I spend a whole lot of time listening to music. I do know mainly nothing a lot about chords or clefs. And I by no means preferred poetry by itself. However nice lyrics put to music can break your coronary heart. I am going to by no means admit what number of occasions in a row I’ve listened to tons of of favourite songs.

For this reason I really like songwriters. John Prine died this month, and he was amongst my favorites. He was a grasp of stringing collectively phrases in unforgettable methods.

You already know the outdated phrase an image is value a thousand phrases? Prine might convey a complete image in a few traces.

From his tune “Souvenirs”:

Damaged hearts and soiled home windows

Make life tough to see

That is why final night time and this morning

appear the identical to me

Who else would consider evaluating heartbreak to lapsed family cleansing?

In “Paradise,” he sums up the demise of a Kentucky county’s magnificence spot:

Then the coal firm got here with the world’s largest shovel

And so they tortured the timber and stripped all of the land

Nicely, they dug for his or her coal until the land was forsaken

Then they wrote all of it down because the progress of man

“Far From Me” particulars a love affair that’s clearly fizzling. The final line on this verse is so telling, but I do know I might by no means convey such a element:

Why we used to snort collectively

And we would dance to any outdated tune

Nicely, ya know, she nonetheless laughs with me

However she waits only a second too lengthy

Later within the tune, the boyfriend is making an attempt to be hopeful however is aware of the reality:

“Will you continue to see me tomorrow?” [he asks]

“No, I bought an excessive amount of to do” [she responds]

Nicely, a query ain’t actually a query

If the reply too [he acknowledges]

And, sure, I do know that he makes use of dangerous grammar at occasions, however he will get a move from me in each case.

In “Sam Stone,” he writes a couple of soldier coming back from struggle with a drug behavior. This remark spoken by somebody in Sam’s household makes me weepy each time:

There is a gap in Daddy’s arm the place all the cash goes.

“Good day in There” is a heartbreaking tune on the loneliness of uncared for older folks:

Ya’ know that outdated bushes simply develop stronger

And outdated rivers develop wilder on daily basis

Previous folks simply develop lonesome

Ready for somebody to say, “Good day in there, whats up”

In “Donald and Lydia,” he writes about lonely singles

There have been areas between Donald and no matter he mentioned.

Strangers had compelled him to stay in his head.

He envisioned the small print of romantic scenes

After midnight within the stillness of the barracks latrine.

Areas between Donald and no matter he mentioned? I like it. (This tune all the time jogs my memory of an individual I as soon as labored with. After I’d ask him a query, he’d pause for a second as if he needed to change his ears again on to grasp what I mentioned.)

Prine’s lyrics will also be fantastically humorous. In “Spanish Pipedream,” the narrator is a soldier who stops in a membership and meets a memorable dancer.

Nicely, I sat there on the desk and I acted actual naive

For I do know that topless woman had one thing up her sleeve

In “Bruised Orange” (what a fantastic tune title), he provides some recommendation on life:

For a coronary heart stained in anger grows weak and grows bitter.

You grow to be your personal prisoner as you watch your self sit there

Wrapped up in a lure of your very personal

Chain of sorrow.

“Angel From Montgomery” is a couple of girl watching her life slip by. I first heard it sung by Bonnie Raitt, so it was an adjustment to listen to Prine talking as a feminine narrator. However it grew on me:

If desires had been lightning and thunder had been want

This outdated home would have burnt down a very long time in the past

Later within the tune, this touch upon each day life is so excellent:

There’s flies within the kitchen. I can hear ’em there buzzing

And I ain’t executed nothing since I awakened at the moment

How the hell can an individual go to work within the morning

And are available dwelling within the night and don’t have anything to say?

One line from the unhappy tune “Six O’Clock Information” is:

God bless this kitchen mentioned the knickknack shelf

Would not that simply hit you with familiarity?

In “Jesus: The Lacking Years,” Prine provides a concept on what Jesus did in his youthful years. I will not get into all of the antics, however on this telling, Jesus did flip to music for a time:

He found the Beatles

And he recorded with the Stones

As soon as he even opened up a three-way bundle

In Southern California for outdated George Jones.

“In Spite of Ourselves” is a nutty tune of putting up with love. The spouse sings of her husband:

He ain’t too sharp however he will get issues executed

Drinks his beer prefer it’s oxygen

He is my child, I am his honey

I am by no means gonna let him go

These traces from 2018’s “After I Get to Heaven” give me unusual consolation:

After I get to heaven, I am gonna shake God’s hand

Thank him for extra blessings than one man can stand

Then I am gonna get a guitar and begin a rock-n-roll band

Test right into a swell resort; ain’t the afterlife grand?

Subsequent week, I am going to return to speaking about grammar and language. However I will be listening to John Prine within the meantime. And it’s best to, too.

Attain Bernadette at

bkwordmonger@gmail.com

Model on 04/13/2020



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