Track of the Day: 'Redemption Song' by Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

The latest reader contributor to our cover series merges three giants of their genres:

I’m not sure this pick is as transformative as others, but I believe it is significant for its intersection of three true giants of music. “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley has been covered by many artists (Eddie Vedder with Beyoncé recently), but having Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer cover it [above] really cuts to the essence of the song.

Each of the three artists is a great singer songwriter and a pillar of their genre of music (Cash for country, Strummer for punk, and Marley for reggae) as well as being icons of their native countries (U.S., England, and Jamaica). They each rebelled through their music and, among many other things, sought to provide meaning and understanding to the individual’s struggle for freedom. Additionally, Cash and Strummer’s voices clearly and rawly convey the respect they have as artists for each other, as well as that they have for Marley, their fellow rebel.

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