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YOU CAN PLAY ALONG IN THE SAME KEY - slightly abridged for BUG at the end.
Maybe you’ve never heard a John Prine song in your life. But if someone spun his 1978 album Bruised Orange for you, unprimed and unprepared, my bet is you’d be smitten within the first few seconds of that record’s first song, the jaunty “Fish and Whistle.” To the tune of one especially chirpy flute, Prine sings, “We’ll forgive each other ‘til we both turn blue.” It doesn’t matter how much beautiful nonsense he crams into his folk songs, John Prine always leaves a nugget of wisdom. Isn’t that a beautiful idea, that we’ll all just keep forgiving each other as long as we live, because that’s part of being a human? End your feuds; do it for John. —Ellen Johnson
Fish and Whistle notes from John Prine"
"I was writing about exactly what was going on that day. There was this hole in the street right in front of my house. All these trucks would hit the hole, and the house would shake. And down the street, they built a car wash, which I liked because I always like to keep my cars clean. I took my car down there - there were no attendants, you just put your money in - and everything worked except the rinse cycle. So all the soap dried up in my car. That was the kind of day it was.
I really did scrub a parking lot on my knees ("On my very first job/I said thank you and please/They make me scrub a parking lot/Down on my knees"). My first job, when I was 12 or 13, was at Skip's Fiesta Drive-In, which was the big place for the hot rods to hang out. I worked there during the daytime and helped this old Swedish janitor with his chores. The carhops wore hula skirts, and kids would buy the cheapest thing, a cup of custard, so they could watch the carhops and stuff. And then they'd take the custard and throw it on the ground. The next day, I'd be out there on my knees with hot boiling water with ammonia, trying to scrape this custard off. I thought, "This is what it's all about, all my jobs are going to be like this."