What does Ring of Fire mean?

Johnny Cash: Ring of Fire Meaning

Album cover for Ring of Fire album cover

Song Released: 1963

Ring of Fire Lyrics

Love is a burning thing
and it makes a firery ring
bound by wild desire
I fell in to a ring of fire...

I fell in to a burning ring of fire
I went down,down,down
and the flames went higher.
And it burns,burns,burns
the ring of fire


    #1 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Nov 29th 2015 !⃝

    It's when you eat a curry and your arse is like fire.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Mar 18th 2008 !⃝

    June Carter wrote this song about how she felt about Johnny while he was still married to his first wife (I heard that on a TV program about him).


    #3 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    May 2nd 2008 !⃝

    This song is about being in love, meeting your soul mate. The hardest relationship one can ever get into and the most uncontrollable like fire. The ring of fire symbolizes marrying that person. The harder you fall the more passion sparks between you. I went down down down and the flames went higher... The ring of fire.

  4. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 16th 2023 !⃝

    Drug addiction for sure, he shot herion right ring of fire where you just shot up and then the head bobbing, kinda like down down down if you ever seen a herion addict dip out you know what I’m talking about! Then when in youre addiction,especially opiates and herion your true love is opiates cause you have to have it to function and it’s top priority I don’t care who you are that’s all you want! They say over 70% of Love Songs are about Herion!!!! An Addicts 1 True Love! June knew all this and wrote the song about his addiction ever wonder why her sister sang it and not her or Johnny? June knew itwasn’t about there new found dying love, but his dying love for drugs was hard for her he made a choice to quit for her not an east choice and not many humans can make that choice he really loved her! Then he discovered the song from her sister singing it and June told him she wrote it while driving around worried sick about where and who he was with!!

  5. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 7th 2019 !⃝

    It's really a love story and about mariage. The author was in a divorce in the time ring of fire was written.

  6. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 16th 2017 !⃝

    It's about gay sex in the prison

  7. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 25th 2016 !⃝

    On the video while Johnny Cash is singing this song. It shows images of fire, plus other items such as a "ring" which looks like a wedding ring. It flashes on the screen very quickly but can see there are Hebrew letters inscribed on the inside of the ring. What does mean or what does it say?
    My email: Turkdoll@rcn.com

  8. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 20th 2015 !⃝

    Wow lots of crazy's here.... I've not laughed this hard in a long time..

  9. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Nov 21st 2014 !⃝

    Ring of fire is about when you eat really spicy food and in the morning you go to the toilet and your asshole is on fire. That's the real meaning of ring of fire don't fool yourself. Johnny loved Mexican food :)

  10. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 13th 2014 !⃝

    When you are in a relationship and that's all that you think about, then you will never be able to resist the temptation. He is in this constant cycle of temptation and can't resist it. And that's what happens when you have such a poor focus and idea of what's true and important.

  11. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 10th 2014 !⃝

    This song was written by Merle Kilgore. He was dating June Carter and she was dating Johnny Cash. Kilgore was at June apartment who was renting a place which was over a barn. About 4 in the morning they hear a pickup coming up the drive. They jumped up put on their clothes Merle got his guitar and when Johnny came in and asked what going on. June was about to tell him she had been dating Merle too, but Merle jumped in and said listen to this song June and I just wrote. The ring was June Merle and Johnny and of course the fire was what was going to happen if Johnny found out. Merle got into the industry by working for Hank Sr. He was a very good songwriter with many hits behind him. One of his biggest was sung by Claude King it was a big crossover hit, "Wolverton Mountain", the song was about Merle's uncle.

  12. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 7th 2013 !⃝

    Well, it might be funny, and it may look like coincidence, but the expression "ring of fire" seems to exist in a book written by Saramago, which I am a huge fan...

    Saramago used the expression "ring of fire" while describing the sex between Jesus and Mary Magdalene, saying that Jesus "felt a ring of fire in his penis"... That might not be the correct interpretation, because it was written by June Carter, a woman, indeed, but, if it was written by a man, sure it was the correct meaning... Just looking at the lyrics...

    By the way, "rings of fire" might be the hell himself...

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  13. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 18th 2013 !⃝

    Neither June or Johnny wrote this song. The guy that wrote Puff the Magic Dragon wrote Ring of Fire.

  14. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 24th 2013 !⃝

    It was about diarrhea. The ring refers to his anal cavity and fire to the infernal pain associated with diarrhea.

    Went down down down and the flames went higher and it burns burns burns the ring of fire. As he sat on that toilet letting it out down down down into the toilet, the pain ( flames-metaphor here) went higher and it burns burns burns the ring of fire (his you know what burns).

  15. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 9th 2012 !⃝

    You people are amazingly creative ;)
    I had a laugh!

    Possibly he was using a condom and it set on fire...
    Then he left a ring shaped marked down there..
    That's why june said it was the ring of fire...
    He was shouting..." my cock in on fire"...
    While june said son of a bitch, you just left me a eternal ring of fire mark...
    If you look for it you can still see it today...

    Madam Tussauds Museum perhaps.. ;)

  16. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 6th 2012 !⃝

    This song is about him having sexual intercourse with a redheaded woman and how he is falling in love with her and her vast red hair on her head and down "there"... "i went down down down and the flames got higher" definitely talking about her red pubic hair.

  17. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 16th 2012 !⃝

    Your interpretation is solely based on how you determine the meaning of the song. Think of the song however you want and see how you think of the meaning behind the song. Everyone has an interpretation. What's Yours?

  18. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 2nd 2012 !⃝

    Really it doesn't matter who wrote it or why they wrote, but what it means to the listener. Sure it had a specific meaning to Cash and Carter, which was important to them, but it strikes a different chord with each and every listener and their interpretation should not be diminished in anyway. That’s the beauty of music. As I said yeah the author/writer of the song may have a message they are trying to communicate, but that shouldn't stop others from relating to the song in their own way with their own meaning.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
‹ prev 12

More Johnny Cash songs »


Latest Articles


Submit Your Interpretation

[ want a different song? ]

Just Posted

Meteor Shower anonymous
Issues anonymous
Jessica anonymous
Horizons anonymous
Coconut anonymous
Demon Of The Fall anonymous
Rebel Yell anonymous
Softcore anonymous
The Chains Are On anonymous
Bounce anonymous
Lake of Fire anonymous
Evil Woman anonymous
Hello Kitty anonymous
The Mighty Quinn anonymous
Hermit the Frog Hjkxx100

(We won't give out your email)