When I Get to Heaven – April 8 2020

When I Get to Heaven – April 8 2020

He was unique and beautiful and brought joy to all who heard his music. We were blessed to have him in the world for the time he was here.
 
Some excerpts from the obituary in the New York Times:
 
John Prine, the raspy-voiced country-folk singer whose ingenious lyrics to songs by turns poignant, angry and comic made him a favorite of Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson and others, died Tuesday at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. He was 73. The cause was complications from Covid-19, his family said.
 
From Roger Ebert: “He appears onstage with such modesty he almost seems to be backing into the spotlight,” Mr. Ebert wrote. “He sings rather quietly, and his guitar work is good, but he doesn’t show off. He starts slow. But after a song or two, even the drunks in the room begin to listen to his lyrics. And then he has you.”
 
“I guess what I always found funny was the human condition,” he told the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph in 2013. “There is a certain comedy and pathos to trouble and accidents.”
 
“Sometimes, the best ones come together at the exact same time, and it takes about as long to write it as it does to sing it,” he told the poet Ted Kooser in an interview at the Library of Congress in 2005. “They come along like a dream or something, and you just got to hurry up and respond to it, because if you mess around, the song is liable to pass you by.”
 
Two of his songs that are beautiful, and appropriate for the occasion.
 
Summer’s End
© John Prine and Pat McLaughlin
 
 
 
Summer’s end’s around the bend just flying 
The swimming suits are on the line just drying 
I’ll meet you there per our conversation 
I hope I didn’t ruin your vacation
 
Well you never know how far from home you’re feeling 
Until you watch the shadows cross the ceiling 
Well I don’t know but I can see it’s snowing 
And your car the windows are wide open 
 
Come on home, Come on home
No you don’t have to be alone,
Just come on home 
 
Valentine’s break hearts and minds at random 
That old Easter egg don’t have a leg to stand on 
Well I can see that you can’t win for trying 
And New Years Eve is bound to leave you crying 
 
Come on home, Come on home No you don’t have to be alone, Just come on home 
 
The moon and stars hang out in bars just talking 
I still love that picture of us walking 
Just like that old house we thought was haunted 
The Summer’s end came faster than we wanted 
 
Come on home, Come on home
No you don’t have to be alone,
Just come on home.
_________________
 
When I Get To Heaven
© John Prine
 
 
When I get to Heaven
I’m gonna shake God’s hand
Thank him for more blessings
Than one man can stand
Then I’m gonna get a guitar
And start a Rock and Roll band
Check into a swell hotel
Ain’t the ‘Afterlife’ grand!
 
And then I’m gonna get a cocktail
Vodka and Ginger Ale
Yeah, I’m gonna smoke a cigarette
That’s nine miles long
I’m gonna kiss that pretty girl
On the Tilt a Whirl
‘Cause this old man is going to town
 
Then as God as my witness
I’m gettin’ back into show business
I’m gonna open up a nightclub called
‘The Tree of Forgiveness’
And forgive everybody
Ever done me any harm
I might even invite a few choice critics
Those syphilitic parasitics
Buy ’em a pint of Smithwick’s
And smother ’em with my charm
 
‘Cause then I’m gonna get a cocktail
Vodka and Ginger Ale
Yeah, I’m gonna smoke a cigarette
That’s nine miles long
I’m gonna kiss that pretty girl
On the Tilt a Whirl
Yeah this old man is going to town
 
Yeah when I get to heaven
I’m gonna take
That wristwatch off my arm
What are you gonna do with time
After you’ve bought the farm
And them I’m gonna go find my Mom and Dad
And good old brother Doug
Well I bet him and cousin Jackie
Are still cuttin’ up a rug
Wanna see all my mama’s sisters
‘Cause that’s where all the love starts
I miss ’em all like crazy
Bless their little hearts
And I always will remember
These words my daddy said
He said, “Buddy, when you’re dead
You’re a dead peckerhead”
I hope to prove him wrong
That is … when I get to heaven
 
 
‘Cause I’m gonna have a cocktail
Vodka and Ginger Ale
Gonna smoke a cigarette
That’s nine miles long
I’m gonna kiss that pretty girl
On the Tilt a Whirl
Yeah this old man is going to town
Yeah this old man is going to town
 
 
Sad Angel, Waverley Cemetery, Bronte, Sydney, Australia