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John Prine

| July 1, 2011 | 1 Comment

I used to think you needed a strong image or something different in there, or something humorous, you know? I never thought about hooks or anything in my songs.  But the longer I do it, the more I think you can say the simplest thing that’s been said many times before, and it’s the time that you say it.  It’s just like … what can I compare it to … like in a relationship.  You don’t want to blurt everything out all at once.  So you kind of wait to say the sweet words, you know (laughs).  And the better the time you say it, the bigger record it is or something. I used to think it was that you had to come up with an image that was really striking — which is still good — but I prefer now to do that just maybe one place in a song and not make it the center of the song.

From Performing Songwriter Issue 12, May/June 1995

Category: In Their Own Words

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  1. Brooks McMullin says:

    I have no argument with timing or anything else. But for me one of the things I remember about your songs is the striking imagery. For example in “Mexican Home” the line(s) “while the headlights raced to the corner of the kitchen wall” is sheer simplicity, wit and beauty. The whole evening, the song’s content and tone which is usually dominated by the music is all there in that image and I remember it as something of captial “L” Literature that you have captured and made final. That is it. As for me and my timing, this response comes what? sixteen years after the posting. Well. Keep writing, and playing. I’m listening, enjoying it all.Thanks and best wishes,
    Brooks McMullin

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