John Prine's Music in Detail



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Artists referring to John Prine in their own creations

Updated Tue, 4 September, 2018
 A big Prine Shrine thanks to Shanda Sherpa and Brian Holmes for the update

Grace Askew
Album: Empty Rooms (EP)

Song: Out on Your Front Steps



Jed Zimmerman - singer/songwriter
Album:Write Now
Song: The Weatherman

Zoe Muth - singer/songwriter
Album: Starlight Hotel [2011]
Track #7 If I Can't Trust You With a Quarter
"When you said that you never heard of John Prine, well I knew right away that you weren't worth my time."


Bo Bice
Album: See the Light
Track#2 - Take the Country Outta Me
Can't go a day without Waylon Jennings and the red haired stranger's on my mind
Johnny Cash and Jimmy Rogers, JJ Cale and Old John Prine

Sara Dressen - writer
Book: "Lock and Key"
1. Angel from Montgomery, Bonnie Raitt and John Prine: This song is specifically mentioned in the book, and it really helped me when I was trying to picture Ruby's mom and figure out what her story was. We had to get permission from John Prine's publishing company to quote a couple of lines from it, which is a complex process, but so worth it in the end. I just love this song. April 22, 2008

Frank Manzi
Album: Going Home
John Prine
"And your mind is a little South of Prine? (?)

John Cotter
Album: ConceptPeace
Song: You Were Right, Mr. Prine
I was wondering when I was younger if I should blow up my TV...

Charlie Zulu Project
Album: Riverstones (2/11/2008)

Song: John Prine by Matt Euser
Lyric: entire song is filled with bits and pieces of John Prine lyrics

Over the Rhine
Album: The Trumpet Child
Song: “If a Song Could Be President,”

Lyrics: "John Prine would run the FBI - All the criminals would laugh and cry - If a song could be president"a

Saw Doctors
"She's Got It"
"The way she reads my mind, The way she loves John Prine"  listen to it here


Artist: Vince Gill
These Days (4 disk set) - on Disk 3: "Some Things Never Get Old (The Country and Western Record)"
Some Things Never Get Old (Track 7) - featuring Emmylou Harris
Lyrics: The last lines of the first two verses are:
(1) Eating Watermelon down to the rind, Any old song by Brother John Prine....
(2) Pickin on the back porch with Brother John Prine


Book: Doctor Spectrum #4 - Full Spectrum, Part IV of VI

Artist: Travel Foreman (p), Nelson DeCastro(i)
Sara "Samm" Barnes
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Makes use of a song by John Prine - (I'm guessing it's Sam Stone, but would like confirmation from anyone who has read this comic)


Artist: Eric Hester 
Words & music
by West of Rome 1999 Prairie Wind Howl Music
Album: Blue Tattoo
Song: American Folk Music
Lyrics: "All across the land there was American folk music folk music -  fans wear boots all the time 
            they groove on bluegrass, cajun, and country -  they quote leadbelly, Joan Baez and John Prine"


Artist:  Chip Taylor and Carrie Rodriguez
Album: The Trouble With Humans
Song: Don't Speak English
Lyrics: "You can let the telephone ring -  don't pass me that thing -  I am not a receiver
           you can play the music you choose -  western swing or delta blues
           where wasted words are few - an old John Prine (Van Zandt) will do -  then we'll just talk for a while"


Artist: the Gourds
Album: "Cow fish Fowl or Pig" on Sugar Hill Records
Song:  My Name is Jorge
Lyrics: "But I won't sell no flowers no that ain't my gig -  And I won't sell no cow, fish, fowl or pig 
           But I'll sell a bucket of peaches to Prine -  'Cept he's got his own trees so he ain't shakin' mine"


Artist: John Wesley Harding
Talkin' Return Of The Great Folk Scare Blues
Lyrics: ...
"And then I learned the Folksinger's Prayer and it goes like this:
   Our Father, Who art on Folkways -   Ramblin' Jack be thy name
   Thy Folk City come, Thy will be done - On CD as it was on vinyl
   Give us this day our daily gig,  And forgive us our protest
   As we forgive those who protest against us
   And lead us not into electricity -  But deliver us from commercialism
   For Prine is the kingdom, The power of the story, Forever be clever
   A minor?..."


Artist: Andrew Calhoun
Album: "Tiger Tattoo"  on  Waterbug Records (2002)
Song: "Goin' Down to See John Prine"
Lyrics:   My folks did not go out much, not even a movie
      And Folk was politic back then, Protest and "Feelin' Groovy,"
      We lived out in the suburbs, it was a special thing
      When they drove into Chicago to hear a mailman sing
      That next week, they took my sister, one week later, they took me
      I got a stamp on the back of my hand and I saw my destiny
      Just an ordinary mailman with a gift for stringin' words
      Who wrote and sang the greatest songs that we had ever heard
      And every song was different and every time was new
      And every other month or so, he'd write a song or two
      With mugs of coke and peanuts, in the musk and cigarettes
      We'd sit through rock star wannabes, to hear John's second set
      "Hello In There" and "Paradise" and "Flag Decal" again
      And one he never did record, "Will Anybody Be My Friend?"
      Will anybody be my friend?
      At Glen Ellyn Junior High School, the guys called me a fag
      My homeroom teacher called me out, I wouldn't pledge the flag
      There was Johnny Cash on Wednesday nights, to make life worth the time
      Waiting for the weekend, goin' down to see John Prine
      On Christmas, there was no one, at the old 5th Peg's back room
      But our family and one couple, listening in the gloom
      Then I called out a favorite song, John stopped his show and smiled
      At me in growing silence there, I felt like heaven's child
      It's a blessing I would carry, through trouble, dread and tears
      And I gave John a pocket knife that he kept for luck for years
      With two full sets, and sometimes three, each night a double bill
      Everybody knew the reason that black room began to fill
      With a feature in the Daily News and two in the Sun-Times
      There were folks from every walk of life, goin' down to see John Prine
      And so it was a joyful thing, and sorry now because
      It's just a ghost of memory, how beautiful it was
      That songs so filled with loneliness could leave us less alone
      As if to love your neighbor were as easy as the phone
      He'd sing "A friend that's been turned down will be a friend of mine"
      And strangers felt like family then, goin' down to see John Prine
      And so we all were happy, and happy for his sake
      When Goodman brought Kristofferson, to score John his big break
      We'd see him at the Arie Crown, up there where he belongs
      To think that now the hungry world would get to hear these songs
      And a few years on in Boston, we went down to see his show
      We waited in the hallway, but he couldn't say hello
      We saw him being interviewed, my sister Jane explained,
      "That's all part of his job now, publicity's insane"
      The critics raved, the drunkards roared, the groupies got in line
      It would never be the same, goin' down to see John Prine
      At the folkie's Sunday softball, for weeks they had it planned
      John would come to play a game with his entire band
      I had my year-old son there, we had brought him down to see
      A man who just ignored him, and barely noticed me
      He was out of shape and shouting, like his good time wasn't real
      Then he headed out for a private thing with the boys in center field
      And I wished it didn't matter, and I wished I didn't care
      Just my tough luck to love someone who wasn't really there
      On a sunny summer afternoon, for me the game was blown
      Who'd believe this strung-out fool was the man who wrote "Sam Stone"?
      At Rose Records store on Ashland, 1987
      It felt a mile awkward when I stopped in to see him
      A woman had her picture taken with him there and signed
      But it just made me nervous, goin' down to see John Prine
      And at his last accounting, there is bound to be a do
      With St. Peter and the Muses, and Montgomery's Angel too
      Saying, "Who's to speak for anyone, and who's to cast a stone
      At one who eased our loneliness, but couldn't bear his own
      And if I reach the pearly gates, when comes my time to go
      I hope St. Peter's not too busy to come out and say hello
      Will he sing "A friend that's been turned down will be a friend of mine."
      Or stamp the back of my right hand - goin' down to see John Prine
      There in the gloom I will request my favorite songs again,
      "Paradise", "Hello in There", "Will Anybody Be My Friend."
      That's "Paradise", "Hello in There", "Will Anybody Be My Friend."


Artist: Low
:  (2002)
Song: John Prine
Lyrics: I verified the math - I thought I was a poet -   I had so much to say
      But now I want to see the blood - I want to make them pay - Yeah, I can see the day
      I made a place for children - They wanted all the answers - I gave them all my lectures 
      Now they're perfect dancers -  'Cause I'm a perfect dancer -   Sha la la la la


Artist: Todd Snider
: New Connection Oh Boy Records OBR023 5/14/02
Song: Vinyl Records
Lyrics: "I got Willie, Waylon, and Woody Guthrie, Jimmy Buffett, Lyle Lovett, and Bobby Gentry, Jerry Jeff, Bob Dylan, Donnie Fritts, The Dead, and The Doors, Patsy Cline, John Prine, and More."


Artist: Chip Taylor 
: Black and Blue America  Train Wreck Records TW011 8/07/01
Song: You Left Me Here
Lyric: Like a John Prine Song - that kinda runs away - When it comes back to your heart - it comes to stay And I've been gone so long - but I have no fear In the middle of my trial, Lord You left me here"


Artist: Loudon Wainwright III
: "History", 1992
Song: Talking New Bob Dylan 
Lyric"Yeah, I got a deal, and so did John Prine, Steve Forbert and Springsteen, all in a line. They were lookin' for you, signin' up others, We were "new Bob Dylans" -- your dumb-ass kid brothers."


Band: Pawtuckets, from Memphis TN.
Album: Rest Of Our Days
Song: Punchline
Lyric: ..." liked his Mickey's malt liquor and his cheap red wine. Sat around the house and listened to John Prine."


Band: Ellis Paul
Poem: "Last Call"
Line: The jukebox quarters, they go straight to John Prine
So I can't seem to tear you from my mind.


Band: You Am I (Australia) 
Single: Damage
First lyrics in the song: Woke up with a war in my head, An old man's grumble And an extra space in the bed And if ol' John Prine can't sing the next line Bout something that can make me smile...


Band: Everclear
Album: Songs From An American Movie- Vol. 1: Learning How to Smile
Song: Thrift Store Chair
Chorus"I'm going to put a John Prine record on,  I think we need to slow down for awhile"


Band: Grumblebunny
Album: John Prine-A-Records


Artist: John Wesley Harding
Album: Dynablob and It Happened One Night
Song: Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan, Steve Goodman, David Blue and ME
Lyrics:   "And Steve harmonizes like he did with John Prine,  And David just sits and looks blue all the time"


Artist: Graham Parker
Album: (almost on) Struck By Lightning
Lyric: "John Prine sings outside the door, but people going in ignore him"