Hurt chords by Johnny Cash

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Hurt | Chords + Lyrics


| 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.


| 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: Learn the progressions

Hurt guitar lesson + TAB

The chords are certainly not difficult in Hurt. The verse is just this:

| C (I) Dsus2 (II) | Am (VI) |

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

Here are the intro/verse/instrumental chords from Hurt displayed using TAB.

Hurt chords and TAB intro, verse, and instrumental

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

| Am7 (VI) | Fadd9 (IV) | C (I) | G (V) |

Or is it in the key of G, moving II – bVIIx – 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 for the chorus as well. There’s also a chord analysis, including how that modal interchange works.

You can access the complete lesson here: Hurt – Guitar Lesson with TAB.

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!

Hurt Chords | Related Pages

Beginner Acoustic

There are many more Beginner Acoustic Songs with chords similar to Hurt.

This collection of beginner acoustic tunes will teach you how to arrange for one acoustic guitar, as well as how to create a supporting part.

Playing songs will help you with switching between open-position chords and give you the context you need to understand how music works theoretically.

Five similar tunes with chords and lyrics

When you can play Hurt's chords, try these five tunes from the songbook.

Johnny Cash tunes

Johnny Cash covered Hurt.

Johnny Cash’s recording career started in 1955 on Sun Records (the same label as Elvis) and ended in 2002 with a masterpiece produced by Rick Rubin.

His best tunes include Ring of Fire, A Boy Named Sue, Hurt, Man in Black, Folsom Prison Blues, Get Rhythm, Personal Jesus, and I Walk The Line.

Johnny Cash on the web

Listen to Johnny Cash on Spotify.

Ballads & First Dances

There are many more Ballads with chords similar to Hurt.

The perfect first dance or an emotional piece for your next audition, this collection of Ballads & First Dances is great for working on your expression.

Learn tunes from Burt Bacharach, Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, Eva Cassidy, Ben Harper, Etta James, Chet Baker, Elvis, Norah Jones, and many more.

Country & Folk

When you can play Hurt, try these Country and Folk tunes as well.

In the primarily acoustic genres of Country & Folk, you must acquire what matters the most: A repertoire. Nothing else will give you the gig.

Learn tunes by Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, America, Don McLean, and many more.

About me | Dan Lundholm

Dan Lundholm wrote this guitar lesson on Hurt's chords.

This was a guitar lesson about Hurt chords, by Dan Lundholm. Discover more about him and learn guitar with Spytunes.

Most importantly, find out why you should learn guitar through playing tunes, not practising scales, and studying theory in isolation.


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