When Johnny Cash listed 100 essential country songs for his daughter, Rosanne, he included one he was famous for singing himself, 'Long Black Veil.' In her upcoming album, The List, Rosanne Cash covers twelve of those 100 songs, including the haunting love ballad.
“Long Black Veil” tells the ghostly, heart-wrenching story of a man wrongly accused of murder who decides to die rather than give his true alibi of spending the night with his best friend's wife. From beyond the grave, he watches her weeping 'over my bones' as 'the night winds wail… She walks these hills in a long black veil.'
The song has often been performed as a duet – which intensifies the eeriness and romance the love story. Johnny Cash and Joni Mitchell performed the song together in 1969 on 'The Johnny Cash Show':
Dave Matthews and Emmylou Harris wail like the night winds in their duet:
Kurt recently asked Rosanne if she'd consider doing a duet with her father ala Nat and Natalie Cole's 'Unforgettable.' No way -- that sort of duet was just too eerie for her. Instead, she decided to team up with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy for her rendition of 'Long Black Veil.'
More of her conversation with Kurt on this week’s show.