God’s Gonna Cut You Down



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God's Gonna Cut You Down

"God's Gonna Cut You Down", also known as "Run On" and "Run On for a Long Time", is a traditional folk song which has been recorded by numerous artists representing a variety of genres. The lyrics are a warning to sinners that no matter how hard they try, they will not avoid God's judgment.

The song has, over time, been modified to fit the boundaries of diverse genres like country, folk, gospel, techno, and black metal. As "God's Gonna Cut You Down", it was performed by Odetta on Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues (1956) and Johnny Cash on the posthumously released American V: A Hundred Highways (2006). As "Run On", it was recorded, among others, by Elvis Presley. A version incorporating sampled vocals by Bill Landford & The Landfordairs was included on Moby's album Play. The song has also been covered by many other artists.

Moby cover

"Run On"
Single by Moby featuring Bill Landford & The Landfordairs
from the album Play
B-side "Spirit", "Running", "Sunday", "Down Slow (full length)"
Released 1999
Length 4:24 (Extended)
3:55 (Extended 12-inch)
3:45 (LP Version)
3:33 (Single Version)
3:09 (Radio Edit)
Songwriter(s) Traditional
Producer(s) Moby
Moby featuring Bill Landford & The Landfordairs singles chronology
"Honey"
(1998)
"Run On"
(1999)
"Bodyrock"
(1999)

"Honey"
(1998)
"Run On"
(1999)
"Bodyrock"
(1999)

Electronic musician Moby released "Run On" as the second single from his studio album Play.

In the US, "Run On" was released as a double A-side with "Honey".

The vocal content of the song comes from a 1949 Columbia Records #30203 recording of "Run On For A Long Time" by Bill Landford and the Landfordairs, and features a mix of house music and instrumental music.

Track listing

UK CD #1 (Mute Records CDMUTE221)

  1. "Run On"
  2. "Spirit"
  3. "Running"

UK CD #2 (Mute Records LCDMUTE221)

  1. "Run On (Extended)"
  2. "Sunday"
  3. "Down Slow (Full Length)"

US CD (V2 Records 63881-27583-2)

  1. "Honey (Album Mix)"
  2. "Honey (Moby's 118 Mix)"
  3. "Honey (Sharam Jey's Sweet Honey Mix)"
  4. "Honey (Aphrodite & Mickey Finn Mix)"
  5. "Run On (Extended)"
  6. "Run On (Moby's Young And Funky Mix)"
  7. "Run On (Sharam Jey's Always On The Run Remix)"
  8. "Memory Gospel"

UK 12-inch (Mute Records 12MUTE221)

Side One

  1. "Run On (Moby's Young & Funky Mix)"

Side Two

  1. "Run On (Dave Clarke Mix)"
  2. "Run On (Extended)"

Music video

Mike Mills' video depicts Moby working at an office where everyone wears white. It then shows an earlier scene involving a workout instructor who faints while teaching a class. Moby then comes in and puts an inhaler in her mouth. It then continues to show an earlier scene, going backwards to tell the entire story: the office Moby works in is heaven, the instructor is self-conscious and unsure of her capabilities, and heaven is a self-help phone line. Eventually, it shows a scene of Moby dead in a parking lot, with a man checking his pulse. It then gone to the earlier scene that concludes the video: Moby working in an office while he was alive, but it has a green light to it, and everyone is unkind and emotionally distant.

Johnny Cash cover

"God's Gonna Cut You Down"
Single by Johnny Cash
from the album American V: A Hundred Highways
Released July 4, 2006
Recorded 2003
Genre Country, gospel blues
Length 2:38
Label American Recordings
Lost Highway Records
Songwriter(s) Traditional
Producer(s) Rick Rubin
Johnny Cash singles chronology
"Hurt"
(2006)
"God's Gonna Cut You Down"
(2006)
"Help Me"
(2007)

"Hurt"
(2006)
"God's Gonna Cut You Down"
(2006)
"Help Me"
(2007)

Johnny Cash recorded a version of "God's Gonna Cut You Down" on American V: A Hundred Highways in 2003, with an arrangement quite different from most known gospel versions of the song. The song has sold 672,000 copies in the United States as of January 2016.

A music video, directed by Tony Kaye, was made for this version in late 2006, three years after Cash's death. The video was shot entirely in black and white and features a number of celebrities: David Allan Coe, Patricia Arquette, Travis Barker, Peter Blake, Bono, Sheryl Crow, Johnny Depp, the Dixie Chicks, Flea, Billy Gibbons, Whoopi Goldberg, Woody Harrelson, Dennis Hopper, Terrence Howard, Jay-Z, Mick Jones, Kid Rock, Anthony Kiedis, Kris Kristofferson, Amy Lee, Adam Levine, Shelby Lynne, Chris Martin, Kate Moss, Graham Nash, Busy Philipps, Iggy Pop, Lisa Marie Presley, Q-Tip, Corinne Bailey Rae, Keith Richards, Chris Rock, Rick Rubin, Patti Smith, Sharon Stone, Justin Timberlake, Kanye West, Brian Wilson and Owen Wilson.

In the FOX TV series Gotham, this version of the song can be heard at the beginning of the episode What the Little Birdie Told Him, while Jack Gruber is walking to Irwin's Electronics. It also features in the NBC TV series The Blacklist, in the episode The Director: Conclusion, and in the CBC series Republic of Doyle, where it closed episode 10 of season 2, "The Special Detective."

The song is used by Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Andrew Miller as his entrance theme.

A version of Cash's performance that was remixed by Ninja Tracks is used in the Gamescom gameplay trailer for Battlefield 1.

The "Mondkopf Plus de Sommeil" remix of Cash's performance appeared in an ad campaign for the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee (WK2).

The song is used as the opening and closing theme in Chris White's documentary Debunking Jordan Maxwell, The Movie Jordanus Maximus

Other artists

American singer and civil rights activist Odetta recorded a version of the song in the style of a 19th-century revival meeting preaching hymn.

Chart positions

Moby cover

Chart (1999) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart 33

Johnny Cash cover

Chart (2006) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart 77




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