Austin City Limits

S46 E4601 | FULL EPISODE

The Best of John Prine

Savor an hour of stirring performances from the late singer/songwriter John Prine’s episodes of Austin City Limits. Songs include “Paradise,” “Sam Stone” and “Angel From Montgomery,” with special guest Bonnie Raitt.

AIRED: October 03, 2020 | 0:54:05
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

-"Austin City Limits" presents

the very best of legendary singer-songwriter John Prine.

-♪ Is five miles away from wherever I am ♪

-Classic performances from over the past 40 years.

-♪ And, Daddy, won't you take meback to Muhlenberg County Down ♪

♪ Down by the Green River where Paradise lay? ♪

♪ Well, I'm sorry, my son, but you're too late in asking ♪

♪ Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away ♪

♪♪

-John Prine was an American songwriter

known for his ability to tell stories through the lens

of his gigantic imagination.

John's songs seemed like they'd been easy to write,

like they'd fallen out of him like magic.

Praised for his dry humor

and loved for his kindness and generosity,

John had the courage to write plainly

about the darkest aspects of the American experience.

The thing I admired most about John songs

was the way he could step so completely

into someone else's life.

John had the gift and the curse of great empathy.

John Prine's work taught me

that you can be whoever you want to be

as long as you get the details right,

and John always got the details right.

If the artist's job is to hold up a mirror to society,

John Prine had the cleanest and the clearest mirror

of anyone I've ever known.

Sometimes it seemed he had a window

and he would climb right through.

Now here's the very best of JohnPrine from "Austin City Limits."

-Sadly, we lost John Prine in 2020.

Here are 12 of his bestperformances, beginning in 1978.

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

-♪ I been thinking lately about the people I meet ♪

♪ The carwash on the corner and the hole in the street ♪

♪ The way my ankles hurt with shoes on my feet ♪

♪ And I'm wondering if I'm gonna see tomorrow ♪

♪ Father, forgive us for what we must do ♪

♪ You forgive us, we'll forgive you ♪

♪ We'll forgive each other till we both turn blue ♪

♪ Then we'll whistle and go fishing in heaven ♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪ I was in the army, but I never dug a trench ♪

♪ I used to bust my knuckles on a monkey wrench ♪

♪ I'd go to town and drink, give the girls a pinch ♪

♪ But I don't think they ever even noticed me ♪

♪ Father, forgive us for what we must do ♪

♪ You forgive us, we'll forgive you ♪

♪ We'll forgive each other till we both turn blue ♪

♪ Then we'll whistle and go fishing in heaven ♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪ Fish and whistle, whistle and fish ♪

♪ Eat everything that they put on your dish ♪

♪ And when we get through, we'll make a big wish ♪

♪ That we never have to do this again ♪

♪ On my very first job, I said thank you and please ♪

♪ They made me scrub a parking lot down on my knees ♪

♪ Then I got fired for being scared of bees ♪

♪ And they only give me 50 cents an hour ♪

♪ Father, forgive us for what we must do ♪

♪ You forgive us, we'll forgive you ♪

♪ We'll forgive each other till we both turn blue ♪

♪ Then we'll whistle and go fishing in heaven ♪

♪ Whistle and go fishing in heaven ♪

♪ We'll whistle and go fishing in heaven ♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

Thank you.

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪ We had an apartment in the city ♪

♪♪

♪ And me and Loretta liked living there ♪

♪♪

♪ Well, it'd been years since the kids had grown ♪

♪♪

♪ A life of their own, left us alone ♪

♪♪

♪ John and Linda live in Omaha ♪

♪♪

♪ And Joe is somewhere on the road ♪

♪♪

♪ We lost Davy in the Korean War ♪

♪ I still don't know what for, it don't matter anymore ♪

♪♪

♪ You know that old trees just grow stronger ♪

♪ And old rivers grow wilder every day ♪

♪ Old people just grow lonesome ♪

♪ Waiting for someone to say, "Hello in there, hello" ♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪ Me and Loretta, we don't talk much more ♪

♪♪

♪ She sits and stares through the backdoor screen ♪

♪♪

♪ And all the news just repeats itself ♪

♪ Like some forgotten dream that we've both seen ♪

♪♪

♪ Someday I'll go and call up Rudy ♪

♪♪

♪ We worked together at the factory ♪

♪♪

♪ But what could I say if he asks "What's new?" ♪

♪ "Nothing, what's with you?

♪ Nothing much to do."

♪♪

♪ You know that old trees just grow stronger ♪

♪ And old rivers grow wilder every day ♪

♪ Old people just grow lonesome ♪

♪ Waiting for someone to say, "Hello in there, hello" ♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪ So if you're walking down the street sometime ♪

♪♪

♪ And spot some hollow ancient eyes ♪

♪♪

♪ Please don't just pass 'em by and stare ♪

♪♪

♪ As if you didn't care, say, "Hello in there, hello" ♪

Thank you.

[ Cheers and applause ]

♪♪

This is a song about a couple people that got along fine

just by themselves but they became a couple.

And... [ Laughter ]

...they developed like a third personality as a couple

and nobody liked that third person.

♪♪

And they didn't like to spend time with each other alone.

♪♪

♪ Hey, there she goes

♪ Well, I thought she'd never leave ♪

♪ Heaven knows

♪ You know it sure gives me the creeps ♪

♪ Well, I went and loved that woman ♪

♪ To the power of height

♪ And we both got jivin' fever

♪ Screwed our heads uptight

♪ Then it came to blows

♪ Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, there she goes ♪

♪ Hey, there she goes

♪ Hey, there she goes

♪ Just a walkin' down the street ♪

♪ I suppose

♪ The next fellow that she meets ♪

♪ Should have her head examined ♪

♪ By an x-ray machine

♪ So he can see all of them pictures ♪

♪ That I've already seen

♪ Just so he knows

♪ Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, there she goes ♪

♪ Yeah, there she goes

♪ Well, there must be something somewhere ♪

♪ That makes me want to hurt myself inside ♪

♪♪

♪ Yeah, we were a regular Dr. Jekyll ♪

♪ But together, we were Mr. and Mrs. Hyde ♪

♪ Oh, what a rough, rough ride

♪♪

♪ Hey, there she goes

♪ She's walking out on me

♪ With all her clothes

♪ Lookin' fine as she could be

♪ Well, I seen her on down at the courthouse ♪

♪ I was sober as a judge

♪ We'd tried to talk things over ♪

♪ But the grudge wouldn't budge ♪

♪ I said adios ♪

♪ Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, there she goes ♪

♪ Yeah, there she goes

♪ Well, there must be something somewhere ♪

♪ That makes me want to hurt myself inside ♪

♪♪

♪ Yeah, we were a regular Dr. Jekyll ♪

♪ But together, we were Mr. and Mrs. Hyde ♪

♪♪

♪ Hey, there she goes

♪ Well, I thought she'd never leave ♪

♪ Heaven knows

♪ You know it sure gives me the creeps ♪

♪ Well, I went and loved that woman ♪

♪ To the power of height

♪ And we both got jivin' fever

♪ Screwed our heads uptight

♪ Then it came to blows

♪ Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, there she goes ♪

♪ Hey, there she goes

♪ Yeah, there she goes

♪ There she goes

[ Cheers and applause ]

Thank you.

♪♪

Not too long ago, we played Washington DC

late this summer, and we had an extra day to hang around,

and didn't have to do anything or be anywhere.

So we decided we'd take in to be tourists for a day

and just go around and see some of the things

in the nation's capital.

My buddy Al Bunetta had his video camera,

which he hasn't set down since he got it.

[ Laughter ]

You know how that goes, too.

Some people just can't get unattached from those things

when they get them, you know?

But we went around and went to the Lincoln Memorial and...

went over where Kennedy's buried

and we went to the Vietnam Veterans memorial there,

the big black wall they got.

We looked up some friends whose names were on the wall,

and if you never been there or seen anything about it it,

you look them up like in a phone book

and you go on over to the section of wall

where your friend's name is or your relative or whatever.

It's a real shiny black marble wall.

You stand there looking at your friend's name,

you see your reflection in the wall,

so it's sort of a fitting memorial I think.

If you ever get a chance to go see it,

I suggest you do.

This is "Sam Stone."

[ Cheers and applause ]

♪♪

♪ Sam Stone came home to his wife and family ♪

♪ After serving in the conflict overseas ♪

♪♪

♪ And the time that he served had shattered all his nerves ♪

♪ And left a little shrapnel in his knee ♪

♪♪

♪ But the morphine eased the pain ♪

♪ And the grass grew round his brain ♪

♪ And gave him all the confidence he lacked ♪

♪♪

♪ With a Purple Heart and a monkey on his back ♪

♪♪

♪ 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 ♪

♪ Mmm

♪♪

♪ Sam Stone's welcome home didn't last too long ♪

♪♪

♪ He went to work when he'd spent his last dime ♪

♪♪

♪ And Sammy took to stealingwhen he got that empty feeling ♪

♪ For a $100 habit without overtime ♪

♪♪

♪ And the gold rolled through his veins ♪

♪ Like a thousand railroad trains ♪

♪ And eased his mind in the hours that he chose ♪

♪♪

♪ While the kids ran aroundwearin' other people's clothes ♪

♪♪

♪ 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 ♪

♪ Mmm

♪♪

♪ Sam Stone was alone when he popped his last balloon ♪

♪ Climbing walls while sitting in a chair ♪

♪♪

♪ Well, he played his last request ♪

♪ While the room smelled just like death ♪

♪ With an overdose hovering in the air ♪

♪♪

♪ But life had lost its fun

♪ And there was nothing to be done ♪

♪ But trade his house that he bought on the G.I. Bill ♪

♪♪

♪ For a flag-draped casket on a local heroes' hill ♪

♪♪

♪ 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 ♪

♪ Mmm

♪ Mm, mmm

[ Cheers and applause ]

Thank you.

Here's your big chance to sing on TV here

if you know the words to this song.

If you don't know the words to this song,

then just, if the camera comes by, just act like --

start moving your mouth.

We'll fill in later on, you know?

♪♪

Or just make up your own words. That's what I had to do.

[ Laughter ]

♪♪

♪ When I woke up this morning, things were looking bad ♪

♪ Seem like total silence was the only friend I had ♪

♪ Bowl of oatmealtried to stare me down and won ♪

♪ And it was 12:00 before I realized ♪

♪ That I was having no fun

♪ Ah, but fortunately I have the key to escape reality ♪

♪ And you may see me tonight with an illegal smile ♪

♪ It don't cost very much, but it lasts a long while ♪

♪ Won't you please tell the man I didn't kill anyone ♪

♪ No, I'm just trying to have me some fun ♪

♪♪

Take it!

♪♪

That's right -- You just passed up the place

where you were supposed to sing.

[ Laughter ]

We're gonna bring it around again.

♪♪

If this guy can remember the words here.

♪♪

♪ Last time I checked my bankroll, it was getting thin ♪

♪ Sometimes it seems like the bottom ♪

♪ Is the only place I've been

♪ I chased a rainbow down a one-way street, dead end ♪

♪ And all my friends turned out to be insurance salesmen ♪

♪ Ah, but fortunately I have the key to escape reality ♪

♪ And you may see me tonight with an illegal smile ♪

♪ It don't cost very much, but it lasts a long while ♪

♪ Won't you please tell the man I didn't kill anyone ♪

♪ No, I'm just trying to have me some fun ♪

♪♪

[ Laughter ]

♪♪

♪ Well, I sat down in my closet with all my overalls ♪

♪ Trying to get away from all the ears inside my walls ♪

♪ I dreamed the police heard everything I thought ♪

♪ What then?

♪ Well, I went to court and the judge's name was Hoffman ♪

♪ Ah, but fortunately I have the key to escape reality ♪

♪ And you may

-♪ See me tonight with an illegal smile ♪

♪ It don't cost very much, but it lasts a long while ♪

♪ Won't you please tell the man I didn't kill anyone ♪

♪ No, I'm just trying to have me some fun ♪

-♪ Well done, son of a gun

♪ Hot dog bun

♪ Attila the Hun

♪ My sister...

-A nun!

-♪ Is a nun

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ] Thank you.

♪♪

This is "Daddy, Won't You Take Me Back to Muhlenberg County?"

[ Cheers and applause ]

♪♪

♪ When I was a child, my family would travel ♪

♪ Down to Western Kentucky where my parents were born ♪

♪ And there's a backwards old town that's often remembered ♪

♪ So many times that my memories are worn ♪

♪♪

♪ And, Daddy, won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County? ♪

♪ Down by the Green River where Paradise lay ♪

♪ Well, I'm sorry, my son, but you're too late in asking ♪

♪ Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away ♪

♪♪

♪ Well, sometimes we'd travel right down the Green River ♪

♪ To the abandoned old prison down by Airdrie Hill ♪

♪♪

♪ Where the air smelled like snakes ♪

♪ And we'd shoot with our pistols ♪

♪ But empty pop bottles was all we would kill ♪

♪♪

♪ And, Daddy, won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County? ♪

♪ Down by the Green River where Paradise lay ♪

♪ Well, I'm sorry, my son, but you're too late in asking ♪

♪ Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away ♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪ Then the coal company came

♪ With the world's largest shovel ♪

♪ And they tortured the timber and stripped all the land ♪

♪ Then they dug for their coal till the land was forsaken ♪

♪ Then they wrote it all down as the progress of man ♪

♪♪

♪ And, Daddy, won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County? ♪

♪ Down by the Green River where Paradise lay ♪

♪ Well, I'm sorry, my son, but you're too late in asking ♪

♪ Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away ♪

♪♪

Play it again, Phil.

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪ When I die, let my ashes float down the Green River ♪

♪ Let my soul roll on up to the Rochester Dam ♪

♪ I'll be halfway to heaven with Paradise waitin' ♪

♪ Just five miles away from wherever I am ♪

♪♪

♪ And, Daddy, won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County? ♪

♪ Down by the Green River where Paradise lay ♪

♪ Well, I'm sorry, my son, but you're too late in asking ♪

♪ Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away ♪

♪♪

♪ Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away ♪

♪♪

♪ Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away ♪

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

♪♪

Thank you, and God bless you. Appreciate it.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Thank you.

I got the idea for this song

when somebody was talking to me at a party once

a couple of years back.

I don't know how we got around to this conversation,

but somebody started telling me

that there was all these missing years in the life of Jesus.

He was missing from the time he was 12 until he was 30.

[ Laughter ]

And I said, "You mean like nobody knew where he was?"

And he said, "Nobody."

[ Laughter ]

So that kind of, like, stuck in the back of my mind, you know?

I thought, "Nobody?

One of the most influential and controversial figures

in the history of mankind,

nobody knows where he was for 18 years."

[ Laughter ]

I snuck away on a fishing trip once with his waitress.

[ Laughter ]

For a couple of days, and by the time we got back to Nashville,

everybody knew where we were.

[ Laughter ]

♪♪

Jesus, the Missing Years.

♪♪

♪ It was raining, it was cold

♪ West Bethlehem was no place for a 12-year-old ♪

[ Laughter ]

♪ So he packed his bag and he headed out ♪

♪ To find out what the world's about ♪

♪♪

♪ He went to France and went to Spain ♪

♪ He found love and he found pain ♪

♪ He found stores, so he started to shop ♪

♪ He had no money, so he got in trouble with a cop ♪

♪♪

♪ Kid's in trouble with the cops from Israel ♪

♪ Didn't have no home

♪ So he cut his hair and he moved to Rome ♪

♪ It was there, he met his Irish bride ♪

♪ And they rented a flaton the lower east side of Rome ♪

♪♪

♪ Italy, that is

♪♪

♪ Music publishers, book binders ♪

♪ Bible belters, money changers,

♪ Spoon benders

♪ And lots of pretty Italian chicks ♪

♪♪

♪ Charlie bought some popcorn, Billy bought a car ♪

♪ Someone almost bought the farm ♪

♪ But they didn't go that far

♪ Things shut down at midnight, at least round here they do ♪

♪ 'Cause we all reside down the block inside 23 Skidoo ♪

♪♪

♪ Wine was flowing, so were beers ♪

♪ So Jesus found his missing years ♪

♪ He went to a dance and said, "This don't move me" ♪

♪ So he hiked up his pants and he went to a movie ♪

♪♪

♪ On his 13 birthday,he saw "Rebel Without a Cause" ♪

♪ He went straight on home and invented Santa Claus ♪

♪♪

♪ Who gave him a gift and he responded in kind ♪

♪ He gave the gift of love and went out of his mind ♪

♪♪

♪ You see, uh, him and the wife wasn't getting along ♪

♪ So he took out his guitar and he wrote a song ♪

♪ Called "The Dove of Love Fell Off the Perch" ♪

♪ But he couldn't get divorced in the Catholic Church ♪

♪♪

♪ At least not back then, anyhow ♪

♪♪

♪ Jesus was a good guy

♪ He didn't need this...

♪ So he took a pill witha bag of peanuts and Coca-Cola ♪

♪ And he swallowed it

♪ He discovered the Beatles

♪ And he recorded with The Stones ♪

♪ Once he even opened up a three-way package ♪

♪ In Southern California for an old George Jones ♪

♪♪

♪ Charlie bought some popcorn, Billy bought a car ♪

♪ Someone almost bought the farm ♪

♪ But they didn't go that far

♪ Things shut down at midnight, at least round here they do ♪

♪ 'Cause we all reside down the block inside of 23 Skidoo ♪

♪♪

♪ The years went by like sweet little days ♪

♪ With babies crying pork chops and Beaujolais ♪

♪ When he woke up, he was 17 ♪

♪ The world was angry, the world was mean ♪

♪♪

♪ Why, the man down the street and the kid on the stoop ♪

♪ All agreed that life stank

♪ All the world smelled like poop ♪

♪ Baby poop, that is

♪ The worst kind

[ Laughter ]

♪ So he grew his hair long and he threw away his comb ♪

♪ Headed back to Jerusalem to find Mom and Dad and home ♪

♪ But when he got there, the cupboard was bare ♪

♪ Except for an old black man with a fishing rod ♪

♪ He said, "What you gonna be when you grow up?" ♪

♪ Jesus said, "God"

[ Laughter ]

♪ Oh, my God, what have I gotten myself into? ♪

♪ I'm a human corkscrew and all my wine is blood ♪

♪ They're gonna kill me, Mama, they don't like me, Bud ♪

♪♪

♪ So Jesus went to Heaven, and he went there awful quick ♪

♪ All them people killed him, and he wasn't even sick ♪

♪ So, come and gather around me, my contemporary peers ♪

♪ And I'll tell you all the story of Jesus -- ♪

♪ The Missing Years

♪♪

♪ Charlie bought some popcorn, Billy bought a car ♪

♪ Someone almost bought the farm ♪

♪ But they didn't go that far

♪ Things shut down at midnight, at least round here they do ♪

♪ 'Cause we all reside down the block inside at 23 Skidoo ♪

♪♪

♪ We all reside down the block inside at 23 Skidoo ♪

♪♪

Thank you.

[ Cheers and applause ]

♪♪

♪♪

♪ Everything is cool

♪ Everything's okay

♪ Why, just before last Christmas ♪

♪ My baby went away

♪♪

♪ Across the sea to an island

♪ While the bridges brightly burn ♪

♪♪

♪ So far away from my land

♪ The valley of the unconcerned ♪

♪ I was walking down the road, man ♪

♪ Just looking at my shoes

♪♪

♪ When God sent me an angel

♪ Just to chase away my blues

♪♪

♪ I saw a 100,000 blackbirds

♪ Just flying through the sky

♪♪

♪ And they seemed to form a teardrop ♪

♪ From a black-haired angel's eye ♪

♪♪

♪ And that tear fell all around me ♪

♪ And it washed my sins away

♪♪

♪ Now everything is cool

♪♪

♪ Everything's okay

♪♪

[ Harmonica playing ]

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪ Everything is cool

♪ Everything's okay

♪♪

♪ Why, just before last Christmas ♪

♪ My baby went away

♪♪

♪ And I find it real surprising ♪

♪ For myself to hear me say

♪♪

♪ That everything is cool

♪ Everything's okay

♪♪

♪ Everything is cool

♪ Everything's okay

♪ Why, it was just before last Christmas ♪

♪ My baby went away

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

Thank you.

[ Cheers and applause ]

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪ A young man from a small town ♪

♪ With a very large imagination ♪

♪ Lay alone in his room with his radio on ♪

♪ Looking for another station

♪ When the static from the mouthpiece ♪

♪ Gave way to the sound below

♪ James Dean went out to Hollywood ♪

♪ And put his picture in a Picture Show ♪

♪ James Dean went out to Hollywood ♪

♪ And put his picture in a Picture Show ♪

♪ And it's, oh, Daddy, get off of your knees ♪

♪ Mama, why'd you have to go?

♪ Your darling Jim is out a limb ♪

♪ I put my picture in a Picture Show ♪

♪ Whoa, ho

♪ Put my picture in a Picture Show ♪

♪ Hamburgers, cheeseburgers

♪ Wilbur and Orville Wright

♪ John Garfield in the afternoon ♪

♪ Montgomery Clift at night

♪ When the static from the mouthpiece ♪

♪ Gave way to the sound below

♪ James Dean went out to Hollywood ♪

♪ And put his picture in a Picture Show ♪

♪ And it's, oh, Daddy, get off of your knees ♪

♪ Mama, why'd you have to go?

♪ Your darling Jim is out a limb ♪

♪ I put my picture in a Picture Show ♪

♪ Whoa, ho

♪ Put my picture in a Picture Show ♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪ A Mocca man in a wigwam sitting on a Reservation ♪

♪ With a big black hole in the belly of his soul ♪

♪ Waiting on an explanation

♪ While the white man sits on his fat can ♪

♪ And takes pictures of the Navajo ♪

♪ And every time he clicks his Kodak pics ♪

♪ He steals a little bit of soul ♪

♪ Every time he clicks his Kodak pics ♪

♪ He steals a little bit of soul ♪

♪ And it's, oh, Daddy, get off of your knees ♪

♪ Mama, why'd you have to go?

♪ Your darling Jim is out a limb ♪

♪ I put my picture in a Picture Show ♪

♪ Whoa, hoo

♪ Put my picture in a Picture Show ♪

♪ Ah, ha

♪ Put my picture in a Picture Show ♪

♪ Here we go

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪ A young man from a small town ♪

♪ With a very large imagination ♪

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

-One of the great treasures I know.

Won't you welcome John Prine?

[ Cheers and applause ]

♪♪

♪♪

♪ I am an old woman named after my mother ♪

♪ My old man is another child that's grown old ♪

♪ If dreams were thunder, lightning was desire ♪

♪ This old house would have burnt down a long time ago ♪

♪♪

♪ Make me an angel that flies from Montgomery ♪

♪ Make me a poster of an old rodeo ♪

♪♪

♪ Just give me one thing that I can hold on to ♪

♪ To believe in this living is just a hard way to go ♪

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

♪♪

-♪ When I was a young girl, well, I had me a cowboy ♪

♪ He weren't much to look at, just a free rambling man ♪

♪♪

♪ But that was a long time, and no matter how I try ♪

♪ The years just flow by like a broken-down dam ♪

♪♪

♪ Make me an angel that flies from Montgomery ♪

♪ Make me a poster of an old rodeo ♪

♪♪

♪ Just give me one thing that I can hold on to ♪

♪ To believe in this living is just a hard way to go ♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪ There's flies in the kitchen

♪♪

♪ I can hear 'em, they're buzzing ♪

♪♪

♪ And I ain't done nothing since I woke up today ♪

♪♪

-♪ How the hell can a person go to work in the morning ♪

♪ And come home in the evening and have nothing to say? ♪

♪♪

♪ Make me an angel that flies from Montgomery ♪

♪♪

♪ Make me a poster of an old rodeo ♪

♪♪

♪ Just give me one thing that I can hold on to ♪

♪ To believe in this living is just a hard way to go ♪

♪♪

♪ To believe in this living

♪ Is just a

♪ Hard way

♪ To

♪ Go

[ Cheers and applause ]

♪♪

♪♪

-John Prine!

[ Cheers and applause ]

-This song here is called "Summer's End."

[ Cheers and applause ]

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪ Summer's end's around the bend just flyin' ♪

♪ The swimmin' suits are on the line just dryin' ♪

♪ I'll meet you there for our conversation ♪

♪ I hope I didn't ruin your whole vacation ♪

♪ Well, you never know how far from home you're feelin' ♪

♪ Until you watch the shadows cross the ceilin' ♪

♪ Well, I don't know, but I can see it snowin' ♪

♪ In 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

♪♪

♪♪

♪ Valentines break hearts and minds at random ♪

♪ That ol' Easter egg ain't got a leg to stand on ♪

♪ Well, I can see that you can't win for tryin' ♪

♪ And New Year's Eve is bound to leave you cryin' ♪

♪ Just 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 talkin' ♪

♪ I still love that picture of us walkin' ♪

♪ Just like that old house we thought was haunted ♪

♪ 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

♪♪

♪♪

Thank you.

[ Cheers and applause ]

♪♪

When I get to heaven,

I'm gonna shake God's hand.

I'm gonna thank him for more blessings

than one man can stand.

Then I'm gonna get a guitar and start a rock 'n' roll band,

check into a swell hotel.

Ain't the afterlife grand?

♪ Then I'm gonna get a cocktail, vodka and ginger ale ♪

♪ Yeah, I'm gonna smoke a cigarette that's 9 miles long ♪

♪ I'm gonna kiss that pretty girl on the tilt-a-whirl ♪

♪ 'Cause this old man is goin' 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.

Why, I might even forgive a few choice critics,

those syph'litic parasitics.

[ Laughter ]

Buy 'em a pint of Smithwick's

and smother 'em with my charm.

♪ 'Cause I'm gonna get acocktail, vodka and ginger ale ♪

♪ Yeah, I'm gonna smoke a cigarette that's 9 miles long ♪

♪ I'm gonna kiss that pretty girl on the tilt-a-whirl ♪

♪ 'Cause this old man is goin' to town ♪

Here we go, boys.

[ Scatting ]

[ Kazoos playing ]

♪♪

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

Yeah, when I get to heaven,

I'm gonna take this wristwatch off my arm.

What are you gonna do with time after you've bought the farm?

And then I'm gonna look up my mom and dad

and good, old brother Doug.

Why, I bet him and cousin Jackie are still cuttin' up a rug.

And I wanna see all my mama's sisters,

'cause that's where all the love starts.

Miss 'em all like crazy, bless their little hearts.

And I always will remember these words that my daddy said.

He said,

"Buddy, when you're dead,

you're a dead pecker-head."

[ Laughter ]

I hope to prove him wrong --

that is, when I get to heaven.

♪ 'Cause I'm gonna get acocktail, vodka and ginger ale ♪

♪ Yeah, I'm gonna smoke a cigarette that's 9 miles long ♪

♪ I'm gonna kiss that pretty girl on the tilt-a-whirl ♪

♪ 'Cause this old man is goin' to town ♪

[ Scatting ]

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

"When I Get to Heaven."

[ Cheers and applause ]

-The influence you've had, you can't deny --

the influence you've had on a lot of people

has been pretty enormous.

-It took me awhile to swallow that one,

but it's -- it's -- I don't mind it so much 'cause they're --

the people that we're talking about,

Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson,

Margo Price...

-Kacey Musgraves will be heretomorrow to tape a show with us.

-Really? No kidding. Kacey's one of my favorites.

I love her.

All these people that -- They're very talented, so...

them saying that I had any influence on their writing,

it's a real compliment to me, you know,

because they are so talented.

I've been kind of waiting, and I'm sure there are other people

like singer-songwriters --

I've been waiting for stuff to get kicked up a notch

and I really feel like it has been

in the last six, seven years, you know,

that there's some really great stuff out there.

I was writing, but really slow.

I had about four or five things I liked.

And they booked me a suite at the Omni in Nashville

and I just started writing songs.

I came out a week later and had enough songs for the record.

When I came out of the studio

with the 10 songs produced by Dave Cobb,

then I started to see how they fit together

and some of the songs were about...

I don't really think the songs were about mortality

when I was writing them.

But now that I look back at them,

some of them seem that way,

-♪ Woke up this morning, put on my slippers ♪

♪ Walked in the kitchen and died ♪

♪ And, oh, what a feeling

♪ When my soul went through the ceiling ♪

♪ And on up into heaven I did ride ♪

♪ When I got there, they did say ♪

♪ "John, it happened this-a way ♪

♪ You slipped upon the floor and hit your head ♪

♪ And all the angels say just before you passed away ♪

♪ These were the very last words that you said ♪

♪ "Please don't bury me down in the cold, cold ground ♪

♪ I'd druther have 'em cut me up, pass me all around ♪

♪ Throw my brain in a hurricane,and the blind can have my eyes ♪

♪ And the deaf can take both of my ears ♪

♪ If they don't mind the size"

♪♪

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