Solving the problem of evil in the twenty-first century

The Devil Went Back to Georgia

A sequel to the song The Devil Went down to Georgia, titled The Devil Comes Back to Georgia, was recorded by Charlie Daniels and fiddle player Mark O’Connor in 1993. The song featured guest performances by Travis Tritt as the devil, Marty Stuart as Johnny and Johnny Cash as the narrator. In the sequel, after ten years of bestowing the Devil,Johnny has grown into a man, who is married and has a child. Hoping to take advantage of Johnny’s sinful pride as the victor of the previous duel, the Devil goes back to Georgia and challenges Johnny to a rematch. As Johnny prepares but tuning his golden fiddle since he hasn’t played for a long time, the Devil snatches the Golden Fiddle from Johnny, demanding that he practice with his old fiddle to play against him. The ending does not state the victor, though the music video suggests that Johnny won, as the song ends with the line the line “Johnny’s still the best that’s ever been”.
The concept of a Faustian Bargain remains in this song as the Devil challenges Johnny to a rematch for his soul. At the beginning of the song the Devil clearly estates how he intends to use Johnny’s pride against him to once again have a duel for Johnny’s soul. Johnny still has the power to bestow the Devil but the song only shows when the two prepare for the duel. Unlike the first song the sequel ends as both participants begin their duel only stating that “Johnny’s still the best that’s ever been” hinting that Johnny might have won the duel again but not making it clear for the audience.

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One response

  1. I think the reason that a clear victor isn’t declared (but instead assumed) is that the song-writer is saying that men are always at a battle with the devil. They are always committing sins, and although they might win some battles over sin and the devil, they always display other sings (pride, in Johnny’s case) and go back to fighting with the devil.

    April 29, 2011 at 1:21 pm

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