Pieta Easter – and a John Prine Tribute

My good friend Charles Brandt  sent me this yesterday – Jesus’ mother Mary, holding him after the crucifixion. Not a rousing Easter image, but somehow to the point.

Look below for a couple more Easter COVID 19 reflections including a tribute to John Prine.


by Michelangelo  ~ Pieta

“The Pity”

Michaelangelo  sculpture - from c.branct.

photographer and source unknown



My granddaughters Britney’s Easter 2020 dough art


Britney's Easter doe art ornament




Easter morning  – “The rising sun”


Easter morning lignt  is over the lake 2020-04-12 bruce witzel photo


My Easter Tribute to John Prine


Many people have universal feelings of loss for the music legend John Prine. He died this past week, April 7 – 2020, from complications due to COVID 19.  He was 73 years old.

John wrote with humor and poignancy  – anti war songs like “Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You Into Heaven Anymore” and  “Sam Stone”…  “There’s a hole in daddy’s arm where all the money goes; Jesus Christ died for nothing, I suppose.” Prine explained later how the line came to him as an expression of the complete hopelessness of addiction.

Prine wrote the true precautionary tale “Paradise” (click link for a listen). The song became an environmental anthem – “Mr Peabody’s coal train hauled it away.”

And of course, “Angel from Montgomery.”


Angel form Montgomery cartoon


Here is a message from Johns wife, Fiona Whelan Prine:

Our beloved John died yesterday evening at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville TN. We have no words to describe the grief our family is experiencing at this time. John was the love of my life and adored by our sons Jody, Jack and Tommy, daughter in law Fanny, and by our grandchildren.

John contracted Covid-19 and in spite of the incredible skill and care of his medical team at Vanderbilt he could not overcome the damage this virus inflicted on his body.

I sat with John – who was deeply sedated- in the hours before he passed and will be forever grateful for that opportunity.

My dearest wish is that people of all ages take this virus seriously and follow guidelines set by the CDC (Center for Disease Control). We send our condolences and love to the thousands of other American families who are grieving the loss of loved ones at this time – and to so many other families across the world.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the outpouring of love we have received from family, friends, and fans all over the world. John will be so missed but he will continue to comfort us with his words and music and the gifts of kindness, humor and love he left for all of us to share.

In lieu of flowers or gifts at this time we would ask that a donation be made to one of the following non profits:





“When I Get to Heaven” (click to listen)

John Prine

When I get to heaven, I’m gonna shake God’s hand
Thank him for more blessings than one man can stand
Then I’m gonna get a guitar and start a rock-n-roll band
Check into a swell hotel; ain’t the afterlife grand?


Happy Easter, Dear John


john_prine photo by_Danny_Clinch                                                                                                                                              photo by Danny Clinch


Love and Cheers,



8 thoughts on “Pieta Easter – and a John Prine Tribute

  1. Bruce, we watched him on Austin City Limits the other night and he did the song you use the quote. He had a playfulness is in his lyrics few can accomplish. I am grateful he left such a great catalogue of songs, meaning his voice will not be silenced here or in heaven, but he will be missed. He was supposed to perform at the folk festival in Edmonton this summer.

  2. I once saw the Pieta in Rome, it was one of the most exquisite sculptures I’ve ever seen. I was heartbroken when a crazed man took a hammer to it many years ago. Apparently, it has been repaired, but certainly not the same.
    Happy Easter, Bruce.

    • That must have been awesome Eliza. I’ve heard it described as Michelangelo’s most amazing sculpture. For me it so profoundly represents love and humanness. I hadn’t heard about the crazed destruction to it… a symptom of our times, I guess. May you be well, throughout the Easter season and beyond.

  3. I wasn’t familiar with John Prine and his music. Thanks for the introduction. He’s probably auditioning for his latest rock band to liven up the heavens 🙂
    Love and cheers to you, too, on this quiet Easter Sunday ❤

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