Behind The Pen: Analyzing Johnny Cash’s Handwriting
In songwriting circles, there are hundreds of famous stories about song ideas written on dinner napkins or even the palm of a hand. When the inspiration hits, the inspiration hits–and there’s no putting off getting that song concept or lyric down on paper before it’s forgotten forever. The details of that copy are the bare bones of what will be (or has been) a song.
But what does the actual scribble say about the songwriter? In this instance, forget about what the artist wrote and consider the question: “What does it mean about how they wrote it?” What insights into the artist psyche can be derived by analyzing their handwriting? Graphology is the study and analysis of handwriting and how it applies to human psychology. In short, it is the science involved in producing a personality profile of the writer by examining the characteristics, traits and strokes of an individual’s handwriting.
Armed with this question, we scoured the internet and found three individual handwritten pages by three legends in country music. First up is Johnny Cash (follow-up columns will look at similar reveals for both Willie Nelson and Carl Perkins). The next job was finding a qualified and certified handwriting analyst that would be willing to take this project on. Dr. Donna Schwontkowski easily fit the bill. Dr. Donna is a Certified Handwriting Analyst and runs a website on the topic.
So from here, we turn things over to our expert. We provided a copy of a handwritten page by the Man in Black and this is the report in detail as written by Dr. Donna and handed back over to The 9513:
The handwriting reveals many insights into a person’s personality.
When a handwriting sample is presented in printing rather than cursive, there is limited information that can be obtained. Cursive handwriting is full of loops in letters such as h, l, q, y, z and d. These loops give insight into the spiritual pursuits of a person as well as the desire to be physical, sexuality, and desire to exercise and travel.
When a person prints instead of writes in cursive, there can be legitimate reasons for this. For example, if someone is involved in a profession that requires documents to be printed in block style rather than written in cursive, that person would spend the majority of his time printing and after several years, may ‘forget’ how to write in cursive. If an individual is not involved in a profession that requires this, then that person may choose to write in printing style rather than in cursive. In this case, the person can show a tendency to be somewhat secretive about who he or she is as a person.
In the case of Johnny Cash’s handwriting, we find an individual who is most likely choosing to print, thus, can show tendencies to be secretive about his true personality.
Emotional Slant of the Handwriting
When a cursive handwriting is analyzed, it is relatively easy to determine the emotional slant of the writing. This indicates how a person would tend to act around other people and his desire to show emotions and express them. When a handwriting sample is printed, this cannot be deciphered accurately. Such is the case with this particular handwriting sample from Johnny Cash.
It is possible to determine how a person responds to emotional situations with regards to how much of a tendency a person would have to forgive another person. This is determined by the amount of pressure used on the pen during the handwriting. In this case, Johnny Cash shows a light to medium type of pen pressure. This indicates that he is not a person that holds grudges for long periods of time. Someone that writes with light pressure is someone that can easily forgive and forget, someone that doesn’t want to hold things against another person.
Traits and Characteristics
There are other traits that can be seen, as determined by the strokes of the letters, despite the fact that the sample is not in cursive. Below is a list of them:
Desire for responsibility: In the large loop of the first C of “Cry Cry Cry.”
The more large loops such as this seen in the handwriting, the more the person desires responsibility in life. Without the opportunity to express this responsibility, a person can be a ringleader, leading others against some cause. Johnny’s handwriting shows one such loop.
Visionary: In the capital T, a visionary is seen when the t bar does not cross the stem; there is a gap in between the two parts of the letter.
Johnny has quite a few of these visionary Ts. A visionary may spend more time dreaming than taking practical steps to accomplish things. On the other hand, a visionary can see into the future and possibly make them happen, if there are other traits in the writing that back up the skills needed to make things happen. Every T he makes shows strong visionary potential.
Efficiency: In the letters th, connecting the two letters together indicates a person that strives to be efficient.
Almost every small t in the sample shows this trait.
Likes to work alone: The long tail on the letter y displays this trait.
The length of the letter y is also an indication of the person’s energy level. The shorter the tail, the less energy the person has. At the time of this writing sample, Johnny had a lot of energy.
Loves challenges with the opposite sex: The curl on the letter c in “When He Comes.”
When this trait shows up, watch out! This is a person that does not want to be with someone who likes to sit in a rocking chair at home and agree to everything that is said. He likes a challenge and seeks a partner in life that is challenging. The most boring relationships for a person with this trait would be someone who has no mind of their own and no distinct personality.
Pride in appearance: The letter d which is tall, in the phrase Mean Eyed.
This is a trait that indicates the person likes to be well dressed and likes to be respected.
Defiance: The letter k in Walk the line and in Men as Trees Walking.
This overly large buckle on the letter k indicates a person that is not happy with the status quo and likes to buck the system if an appropriate situation arises. When applied to an entrepreneur, that person could start a new trend, think up new ideas that are outside the box, and would think nothing of standing up for himself.
Can be argumentative: The letter P in Porter, which has a space between the two parts of the letter.
This trait only appears once in the sample and indicates that if needed, Johnny can draw upon keen argumentative skills.
Optimistic: Upward slant in the t bar of capital ts and upward slant of the writing.
Everyone likes optimism and at the time of this writing, Johnny was quite optimistic, showing numerous examples of that optimism.
Selective listener: Closed letter e.
The width of the letter o and e generally indicate how communicative a person is. When the letter e looks like a sliver, it indicates the tendency to hear what one wants to hear.
Honesty: Honesty can be seen in the letter o when it looks like an open o without any additional strokes inside it.
Overall, there is a pattern here of honesty as seen in many open letter o’s in the writing.
Secretiveness: The letter o can also show secretiveness if it is made with an extra loop as in the word Hey Porter or Home (as in Home of the Blues).
Sometimes different letters will show different traits. A person may not always make the letter o the same, and any additional ways that that letter is made gives additional insight into the personality.
Feels as if been stabbed or wants to stab someone in back: This is another way to make the letter o and can be found in the first letter o of Rock & Roll. It is seen in other places in the handwriting as well.
We all feel hurts in life. Feeling betrayal can be messy and we all must learn how to deal with it. This trait comes up frequently in the handwriting sample.
Lying loop of these days: A loop inside the letter o as in the word One of One
This loop is not usually considered to be a good trait to find, as it can indicate lying or even self denial about a major issue in life. It only appears once.
Temper: The letter t in Water from Wells.
Again, without knowing emotional slant of the writing, it is difficult to interpret this. If a person tended to be quite emotional, it could result in temper outbursts. However if a person is reserved and quiet and is a thinker, temper is not expressed unless it is logical to express it.
Dr. Donna Schwontkowski is a Certified Handwriting Analyst and runs a website on this topic at www.funhandwritinganalysis.com. She can be reached at 916-649-8323 for personal and private handwriting analyses.
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