Stuck in Folsom Prison

Scott Hilburn’s Argyle Sweater cartoon from the 20th:

A parody set off by a pun.

From Wikipedia on the original:

“Folsom Prison Blues” is a song written in 1953 and first recorded in 1955 by American singer-songwriter Johnny Cash. The song combines elements from two popular folk styles, the train song and the prison song, both of which Cash continued to use for the rest of his career. It was one of Cash’s signature songs. It was the eleventh track on his debut album With His Hot and Blue Guitar and it was also included (same version) on All Aboard the Blue Train. A live version, recorded among inmates at Folsom State Prison itself, became a #1 hit on the country music charts in 1968.

You can listen to the song here.

The pun is as close to perfect as an imperfect pun can be: prison – prism, with syllabic n vs. syllabic m, just one feature apart.

Then in the text itself, more substantial alterations. Compare with original with the verson above:

I hear the train a comin’ rollin’ round the bend
I ain’t seen the sunshine since I don’t know when

while preserving the prosody and the rhyming words bend – when.

The rest of the original :

Well I’m stuck in Folsom Prison and time keeps dragging on
While a train keeps a rollin’ on down to San Antone

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: