Unlike most of his train songs, the verse of “Like the 309” goes through Cash’s death. He sounded weathered while making references to the sound of a railroad train and whistle blows being the signal for his eternal rest.
This is perhaps because, in addition to battling ill health, Cash was also mourning for the death of his wife, June Carter Cash. He said that if he would not keep himself occupied, he would be joining her soon enough. So, the iconic country singer got to work and recorded thirty songs within four months.
“These songs are Johnny’s final statement,” producer Rick Rubin said, adding that they are the most precise reflection of the music that was the primary part of Cash’s life then. “This is the music that Johnny wanted us to hear.”
“Like the 309” was posthumously released in 2006, three years after the music legend’s death. It was Johnny Cash’s last song in his career that spans five decades.
You can listen to it in the video below. Surely, this will be one of Johnny Cash songs that will stand the test of time.