Dave Matthews

Dave Matthews Sings Heartbreaking Cover of ‘American Tune’

The singer-songwriter channeled musical poet Paul Simon for a moving cover that hits a bittersweet note in these difficult times

Dave Matthews appeared on Jimmy Kimmel's show.
YouTube/Jimmy Kimmel Live

The coronavirus outbreak has brought with it many changes in the way we live our daily lives, but one of the most unexpected ways, and one of the very few pleasant ones, is how we consume our entertainment.

Concerts have been called off and television shows have halted production, but still musicians and TV talents continue to reach the quarantined masses in their homes all the same — and Tuesday night’s mini-episode of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” on YouTube proved just how powerful that can be.

Musical guest Dave Matthews joined the show’s host, each from their respective homes, to perform a moving version of Paul Simon’s “American Tune” that’s sure to leave listeners in tears during these troubled times.

(Go to 17:50 in clip for performance)

“I want to really send it to all the people in the medical industry,” the 53-year-old said before starting the song. “All the doctors and nurses and emergency room people that are working now, that are going to be working, friends of mine that are working like crazy, and the people that are begging us not to ignore this because of what might happen. This is for everybody, too. It’s not the happiest song, but it’s a reflective song. And I love it.”

But what the 1973 tune lacked in happiness, it made up for in aptness.

“And I don't know a soul who's not been battered / I don't have a friend who feels at ease / I don't know a dream that's not been shattered or driven to its knees,” he sang. “But it's all right, it's all right / We've lived so well so long / Still, when I think of the road we're traveling on / I wonder what went wrong / I can't help it, I wonder what went wrong.”

Like other recent performances on Kimmel’s "Quarantine Minilogue," this one took place in the bathroom because it is, as the host explained, “where the acoustics are the best.”

It’s hard to argue that point after listening to Matthews.

But the Dave Matthews Band frontman isn’t the only singer-songwriter to croon out this classic for an internet audience that’s staying close to home.

Just last week, Simon himself sang his heartbreaking ballad on YouTube, too, as part of the “Til Further Notice” online music festival.

This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY:

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