Before his death, occurred in 2017 by suicide, Chris Cornell has recorded a song adapted to Johnny Cash’s poem You Never Knew My Mind, contained in a book titled Forever Words: The Unknown Poems and published in 2006. The book is a collection of 41 never-before published poems, found and gathered after Cash’s death in 2003.
According to Pitchfork, the poem was written by the country music legend in 1944, when he was only 12 years-old and the book includes some of Cash’s handwriting pages. Cash’s son has spoke about the book saying that he hopes it to be a testament of his father legacy: “I want people to have a deeper understanding of my father than just the iconic, cool man in black. I think this book will help provide that.”
Now the book has become a collection of songs by the same title, which will feature artists from different genres and styles such as I’m With Her, Willie Nelson, Kacey Musgraves, Elvis Costello, the Jayhawks, Rosanne Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Jamey Johnson and, of course, Chris Cornell. The album will be out on April 6th via Legacy Recordings, says Pitchfork.
You Never Knew My Mind represents one of Cornell’s last recordings before he tragically took his own life. The song was recorded at Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, TN and it comes as a posthumous response to Cash’s cover of Soundgarden’s Rusty Cage, released 21 years ago.
John Carter Cash, son of the singer-songwriter, curated and co-produced the record, which he defined as a “monstrous amassement” of undiscovered material. Speaking about Cornell’s song, he said “I assume and I’m fairly certain it was written for his first wife, Vivian. That was the year that their divorce was legal. It was also the year where his love for my mother flourished. So ‘You Never Knew My Mind’ was not something that he would have released at that time because my mother was standing beside him”, reports Blabbermouth.
Photo credit Raymond Flotat