My soul went through the ceiling

Well, somebody’s gotta put it out here in the blogosphere, even though no less than the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times have referenced it today.


“Dear Abby,” John Prine, from “Sweet Revenge,” 1973. Out of print but available digitally. Recorded live at the State University of New York in New Paltz, New York.

It’s a great song from a fine record, one I’ve had forever. This is as good a time as any to pull it out and listen to it again.

“Sweet Revenge” is one of those records from a time when I didn’t have many. I played each one over and over. All I need do is look at that blue-framed jacket and all those songs come rushing back.

So let’s enjoy one more from John Prine, the great Chicago folk singer.

“Please Don’t Bury Me,” also from “Sweet Revenge,” 1973. Also available digitally.

This is one of the songs I’d like played at my funeral, although I sure would like to see everyone’s reaction to that. (That’s the late, great Steve Goodman on acoustic guitar. He was Prine’s best friend, and he plays electric or acoustic guitar on most of the cuts on this record.)

My friend Pat Houlihan introduced me to John Prine in the mid-’70s. Pat was a good-natured hippie folk singer with long, curly hair. He played solo gigs on the tiny stage at The Office, an old neighborhood bar next to the downtown fire station in my hometown of Wausau, Wisconsin.

Now living in New Mexico and still performing, Pat recalls those nights at The Office as “some of my seminal solo gigs.” Those nights also were my first forays into live music in a club. Our tiny table full of beer glasses, we eagerly waited for the John Prine songs to turn up in Pat’s sets.

These John Prine songs.

Please visit our other blog, The Midnight Tracker, for more vintage vinyl, one side at a time.


Filed under January 2013, Sounds

5 responses to “My soul went through the ceiling

  1. I immediately thought of this song, but surrounded by 20 somethings in the newsroom, I didn’t pull the trigger…

  2. Pingback: Listen up, Buster, and listen up good « The Midnight Tracker

  3. Allan Rosenberg

    I was at the SUNY-NEW PALTZ show which also featured Sandy Denny & Randy Newman. It was an amazing show. Could you feature more John Prine from that show. Do you have any of Sandy’s or Randy’s set.

  4. ms. xtro

    it’s been so (too) long since i’ve checked in on your blog, and was delighted to find a john prine post. his ‘christmas in prison’ always makes our holidays bright ’round the xtro household! and a good day when i get to hear ‘dear abbey’ … thanks for making my day

  5. christopher cottrell

    Hey Alan, I was there too. Class of ’74. Every time I hear the crowd I remember being there.

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