This is one of John Prine’s great­est, and that’s re­al­ly say­ing a lot. It’s a surg­ing, pas­sion­ate song about be­ing old and feel­ing emp­ty. It’s got a lit­tle nov­el in the lyrics and a tune any­one can hum along to, so great that you don’t no­tice how sad it is.

John Prine Streetlights by Bonnie Raitt

It orig­i­nal­ly ap­peared on Prine’s self-titled de­but, which has al­ready pro­vid­ed an­oth­er Day’s Song, but nev­er re­al­ly got in­to the main­stream un­til Bon­nie Raitt got her teeth in­to it on Street­lights in 1974. Bon­nie says I think “Angel from Montgomery” prob­a­bly has meant more to my fans and my body of work than any oth­er song, and it will his­tor­i­cal­ly be con­sid­ered one of the most im­por­tant ones I've ev­er record­ed. It's just such a ten­der way of ex­press­ing that sen­ti­ment of long­ing. I dun­no, I like lots of her oth­er cov­er­s, but she sure has done well by it.

It’s a won­der­ful live song, there’s plen­ty of room to broad­cast heart­break or a big gui­tar solo. I’ve seen Mr Prine and Ms Raitt per­form it, but my fave ev­er was by an ob­scure Cana­di­an band called the Les­lie Spit Treeo, whose name you can’t even un­der­stand un­less you come from Toron­to. They played it as straight-ahead hard rock with throaty, howled singing.

This is part of the Song of the Day se­ries (back­ground).

Links · Spo­ti­fy playlist. By John Prine on iTunes, Spo­ti­fy, Ama­zon. By Bon­nie Raitt on iTunes, Spo­ti­fy, Ama­zon. As for video, this is “official” not live, but the Les­lie Spit Treeo will show you a good time.


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From: John Doty (May 22 2018, at 15:17)

I love this song. My favorite rendition of it is by Susan Tedeschi, from her album "Just Won't Burn."

Alas, the album is not available in this modern streaming world, except for via illicit means. (


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