Here is a particularly captivating verse from Souvenirs, a song he co wrote with Steve Goodman.
All the snow has turned to water
Christmas days have come and gone
Broken toys and faded colors
Are all that's left to linger on
I hate graveyards and old pawn shops
For they always bring me tears
I can't forgive the way they rob me
Of my childhood souvenirs
By the way, Souvenirs is John Prine's mother's favorite song.
Click on this link if you'd like to see John Prine perform Souvenirs.
Here is the chorus from Sam Stone, a haunting song about a drug addicted Vietnam vet.
There's a hole in daddy's arm where all the money goes,
Jesus Christ died for nothin' I suppose.
Little pitchers have big ears,
Don't stop to count the years,
Sweet songs never last too long on broken radios.
Johnny Cash covered Sam Stone.
Click on this link if you'd like to see Sam Stone performed.
The ticket you see above is mine. There's a story that goes along with this ticket. Friday afternoon one of the secretary's sent out an email offering six free John Prine tickets for the Friday night show. I raced to the secretary's desk and picked up one of the tickets. The business of seeing John Prine perform wasn't going to be easy. You see I was obligated to accompany a group of students to an academic competition across town. You never know with these competitions; they can end as early as seven o'clock or go on until eleven. The show started at eight but there was a warm up band. It was a proverbial crap shoot. The bus returned to our home school at 9:30. There was still a chance I could see John Prine sing. It would be worth the 45 minute drive to downtown Phoenix just to see him play one song.
As drove toward Phoenix I began to reevaluate the situation. I was pretty darned tired. And I had to get up at 5:30. Since there had been a warm up band, John Prine must have begun his performance at nine at the latest. It was ten o'clock . "The guy's got to be seventy." I thought. "A seventy year-old isn't going to play much longer than an hour." And I was pretty darned tired. I understood I would regret turning around and going home more than I would have regretted losing a little sleep as I pulled off the freeway and headed home.
And so I have this ticket.
Last night I came home, cracked a beer and watched a few John Prine songs on Youtube. It was nice. It had been a good day. I enjoyed being with my students at the competition. It's good to have a job from which I can drive home every day knowing I at least tried to do something good.
I was walking down the road, man
Just looking at my shoes
When God sent me an angel
Just to chase away my blues
Now everything is cool
Everything is cool
- Everything is Cool by Jon Prine
Steve McQueen did not see the John Prine show Friday night.