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Hello In There -- John Prine

Guest poem submitted by Rama Rao:
(Poem #1966) 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."
-- John Prine
I am  a little surprised not to see John Prine on the Minstrels. Hailed
by some on his debut as "the next Dylan " he has had many of his folksy
lyrics sung by other famous singers. As the developed world including
America ages, with larger percentages of older people in their
populations, this poem captures some of the increasing loneliness they
feel. The stanza contrasting old people to old trees and old rivers is
particularly powerful.

A John Prine bio is available at

Rama Rao.

1640 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

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