The music world and our culture lost John Prine yesterday to COVID-19. He was seventy-three. Here is my tribute to John. He was influential in my music and that of many others. He was respected for the genius in his lyrics by many. In this song, if you hear echoes of Bob Dylan, remember that Dylan was a ghost of Woodie Guthrie and drank from John Prine's cup when Bob was a pup on the stage. Bob was six or seven years John's senior, but a baby in the art by comparison. That was all before Bob fell off the footstool and turned to other rhythms and twang, but even then, Guthrie and Prine still whisper in his work.
"Sam Stone" is a song written by John Prine about a drug-addicted veteran with a Purple Heart and his death by overdose. It appeared on Prine's eponymous 1971 debut album. The song was originally titled "Great Society Conflict Veteran's Blues".
The most familiar refrain in the song is "There's a hole in daddy's arm, where all the money goes."