Doctor Robert Honeyman of Scotland left his son a human rib from King James V. Why? Well, wouldn't you?
To son Robrt [sic] Bruce Honeyman, 900 acres whereon testator resides, negroes (men Bob, John, boy Lewis, deaf & dumb woman Celia & her children Murvin & Beck), 2 work horses, 4 work oxen, 4 cows/calves, 20 sheep, all hogs, farming/kitchen utensils, all furniture in house, all books (except 10 vol to each dau [sic]), watch, guns, all medicines/surgical instruments, microscopes (except best in shagreen case to son), thermometer, diploma, human rib (of James V, King Scotland) in small trunk in chest...
Among the early settlers of Lauderdale County were Dr. Samuel and Cornelia C. (Honyman) Oldham; her father, Dr. Robt. Honyman [sic], was a noted physician and member of the royal navy, for many years surgeon of the "Portland," a ship of the line, that was sent to St. Helena in 1771, to await Capt. Cook's expected arrival from his first trip around the world, and convey his ship to England. He was also a direct descendant of the Dr. Honyman, who extracted by command, the fifth rib from the side of James V, King of Scotland, which rib was transmitted to him by his ancestors, and he by will to his only son, with the request, "that he will carefully keep the said rib, and carefully transmit it to his descendants."
If anyone can explain to me what the hell this song is about, its logic and mythical allegory, and why it was included on Johnny Cash's Xmas album The Christmas Spirit, I'd be grateful. Any easy answers regarding too much drug and/or booze consumption by Cash will be rejected as too facile.