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Neil Young Releases Video for ‘Clementine’

Neil Young
Fergus McDonald, Getty Images

The third song and video from ‘Americana,’ Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s reconstruction of classic America folk songs, has been released. The first two efforts saw Young take on ‘Oh Susannah‘ and ‘She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain.’ Now he tackles ‘Clementine.’

Although the song is frequently sung by children, ‘Clementine,’ which dates back to the 1880s, is actually quite bleak. According to Young’s liner notes, “The song tells the story of either a bereaved lover recalling his lost sweetheart, or a father missing his lost daughter. In both cases the daughter has drowned in an accident. The verse about Clementine’s sister has been omitted from most children’s versions. This verse has different meanings depending on whether the point of view of the singer is taken as the lover or the father.”

The darker aspects of the song are brought out by the surging guitars of Young and Frank ‘Poncho’ Sampedro, and by the decision to change the song’s key from major to minor.

As with the other two videos from ‘Americana,’ which will be released June 5, ‘Clementine’ uses archival film footage that reflects the spirit of the song.

Watch the Video for ‘Clementine’ by Neil Young and Crazy Horse

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