Sam Stone (Prine Contest)
Recommended it today to John Mayer, another great singer/songwriter, as a piece about the effects of war on the so called survivors and their families. Mr. Prine has written so much poetry in his life, but the POV of the speaker in Sam Stone is unique and the images burn in your brain for a lifetime. “There’s a hole in Daddy’s arm where all the money goes. Jesus Christ died for nothin’, I suppose. Little pitchers have big ears. Don’t stop to count the years. Sweet songs never last too long on broken radios.”
I’ve spent my adult life as a writer, even have my first books of poetry coming out this spring, but I’m not even ashamed to admit that I will never write anything as poignant and powerful as that verse. His grasp of image and understatement is what makes him our American troubador.