I've been watching it repeatedly everyday since its release. It is powerful imagery and it captures a lot in just under four minutes.
The video starts with some recorded dialogue by Cash: "I'm no slave to whistle, clock, or bell; Nor weak-eyed prisoner of Wall Street. Let me be easy on the man that's down; Let me be square and generous with all. And guide me on the long, dim trail ahead that stretches upward, toward the great divide."
The video then takes you on a road trip of America: of the downtrodden, juxtaposed with the luxury that few in this country are privileged to. Sometimes in color, but mostly in black and white, we see Downtown L.A. Skid Row and its residents; native peoples living in the reservations; jails and prisons and the men who are housed there.
My favorite scene looks like it takes place while driving by a reservation. From a drivers point of view we see a house with large words spray-painted on them, it says, "My heroes have always killed cowboys."
In a press statement, the Director of the video, John Hillcoat, says:
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.
To watch the video and learn more click HERE.