Archive for the ‘Angel from Montgomery’ Tag

Sometimes With Love, You Just Don’t Know Where To Start — John Prine, RIP   Leave a comment

Alabama2006-11-13-47 Lincoln House This Old Porch B-W blog“Old House” — Image by kenne

“I am an old woman named after my mother
My old man is another child that’s grown old
If dreams were lightning, thunder were desire
This old house would have burnt down a long time ago”

— from Angel from Montgomery by John Prine

I’m not unlike a lot of Prine fans, most of us have had one of his songs become
identifiable with a memorable life moment. I have a lot, so I won’t begin to list them. 

However, there is one that has become more profound because of the coronavirus.
During this time of shelter-in-place, I’m doing less hiking and a lot more walking through
the neighborhood. When I walk I shuffle through my iTunes songs, many of which
are by John Prine. One that is on my shuffle list is “Taking a Walk.” 

Taking A Walk

 

Taking a Walk

A man came to our house
I believe it was yesterday
I would have invited him in
But I didn’t have a lot to say

His anticipation of me opening the door
Outweighed my apprehension as it never had before
And drove my concentration
Right through that hardwood floor

Oo-oo a-ha
I’m taking a walk
I’m going outside
I’m taking a walk
I’m just getting by

There’s a girl in the white house
I don’t even know her name
Her disheveled appearance
Speaks volumes of shame

It’s an embarrassing situation
But a situation just the same
The way she walks on others
And never takes the blame
Upsets my constitution
Beyond its mortal frame

Oo-oo a-ha
I’m taking a walk
I’m going outside
I’m watching the birds
I’m just getting by

Found a card in the pocket
Of my worn out overalls
From a girl in Cedar Rapids
Now residing in Idaho Falls

I wish you could have been there
When she opened up the door
And looked me in the face
Like she never did before
I felt about as welcome
As a Wal-Mart Superstore

0o-oo – a-ha
I’m taking a walk
I’m going outside
I’m taking a walk
I don’t need a ride

I’m watching the birds
Flying so high

— John Prine

“A true national treasure and a songwriter for the ages.”

— Bruce Springsteen

 

Give Me An Angel That Flies From Montgomery — In Memory Of Lindy Ricketts   4 comments

Linda Ricketts (1 of 1) blogLinda Ricketts with Michael McDougal at the Montgomery County Literacy Volunteers Annual Spelling Bee Fund Raiser
(May 18, 2004) — Image by kenne

There’s a song written by John Prine titled, “Angel from Montgomery.” The people of Montgomery County had that angle and her name is Linda Ricketts. Linda was an angel because she was one of those rare people who found her voice by adopting and embracing communities and filiations, which in turn Inspired her to inhale the memory of acts never experienced. These acts were the work of an angel who served countless people and organizations by giving without conditions the one gift worth more than any, her time. She was a volunteer’s volunteer!

If we believe that “becoming is superior to being,” then the process of becoming is that of “gathering up the fragments”, so that we as individuals, communities and organizations may become whole. Linda was able to see the fragments around her and gather them. Whatever was broken, missing, disconnected or lost, Linda worked to create new connections resulting in bright mosaics made from the gathered fragments. 

The historic, colloquial, genesis of the title words in the song, “Angel from Montgomery” are not about our angel from Montgomery county, but have to do with her husband being pardoned from a death sentence by the governor of Alabama.  You hope from Death Row that the governor will be your Angel and send a pardon your way from his home in Montgomery.  So the old woman in the John Prine song is singing about becoming a pardon from the humdrum humility of her loveless life. I share it here for its beauty and humble, but profound chorus of gathered fragments.

Those of us who love Linda are blessed with her beautiful mosaics made from gather fragments — broken; colorful; unique; that will forever be “beneficial to all concerned.”

I count Linda among my most loved friends.

kenne

Angel from Montgomery

I am an old woman named after my mother
My old man is another child that’s grown old
If dreams were lightning thunder was desire
This old house would have burnt down a long time ago

Make me an angel that flies from Montgom’ry
Make me a poster of an old rodeo
Just give me one thing that I can hold on to
To believe in this living is just a hard way to go

When I was a young girl well, I had me a cowboy
He weren’t much to look at, just free rambling man
But that was a long time and no matter how I try
The years just flow by like a broken down dam.

Make me an angel that flies from Montgom’ry
Make me a poster of an old rodeo
Just give me one thing that I can hold on to
To believe in this living is just a hard way to go

There’s flies in the kitchen I can hear ’em there buzzing
And I ain’t done nothing since I woke up today.
How the hell can a person go to work in the morning
And come home in the evening and have nothing to say.

Make me an angel that flies from Montgom’ry
Make me a poster of an old rodeo
Just give me one thing that I can hold on to
To believe in this living is just a hard way to go

— John Prine

 

 

 

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