Sunday, April 5, 2020


Toss One Down For John Prine

The response to the hospitalization of singer-songwriter John Prine has been startling in its size and support. The man has come a long way since his debut album in 1971. I still have that album. Listened to it yesterday. What follows is my two bits worth.

Webb Chiles is 78 years old. His weblog of March 30 had this:

An article in the NY TIMES yesterday on medical ethics confirmed what I expected:  I am expendable.  If decisions have to be made between giving medical treatment to some and not others, the criteria are likely to be who has the best chance of survival and who likely has the most years left.  I agree entirely.  Quality of life cannot be measured; quantity can.  Those of us who have lived as long as I have had a life.  Twenty year olds have not.  So it is incumbent on me to avoid being in the situation where others have the power to make that decision about me.  That is not entirely in my control,  but I am going to do what I can.

I, too, am an old man; and I agree.

John Prine is 73 years old. Though he, too, is expendable, doctors are working hard to keep the man alive. He remains, as of yesterday, in critical condition. His first album appeared in 1971; his latest, 'Tree Of Forgiveness', just last year. His songs have made me laugh and cry, provided needed perspective, provoked thought, and inspired my own creativity.

Yesterday afternoon, I cued up 'John Prine' on my turntable, poured a couple of fingers of Green Spot, and sat down to have a listen. All the songs, though nearly 50 years old, are worth hearing. Two songs struck me as more relevant now than when they were written. Links to both are added below. The third song, 'Please Don't Bury Me', is something of a novelty tune. Good for a laugh. John has an active sense of humor, and likes to make me people laugh. The song is good for much more than just a laugh, though, if you think about it. What better way to consider one's mortality? nd, of course, maintaining a sense of humor is a key ingredient in any survival situation.

The song's fifth stanza could well serve as Prine's epithet:

Please don't bury me down in that cold, cold ground.
No, I'd rather have them cut me up and pass me all around ...

That 'passing around' ends with this:

... send my mouth way down south and kiss my ass good by

No better way to pass the time then listening to John Prine.

Hello In There

Flashback Blues
Please Don't Bury Me

One more time, a live version of old JP singer 'Please Don't Bury Me'