Country music legend Johnny Cash's songs can make listeners violent, scientists claim.

Researchers have placed the aged star alongside gangsta rap heavyweights and musicians like Cypress Hill, So Solid Crew and Eminem as a violent influence on young listeners.

An American study identified lyrics in Cash's 1969 hit A BOY NAMED SUE as a possible cause of aggression.

The single - the tale of a man seeking revenge on his father for giving him a girl's name - was an unlikely entry on a list of violent songs that included JERK-OFF by TOOL and SHOOT 'EM UP by Cypress Hill.

Researchers said these songs "led to more-aggressive interpretations of ambiguously aggressive words".

DR CRAIG ANDERSON - who published the findings of the investigation - says, "One major conclusion from this and other research on entertainment media is that content matters.

"This message is important for all consumers, but especially for parents of children and adolescents."

05/05/2003 12:59