As the summer holidays draw to a close, ‘retro Friday’ takes us back – not too far – to John Prine’s instant classic ‘Summer’s End’. John Prine needs no introduction to AUK readers and this song, taken from his eighteenth studio album ‘Tree of Forgiveness’ is everything that fans love him for. Insightful, sensitive lyrics that get to the heart of being human, delivered with that characterful voice and set to a memorable melody.
The accompanying video directed by Kerrin Sheldon and Elaine McMillion Sheldon takes us through a visual story, a heart-breaking narrative of a family ruined by substance abuse and addiction. At the time, the couple were best known for their Academy Award-nominated documentary ‘Heroin(e)’ and their film-making skills clearly present the human cost of opioids for the narrative of the music video. It’s all the more effective for seeing the impact through the eyes of a child who is now being raised by her grandfather. It’s powerfully emotional and does justice to a great song. The video was dedicated to the son of former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, Max Barry, who died of an overdose.
‘Tree of Forgiveness’ was to be Prine’s final album but it stands as one of his finest and shows that, right to the end, he was capable of writing songs that touch our collective soul. John, “Summer’s end came faster than we wanted.”
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