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

Because of this I 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 recognize the previous phrase an image is price a thousand phrases? Prine may convey a complete image in a few strains.

From his track “Souvenirs”:

Damaged hearts and soiled home windows

Make life troublesome to see

That is why final evening 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 may by no means convey such a element:

Why we used to snigger collectively

And we would dance to any previous track

Nicely, ya know, she nonetheless laughs with me

However she waits only a second too lengthy

Later within the track, 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 obtained 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 unhealthy 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 warfare with a drug behavior. This statement 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 track on the loneliness of uncared for older folks:

Ya’ know that previous timber simply develop stronger

And previous rivers develop wilder each day

Outdated folks simply develop lonesome

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

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 track 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 can 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 girl had one thing up her sleeve

In “Bruised Orange” (what an awesome track title), he gives some recommendation on life:

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

You turn out to be your individual prisoner as you watch your self sit there

Wrapped up in a entice of your very personal

Chain of sorrow.

“Angel From Montgomery” is a couple of lady 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 goals have been lightning and thunder have been want

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

Later within the track, 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 performed nothing since I awakened immediately

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 track “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 gives 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 previous George Jones.

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

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

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 strains 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

Verify right into a swell lodge; ain’t the afterlife grand?

Subsequent week, I will 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


Model on 04/13/2020

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Welcome my dear !
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