Legacy Recordings just released the first official music video from the upcoming tribute album Johnny Cash: Forever Words. Rosanne Cash’s “The Walking Wounded” is, in a word, stunning.
For those unfamiliar with the project, Forever Words is the audio companion to Forever Words: The Unknown Poems. That best-selling collection features Johnny Cash’s previously unpublished poems.
Rosanne Cash takes her fathers poem “The Walking Wounded” and turns it into a gorgeous plot of resilience. And the music video drives home the meaning of the song even more.
Cash and director David McClister filmed the video at Johnny’s childhood home in Dyess, Arkansas. It also features a cast of characters meant to represent, well, the walking wounded. Each one has a story written on their face. For some, it’s obvious — a same-sex couple, a Vietnam vet, an African American woman. For others, the pain is more subtle.
But as Rosanne Cash traverses the property, the unity and message is palpable. Watch the video below.
“There’s so much pain in these lyrics, and they’re unrelentingly dark,” Rosanne Cash says in a press release. “I really tried to feel what [my father] would have thought about it. And it felt like a collaboration. I think he’d be proud of it. I am.”
According to the release, Cash wrote “The Walking Wounded” at a painful time in his life. He coped by reading about the soldiers in the Vietnam war and the PTSD they suffered. He empathized with their pain, and this poem drew the connection between their experiences.
READ MORE: The Lasting Impact of Johnny Cash’s “Hurt”
Johnny Cash: Forever Words features 16 different songs from 16 different artists. Each one is a musical reimagining of one of Cash’s poems from the book. In a special twist, Cash’s son John Carter co-produced the album. They also recorded much of it in his cabin studio.
Other artists featured on the upcoming album include John Mellancamp, Brad Paisley, Ruston Kelly & Kacey Musgraves and the late, great Chris Cornell. The album release April 6.