When Brad Paisley first announced the track listing and songwriting credits for his 11th studio album Love and War, fans may have caught a glimpse of a surprise co-writer on the song “Gold All Over The Ground.” The name is none other than the late country music legend Johnny Cash, who passed away in 2003 at the age of 71.
With that revelation, many came to wonder how the two could co-write a song together, but now, Paisley and Johnny Cash’s son, John Carter Cash, are sharing their story in a video posted to Paisley’s Facebook page.
After coming together for a small gathering, John shared the words so delicately written by his father with Paisley.
“You just picked up your guitar and for some reason my phone was sitting there. You said, ‘does that record?’ I literally remember turning on the audio before you even hit a guitar lick and the song, as we hear it, is unchanged from when you spontaneously wrote it,” John recalled from the outside of Cash Cabin Studio. “What a beautiful thing that you connected those words that my father wrote directly with your melody and your unique artistry.”
The song is one the West Virginia native refers to as “one of the absolute, most meaningful things” he’s ever been a part of.
“The most mind-blowing thing is the song that I was lucky enough to co-write with your father, which is the strangest thing to say, is something that was written originally for your mother, for June,” Paisley explained.
“My father was willing to lay gold all over the ground for her,” added John of the poem Cash wrote in 1967. “But it’s that honest connection that made it such a beautiful piece of music.”
Paisley recorded “Gold All Over The Ground” at Cash Cabin Studio, where Cash famously recorded much of his work in the latter part of his life.
In November 2016, John published Forever Words: The Unknown Poems, a book of his late father’s unpublished songs and poems. The purpose of the book is to ensure the words and works of Cash would stretch far into many future generations.