Bowl of oatmeal tried to stare me down ... and won. John Prine
Blow up your TV ... throw away your paper ... move to the country and build
you a home. Plant a little garden ... eat a lot of peaches ... try and find
Jesus on your own. John Prine
I'm fascinated by America ... it's so odd. John Prine
The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go out and do the best you can.
You're up one day and the next you're down, it's a half an inch of water and you
think you're gonna drown, that's the way that the world goes round.
I guess what I always found funny was the human condition. There is a certain comedy
and pathos to trouble and accidents. Like, when a driver has parked his car crookedly
and then wonders why he has the bad luck of being hit. John Prine
Now Jesus, he don't like killing, no matter what the reason is for, and your flag
decal won't get you into heaven anymore. John Prine
Jesus was a good guy, he didn't need this shit. John Prine
As far as guitar picking, if I make the same mistakes at the same time every day,
people will start calling it a style. John Prine
I don't concern myself with where I fit in. I just keep my head down and keep doing
whatever it is I'm going. John Prine
The best way to write a song is to think of something else and then the song kind
of creeps in. The beginning makes no sense whatsoever. It just, like, rhymes. And
then all of a sudden I'll go into, I am an old woman named after my mother.
Make me an angel that flies from Montgomery, make me a poster of an old rodeo,
just give me something that I can hold on to – to believe in this livin' is just
a hard way to go. John Prine
If dreams were thunder and lightning was desire this old house would have burned
down a long time ago. John Prine
How the hell can a person go to work in the morning and come home in the evening
and have nothing to say? John Prine
In my songs, I try to look through someone else's eyes, and I want to give the
audience a feeling more than a message.
I was a mailman walking in the snow six days a week, 12-hour days. Every two weeks,
I'd get a check for $228. John Prine
I wrote most of 'Hello in There' in a relay box, which looks like a mailbox, only
bigger. Sometimes, it was so cold and windy on my mail route that I'd go inside the
relay box and eat a sandwich, just to get away from the wind. I remember working
on 'Hello in There' inside the relay box. John Prine
Because of my song 'Sam Stone,' a lot of people thought I was interested in writing
protest songs. Writing protest songs always struck me as patting yourself on the back. John Prine
Oodles of light what a beautiful sight, both of God's eyes are shining tonight.
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 tryin' to have me some fun. John Prine
I used to read a lot of Steinbeck, and I admired Roger Miller and Bob Dylan.
Johnny Cash was like Abraham Lincoln to me. John Prine
You can fool some of the people part of the time in a rock and roll song, fifty
million Elvis Presley fans can't be all wrong.
When you're singing somebody else's songs, it's just pure joy to me.
I like doing chores. John Prine
I embraced loneliness as a kid. I know what loneliness is. When you're at the
end of your rope. I never forget those feelings. John Prine
I don't like to be caught without a pick. John Prine
If I can make myself laugh about something that I should be crying about, that's
pretty good. John Prine
I think if you write from your own gut, you'll come up with something interesting,
whereas if you sit around guessing what people want, you end up with the kind of
same schlock that everybody else has got. John Prine
If heartaches was commercials, we'd all be on TV. John Prine
I just tried to come up with some honest songs. What I was writing about was real
plain stuff that I wasn't sure was going to be interesting to other people. But I
guess it was ... I've never had any discipline whatsoever. I just wait on a song
like I was waiting for lightning to strike. And eventually-usually sometime around
3 in the morning-I'll have a good idea. By the time the sun comes up, hopefully,
I'll have a decent song. John Prine
Some of the songs come so fully, it's like they are pre-packaged. There has been
a couple that came in the middle of the night. And I thought, jeez, I'll never
forget that, went back to sleep, and it was gone. You'll hear something years
later another songwriter that you respect writes, and you go, jeez, I think that
was the remnants of the song that got sent to me. John Prine
I edit as I go. Especially when I go to commit it to paper. I prefer a typewriter
even to a computer. I don't like it. There's no noise on the computer. I like a
typewriter because I am such a slow typist. I edit as I am committing it to paper.
I like to see the words before me and I go, "Yeah, that's it." They appear before
me and they fit. I don't usually take large parts out. If I get stuck early in a
song, I take it as a sign that I might be writing the chorus and don't know it.
Sometimes, you gotta step back a little bit and take a look at what you're doing.
My music has been called so many different things over the years. I figure as long as
it's selling, call it what you want.
After cancer, I ain't scared of nothing. John Prine
I can blame a lot of things for not writing songs, but cancer isn't one of them.
My sense of humor has saved me more than a couple of times in my life.
Writing is about a blank piece of paper and leaving out what’s not supposed
to be there. John Prine
I think the more the listener can contribute to the song, the better; the more
they become part of the song, and they fill in the blanks. Rather than tell them
everything, you save your details for things that exist. Like what color the
ashtray is. How far away the doorway was. So when you're talking about intangible
things like emotions, the listener can fill in the blanks and you just draw the foundation.
I guess I just process death differently than some folks. Realizing you're not
going to see that person again is always the most difficult part about it. But
that feeling settles, and then you are glad you had that person in your life,
and then the happiness and the sadness get all swirled up inside you.