John Mellencamp -- Farm Aid champion and one of the heartland's favorite singer-songwriters -- has created a new video for the song "Troubled Land," a track from his latest album, Life Death Love And Freedom. The black and white clip was directed by Martyn Atkins, shot on location in Savannah, Georgia, and takes its subject matter beyond the implied anti-war message of Mellencamp's tag line "bring peace to this troubled land." The video's small town backdrop to Mellencamp's troubadour style of storytelling employs visuals such as a threatening wolf, teens pummeling a luxury car in a junkyard, a reverse-burning flag, and money freely blowing along a sidewalk, suggesting a decaying culture in desperate need of repair. Further emphasizing that point, one of the verse's lyrics conjures harbingers of sorrow and hunger walking ever-closer to their destination, visually accented by a sign-spinner performing with a "foreclosure" advertisement and a gas pump meter spinning wildly upwards. However, the video ends with a message of hope, its last scene showing a baby crawling across an American flag, suggesting rebirth and renewed idealism.
Watch the video:
For this article, John said the following:
We're fighting wars we shouldn't be fighting and we've been spending money we don't have on those wars. Working people are falling into poverty and jobs are shipped overseas as corporations get tax breaks for doing so while our prisons overflow. I put out a song about the way things are called 'Troubled Land' to give folks the news like Woody Guthrie used to do with his music.
And in his recent Indiana radio ad for Barack Obama, Mellencamp stated, "I've seen a lot of small towns, and now I'm seeing small towns across America dying, folks losing their jobs and their homes. Eight years of George Bush has really hurt, and John McCain is just more of the same...I'm proud to support Barack Obama, because whether you live in a small town or a big city, it's time for a change."