Music

Ghosts of Country Music Past Visit Alan Jackson in 'Where Have You Gone' Music Video

Screengrab via YouTube

The spectres of late country music legends haunt the Ryman Auditorium stage in the new music video for the title track of Alan Jackson's most recent album, Where Have You Gone.

Jackson's lyrics bemoan the supposed lack of so-called "real country music" in today's marketplace. Peter Zavadil directed a video that mirrors Jackson's stance, showing the singer on Nashville's most hallowed stage while surrounded by a fiddle, steel guitar, banjo and other traditional country instruments that sit unplayed-- though you can hear each around the corner on Broadway at Robert's Western World, Layla's, Jackson's own Good Time Bar and other spots that regularly prove that country music isn't "dead" at the hands of active performers.

"This is Alan's idea...capturing all of this incredible history that's happened here," Zavadil shared in a press release. "The goal was to make the Ryman as much of a character in this as Alan is the artist onstage."

As Jackson sings about country music's bill of health, ghosts begin to appear, with Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, George Jones and Tammy Wynette joining their musical progeny onstage.

"The song kind of starts out like it's [about] a lost love," Jackson said in a press release. "I love what I call 'real country music,' and I just see it fading away more than I ever have. I just wanted to say that."

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Slights about whether or not the Ryman and other hallowed stages in Nashville have been overtaken by "artificial country music" (which must exist if there's "real country music") aside, this gorgeous video complements a song grounded in personal conviction.

"Where Have You Gone" Lyrics

It's been way too long since you slipped away
I just can't forget, I can't pretend it's ok
No other one could ever replace you
So I'll keep on believing and dreaming of you

Soft steel guitar, oh how I've missed you
Words from the heart, let me hear you again
Sounds from the soul, fiddle I need you
Sweet country music, where have you gone?
Sweet country music, please come back home

The songs from your memory I cling to today
I won't let them leave me, I won't let them fade
I don't care what they do, you're still the one
I'll be here in Nashville 'til you return

Soft steel guitar, oh how I've missed you
Words from the heart, let me hear you again
Sounds from the soul, fiddle I need you
Sweet country music, where have you gone?
Sweet country music, please come back home
Sweet country music, where have you gone?
The airwaves are waiting, please come back home

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Ghosts of Country Music Past Visit Alan Jackson in 'Where Have You Gone' Music Video