"Hurt" was written by Trent Reznor and first released on Nine Inch Nails' 1994 album The Downward Spiral. Johnny Cash's cover of "Hurt" was released on his 2002 album, American IV: The Man Comes Around.
Rick Rubin, producer of Cash's American series and a friend of Reznor's, suggested the song to Cash. The line "crown of shit" was changed to "crown of thorns", not only removing profanity from the lyrics, but also…
I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that's real