gonna Cut You Down" on American V: A Hundred Highways in 2003, with an arrangement quite different from most known gospel versions of the song. The song is presented with a rhythmic stomp-clap downbeat, grim and pessimistic in its portrayal of a vengeful and uncompromising God, serving as a warning to sinners.

A music video, directed by Tony Kaye,[1] was made for this version in late 2006. It featured a number of celebrities, including Iggy Pop, Kanye West, Chris Martin, Kris Kristofferson, Patti Smith, Terrence Howard, Flea, Q-Tip, Adam Levine, Chris Rock, Justin Timberlake, Kate Moss, Sir Peter Blake, Sheryl Crow, Dennis Hopper, Woody Harrelson, Amy Lee, Tommy Lee, the Dixie Chicks, Mick Jones, Sharon Stone, Bono, Shelby Lynne, Anthony Kiedis, Travis Barker, Lisa Marie Presley, Kid Rock, Jay-Z, Keith Richards, Billy Gibbons, Corinne Bailey Rae, Johnny Depp, Graham Nash, Brian Wilson, Rick Rubin and Owen Wilson. It also briefly features archive footage of Cash himself. The video was shot entirely in black and white. Since its release, both the song and video have seen moderate airplay.

The video won the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video.

The Johnny Cash recording was played in The Most Hated Family in America. It has been used as bumper music for the Alex Jones radio show. It was heard on promotional commercials for the hit CW series Supernatural as well as in the trailer for the 2006 documentary Deliver Us from Evil. UFC Fighters Spencer Fisher and Jason Lambert have used it for their entrance music, as have professional wrestlers Tyson Dux and Brodie Lee. The single hit number one on the Christian charts after being released by Rick Hendrix and his positive music association. Musician Sean Michel covered the song during his audition on Season 6 of American Idol. Matchbox Twenty also used the song before playing "How Far We've Come" on their "Exile in America" tour. EastEnders used the recording in a 2008 promotional video for Max Branning's Judgement Day. The song was played over the opening sequence and closing credits of David Ridgen's documentary Mississippi Cold Case made for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation . Part-time TNA wrestler Tyson Dux uses Cash's version on the indy circuit.

Chart positions

Moby version: "Run On"

Chart (1999) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart 33

Johnny Cash version

Chart (2006) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart 77

External links

References


"God's Gonna Cut You Down", also known as "Run On", is a traditional folk song which has been recorded by numerous artists representing a variety of genres. The lyrics are a warning to sinners that no matter how hard they try, they will not avoid God's judgment; in the chorus, God tells the narrator of the song to

Go tell that long tongue liar,

go and tell that midnight rider,
tell the rambler, the gambler, the back biter,
tell 'em that God's gonna cut 'em down.

The song has, in the past, been modified to fit the boundaries of genres like country, folk, gospel and techno. As "God's Gonna Cut You Down", it was performed by Odetta on Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues (1956) and Johnny Cash on the posthumously released American V: A Hundred Highways (2006). As "Run On", it was recorded, among others, by Elvis Presley. A version incorporating sampled vocals by Bill Landford & The Landfordaires was included on Moby's album Play. The Blind Boys of Alabama also included the song on their Grammy-winning album Spirit of the Century in 2001. In 2007, Kevin Max of dc Talk covered the song as "Run on for a Long Time" with Chris Sligh.

Contents

Moby version

"Run On"
Single by Moby
from the album Play
Released May 18, 1999
Genre Pop/Gospel
Length 3:45
Writer(s) Traditional
Producer Moby
Moby singles chronology

"Honey"
(1998)
"Run On"
(1999)
"Bodyrock"
(1999)

Electronic musician Moby released "Run On" as the second single from his studio album Play. Two versions of the CD were released. The first, with a red cover featuring a vertically-aligned mousetrap, featured two remixes of "Run On" and two other tracks. The second, with a yellow cover featuring a horizontally-aligned mousetrap, contained four different "Run On" remixes.

The vocal content of the song comes from a 1943 recording of "Run On" by Bill Landford and the Landfordaires, and features a mix of house music and instrumental music.

Track listing

CD 1

  1. "Run On"- 3:33
  2. "Spirit"- 4:12
  3. "Running"- 7:04

CD 2

  1. "Run On (extended)"- 4:24
  2. "Sunday"- 5:00
  3. "Down Slow (full length)"- 5:56

Music Video

There are two music videos for the song:

Video 1

The first video involves Moby working at an office where everyone wears white. It then shows an earlier scene involving a workout instructor teaching a class when she passes out. Moby then comes in and puts an inhaler in her mouth. It then continues to show an earlier scene, going backwards to tell the entire story: the office Moby works in is heaven, the instructor is self-conscious and not sure of her capabilities, and heaven is a self-help phone line. Eventually, it shows a scene of Moby dead in a parking lot, with another employee checking his pulse. It then concludes with a shot of Moby working in the same office, but it has a green light to it, and everyone is unkind and emotionally distant.

Video 2

The second music video involves an animated version of Moby's disembodied head floating through technicolor backgrounds, singing the song, with background voices provided by demons.

Johnny Cash version

"God's Gonna Cut You Down"
File:God'
Single by Johnny Cash
from the album American V: A Hundred Highways
Released July 4, 2006
Genre Country, Folk, Gospel
Length 2:38
Label American Recordings
Lost Highway Records
Writer(s) Traditional
Producer Rick Rubin
Johnny Cash singles chronology

"Hurt"
(2006)
"God's Gonna Cut You Down"
(2006)
"Help Me"
(2007)

Johnny Cash recorded a version of "God's Gonna Cut You Down" on American V: A Hundred Highways in 2003, with an arrangement quite different from most known gospel versions of the song. The song is presented with a rhythmic stomp-clap downbeat, grim and pessimistic in its portrayal of a vengeful and uncompromising God, serving as a warning to sinners.

A music video, directed by Tony Kaye,[1] was made for this version in late 2006. It featured a number of celebrities, including:

It also briefly features archive footage of Cash himself. The video was shot entirely in black and white. Since its release, both the song and video have seen moderate airplay.

The video won the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video.

The Johnny Cash version can also be heard in the following:

Other Artists

The single hit number one on the Christian charts after being released by Rick Hendrix and his positive music association. Musician Sean Michel covered the song during his audition on Season 6 of American Idol. Matchbox Twenty also used the song before playing "How Far We've Come" on their "Exile in America" tour. The New Jersey rock band The Gaslight Anthem have done a cover of this song as well. Recently, the Canadian rock band Three Day's Grace has used the song in the opening of their live shows. Bobbie Gentry recorded a version as "Sermon" on her album The Delta Sweete.

Chart positions

Moby version: "Run On"

Chart (1999) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart 33

Johnny Cash version

Chart (2006) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart 77

External links

References


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