COVID-19 Music

Paradise

 

The Pressley Girls

Back a few month’s ago the girls started fooling around with John Prine’s song “Paradise.” They never got the hang of it and sort of gave up on it.

Pap, Paul, and I used to try to do the song. We never did get it exactly right. Jim and Jesse’s version of the song was the one we were most familiar with. They do a key change in the song and I think that’s what kept throwing us…or at least kept throwing me.

After the girls heard the news that John Prine passed away from COVID-19 they decided to try the song again as a way to honor Prine’s amazing songwriting skills.

“Paradise” written by John Prine

When I was a child my family would travel
Down to Western Kentucky where my parents were born
And there’s a backwards old town that’s often remembered
So many times that my memories are worn

And daddy, won’t you take me back to Muhlenberg County
Down by the Green River where Paradise lay
Well, I’m sorry, my son, but you’re too late in asking
Mister Peabody’s coal train has hauled it away

Well, sometimes we’d travel right down the Green River
To the abandoned old prison down by Airdrie Hill
Where the air smelled like snakes and we’d shoot with our pistols
But empty pop bottles was all we would kill

And daddy, won’t you take me back to Muhlenberg County
Down by the Green River where Paradise lay
Well, I’m sorry, my son, but you’re too late in asking
Mister Peabody’s coal train has hauled it away

Then the coal company came with the world’s largest shovel
And they tortured the timber and stripped all the land
Well, they dug for their coal ’til the land was forsaken
Then they wrote it all down as the progress of man

And daddy, won’t you take me back to Muhlenberg County
Down by the Green River where Paradise lay
Well, I’m sorry, my son, but you’re too late in asking
Mister Peabody’s coal train has hauled it away

When I die let my ashes float down the Green River
Let my soul roll on up to the Rochester Dam
I’ll be halfway to Heaven with Paradise waitin’
Just five miles away from wherever I am

And daddy, won’t you take me back to Muhlenberg County
Down by the Green River where Paradise lay
Well, I’m sorry, my son, but you’re too late in asking
Mister Peabody’s coal train has hauled it away

Hope you enjoyed the song!

Tipper

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26 Comments

  • Reply
    Bob Wasmer
    May 8, 2020 at 4:45 pm

    Outstanding job!

  • Reply
    SusieQ
    May 4, 2020 at 5:06 pm

    That was great….whenever we pass that way we sing that song…… 🙂

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    May 3, 2020 at 8:15 pm

    You know, somewhere along the line I missed John Prine. Oh, I heard his music all right but from the mouths of others. Then along about three or four years ago I clicked on the wrong Youtube video and there he was. “In Spite of Ourselves” with Iris Dement. Who is this? He wrote all that? What have I been missing all these years? And now he is gone, but, I daresay, his music will outlive anyone who happens to read this.

    • Reply
      Ed Ammons
      May 3, 2020 at 8:18 pm

      Oh and The Girls did an excellent job with the song. I didn’t hear a key change but if there was one they breezed right through it!

      • Reply
        Tipper
        May 4, 2020 at 7:33 am

        Ed-thank you! No key change for the girls-they said they weren’t even trying that 🙂

  • Reply
    Don Byers
    May 3, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    I met Peine once in the ’70’s……neither of us was doing so well at the time….20 years later I saw him perform in Atlanta….by the Grace of God, both of us clean and sober for a long time….great show…

    • Reply
      Don Byers
      May 3, 2020 at 3:31 pm

      Typo….Prine….not Peine! LOL…Really, I am sober…

  • Reply
    Cynthia
    May 3, 2020 at 2:57 pm

    Fabulous!!!

  • Reply
    Gina Smith
    May 3, 2020 at 1:49 pm

    Beautiful!!

  • Reply
    Hank Skewis
    May 3, 2020 at 1:15 pm

    Amazing song. With the era of coal on the way out (God willing), hopefully there is a future of healing throughout the beautiful region of Appalachia.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    May 3, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    This was my favorite John Prine song and Chitter & Chatter did it justice, great job!

  • Reply
    Mary Johnson
    May 3, 2020 at 10:47 am

    Loved it, girls.

  • Reply
    Cee
    May 3, 2020 at 10:35 am

    Love that song, the girls did a fantastic job!

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    May 3, 2020 at 10:27 am

    Tipper,
    That was a very nice song, Chitter and Chatter did a good job on it. When My Oldest Brother, Bud was in Kentucky, He got to work on the world’s largest Machine. He was a Diesel Machanic along with others. He was always a practical joker, and when the operator climbed up into the big Machine, it was Six stories high, they ate his lunch. The operator saw what had happened and he shook his fist at the men below. They knew that by the time he got down off that Big Machine, they could finish his lunch.

    I was just a little thing when this happened, but I remember. Bud told this story to Daddy and Mama at supper. …Ken

  • Reply
    aw griff
    May 3, 2020 at 10:20 am

    Good job girls!!
    When I was stationed at Fort Knox more years ago than I care to remember my Wife and I would usually ramble around the state on weekends. We traveled through Muhlenberg County and there were places that as far as you could see it was stripped and We saw that gigantic shovel from at least a mile away tearing up the earth. We went back through the same location several months later and there were pine seedlings planted as far as you could see. They should be large trees now, fifty years later.
    People in that part of the state called Muhlenberg the upside down county.

  • Reply
    Dee
    May 3, 2020 at 10:04 am

    Honest heart-touching song beautifully done!!!!

  • Reply
    Gaye Blaine
    May 3, 2020 at 9:57 am

    Girls did great on that song. I recall that old song many years ago.

  • Reply
    Leon Pantenburg
    May 3, 2020 at 9:57 am

    The first John Prine song I recall hearing was “Paradise. I was playing in a band in early 1970s and one of guys said “We gotta do ‘Paradise.'” I was immediately taken with John Prine. The song remains one of my favorites. “Hello in There” is another favorite of mine.

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    May 3, 2020 at 9:07 am

    Wow that was a terrific sound from y’all. Do more of his songs if you know ‘me..

  • Reply
    Sue McIntyre
    May 3, 2020 at 9:06 am

    That was beautiful! You two harmonize so well. This type of music speaks to my soul. I think I have this song on a Patti Loveless CD. I know “YOU”LL NEVER LEAVE HARLAN ALIVE” is on it. Gonna go dig it out and listen to it. I think the CD is called “MOUNTIAN SOUL”, by Patti Loveless.Thank you for sharing. God bless and keep you all.

  • Reply
    Shirl
    May 3, 2020 at 8:59 am

    They’ve got the hang of it now! Great job, girls.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    May 3, 2020 at 8:12 am

    What a pure delight to start the morning with one of the most compelling reminders ever written of how man can be prone to foul his own nest. I know of no finer, more telling condemnation of society’s fixation with profit and what is often misguidedly called “progress” than this song.

    In my admittedly untutored opinion, along with Merle Haggard, John Prine ranks at THE top of American song writers. He went to the heart of the human experience and tore at your heart with songs such as “Angel from Montgomery,” “Sam Stone,” “Hello in There,” and “Donald and Lydia.” He tickled the funny bone with rollicking lyrics in “Dear Abby,” “Please Don’t Bury Me,” and “When I Get to Heaven.”

    My tear ducts got out of control when I received word from a dear friend who lives in Nashville, a couple of hours after Prine’s death, that he had left us for a celestial realm. I immediately proceeded to binge listen to several hours of his gritty, gravel-filled voice fill the air with sheer genius. He was a man of striking depth and incredible talent, and I’m so glad the twins have come up with their own touch of Prine-related magic while singing what is probably his best-known song.

    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    May 3, 2020 at 8:03 am

    If I had to call it, I’d say that song is about change, about what was known being gone forever. There is some strand in in us that vibrates to that thought. Butler, TN and Burnsides, KY were mostly drowned by lakes. Even the bible speaks of “having no respect to the builder thereof”.

    One of those shovels was called Little Egypt. I think pictures of it could be easily found inline. They were so big that when they crossed the highway there had to be dirt hauled and dumped for them to cross on because they would break the pavement otherwise.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 3, 2020 at 8:02 am

    Great job, girls! I love the way you two connect while singing! You are so very close to each other!

  • Reply
    tmc
    May 3, 2020 at 7:04 am

    Nicely done, that is a hard song to get the hang of, but you nailed it.

  • Reply
    sheryl paul
    May 3, 2020 at 6:30 am

    What an awesome rendition of one of my favorite John Prine songs

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