We’ll Miss You John

I didn’t grow up with much folk music to speak of.  Neither of my folks was a big music fan; their idea of a great bit of music was Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.  Much of the music that I gravitated to as a teenager wasn’t appreciated, particularly by my dad.  He thought Bob Dylan and John Denver both needed nasal operations and he was sure that pretty much every single Simon & Garfunkle song was dirty.

When I moved to the Twin Cities and discovered the Late Great Morning Show, it was like doors opened up into a whole new world.  Although I didn’t know much of the music to start with, I loved it all.  And, of course, John Prine was in the mix from the beginning and I always loved his down to earth humor.  His passing leaves a hole in my life that I doubt can be filled.

This isn’t actually my favorite piece of his, but it seems appropriate today:


Do you have a John Prine favorite??

24 thoughts on “We’ll Miss You John”

  1. i started with your flag decal wont get you into heaven anymore and illeagal smile which were both fun fun fun and moved on to paradise, hello in there and donald and lydia, souvenirs and his steve goodman connection are strong likes. and on my wednedsay night guitar sessions when he comes up i love singing his stuff. its all so enjoyable, you come home straight and you come home curly, throw away your tv,sniffing her undies,
    im gonna cry every time i think of him for a while. somebody said he is the mark twain of songwriters. i like that.
    hello in there , hello.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Rise and refuse to choose a favorite, Baboons,

    How can you choose? What I have noticed about his songs, is that even when other singers cover hem, the lyrics just bring such attention to themselves. The first time I was aware of him was after getting Bette Midler’s album, The Divine Miss M. “Hello in There” is on that album and it got my attention. Then I noticed his work on TLGMS.

    I like the Pandora station,John Prine. It is a collection of gritty – voiced singers.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is a hard day for me. I might comment later about a complicated John Prine memory. This YouTube video fits my notion of how John might like to be remembered . . . with a laugh and a smile.

    The sound quality sucks, so here are the lyrics (shortened):

    Get a little drunk, get a little loud
    Stupid me and my rebel mouth
    Ain’t all wrong but I ain’t alright
    Don’t see the world in black and white

    My grandma cried when I pierced my nose
    I never liked doing what I was told
    Don’t judge me and I won’t judge you
    ‘Cause I ain’t walkin’ in your shoes


    ‘Cause I ain’t one to knock religion
    Though it’s always knockin’ me
    Always runnin’ with the wrong crowd
    Right where I want to be

    And I ain’t good at being careful
    I just say what’s on my mind
    Like my idea of heaven
    Is to burn one with John Prine

    [Verse 2]

    And maybe he would sit awhile
    And render me an illegal smile
    And I bet that he would understand
    Just how I feel and who I am

    Liked by 3 people

    1. John had an ability to write tunes that sounded so familiar the first time you heard them you would swear he lifted them. But, no. He just had that kind of ear for melody. And of course, his greatest gift was the ability to tell wonderful stories with his lyrics.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m in the camp that can’t choose just one favorite, there are just too many gems. His body of work is really amazing. Here’s one that is not widely known as many of the ones already mentioned here. It features his wife, Fiona.

    Here’s another one:

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I don’t know that I can pick a favorite either.
    But the line “The neighbors think my name is ‘Where the hell you been'” is a favorite.
    Saw him here in Rochester a few years ago. When he first walks out on stage, you’re afraid he’s going to fall over right there. But then he starts to sing, and as we say so often about performing, it kinda perks you up. He looked better the longer he sang.
    And he sang ‘Lake Maria’ and that moment of time is stuck in my memory.
    That, and all the drunk people around us who were REALLY enjoying the concert 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  6. John Prine was a one-of-a-kind performer. There was never any doubt that he loved every minute in front of an adoring crowd, and there was also no doubt that he loved his audiences as much as they loved him.

    I’ve seen John perform live six times. The last time was a couple of years ago in Duluth, but my favorite memory is of a concert he and his band performed at the old Guthrie quite a few years earlier.

    John and his band came on stage and performed a “normal” set. The theater was packed, and a s usual, we all knew pretty much every song he performed. When it came time for the band to take a break, everyone left the stage – except John. He had just returned to performing after a lengthy period of convalescence after treatment for throat cancer. He seemed frail but fueled by the outpouring of love from the audience. He performed solo for quite a while and was then joined again by his band.. He didn’t leave the stage the entire evening, so obviously thrilled to once again being on stage, in front of an adoring audience.

    We went home that night, fully cognizant of the fact that this was a rare concert experience. It was obvious when I saw him in Duluth a couple of years ago that he was performing on borrowed time. He carried on against all odds, and with great spirit and good humor, for way longer than I expected. He’s gone, but his songs are a big part of the playbook of my adult life. It’s a tragedy that he died alone in there with no one to hold his hand. I hope that he knew that millions of people were paying close attention and saying their last goodbyes. I trust he felt the love that was so obviously enveloping him.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. At times like this, I wish I believed in Heaven. It’s a nice image: John Prine sitting with his buddy, Steve Goodman. Both with guitars. There might be a few beers sitting in ice water. Steve’s got his Cubs cap on. Sometimes they trade back and forth; sometimes they sing together.

    Liked by 3 people

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