"You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space."
"Success is having to worry about every damn thing in the world, except money."
"You've got a song you're singing from your gut, you want that audience to feel it in their gut. And you've got to make them think that you're one of them sitting out there with them too. They've got to be able to relate to what you're doing."
"Of emotions, of love, of breakup, of love and hate and death and dying, mama, apple pie, and the whole thing. It covers a lot of territory, country music does."
"The Master of Life's been good to me. He has given me strength to face past illnesses, and victory in the face of defeat. He has given me life and joy where other saw oblivion. He Has given new purpose to live for, new services to render and old wounds to heal. Life and love go on, let the music play."
"My roots are in the working man. I can remember very well how it is to pick cotton 10 hours a day, or to plough, or how to cut wood. I remember it so well because I don't intend to ever try to do it again."
"To love who you are and what you do, and to have faith in your ability to do it. You’ve got to know your limitations. I don’t know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren’t too many limitations, if I did it my way."
"Sometimes I am two people. Johnny is the nice one. Cash causes all the trouble. They fight."
"Youth shouldn’t be clouded by any chemical or anything. Somebody my age can easily know that too, but youth is too wonderful a thing to mess with while you’ve got it."
"People call me wild. Not really though, I'm not.I guess I've never been normal, not what you call Establishment. I'm country."
"Children, all your life, you will be faced with a choice. You can choose love or hate… I choose love."
"The things that have always been important: to be a good man, to try to live my life the way God would have me, to turn it over to Him that His will might be worked in my life, to do my work without looking back, to give it all I've got, and to take pride in my work as an honest performer."
“There’s a lot of things blamed on me that never happened. But then, there’s a lot of things that I did that I never got caught at.”
“I wore black because I liked it. I still do, and wearing it still means something to me. It's still my symbol of rebellion -- against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others' ideas.”
“They're powerful, those songs. At times they've been my only way back, the only door out of the dark, bad places the black dog calls home.”
“I took the easy way, and to an extent I regret that. Still, though, the way we did it was honest. We played it and sang it the way we felt it, and there's a lot to be said for that.”
“The beer and the wurst were wonderful, but I was dying to be back in the South, where the livin' was easy, where the fish were jumpin', where the cotton grew high.”
“I love songs about horses, railroads, land, Judgment Day, family, hard times, whiskey, courtship, marriage, adultery, separation, murder, war, prison, rambling, damnation, home, salvation, death, pride, humor, piety, rebellion, patriotism, larceny, determination, tragedy, rowdiness, heartbreak and love. And Mother. And God.”
“I read novels but I also read the Bible. And study it, you know? And the more I learn, the more excited I get. Some of those stories are as wild as any HG Wells could drum up. And that Jesus! He really cuts me up! I worship him, but he tickles me to death."
“There's unconditional love there. You hear that phrase a lot but it's real with me and her. She loves me in spite of everything, in spite of myself. She has saved my life more than once. She's always been there with her love, and it has certainly made me forget the pain for a long time, many times. When it gets dark and everybody's gone home and the lights are turned off, it's just me and her.”
"I'm not bitter. Why should I be bitter? I'm thrilled to death with life. Life is — the way God has given it to me was just a platter — a golden platter of life laid out there for me. It's been beautiful."
“Everybody was wearing rhinestones, all those sparkly clothes, and cowboy boots. I decided to wear a black shirt and pants and see if I could get by with it. I did and I've worn black clothes ever since.”
"People say, Well, he wore that body out. Well, maybe I did. But it was to a good purpose. They should be thankful that I wore it out to the purpose I wore it out and that was writing and recording and touring and doing concerts. Everywhere I could possibly do them that I thought I might enjoy them. I thought people might enjoy me."
“It's been a good 30 years... It's been a great spiritual experience sharing my feelings with my audience. And that's what performing is. It's communicating your feelings through lyrics, recitation, or dialogue between songs. I found it to be a great challenge yet a most rewarding thing and probably the most rewarding vocation a person can have...”
"If the songs are really great, if the writer is good, if the song is really there, if I like it, if I feel like I can do it and make it my song and enjoy it myself, then it's going to be mine.”
"There's always rhythm going in my mind... I'm either singing them — June will tell you, I'm either singing them, or I have got the beat going from one, or I'm writing one."
“I can't ever use any medication that alters your mood. One is too many and 1,000 is not enough.”
“She's more to be desired than pearls or rubies.”
“You know, money really doesn't figure into it. You gotta have it to pay the bills and take care of everything but over the last 30 years what's meant most to me is feeling justified in the moves I've made and being happy in my relationship with my wife, my children, and God.”
"There's no cure for life either."