Bob Dylan’s favourite songs: Sam Stone

“Sweet songs never last too long on broken radios” is one of those phrases that seem to last forever in my mind and take on a whole range of meaning.   Of his work Bob Dylan said, “Prine’s stuff is pure Proustian existentialism. Midwestern mindtrips to the nth degree. And he writes beautiful songs. . . . All that stuff about ‘Sam Stone’, the soldier junkie daddy, and ‘Donald and Lydia’, where people make love from ten miles away. Nobody but Prine could write like that.”

It is said that he wrote some of his early songs while working as postman (I think that is mailman in American English), and the story is told that after a single open mic event he started to get paid for his gigs.    Kris Kristofferson is quoted on Wiki as saying, after hearing John Prine for the first time, “By the end of the first line we knew we were hearing something else. It must’ve been like stumbling onto Dylan when he first busted onto the Village scene.”

“Far From Me”, above, is not one that is on Dylan’s list of his favourite songs, but John Prine said it was his personal favourite of all the songs he composed.  He continued recording until his death in 2020 from complications having contracted Covid.  He is regarded as one of the most important songwriters of his time and his work is celebrated not just by Bob Dylan but also by artists as different as Johnny Cash and Roger Waters.

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