Hello in There, Hello | Beaufort County Now

John Prine passed from complications of COVID19, He was 73 Years old. Hello in there. John Prine, Dueling Hits, Coronavirus, CVD19
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Hello in There, Hello

John Prine

(October 10, 1946 – April 7, 2020)


   John Prine passed from complications of the COVID19 Virus. He was Seventy-Three years old.  I freely admit that John was an acquired taste in music.  I was aware of his music but was never particularly a follower. Many of his songs were hits for other country singers. 

   Probably his most famous song was non credited as he wrote it with Steve Goodman. "You Never Even Called Me by My Name."  John did not want to be credited with the shared song writing royalties.  The song later became a hit for David Allan Coe.  Steve bought John, his friend, a juke box from the royalties and John was okay with that.

   With his passing, I revisited some of his music and ran across this gem. He was about Twenty Five when he wrote this song. Like most song writers, his inspiration came from an event in his life.

"I've always had an affinity for old people. I used to help a buddy with his newspaper route, and I delivered to a Baptist old peoples home where we'd have to go room-to-room. And some of the patients would kind of pretend that you were a grandchild or nephew that had come to visit, instead of the guy delivering papers. That always stuck in my head. It was all that stuff together, along with that pretty melody. I don't think I've done a show without singing 'Hello in There. Nothing in it wears on me."

  Here are Two Versions of the song sung by John Prine

One as a young man talking about old people


One as an older man perhaps talking about himself. Maybe forty years apart


   During this time of isolation, perhaps it will be a good idea to remember that many people live their lives in isolaton due to age and passed loved ones. If you do nothing else, maybe read the last verse and follow the advice John wrote in 1971.

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"

Hello In There

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


Ya' know that old trees just grow stronger

And old rivers grow wilder ev'ry 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 asks "What's new?"

"Nothing, what's with you? Nothing much to do"


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"

Writer/s: John Prine

Publisher: Warner Chappell Music, Inc.


( April 20th, 2020 @ 12:26 pm )
What a great post to signify the return of the elusive-of-late Bobby Tony.

I was sorry to hear of the demise of John Prine even though I was not a big fan in my early days of knowing music; however, as an older gentleman, I now play and sing three of his songs: "In Spite of Ourselves", "Angel from Montgomery", and the subject of your post "Hello in There" - a true classic - what the heck, they are all classics.

I have very little time to mess with my guitar unless I am a little serious about what I am doing, and I am serious about John Prine songs now that I am older, wiser, and looking for quality to broaden my appreciation of melody and message.

John Prine was that guy; a true artist; an American treasure.

TMc: Blue Publications X Dueling Hits, Best Music Ever, Music Reviews, Music, The Arts TMc: Blue Publications XI


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