And Now…This

I used to hate it when TV people used this most bogus of transitions, the lazy writer’s way to get from here to there…

And now…This.

I always wanted to write a song with that phrase in it, something that would underline the ironies of life and significant and insignificant events and wins and losses, and conquests, whatever….and it would all lead to the phrase “And Now….This” as kind of a way to show us how superficial we could be about everything.

But I’m not creative enough to pull it off. John Prine was certainly creative enough to pull it off. All you had to do was sit down and read the lyrics he created to know what a gifted person he was.

It’s so diminishing to refer to him as “gravel voiced” in his singing, when he overcame a blistering collection of ailments to bring his voice back after a couple of bouts of cancer and God only knows what else. But he never stopped doing it. God bless him!

He was always compassionate, always sensitive, always sincere in what he presented. I’m not going to do the work here for you. Look up his songs. Don’t listen to them. Read them and THEN listen to them.

He was what songwriting was all about. Basically, just like anything else, it was about “writing.” No one really gets to choose to write songs. They do it because they have to. They have stories to tell.

Because so many people are being killed by this virus, it’s likely he will be lost somewhere in that long litany that starts with the news, just the facts, then shifts to more significant events and then leads up to that final cheap TV setup…And now…This…

Bye Mr. Prine. Thank you. You were never a pretty man and like many of us, became bent and fat and wobbly in old age, but somehow you transformed into a beautiful man through your music, which is so much better.

We were blessed to have him with us for so many years, a man who could break your heart with one phrase and leave you laughing with the next.

I’ll miss that. I’ll always admire it, too.

3 thoughts on “And Now…This

  1. And now, this I’d like to share
    A story rushed to show I care
    It’s not a tale that’s all that rare
    The night I saw John Prine

    In Xanadu, the near north side
    In dirty bars, in years gone by
    Where addicts’ needles got them high
    I got to hear John Prine

    It wasn’t like Chicago fest
    It was The Earl, 5th Peg, the rest
    I missed the night that Goodman dressed
    But got to hear John Prine

    And now this, the news I missed
    A part of me, of all of us
    Has gone away and none the less
    I still can hear John Prine

    As we look back and miss the past
    And mourn our youth and folks who’ve passed
    We hug the ones whose meaning lasts
    Alexa, play John Prine

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