One of my heroes passed today – Covid-19 complications – the great singer/songwriter John Prine.
As Bruce Springsteen wrote “John was never anything but the loveliest guy in the world. A true national treasure and a songwriter for the ages”.
Bob Dylan described his music as “pure Proustian existentialism … he writes beautiful songs”.
Robert Plant said “his work was a beacon of clear white light cutting through the dark days. We shall greatly miss his charm, humour and irony”.
We saw him perform live many times – including a show late last year at the Phoenix Celebrity Theatre. Listen to some of his albums – The Missing Years, Fair & Square, For Better or Worse, In Spite of Ourselves and In Person and On Stage.
Robin and Marline Dyke were with us for the Phoenix show. Here’s Robin’s tribute to the great man, using words from his songs.
Angel of Forgiveness
Plant a little garden, eat a lot of peaches, find Jesus on your own.
I’m sitting on the front steps drinking orange crush, wondering if it’s possible if I could still blush.
Have you ever noticed when you’re feeling really good, there’s always a pigeon that’ll come shit on your hood.
A heart stained in anger grows weak, grows bitter, you become your own prisoner as you watch yourself sit there.
Then you change your mind, for something else to do, and your heart gets bored with your mind and it changes you.
Well it took me years to get those souvenirs, I don’t know how they slipped away.
So what in the world’s come over you, what in heaven’s name have you done.
The moon and stars hang out in bars just talking, come on home, come on home, you don’t have to be alone.
‘Next time’ are the words I’d like to plan on, but, ‘last time’ was the only thing you said.
Jesus Christ died for nothin’ I suppose, old people just grow lonesome waiting for someone to say, “Hello in there, hello.”
Father forgive us for what we must do, you forgive us, we’ll forgive you.
So hurry! The sun is going down and the moon just holds its breath.
I don’t even care what kind of gum I chew, oh baby I just wanna be with you.
We were standing, standing by peaceful waters, ahh baby, gotta go now.
I wish you happiness, I guess I wish you all the best.
Nothing else, you see, there’s nothing else, only love, only love.
The glory of true love will last your whole life through, never will go out of fashion, always will look good on you.
In spite of ourselves we’ll end up a’sittin’ on a rainbow, against all odds, Honey, we’re the big door prize.
Please don’t bury me, I’d druther have ’em cut me up, pass me all around, send my mouth way down south and kiss my ass goodbye.
When I get to Heaven I’m gonna shake God’s hand, thank him for more blessings than one man can stand.
Ohka noka whatta setta knocka-rocka-sis-boom-boccas, Hope I said it right, Oh Boy!
So, tonight we’ll throw a party, we know just what to do, we’ll all meet at midnight, say goodbye with the ghost of sadness and cry the whole night through.