Sunday Morning Coming Down

Morning all.

A quadruple header for you this morning.

A year or so ago, I went to see Evan Dando, he of Lemonheads fame, play at Union Chapel in Islington, probably one of my favourite venues, and which I mentioned in my recent post about Supergrass and Billy Bragg.

Dando’s set comprised of the usual mix of Lemonheads classics, stuff from his solo album, and a whole load of covers of Country songs, which I decided to track down.

This was one of them:


John Prine – Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness

I came away from the gig with a strange feeling relating to that song. I didn’t think I’d heard it before, and didn’t think I knew anything else by Prine, yet there was something familiar about it that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

A little internet research told me that Nanci Griffith had done quite a famous cover of it:


Nanci Griffith – Speed of the Sound of Loneliness

Nope, that wasn’t it.

A sweep of YouTube revealed an awful lot of people had recorded cover versions of varying quality. Pick of the bunch is this, not because it’s a particularly good version (it really isn’t), but because of the performer’s decision to apparently perform it minus clothes:

He’s really feeling it by the end of that, isn’t he? The song, I mean.

Just be grateful he doesn’t take a bow at the end.

Once the general sense of nausea had passed, a little more digging found this cover version, by a band most famous for providing the theme tune to The Sopranos, and a band my brother is always banging on about how great they are. Warning, they’ve authenticated their Brixton roots by adding a bit of effing and jeffing:


Alabama 3 – Speed of the Sound of Loneliness

Nope, not that either. Although, that would seem to be an example of Country trip hop, not a genre I even knew existed. Maybe I should pay attention to my brother a bit more often.

Anyway, eventually I gave up trying to work out what was bugging me about the song. I concluded I’d definitely not heard it before, and was pretty sure I didn’t know anything else by John Prine. I figured it was just one of those songs that seems familiar the first time you hear it, even though you’ve never heard it before.

And then, a few months later, I had a Eureka! moment, when this came on my iPod:


Kris Kristofferson – Jesus Was a Capricorn (Owed to John Prine)

And there it was: KK had been subtly trying to nudge me in the direction of Prine for years, and I hadn’t picked up on it.

By the way, when I say KK, I mean Kris Kristofferson, of course, and not former footballing journeyman and BBC pundit Kevin Kilbane.

More soon.

Published by


Contact me by email at: Follow me on Twitter: @atastehistory Or do both. Whatever.

7 thoughts on “Sunday Morning Coming Down”

    1. Seems it’s not just my laptop that’s playing up, your keyboard seems to have some issues! But yeh, it’s a bit good that, isn’t it? Oh, and as per my post today – last week’s Chain and THAT tune will be with y’all this weekend

  1. John Prine is an American treasure, the Mark Twain of American music. His early work is classic, and his later work ain’t too shabby either. If “Speed at the Sound of Loneliness” is your introduction to his wonderful catalogue of songs then that’s a good thing. Look for Amos Lee’s beautiful rendition. There is a mass of great John Prine covers out there from 1970 until today. You are in for a treat. Go for it! Any way I can help……???

    1. Hey Kevin, thanks for that. I’ll certainly let you know..need to familiarise myself with Prine’s work itself first though I think…Always happy to have recommendations passed my way though!

  2. General comment here, sorry not on topic…What a site! I don’t effuse profusely much, but in this instance, well…Nice to see I’m not the only person who uses the phrase “stone-cold classic”. Thanks for the education so far, long may it continue.

    1. Hey Neville, thanks for that, much appreciated. Glad you’re enjoying what I do here (not without some wonderful contributions by some of my readers, particularly in The Chain thread, I should add). Feel free to chip in whenever you like!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s