On Wednesday (September 22) John Prine earned his second posthumous Americana Music Award when “I Remember Everything” won Song Of The Year.
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At this year’s award ceremony, held at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Prine’s widow, Fiona graciously accepted the honor on his behalf. “I don’t think I was ever in this building without John,” she shared from the stage. “I was feeling a little teary-eyed down there tonight, but I think he’s here.”
The competition was tight within the category which included Amythyst Kiah “Black Myself,” Valerie June’s “Call Me A Fool,” Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit’s “Dreamsicle,” and Tyler Childers “Long Violent History.” Fiona managed to accept the award without overshadowing or understating the impact of the other nominations of the evening.
“It struck me that I think the doors of this building have been pushed wide, wide open. In the last several years, but no more so than tonight,” she adds, acknowledging the hard work and influence of fellow nominees and industry peers. “And it’s being done by the women, many of them who John loved and toured with and sang with and duet-ed with. … We are so grateful for this posthumous recognition. John’s last recorded song.”
To honor his lasting influence, a trio of successors including Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, and Margo Price performed a touching rendition of “I Remember Everything.”
Co-penned with Pat McLaughlin—Prine’s dear friend and frequent collaborator—”I Remember Everything” endures as the artist’s unintentionally final message to the world. Prine had plenty of life left to live, but the lyrics reflect the type of retrospection that comes along naturally amidst one’s sunset years. Like many of his songs, it was an ode to two lovers. But the lyrical landscape presented here evokes imagery associated with longing and the end of life. Gentle, and ever-graveled, Prine closes in nearly a whisper with a repeated line: How I miss you in the morning light/ Like roses miss the dew.
Given his characteristic jubilance, Prine might have found humor in the irony that the last song he ever recorded would become his first No.1 single of his decade-spanning career. After topping the charts, “I Remember Everything” won in two categories at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards—Best American Roots Performance and Best American Roots Song.
Watch John Prine’s final performance of the award-winning song “I Remember Everything,” below.