IN THIS (PANDEMIC) TIME
John Prine’s Legacy CONTENTS
IN THIS (PANDEMIC) TIME is a Kurated series in response to the coronavirus crisis
COVID-19 SILENCES AN AUTHENTIC VOICE
John Prine was a keen observer of the human condition and a superb lyricist
Such sad news that the very talented and heartfelt singer/songwriter John Prine succumbed to COVID-19 yesterday after more than a week in intensive care. Prine, 73, had been in failing health for the past year and was forced to cancel a number of performances in 2019.
The tributes, write ups and song lists circulating are many. I’m including some of them here.
“Prine wrote compact, down-to-earth lines using the common-sense aphorisms traded by blue-collar workers on their lunch break,” writes Geoffrey Himes in his Paste Magazine obituary.
I’ll remember Prine’s insight and sensitivity about the human condition. As a keen observer and commentator on injustice, it’s ironic that he should fall victim to the coronavirus crisis– one of the most egregious failings of our political and social systems ever.
My introduction to John Prine came through a rather unlikely source. The campy and flamboyant Bette Midler included Prine’s track Hello In There on her 1972 hit debut album, The Divine Ms M. I’ve included that version here. It’s one of many musical gems Prine leaves with us and she does it justice.
08 April 2020