“When I get to heaven, I'm gonna shake God’s hand,
Thank him for more blessings than one man can stand.
“Then I’m gonna get a guitar and start a rock-n-roll band,
Check into a swell hotel; ain’t the afterlife grand?
“And then I’m gonna get a cocktail: vodka and ginger ale.
Yeah, I’m gonna smoke a cigarette that’s nine miles long.
I’m gonna kiss that pretty girl on the tilt-a-whirl,
’Cause this old man is goin’ to town.”
—John Prine (1946-2020), songwriter, “When I Get to Heaven,” 2013.
• Editorial Comment: Heaven’s toe-tappin’ and laughin’ now, John.
• Rolling Stone obit: John Prine, one of America’s greatest songwriters, succumbs to complications of coronavirus at 73.
Check out the April issue of Senior News — “An Unsettling Spring.”
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“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard