Watching the music video for Johnny Cash’s “She Used to Love Me a Lot” is like sitting in the passenger seat of a moving car, not really sure if the driver is lost. From bleak landscapes to gleaming drive-ins, the evocative project captures the unflinching landscape of America set to Cash’s unmistakable voice.
Filmmaker John Hillcoat distilled a month of travel footage into a four-minute music video that incorporates numerous facets of the late singer’s life and career.
“‘She Used to Love Me a Lot’ contains all the hallmark brilliance of Cash. The honest simplicity and deep conviction of his delivery shines through,” Hillcoat said. “The lyrics seemed to speak to America as it is now, to the nation that loved him and to the great divide he fought so hard against. This divide has only grown exponentially since he died, so we wanted to show America under this stark light and as a homage to the very reason Cash always wore black: to the shameful increase of the disenfranchised and outsiders.
“At the same time, we wanted to reference the great man’s own struggle and journey from the love of his life to the burnt-out ruins of his infamous lake house home, personal photographs, the cave where he tried to take his life but then turned it all around, the place he last recorded in and his last photo before his passing,” Hillcoat added.
The moody song comes from lost 1980s recordings for Columbia Records, which declined to release them decades ago. The vintage material will finally see the light of day on March 25 on a new album, Out Among the Stars. Check out the music video for Johnny Cash’s “She Used to Love Me a Lot.”