When was the last time you wrote a love letter? What about received one? Once a staple of human courtship, love letters have largely fallen out of favour in the modern age, replaced with e-mails, text messages and heart-shaped emojis.
Despite the fact that most of us have never really experienced a love letter first-hand, it seems that we still know a good love note when we see it. In a recent British poll, Johnny Cash’s birthday message to wife June Carter was deemed the greatest love letter of all time, beating out Richard Burton's steamy note to Elizabeth Taylor and Earnest Hemingway's handwritten professions to Marlene Dietrich.
It comes as little surprise for fans of the country music legend, who have long admired the late singer-songwriter for his poignant, thoughtful lyrics.
The hand-written note, which he penned for his wife’s 65th birthday in 1994, reads:
'We got old and got used to each other. We think alike. We read each others [sic] minds. We know what the other wants without asking. Sometimes we irritate each other a little bit. Maybe sometimes we take each other for granted.
“But once in a while, like today, I meditate on it and realize how lucky I am to share my life with the greatest woman I ever met. You still fascinate and inspire me. You influence me for the better. You're the object of my desire, the #1 Earthly reason for my existence. I love you very much.”
Johnny signs off with, “ Happy birthday Princess.”
The happy couple met backstage at a concert in 1955 and, thirteen years later, Johnny proposed to his sweetheart during a live performance in London, Ontario. The couple were wed on March 1, 1968 and and had a son, John Carter Cash. They continued to work and tour together for more than 35 years.
In February 2003, the elderly pair appeared together in Johnny’s heartbreaking music video for “Hurt.” Three months later, June passed away. Johnny died just four months after his wife was laid to rest.
Johnny and June aren't the only celebrity couple who have kept the spark alive with love letters. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly sent each other love letters when they were apart for months at a time while Angelina was in Australia filming Unbroken and Brad was filming Fury in Britain.