Rosanne Cash has released the new song “Crawl into the Promised Land,” which she wrote while in the “pressure cooker” that was New York City under COVID-19 lockdown.
“Crawl into the Promised Land,” which features Cash’s husband John Leventhal and was recorded in her home studio, is a blunt-yet-optimistic look into the future of our world. In a lengthy handwritten note on her website, Cash explained how the song came to be and reflected on the state of American politics, systemic racism and more.
“My tour was cancelled, and I was off the road, sequestered in my own home, with time, a stack of writing journals, and a recording studio in the basement,” she wrote. “There was nothing to do to accommodate the emotional squeeze, and the rumblings of panic, and no way to articulate the division, and the suffering born of racism and the suffering born of COVID, with reason or logic. The only thing to do was write songs.”
“Crawl into the Promised Land” was released with a “visual corollary,” in Cash’s words, that “connect[s] the past and the present” by situating historical and contemporary photographs of protests and activists alongside footage of Cash in the studio and on the streets of New York.
Cash explained: “The Voting Rights Act, and the Women’s March of 2017, the Civil Rights movement and the Black Lives Matter protestors, Harriet Tubman and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the workers in the cotton fields and the lives of those of us who live in privilege because of them, and the necessary gratitude for the humanity we share.”
In keeping with the song’s theme, Cash has pledged all proceeds from “Crawl into the Promised Land” to the Arkansas Peace & Justice Memorial Movement, which digitally memorializes victims of lynching in the southern state. Watch the video below: