"Man in Black" (or "The Man in Black") is a protest song written and sung by and about Johnny Cash, originally released on his 1971 album of the same name. Cash himself was known as "The Man in Black" for his distinctive style of on-stage costuming. The lyrics are an after-the-fact explanation of this with the entire song as a protest statement with statements such as:

I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down, Livin' in the hopeless, hungry side of town, I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime, But still is there because he's a victim of the times.

In the intro to his first performance of the song, Johnny Cash revealed he had talked to some of the audience members from Vanderbilt University that weekend, and was inspired to write "Man in Black", revising it a few times before the concert on Wednesday. At the end of the song he received a standing ovation.

The song was featured on the HBO sports documentary series 24/7 Penguins-Capitals: Road to the NHL Winter Classic in a segment featuringPittsburgh Penguins backup goaltender Brent Johnson.

Chart performance[edit]Edit

Chart (1971) Peak


Canadian RPM Country Tracks 2[citation needed]
Canadian RPM Top Singles 38[citation needed]
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 3[citation needed]
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 58[citation needed]
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.