"Hello In There" as written by and John Prine....
We had an apartment in the city
Me and Loretta liked living there
Well, it'd been years since the kids had grown
A life of their own left us alone
John and Linda live in Omaha
And Joe is somewhere on the road
We lost Davy in the Korean war
And I still don't know what for, don't matter anymore

Chorus:
Ya' know that old trees just grow stronger
And old rivers grow wilder ev'ry day
Old people just grow lonesome
Waiting for someone to say, "Hello in there, hello"

Me and Loretta, we don't talk much more
She sits and stares through the back door screen
And all the news just repeats itself
Like some forgotten dream that we've both seen
Someday I'll go and call up Rudy
We worked together at the factory
But what could I say if asks "What's new?"
"Nothing, what's with you? Nothing much to do"

[Chorus:]

So if you're walking down the street sometime
And spot some hollow ancient eyes
Please don't just pass 'em by and stare
As if you didn't care, say, "Hello in there, hello"


Lyrics submitted by Bobo192

"Hello in There" as written by John Prine

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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11 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentSo beautiful. I was able to see John Prine in concert, and he is just such a fabulous performer. This was the first song of his I ever heard and the song writing was so beautiful that I had to find more.
    BettyHolly1950on July 03, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI first heard this song on TV(an interlude) but it wasn't John Prine.. It was a cover. The video was mostly senior citizens in the park looking lonely and bored. One of his best songs.
    dcaton December 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentheard this song and i was hooked. jp is a legend and this song is a reel reflection with gr8 lyrics wicked tune. luvin all his stuff, especially the stuff wiv mindy smith on. they gel like butter on hot toast
    sk84urlifeon May 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis would have to be the only song I've ever heard that made me cry. It's about the neglect elderly people feel from others because of their limited abilities and the altogether age difference. Just because you appear different, the person inside doesn't change, and no one likes to be ignored no matter what the age. It's basically saying that older people appreciate being treated like humans, other than children, and appreciate the feeling of equality to others.
    comfortablynumb;on February 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYou take a walk down any street or go into any supermarket, you'll see the old people John is referring to. These are the people who paid taxes, brought up families and lived through wars only to meet terrible loneliness in old age, and it is up to us to try to change the sickening way we ignore older people.
    Mr_Soulon March 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJohn Prine cuts to the soul of humanity like no other. To comfortablynumb, this song tears me every time I hear it.

    I lost my father a year ago and while we were close, this song made me realize that there are so very many older people who are just wasting away from loneliness and neglect.
    IslandMykon November 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song makes me cry too.
    Lyric Junkieon January 10, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis really is a deeply sad and human song. Not just that people work hard their whole lives and then can't even expect acknowledgement of their existence once their greatest accomplishments are behind them, but that time numbs us to life. Even a cut as deep as losing a son eventually is just worn away by the tides of time...

    I work in a public library, and we get a lot of lonely older people who just wander in because they have nothing to do and nowhere else to go. One day a cute and spirited 4-year old girl and one of our regular elderly men were waiting to check out. The man leaned down to talk to her, asking how old she was, what books she was getting, telling her how darling she looked, etc. and told her to "never grow up." He then stood up and repeated to nobody, "Never grow up. Growing up is terrible and growing old is horrible." I will never forget the look he gave and the way he said that as long as I live.
    vickevlaron March 24, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBeing alone does not mean being lonely, perhaps this song is about the interconnectivity of all living things, more a feeling then a conceptual thought, although we are individuals no one is truly separate…acknowledging someone else’s existence substantiates our own life…
    ray_killeenon April 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOld folks aren't a different species. I think the song is describing a couple who drifted into obsolescence, without meaning to, and now that they're old, the rest of society marginalizes and ignores them. They did all the right things, and now they're just existing.

    It's a beautiful and deeply poignant song.
    Audaciouson March 04, 2009   Link

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