“Guess i’ll always be writing, the song I never got to write with you…”

Can you believe it has been a year since John Prine died? We can’t either. This morning, prolific songwriter Natalie Hemby posted a (little wine-induced) demo of a song she wrote a year ago today, the night that she found out that he had passed away from COVID-19.

In an emotional Instagram caption for the song, Hemby writes:

“The truth is… I did get to write with John Prine. @lorimckennama and I went to his house sometime around the first of January. He and @fprine has just moved into the new place and there in the hallway was the beloved Christmas Tree that never came down. We talked at the dinner table, drank a little wine, threw some ideas around, and carved out a song. But honestly, I was too nervous to think straight (because I’m writing with one of my heroes) and I knew I had other dates with him on the books, so I just gave myself some grace and let it be what it was.. an incredible hang and the start of new friendship.

The next time John and I were supposed to get together, it was the day after the Nashville tornadoes. Naturally, we cancelled. The next time, it was my birthday, but he had already found out that he had covid. The next date was a few days later, and at that point, I was just praying that God wouldn’t take him. But he did.
I wrote this song the night I found out that he had passed. It was the first song I had written by myself in a long time.
It’s my little tribute to my friend… who I didn’t know long, but I felt like I knew him well. I think that’s how we all felt around John.
This is the work tape from that night. It’s a little rough, (a little wine influenced) but I think John appreciated unrefined things…
My sincere love goes out to @fprine and all of John’s family on this 1 year anniversary…”

John Prine
Image Via Johnprine.com

The song, about writing a song is ethereal, a perfect tribute to a man who so many loved and cherished in the music industry. A true hero of music and of songwriting, Hemby takes a quiet moment to honor the brilliance that Prine left when he left this world.

“Words get lost, doors get closed, how it sounds I’ll never know / I’m still crossing out the lines and trying to think the way you do / should I make it sad or mesmerizing, guess I’ll always be writing the song I never got to write with you”

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