Hurt chords by Johnny Cash


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Hurt | Chords + Lyrics


Intro

| Am | C Dsus2 | Am | C D | Am |

Verse 1

| C Dsus2 | Am |
I hurt myself today.
| C D | Am |
To see if I still feel.
| C Dsus2 | Am |
I focus on the pain.
| C D | Am |
The only thing that’s real.
| C Dsus2 | Am |
The needle tears a hole.
| C D | Am |
The old familiar sting.
| C Dsus2 | Am |
Try to kill it all away.
| C D | G |
But I remember everything.

Chorus 1

| Am7 | Fadd9 | C | G |
What have I become? My sweetest friend.
| Am7 | Fadd9 | C | G |
Everyone I know goes away in the end.
| Am7 | Fadd9 | C | G |
And you could have it all. My empire of dirt.
| Am7 | Fadd9 | C | Am |
I will let you down, I will make you hurt.

Instrumental 1

| C Dsus2 | Am | C D | Am |

Verse 2

| C Dsus2 | Am |
I wear this crown of thorns.
| C D | Am |
Upon my liar’s chair.
| C Dsus2 | Am |
Full of broken thoughts.
| C D | Am |
I cannot repair.
| C Dsus2 | Am |
Beneath the stains of time.
| C D | Am |
The feelings disappear.
| C Dsus2 | Am |
You are someone else.
| C D | Am |
I’m still right here.

Chorus 2

| Am7 | Fadd9 | C | G |
What have I become? My sweetest friend.
| Am7 | Fadd9 | C | G |
Everyone I know goes away in the end.
| Am7 | Fadd9 | C | G |
And you could have it all. My empire of dirt.
| Am7 | Fadd9 | C | G |
I will let you down, I will make you hurt.

Outro

| Am7 | Fadd9 | C | G |
If I could start again, a million miles away.
| Am7 | Fadd9 | C | Am |
I would keep myself, I would find a way.


Hurt chords and progressions (lesson preview)

Hurt Analysis + TAB

The chords are certainly not difficult in Hurt. The verse is just I – II – VI on repeat, like this:

| C Dsus2 | Am |

Occasionally, that Dsus2 is a D, making us question if it’s actually in the key of G, moving IV – V – II.

The chorus is in the key of C moving VI – IV – I – V, like this:

| Am7 | Fadd9 | C | G |

Or is it in the key of G, moving II – bVII – IV – I?

To mix two keys like this (only one note differs between C and G) is a great songwriting trick, it creates tension.

Members get TAB for how to play it like Mr. Cash himself did, as well as a chord analysis, including how that modal interchange works.

You can access the complete lesson here (members only): Hurt, guitar lesson with TAB.

Become a member today and get unlimited access to all step-by-step guitar coursesTAB for the songbook, the Self-Eliminating Practice Routine, and the eBook Spytunes Method.

Hurt was the last single to be released in Johnny Cash’s lifetime!

Originally written by Nine Inch Nails, it was Rick Rubin’s idea to get Johnny Cash to cover and release it as a single from his final studio album, American IV: The Man Comes Around (2002).

Six months after the release of Hurt as a single, Johnny Cash passed away.

The album as a whole is well worth a listen as it captures Cash’s voice in a unique way, far from how he had been initially described when he was first rejected by Sam Phillips.

Captured in the movie Walk the Line, you’ll see how Sam pushes Johnny to dig deeper and make his voice more emotional.

The recording of his debut started in 1954(!), I think it’s fair to say that by 2002, Johnny Cash had certainly nailed it. I guess releasing 97 albums helped get him there!


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