I find it very, very easy to be true
I find myself alone when each day's through
Yes, I'll admit that I'm a fool for you
Because you're mine, I walk the line

As sure as night is dark and day is light
I keep you on my mind both day and night
And happiness I've known proves that it's right
Because you're mine, I walk the line

You've got a way to keep me on your side
You give me cause for love that I can't hide
For you I know I'd even try to turn the tide
Because you're mine, I walk the line

I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
Because you're mine, I walk the line
Because you're mine, I walk the line
Because you're mine, I walk the line


Lyrics submitted by toterkater

I Walk The Line Lyrics as written by Johnny Cash

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

I Walk the Line song meanings
Add Your Thoughts

48 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +4
    General Comment

    every one is wronge except Cherub Rock and rossx. This is about his first wife and on his first album, in fact it was his first truly succesful single. He wrote it for his first wife Vivian to assure her that when he went touring on the road that he would not cheat on her. seen by lines such as "I find myself alone when each day is through" and "I keep you on my mind both day and night". He obviously didn't "walk the line" in fact the first time he met June Carter he said "I'm Johnny Cash and I'm Going to marry you some day"

    ode2jeremyon December 30, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    Whatever the reality behind it, this may be the most honest love song ever written by a male artist. In my mind, this shows how a man really can be true to the woman he loves. I listened to this song last night and it made me think of my beautiful wife. If you're married and this song doesn't make you look at your wedding picture, what's wrong with you?

    OpinionHeadon February 23, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    Since most of the posts are about what Johnny meant and not what it meant to you, I figured I'd just find out what Johnny said.....

    From "Johnny Cash, Man in Black, Grand Rapids, MI, 1975, pp. 87-88."

    In the dressing room at Gladewater I was sitting with Carl Perkins, strumming on the guitar.... "This is an idea I got today," I want to write a song that has something to say. A song that will have a lot of meaning not only for me, but for everybody who hears it -- that says I'm going to be true not only to those who believe in me and depend on me, but to myself and to God -- a song that might give courage to others as well as myself." Carl said, "That's a good idea. What will you call it?" "I don't know," I said. "Something like 'I'm Still Being True' or 'I'm Walking the Line' or some such thing." "I Walk the Line would be a good title," Carl said. "Hmmmmmmmmm --" I began. The song came easily. It was one of those rare times I felt a song was just "begging to be written." There was no wringing the mind or biting the pencil on I Walk the Line. The lyrics came as fast as I could write, and in twenty minutes I had it finished.

    Silesianon February 08, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    "Because you're mine, I walk the line".

    In addicts' speech, to be "straight" is be clean and sober, to refrain from using drugs and alcohol.

    To me walking the line is about exactly that.

    bluephoenix36on September 12, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    I don't get "I keep the ends out for the tie that binds" part !!??!!

    Paymaanon January 30, 2014   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    This song was actually written about Cash's first wife, Vivian Liberto Distin, and not June Cash

    rossxon November 11, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    i dunno the history of this song but ill take this opportunity to say what i think "walking the line" means. I feel the songs is about a guy who loves a woman so much, he is completely happy and satisfied with this one person and doesn't so much as even look at other women. he never strays from his loved one... he walks the straight line... never to diverges from it (her).

    snoopy1987on September 22, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I think Johnny Cash's delivery gives this song a slightly menacing/ambiguous edge. It's almost like the narrator knows deep down he's going to succumb to temptation, and he's working very hard to repress this fear by being overly emphatic about how easy it is for him to behave well. I know next to nothing about JC's marriages but I can't help wondering if he was giving it this ambiguous feel on purpose, singing in character; that is, Johnny Cash the man was aware of the self-delusion of Johnny Cash the song's narrator. If so it's one of those songs where the tone slyly subverts the meaning of the lyrics (see also "Don't Think Twice it's Alright", "Just one of Those Things").

    radicoolon December 29, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    This is off Cash's very first album, I really don't think that June Carter was around then (?). What does the phrase "I walk the line" actually mean?

    Cherub Rockon August 18, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Yea, in the movie she's talking about his drug abuse and drinking. She tells him "You can't walk no line." She's talking about how much he's pushing it and how easily he could just fall over the edge and end up hurting himself or others he loves. Good song. AMAZING movie.

    jinx_me6on December 20, 2005   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

More Featured Meanings

Album art
Fast Car
Tracy Chapman
"Fast car" is kind of a continuation of Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run." It has all the clawing your way to a better life, but in this case the protagonist never makes it with her love; in fact she is dragged back down by him. There is still an amazing amount of hope and will in the lyrics; and the lyrics themselve rank and easy five. If only music was stronger it would be one of those great radio songs that you hear once a week 20 years after it was released. The imagery is almost tear-jerking ("City lights lay out before us", "Speeds so fast felt like I was drunk"), and the idea of starting from nothing and just driving and working and denigrating yourself for a chance at being just above poverty, then losing in the end is just painful and inspiring at the same time.
Album art
Mountain Song
Jane's Addiction
Jane's Addiction vocalist Perry Farrell gives Adam Reader some heartfelt insight into Jane’s Addiction's hard rock manifesto "Mountain Song", which was the second single from their revolutionary album Nothing's Shocking. Mountain song was first recorded in 1986 and appeared on the soundtrack to the film Dudes starring Jon Cryer. The version on Nothing's Shocking was re-recorded in 1988. "'Mountain Song' was actually about... I hate to say it but... drugs. Climbing this mountain and getting as high as you can, and then coming down that mountain," reveals Farrell. "What it feels to descend from the mountain top... not easy at all. The ascension is tough but exhilarating. Getting down is... it's a real bummer. Drugs is not for everybody obviously. For me, I wanted to experience the heights, and the lows come along with it." "There's a part - 'Cash in now honey, cash in Miss Smith.' Miss Smith is my Mother; our last name was Smith. Cashing in when she cashed in her life. So... she decided that, to her... at that time, she was desperate. Life wasn't worth it for her, that was her opinion. Some people think, never take your life, and some people find that their life isn't worth living. She was in love with my Dad, and my Dad was not faithful to her, and it broke her heart. She was very desperate and she did something that I know she regrets."
Album art
Gentle Hour
Yo La Tengo
This song was originally written by a guy called Peter Gutteridge. He was one of the founders of the "Dunedin Sound" a musical scene in the south of New Zealand in the early 80s. From there it was covered by "The Clean" one of the early bands of that scene (he had originally been a member of in it's early days, writing a couple of their best early songs). The Dunedin sound, and the Clean became popular on american college radio in the mid to late 80s. I guess Yo La Tengo heard that version. Great version of a great song,
Album art
No Surprises
Radiohead
Same ideas expressed in Fitter, Happier are expressed in this song. We're told to strive for some sort of ideal life, which includes getting a good job, being kind to everyone, finding a partner, getting married, having a couple kids, living in a quiet neighborhood in a nice big house, etc. But in Fitter, Happier the narrator(?) realizes that it's incredibly robotic to live this life. People are being used by those in power "like a pig in a cage on antibiotics"--being pacified with things like new phones and cool gadgets and houses while being sucked dry. On No Surprises, the narrator is realizing how this life is killing him slowly. In the video, his helmet is slowly filling up with water, drowning him. But he's so complacent with it. This is a good summary of the song. This boring, "perfect" life foisted upon us by some higher powers (not spiritual, but political, economic, etc. politicians and businessmen, perhaps) is not the way to live. But there is seemingly no way out but death. He'd rather die peacefully right now than live in this cage. While our lives are often shielded, we're in our own protective bubbles, or protective helmets like the one Thom wears, if we look a little harder we can see all the corruption, lies, manipulation, etc. that is going on in the world, often run by huge yet nearly invisible organizations, corporations, and 'leaders'. It's a very hopeless song because it reflects real life.
Album art
Punchline
Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran sings about missing his former partner and learning important life lessons in the process on “Punchline.” This track tells a story of battling to get rid of emotions for a former lover, whom he now realized might not have loved him the same way. He’s now caught between accepting that fact and learning life lessons from it and going back to beg her for another chance.