John Prine’s “Hello In There” Lyrics Meaning

The lyrics of “Hello In There” find John Prine taking a sympathetic approach towards the understanding of elderly people. The narrative contained therein is based on an elderly couple whose children have grown up, moved (or passed) away and basically don’t come to visit anymore. Or stated otherwise, the two of them are lonely. And their lives have seemingly been reduced to a redundant type of boredom, devoid of any type of excitement.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for John Prine's Hello In There at

And from John’s perspective there are many elders living through likewise emotional nightmares. The sentimental foundation of this song comes from his earlier days of delivering newspapers to a senior citizens’ home and the way the residents excitedly reacted to his visitations. And basically what it all boils down to is him advising the listener. He tells us that if we were to encounter an elderly individual displaying signs of this malady, we should at least make an effort to speak to the person and potentially brighten up their day.

Lyrics of "Hello In There"

Quick Facts about “Hello In There”

John Prine wrote “Hello in There”, and the track was produced by Arif Mardin.

This song was officially released as part of John Prine’s self-titled debut album on 1 January 1971. The entire project was published by Atlantic Records.

It proved to be one of his biggest hits. It was so successful that fellow country-music singer David Allan Coe even dropped an entire album named after it. This was somewhere in 1983.

1 Response

  1. Arjen Prevo says:

    ‘Hello In There’ is voor mij één van de mooiste liedjes van John Prine, samen met ‘The Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness’.

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