All that is John Prine
When I heard that John had contracted Covid-19, I was worried. But my mind and heart kept telling me he would make it. The days went by and there was no news until last night. I was looking at Instagram and saw a post from Jason Isbell, and I knew John was gone from us and on to the next. We have lost a literary and musical giant. I hardly know where to start, but I guess the beginning is best. I bought John's first album, simply called John Prine in 1972 and that was the beginning. That first album had "Illegal Smile," "Hello In There," "Sam Stone," "Paradise," "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore," "Far From Me," and "Angel From Montgomery" — all on that first album! It's beyond belief that there were 18 studio albums yet to come with that many great songs on each one. He was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2020 Grammy Awards. John's songs are little movies, they bring you right into the frame in a way that no other songwriter does, not even Dylan. There was only one Shakespeare and there will only be one John Prine. Here are the lyrics to one of my favorite songs, "Far From Me,"' so poignant, so sad and so real. "Well, a question ain't really a question / If you know the answer too."
As the cafe was closing On a warm summer night And Cathy was cleaning the spoons The radio played the hit parade And I hummed a long with the tune She asked me to change the station Said the song just drove her insane But it weren't just the music playing It was me that she was trying to blame And the sky is black and still now On the hill where the angels sing Ain't it funny how an old broken bottle Looks just like a diamond ring But it's far, far from me Well, I leaned on my left leg In the parking lot dirt And Cathy was closing the lights A June bug flew from the warmth he once knew And I wished for once I weren't right Why we used to laugh together And we'd dance to any old song Well, ya know, she still laughs with me But she waits just a second to long And the sky is black and still now On the hill where the angels sing Ain't it funny how an old broken bottle Looks just like a diamond ring But it's far, far from me Well, I started the engine And I gave it some gas And Cathy was closing her purse Well, we hadn't gone far in my beat old car And I was prepared for the worst. "Will you still see me tomorrow?" "No, I got too much to do" Well, a question ain't really a question If you know the answer too And the sky is black and still now On the hill where the angels sing Ain't it funny how an old broken bottle Looks just like a diamond ring But it's far, far from me