Monday, February 1, 2016



"Paradise" is a song written by John Prine for his father, and recorded for his 1971 debut album, John Prine. Prine also re-recorded the song for his 1986 album, German Afternoons. The song is about the devastating impact of strip mining for coal, whereby the top of the mountain is blasted off with dynamite to reach the coal seam below. The song is also about what happened to the area around the Green River in Kentucky because of the strip mining. The song references the Peabody Coal Company, and a now-defunct town called Paradise in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky.

Of course the song and video include coal powered steam trains. It is a sad song in many ways. Many artists have recorded it including the brothers Jim and Jessie. Even though they left out the last verse, it is probably my favorite version - I just love their harmony.


  1. It is a sad song - and a way of life is gone also. Good that you posted it, just to remind us of what we are losing..
    (Can Alf be my sweetheart? He has CHOCOLATES!)

  2. Listen to the Jim & Jessie version also. I think you would probably be challenged to even see where the strip mining was today. Check out the satellite view (note there is a TVA powerplant there). Mammoth Cave is centered on the Green River upstream of Paradise.

    Beautiful country.

    Alf said he would share this chocolates if you would let him pet your cat.