Friday, April 9, 2010
Awhile back we played with Vince Gill's "Some Things Never Get Old". One of the lines about things that never get boring in that song reads "Eatin' watermelon down to the rind, any song by Brother John Prine". If you aren't familiar with John Prine, seek him out. His songs can be hilarious, sad, angry, or sweet. What they will always be is powerful in some way. Prine doesn't cheat. He always has something to say. This is one of the best known, tragic, and cause for thought as he sings of those who come home from war broken either physically or mentally.
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.
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 stealing
When he got that empty feeling
For a hundred dollar 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 around wearin' other peoples' clothes...
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.