Grubbs Monument on the Knockmealdown Mountains in Tipperary. Geograph.ie

Johnny Cash’s greatest hits may be remembered as 'Ring of Fire,' 'I Walk the Line,' and 'Folsom Prison Blues,' but there’s one Johnny Cash song that stays dear in the hearts of Irish people and lovers of Ireland.

Cash began penning 'Forty Shades of Green' in 1959 during a trip to Ireland and completed it in 1961 as a B-side on his album 'The Rebel – Johnny Yuma.'

While he lists a number of the most popular destinations in Ireland – Dublin, Shannon, Dingle, Skibbereen – local lore has it that he got the initial inspiration for the song in the Kockmealdown Mountains in Co. Tipperary.

Vee Pass. Photo: Oliver Bruchez

Vee Pass. Photo: Oliver Bruchez

Cash allegedly asked his Irish contacts where he could go to get a look at the true beauty of Ireland and was told to head for the Vee Pass, which divides the Knockmealdown and Galtee mountains in southern Tipperary. He kept that stunning view in his mind  and sought to capture the lush greenery and beauty of the Irish landscape in song.

The legendary singer would continue to perform the song throughout the rest of his career.

His daughter, Rosanne Cash, also has her own gorgeous rendition.

Read the full lyrics below!

Forty Shades of Green – Johnny Cash, 1959

I close my eyes and picture the emerald of the sea

from the fishin boats at Dingle to the shores at Donaghdee

I miss the River Shannon and the folks at Skibbereen

the moorlands and meadows and their Forty Shades of Green

But most of all I miss a girl in Tipperary town

and most of all I miss her lips as soft as eiderdown

I long again to see and do the things we've done and seen

where the breeze is sweet as shalimar and there's Forty Shades of Green

I wish that I could spend an hour at Dublin´s churning suft

I long to watch the farmers drain the bogs and spade the turf

to see again the thatching of the straw the women clean

I´d walk from Cork to Larne to see those Forty Shades of Green

But most of all I miss a girl in Tipperary town

and most of all I miss her lips as soft as eiderdown

I long again to see and do the things we´ve done and seen

where the breeze is sweet as shalimar and there´s Forty Shades of Green