Wednesday, April 08, 2020

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Heaven is Now a Funnier Place

Everyone who loved his music surely knows by now that John Prine died yesterday from COVID-19.

And there's nothing funny about that.

I never met the man so I don’t know what he would have wanted. But I suspect Prine would want us to smile and maybe even laugh when remembering his songs.

He wrote some devastatingly poignant songs ("Souvenirs" has always been my favorite), but he also wrote some very funny ones. As I wrote when reviewing what turned out to be his final album (Tree of Forgiveness, 2018), "Prine’s goofy grin is practically audible in many of the songs on his new album ..."

So, this Wacky Wednesday is for you, Mr. Prine.

Listen to this one and try not to cry like a baby. Maybe laugh like a hyena:

Here's a fun fact: In 1984, some joker wrote to national advice columnist Abigail Van Buren paraphrasing a verse in this next song. Unfamiliar with the lyrics, she published it and responded, "Dear Noisemaker: Listen to your stomach. Calm down and never kiss on an empty stomach. You're either hungry or nervous. Or both."

I think Prine's "Dear Abby" had a better answer.

This duet with Iris DeMent on title song from Prine's 1999 album, wins a big door prize in my book. For one thing it might be the only song in history to sexualize the Easter Bunny. (What kind of message does that send to the children?)

Here's an old song Prine performed a few years ago with fellow Kentuckian Sturgill Simpson.

"Hand me down my walking cane
It's a sin to tell a lie
Send my mouth way down south
And kiss my ass goodbye."

And speaking of looking death in the face and laughing, this is the last song on Prine's last album, released two years ago. I bet by now he's already started on that nine-mile cigarette.

R.I.P. Johnn Prine. Thanks for all your timeless and wonderful music.


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