Merle Travis - Dark as a Dungeon [1946]

While it later became a staple of the 1960's folk revival, "Dark as a Dungeon" was not originally a hit on the level of his own "Sixteen Tons", gaining most of it's notoriety for it's inclusion on Johnny Cash's At Folsom Prison. But where Cash's version booms with the affection of someone still in the grips of addiction, which makes sense as he was just coming out of a battle with his own drug dependency, Travis sings from the pained perspective of someone on the outside, whose affection is for the people harmed and the dangers they endure. They're both certainly worthwhile, but for where I am, Merle's hits me hardest.

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