John Prine’s latest video is the crudely and charmingly animated clip for “Egg & Daughter Nite, Lincoln Nebraska, 1967 (Crazy Bone),” from the singer-songwriter’s The Tree of Forgiveness LP, released in April. A blend of youthful whimsy and certain mortality, Prine charts the various pursuits of misbegotten childhood, adulthood and senior-citizen-hood, crediting “that old crazy bone” in an updated version of the once-popular phrase “the devil made me do it.”
As the clip opens, a hand-drawn Prine is seen performing on a stage surrounded by hay bales and cornstalks. As a dog jumps around him on its hind legs with a bone in its mouth, the video then moves on to capture the action of the titular “Egg & Daughter Nite,” depicting the musician, guitar in hand, playing along while gliding on roller skates. Accompanied by honky-tonk piano, Prine shifts lyrical gears in the final verse, setting the scene in a nursing home where “you’re half out of your head and you probably pissed the bed, and you can’t see a thing to save your ass,” and then moves to a cemetery, where a singing skeleton climbs out of the ground.
The Tree of Forgiveness, produced by Dave Cobb and featuring guest appearances from Jason Isbell and Brandi Carlile, among others, topped Billboard‘s Americana/Folk album chart, reached Number Two on the country chart and debuted at Number Five on the multi-genre Billboard 200, the Grammy winner’s best-ever showing on that chart in his more than 40 years of making records. Prine is currently on tour in the U.K., and returns to the States next month on a trek that stretches to the end of the year.