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Composed: A Memoir Paperback – Bargain Price, July 26, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 89 customer reviews

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Rosanne Cash’s Composed Playlist

Rosanne Cash Rosanne Cash looks back on her life as an artist, a songwriter, and an heir to an incredible industry legend in Composed. Here, she’s provided readers with a special playlist—along with behind-the-music liner notes--that puts her unique life story to music. You can also sample and download these songs in our custom MP3 playlist.

"Sleeping In Paris" (1993)

I wrote this just before I went to Paris in 1990. It became a metaphor for resolving things that could not be resolved.

"Seven Year Ache" (1981)
Seven Year Ache This song began as a long poem, three or four pages long, and I distilled it down into the song it became. I wrote it when Rickie Lee Jones first album was out, and it was really influential for me. I was thinking that I didn't know any country songs about being on the streets, or street life, and I wanted to write one. This was my attempt.

"On The Inside" (1990)
On The Inside This is the first track on my album "Interiors." The whole album was about the difference between what is going on inside, and what you show the world on the outside.

"Rules of Travel" (2003)
Rules of Travel I wrote the chorus to this YEARS before the whole song was finished. It became the title song of the album. I still think it is one of the best choruses I've written.

"Dreams Are Not My Home" (2006)
Dreams Are Not My Home I was in Cambridge, England, playing at the Folk Festival, and my daughter and I climbed to the top of an ancient church, and I looked out over the River Cam and a picture unfolded in my mind, of the river rising, and Chelsea and I flying away. All the images in the song are dream-like, and the chorus is a longing to break free of the dreams.

"House on The Lake" (1980)
House on The Lake John Leventhal and I wrote this song, and it's full of detail about the home my dad and stepmother lived in. It's from the album 'Black Cadillac'. Many of those songs are about loss, but this one is also about what remains-- the love and memories.

"The Way We Make A Broken Heart" (1987)
The Way We Make A Broken Heart This song is written by the great John Hiatt, one of my favorite songwriters. It was a big hit for me on the country charts in the 90's. It was an innovative record and just such a beautiful song.

"Like Fugitives" (2006)
Like Fugitives This was the last song I wrote for my album "Black Cadillac," shortly after my mother died. I was angry and sad, and I didn't pull any punches, lyrically.

"Black Cadillac" (2006)
Black Cadillac This was the first song I wrote for my album "Black Cadillac." It was like a 'postcard from the future'. Everyone started dying after I wrote this.

"She's Got You" (1986)
She's Got You This song was written by the great songwriter Hank Cochran, and it was made famous by Patsy Cline. I had to get Patsy's voice out of my head to even approach singing this! I finally just asked her to help me. It seemed to work.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. This work is a rare treat, as Cash, firstborn to country music legend Johnny Cash, is not only a hereditary celebrity musician, having made scores of albums and #1 singles, but a terrific writer in her own right. Indeed, her memoir is an intensely reflective, carefully hewn chronicle of her coming-into-her-own as a writer. Born in 1955 to Johnny Cash's littleknown first wife, Vivian, just at the breakthrough of her father's music career with the hit "Cry, Cry, Cry," Cash describes herself as a "pudgy, withdrawn girl" already aware that she was "a counterfeit with a strange, hidden life." That included an anxious mother, three younger sisters, and a father who was frequently absent and erratic, due to his abuse at the time of amphetamines and barbiturates. From growing up in Southern California to visits to her father's house in Hendersonville, Tenn., Cash idolized her father and rarely questioned his authority, such as sending her off to work at CBS Records in London at age 20. At Vanderbilt University, she studied with Walter Sullivan; toyed with Method acting in L.A.; then recorded four demos in Munich, Germany, for Ariola Records, away from the scrutiny of comparison with her father. Cash depicts pensively her early delight in analogue recording and honing her writing craft. Despite an inordinate preponderance of funeral eulogies and some odd structuring toward the end, Cash's memoir sheds clear light on her talent and drive.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (July 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143119397
  • ASIN: B006TQUW0C
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,535,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By prisrob TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"I'll send the angels to watch over you tonight/And you send them right back to
me./A lonely road is a bodyguard/If you really want it to be."
song: 'Sleeping In Paris' from the album 'The Wheel'.

Rosanne Cash, it seems has been writing forever. The above song was written after the demise of her first marriage. She remembers as a school child writing a sentence and feeling the extraordinary power of words. What she has given us in her memoir is a lifetime of writing that is, indeed, so beautifully written that we are transported. We are taken to her birth which her mother related in detail so many times, Rosanne was unsure that she ever wanted children. Her life in California, the daughter of Johnny Cash and her petite mother, Vivian. Rosanne speaks of her self doubt throughout much of this book, her body, never thin enough, and the ever present shadow of her father. All of this, like most of us, has taken a lifetime of thought and experience to work through. She says at one point, "I worked out a lifetime of self-doubt and musical and emotional vulnerabilities under the spotlight." In time she realized that "the arena I thought was a circus of humiliation actually held half the available light of what was intended for me, for my whole life." What a remarkable paragraph. That this memoir is filled with these kinds of pearls and delectable writing should be enough, but she also graces us with a life to write about.

Rosanne lived in California as a child with both parents, but then her father split and moved to Tennessee as his career started to boom. They always had a good relationship, and even though Johnny Cash had his demons he was a wonderfully loving father. Rosanne and her sisters spent time with him every summer and at Christmas.
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Format: Hardcover
Acclaimed songwriter and recording star Rosanne Cash, is a reluctant celebrity at best. She never wanted a public life, always preferring to maintain her privacy rather than to share the details of her life via the numerous lowbrow celebrity-worship outlets so common today. Over the years, her fans have come to understand that choice, and to respect it. Those same fans now will be pleasantly surprised at the depth to which Cash willingly shares the details of her life in "Composed: A Memoir."

Rosanne Cash's father, of course, is none other than Johnny Cash, a man for whom the word "legend" is insufficient to describe his place in music history. Cash grew up in her father's shadow, sensing early on that her achievements would be forever judged in comparison to his - a pressure-filled, no-win situation she wanted to avoid. She witnessed the performer lifestyle first hand and knew it to be harder work, and much less glamorous, than outsiders could ever imagine. She was certain she wanted no part of it. And, because she had always been good with words, even to believing that some day she would make her living as an author, Cash decided that songwriting offered her the best chance to work in the "family business" and still maintain the privacy she desired.

Rosanne Cash's life has always been about music and journeys. As she puts it, "I have learned more from songs than I ever did from any teacher in school. They are interwoven and have flowed through the most important relationships in my life - with my parents, my husband, and my children...For me music has always involved journeys, both literal and metaphoric." In "Composed: A Memoir," she shares some of those journeys with her readers.
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Format: Hardcover
For as long as I can remember, back in the 50's years of my childhood, I have loved the Carter Family and Johnny Cash. I first recall hearing Rosanne sing No Memories Hangin Round and loved her voice. Since the passing of Johnny Cash, Rosanne's father, I have read everything written about the Cash/Carter clan and play their music often. Rosanne is not only a gifted song writer and singer but her book Composed is a soul touching read that will have a familiar feel to any of us who have reached middle age and looked back. Her gift of discernment was obviously apparent at an early age; her wisdom and keen insightfulness a gift now to all who read what she has to say. If you are looking for a tabloid tell all this book will disappoint you; the very reason I loved what she had to say. She has endured a great deal of sadness and loss, as we all either have by middle age,( or surely will) but also brain surgery and the difficulty of being in a family of "legendary people." Yet through it all she is.........composed.... with absolute class and a clear deep capacity for love and love of family that will touch your soul to it's depths. I watched her interview on Imus in the Morning. She so touched me I immediately bought and read her book. God Bless Rosanne for continuing to carry on her family legacy with her immense talent and thans to her for sharing it with all of us lucky enough to understand and appreciate her. Highly recommend reading COMPOSED, order her music CD's, and learn to love her as I have. Her Daddy and Mama would be so proud. Vicki Soles, Massanutten, VA
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