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Repost (with some additions): “Dear Abby”

Posted by purplemary54 on December 30, 2012

Short & sweet today.

There’s really not much to say about this one, anyway.  It’s John Prine, so it’s either funny or heartbreaking.  Or both.  It’s literate and filled with eccentric characters.  John Prine is one of the great Criminally Underrated singer-songwriters.  I’ve always known who he was because he was popular with my family; we tend to gravitate sarcastic humor and down-to-earth attitudes, and Prine has both in spades.  From the midwest, Prine served in the military for several years and was a mail carrier before he began recording albums.  He’s just a guy who tells a good story.  This good story happens to be about advice columns, which are one of my great not-so-guilty pleasures.

The main reason I love this song can be summed up in the chorus, which is the not-so-hidden message and a fine philosophy to live by.  Prine’s fictional Abby responds to each imaginary letter writer the same way (only the nicknames change): “Unhappy, Unhappy, you have no complaint.  You are what you are, and you ain’t what you ain’t.  So listen up, buster, and listen up good.  Stop wishing for bad luck and knocking on wood.”

What else needs to be said?


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