torsdag 30 juli 2020

John Prine - Hello In There (Live From Sessions at West 54th)

Jag var bara 19 år när jag stötte på John Prine första gången, när han släppt sitt debutalbum. Det var helt logiskt. Jag hade gått vägen via Leonard Cohen och Bob Dylan och de andra som brukade buntas ihop. Men poängen var att de var individualister, inte massmänniskor. Det de skrev och sjöng var djupt personligt. Det gällde i högsta grad också Loudon Wainwright III, vars debutskiva kom redan 1970, och som jag också hittade hos Skivesset på Gustav i Malmö

Hello In There kom alltså 1971, och fanns med på LP:n John Prine, hans debut. På den fanns också sången som kanske skulle bli hans mest kända, Sam Stone, som gripande berättar om den narkomaniserade krigsveteranen. 

2009 sa Bob Dylan i en intervju med The Huffington Post,
that Prine was one of his favorite writers, stating "Prine's stuff is pure Proustian existentialism. Midwestern mindtrips to the nth degree. And he writes beautiful songs. I remember when Kris Kristofferson first brought him on the scene. All that stuff about "Sam Stone," the soldier junkie daddy, and "Donald and Lydia," where people make love from ten miles away. Nobody but Prine could write like that.
Jag tycker att Hello In There har en text som kan sammanfatta hans livsgärnings motivkrets och konstnärliga attityd, trots att den skrevs när han var ung:
We had an apartment in the city

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

And I still don't know what for, 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 back door 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"

***

Se också: A Literary Evening with John Prine and Ted Kooser

 

1 kommentar:

Stefan Lundin sa...

En av de bästa historieberättarna i den amerikanska traditionen. Tyvärr bortryckt av coronaviruset i förtid.