Joan Baez paid tribute to her friend and a gifted singer-songwriter John Prine after it was revealed he was in a “critical condition” after contracting coronavirus.
Baez has been a stalwart of the folk scene ever since the sixties and her connection with Prine has been varied over the years. One particular point of connection is the song ‘Hello In There’.
“I wanna sing a song for John Prine,” begins Baez equipped with her trusty guitar. “He’s a friend and a fellow singer-songwriter, and his wife Fiona. John is in critical condition, on a ventilator from COVID-19, and his wife has also tested positive.”
Baez continues, addressing Prine directly, “John, this song that I’ve sung of yours, has been the most requested song in my repertoire for over 40 years.” The legendary singer then begins to perform ‘Hello In There’.
It’s a touching tribute to her friends and a poignant moment as she once again performs Prine’s song with grace and elegance, unlike any other.
Watch Joan Baez sing John Prine’s ‘Hello In There’.
Confirmation was made that the 73-year-old singer-songwriter had been hospitalised on Thursday and, after his situation continued to deteriorate, he was intubated on Saturday. The news came just days after Prine’s wife, Fiona Whelan Prine, said that she had coronavirus and that the couple were self-quarantining separately.
“After a sudden onset of Covid-19 symptoms,” a statement reads from Prine’s social media. “John was hospitalised on Thursday (March 26). He was intubated Saturday evening, and continues to receive care, but his situation is critical.”
The message adds: “This is hard news for us to share. But so many of you have loved and supported John over the years we wanted to let you know, and give you the chance to send on more of that love and support now.
“And know that we love you, and John loves you.”
Prine, a hugely celebrated musician since the early 1970s, has enjoyed a unique ability to tackle themes of protest and social unrest but often deliver his songs with innate humour to his live shows. While his work has garnered many cult fans, Prine achieved critical acclaim when he won two Grammys for Best Contemporary Folk Album in 1992 and 2006. Furthermore, the musician received a lifetime achievement award from The Recording Academy earlier this year.
The ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease was first officially identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei in China. As of March 29th, more than 723,869 cases of COVID-19 have been officially confirmed but the actual number is thought to be much higher due to substantial under-reporting of cases.
With more than 34,000 people having died from the virus, COVID-19 has now spread into more than 180 other countries—including mainland Europe, South America and North America. Given the exponential growth in cases in countries like Italy, Spain and the UK, the WHO have now stated that Europe was the current centre of the pandemic.