John Prine - Lake Marie Lyrics




[Chorus:]
We were standing
Standing by peaceful waters
Standing by peaceful waters
Whoa Wah Oh Wha Oh
Whoa Wah Oh Wha Oh

Many years ago along the Illinois-Wisconsin Border
There was this Indian tribe
They found two babies in the woods
White babies
One of them was named Elizabeth
She was the fairer of the two
While the smaller and more fragile one was named Marie
Having never seen white girls before
And living on the two lakes known as the Twin Lakes
They named the larger and more beautiful Lake, Lake Elizabeth
And thus the smaller lake that was hidden from the highway
Became known forever as Lake Marie

[Chorus]

Many years later I found myself talking to this girl
Who was standing there with her back turned to Lake Marie
The wind was blowing especially through her hair
There was four Italian sausages cooking on the outdoor grill
And Man, they was ssssssssizzlin'
Many years later we found ourselves in Canada
Trying to save our marriage and perhaps catch a few fish
Whatever seemed easier
That night she fell asleep in my arms
Humming the tune to 'Louie Louie'
Aah baby, We gotta go now.

[Chorus]

The dogs were barking as the cars were parking
The loan sharks were sharking the narcs were narcing
Practically everyone was there
In the parking lot by the forest preserve
The police had found two bodies
Nay, naked bodies
Their faces had been horribly disfigured by some sharp object
Saw it on the news
On the TV news
In a black and white video
You know what blood looks like in a black and white video?
Shadows, Shadows that's exactly what it looks like
All the love we shared between her and me was slammed
Slammed up against the banks of Old Lake Marie, Marie

We were standing
Standing by peaceful waters
Standing by peaceful waters
Whoa Wah Oh Wha Oh
Whoa Wah Oh Wha Oh
Whoa Wah Oh Wha Oh
Whoa Wah Oh Wha Oh
Standing by peaceful waters
Peaceful waters
Standing by peaceful waters
Peaceful waters
Standing by peaceful waters
Peaceful waters
Standing by peaceful waters
Peaceful waters
Ahh baby, we gotta go now





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John Prine Lake Marie Comments
  1. Martin Wheeler

    I’m sitting her crying and I don’t know why, thanks John.

  2. Jason Abington

    Amazing!

  3. Rabbitface OBrien

    It looks like he is playing in the key of G Major ( G C D ),but he is tuned down a full step. What a great sound these three are making. John Prime is an awesome musician and songwriter!

  4. JaPlJustSayin

    I did a quick scroll through the comments and couldn't find reference to the lead guitarist - does anyone know him?

  5. E.Z. Grace

    Awwwww baby!!!

  6. bayman strong

    shadows......peaceful waters............find someone to share your life with,. friend or lover. it does not matter if you listen to john...I love all of you.

  7. WESLEY STOUT

    Whoever dislikes "Really Sucks" , Hard to imagine 184 people in this world could feel that way. I'll Pray for you !

    1oldgoat

    they say that 25% of Americans suffer from some sort of mental illness. That helps explain those 184 dislikes and trump. Sorry for being political but we are at a crossroad of our history and standing silent aint going to get it anymore.

  8. Notorious

    Saw him last night in Davis. Definitely one of the best shows I've ever been to.

  9. Craig Hill

    Someone explain to me please where does the people who are killed and horribly disfigured and the blood looks like shadows on a black and white TV. This part of the song seems to come out of left field and since I listen to this song almost every day on Y/tube along with other Prine songs, I make sure after I catch a good buzz that I mellow out with good ole John Prine that I started following when he first came on the scene because he was actually played on the local radio station located right in the smack of hicksville...but they played great bluegrass music and highlighted musicians like John Prine, Bill Stains, John Fahey, Leo Kotke, Bruce Cockburn and so many others. Didn't listen to mainstream radio for about 6 years until unfortunately they closed up shop...and then I lost track of Prine until I got heavily involved with streaming music from Youtube a couple of years or so ago where I find ALL of my old favorites. When I rediscovered Prine after so many years of absence, it was like finding an old friend.

  10. Jane Reddiex

    Beautiful, dark and ......just beautiful.

  11. Julie Hattory

    standing by peaceful waters.........

  12. Dr. Bill

    I shake my head in disbelief, he is the best storyteller ever. I love John Prine.❤️🙏🏻😇

  13. Randy Bridges

    By far the best

  14. TheFwanksta

    Thank God for a song like this. I can't imagine a thing that is more like what it feels like to be alive.

  15. Young Richter

    Twin lakes born and raised till 18 years old and counting, couldn’t have asked for a better childhood town

  16. Jim Koral

    Posted by Lidia:
    Why is this land blessed with such amazing amount of talent...I can't stop being in awe every single time.

  17. PhatticusInch

    John Prine is a gift from God.

  18. linda baker

    Absolutely beautiful song!

  19. Peter Halbleib

    Who the hell down votes John Prine? Pure evil DOES exist I guess!

  20. Michael Rickard

    I discovered John Prine a singer song writer poet only recently and wonder now how i missed him in 65 years. What a discovery. All his songs have a deceptive simplicity with universal perennial age old themes that have relevance for us all at any age. He has a lot of humanity that does not exclude the listener nor promote the singer. And he's all the greater for that.
    Well done Mr Prine. You are a unique human soul out there for me. You give me hope and make me young again. Well as young as I'm ever going to feel.
    Cheers

    Peter Halbleib

    I think almost everyone that 'discovers' John Prine asks themselves the same question! Very well put comment sir!

    Michael Rickard

    @Peter Halbleib thanks very much Peter.

  21. rhino ranch

    someone anyone please explain how does someone write a song like this and sing it with such conviction as if it actually is unfolding before us, an unending, deeply moving, unsolved mystery eerily set amongst a loosely scripted cast of mythical, fictional and yet potentially real characters whose intersecting cross-roads journeys suggest the existential search for meaning that all lives share

  22. Justin Nolen

    An young kids out there take this one piece advice from me. Don't play that game. It leaves u with nothing and takes your body ur mind an your Sol an leaves ya in a room to mutilate urself

  23. Douglas Fox

    "Prine’s stuff is pure Proustian existentialism. Midwestern mind trips to the nth degree. And he writes beautiful songs. I remember when Kris Kristofferson first brought him on the scene. All that stuff about “Sam Stone” the soldier junky daddy and “Donald and Lydia,” where people make love from ten miles away. Nobody but Prine could write like that. If I had to pick one song of his, it might be “Lake Marie.” I don’t remember what album that’s on.”
    – Bob Dylan (Interview with Bill Flanagan 2009)



    In March 1966 PLAYBOY published the first full-length interview with Bob Dylan.


    PLAYBOY: What was the quality of those visionary experiences?

    DYLAN: Well, in the winter, everything was still, nothing moved. Eight months of that. You can put it together. You can have some amazing hallucinogenic experiences doing nothing but looking out your window. There is also the summer when it gets hot and sticky and the air is very metallic. There is a lot of Indian spirit. The earth there is unusual, filled with ore. So there is something happening that is hard to define. There is a magnetic attraction there. Maybe thousands and thousands of years ago, some planet bumped into the land there. There is a great spiritual quality throughout the Midwest. Very subtle, very strong, and that is where I grew up. New York was a dream.


    John Prine has captured that very subtle, spiritual quality of the Midwest in this great song. The instrumentation near the end here is critical to the great Midwestern vibe.

    Kelly Parkinson

    Lovely Douglas Fox. Thanks for sharing. I loved reading your comment
    You must have some.writing talent yourself. Cheers fellow JP fan! ✌

  24. Sandy Garcia

    John is a lyrical genius.

  25. Bram Hepburn

    From 8:35 on, the base player is rippin!

  26. Tracy Anne Morgan

    I like John prime.

  27. barry white

    3 chords and a story has never been more relevant.

  28. Mark Watkins

    The Live On Tour version with Larry Crane on lead guitar is one of the best live recordings ever made.

  29. Elena Tudose

    ❤❤❤💖💖💖💘💘💘😘😘😘

  30. Gary Whitt

    It doesn’t have to be complicated to be beautiful and powerful and true. Thanks John.

  31. Josh Sisk

    I can’t believe there are 161 people in the world that dislike this.

  32. Abby Hayduke

    The live version in Breckenridge was awesome!

  33. laurie bible

    Dylan's my favorite but so has John prine forever

  34. Dan Blondin

    https://www.google.com/maps/@42.5067994,-88.2692999,13z

  35. Angus Gale

    Saw John play this (my favourite of his) as part of his encore in London Ontario last Saturday. As the song reached it's climax, he dropped his guitar and danced a jig as the audience cheered and screamed. He did it right. Oh Baby, we gotta go now.

  36. Tom Goodman

    OMG. Just saw JP in Phoenix show. If you thought this version is supreme you must try to take in the Tree of Forgiveness tour. They brought this song home so intensely that John just threw down his guitar and started to DANCE. The hall just went nuts. What a delight!!

  37. Douglas Dellinger

    John prine, my my. Touches my soul like no other can. Thank You Brother!

  38. bdoyle733

    Still trying to figure out what he's trying to say... didn't like the song for years because of that, but now I realize it's one of the most powerful pieces of music he's done. Love it, but still want to know what's behind it. Damn John, you are the best.

  39. mick savage

    A bit of pure magic from these guys, John Prines coming to Chch NZ I'd like to go along, hope the bass and lead players will be there and they jam out on this one!

  40. William Tracey

    oh boy John owahowaho we gotta go now

  41. Nelson Perez

    he looks like he just get out of bed 🤣.

  42. john h

    if the indians had never seen white babies, how did they know their names? where did the highway come from?

  43. Tommy t

    Best song ever...humming the tune to Louie LouiE......

  44. Dave Johnston

    i love this version so much. i can't figure this song out? it is akin to down by the river by neil young. it is about murder. it is beautiful and disturbing at the same time.

    Hammett175

    The murder punctuates the loss of the character's marriage. They met at that beautiful lake, but over the years, the love they shared fell apart. They don't make it as a couple. Then, he sees the horrible crimes at that lake on tv, and sees it as a metaphor for something beautiful pure and innocent turning ugly over time, just like his marriage.

  45. Esther Satori

    "The wind was blowing, especially through her hair," I don't know why but that line always makes me laugh

  46. Slacker101

    It's just g c and d the whole song on repeat but it's an absolute masterpiece. Somehow this song is both beautiful and haunting at the same time.

  47. Mike Mayer

    I live near these Twin Lakes...what a special special song

  48. gary devanney

    Man, this is sizzling.

  49. Christian Morgan

    Especially through her hair.

  50. Christopher Myers

    Thanks for all the great music!

  51. nashville slim

    Yea I'll keep posting I noticed that young dude shredding was watching his bosses every move. When you work with a legend, you watch and learn. Smart dude. I love Prines work I don't give a fuck what anyone thinks .

  52. blogman

    Anyone who wants to play along to this great song on guitar will need to tune the guitar down two frets. To explain, once this is done a capo on the 2nd fret will give standard tuning E A D G B E.
    Now ignore the capo ...you don't need it, it is played without one with this new tuning. ...use only three chords, G, C and D all the way through. I'm no expert and this is the best way for me to explain this tuning!

  53. Connor McGrath

    Wolf Trap while I was dating my wife, now of 36 years. Ohhhhh baby, we gotta go now!

  54. nashville slim

    Oh why oh why oh an American treasure.

  55. buzz magister

    For anyone who is interested I'd never heard of John Prine . My apologies . I found this genius on You Tube and now I know why . You people care so much about him you wanted to keep him all to yourselves. I've now started the epic quest to get all his CDs . Thank you John Prine , sorry I am a bit slow off the mark . And thank you You Tube .

    Robutube1

    You're in for the most fantastic journey Buzz - enjoy every step!

    buzz magister

    Thanks Robutube sorry for the delay i'm gonna get my son to import these CDs for me from the beginning thanks for taking time to reply respect from England

    Robutube1

    Hey Buzz, I'm in West Yorkshire! No need to import John's CDs - they're all there on Amazon.co.uk (I listen to him on vinyl but I'm a sad old git). I won't do the usual thing of telling you where to start because that's when everyone names their own favourite album (mine's Diamonds in the Rough thanks for asking :-) ). They're all great, trust me!
    He tours here regularly but does only a few gigs each time so keep 'em peeled and be prepared to travel; it's sooooo worth it. You've missed him this year unfortunately but his strong following here means he'll be back for sure.

    buzz magister

    Thanks for taking time to reply Robotube 1 I shall be looking for them on Amazon then . I recently did the same with all th Beatles Albums as for some reason I'd never got them when I was young , It's great to work your way through them all and see the changes over time , I'm really excited about listening to John Prines works I have a compilation with Storm Window , Sam Stone and Souvenirs amongst others at the moment in my car great music . You have a great weekend.

    Joe Tillman

    so cool JP that is

  56. Sage Davis

    Man. that was all H E A R T ~ <3 ~

  57. Jeff Sartain

    Thank G-d, John gave up being a postman and picked up a guitar. The world is a better place for his body of work. I am pleased that he has always kept the memory of Steve Goodman alive.

  58. Joseph Kenny

    I heard him sing this live last month, and may I just say, thank you to all the powers that be that my time on this mortal firmament coincided with the tenure of this wonderful and generous singer songwriter.

  59. Clifford Sparks

    We gotta go now

  60. Guelah Papyrus

    Excellent! Marie!!!

  61. Scott Saathoff

    My 3 yr old daughter asks me all the time to "play peaceful waters Daddy" she recognizes it after two strums on the guitar every time it comes on. We started listening to it when she was a tiny baby and had a lot of trouble sleeping, but John would soothe here to sleep every time. I hope she hears this song when she's older and remembers it was her and daddy's song. Thank God for John Prine.

    Laura syn

    Scott Saathoff (:

    Joseph Kenny

    Wonderful story, thank you

    John Feore

    Sure is a beautiful song. Especially this version.

    Kelly Parkinson

    Amen ✌❤

  62. Lisa Wantland

    My hometown

  63. Joseph Kenny

    the wind was blowing
    especially
    through her hair

  64. Scott Teague

    THE Poet Laureate of these here United States. Ahhhhhh baby. We gotta go now

  65. Cynthia Bitto

    Love it!!! I don't live far from Lake Marie!!! <3

  66. jaslinc

    Sgt Shadows betw less than John ... Except he sang and spoke, Played our songs fresh and chrysalitic all true once again.

  67. jaslinc

    Lord Bless this man and all those responsible,'

    Bruce Anderson

    It's just a song he wrote

  68. Kimberly Marcozzi

    I love different types of music, but when I want to get in touch with my true self, I listen to John Prine.

  69. Neversay Joad

    This one always brings tears to my eyes. Thank you John

  70. Dennis Devore

    I remember John Prine appearing in N.Y.C. In the village in the mid 1970s . That's when I realized John was special . He must have lived some life to even think of these lyrics & songs ! Lake Marie is one of his greatest ,Along with Sam Stone & the 6:00 o'clock news !

  71. Geoff May

    America's greatest living poet

  72. leonard c. middelkamp

    Thank you so much John Prine and im4outagain for posting this.

  73. MixedMediaInk

    "LYRiCS: "We were standing
    Standing by peaceful waters
    Standing by peaceful waters
    Whoa wah oh wha oh

    Many years ago along the Illinois-Wisconsin border
    There was this Indian tribe
    They found two babies in the woods, white babies
    One of them was named Elizabeth
    She was the fairer of the two
    While the smaller and more fragile one was named Marie
    Having never seen white girls before
    And living on the two lakes known as the Twin Lakes
    They named the larger and more beautiful Lake, Lake Elizabeth
    And thus the smaller lake that was hidden from the highway
    Became known forever as Lake Marie

    We were standing
    Standing by peaceful waters
    Standing by peaceful waters
    Whoa wah oh wha oh

    Many years later I found myself talking to this girl
    Who was standing there with her back turned to Lake Marie
    The wind was blowing especially through her hair
    There was four Italian sausages cooking on the outdoor grill
    And they was sssizzlin'
    Many years later we found ourselves in Canada
    Trying to save our marriage, and perhaps catch a few fish
    Whatever came first
    That night she fell asleep in my arms
    Humming the tune to 'Louie Louie'
    Aah baby, we gotta go now

    We were standing
    Standing by peaceful waters
    Standing by peaceful waters
    Whoa wah oh wha oh
    Whoa wah oh wha oh

    The dogs were barking as the cars were parking
    The loan sharks were sharking the narcs were narcing
    Practically everyone was there
    In the parking lot by the forest preserve
    The police had found two bodies
    Nay, naked bodies
    Their faces had been horribly disfigured by some sharp object
    I saw it on the news
    The TV news
    In a black and white video
    You know what blood looks like in a black and white video?
    Shadows, shadows that's what it looks like
    All the love we shared between her and me was slammed
    Slammed up against the banks of old Lake Marie, Marie

    We were standing
    Standing by peaceful waters
    Standing by peaceful waters
    Whoa wah oh wha oh
    Whoa wah oh wha oh
    Whoa wah oh wha oh
    Peaceful waters
    Standing by peaceful waters
    Ahh baby, we gotta go now"

  74. Richard Savaglio

    Man I can’t get enough of this song. I spent the first 40 years of my life at Lake Marie on the Illinois Wisconsin border and was probably conceived there too. Some of the best times of my life happened there. It was the only place that I’ve ever felt truly at home.

  75. Joe

    My old Westchester IL mailman did good!

  76. ROCKIN ROAD TRIP

    God bless John Prine FOREVER.

  77. Nebojša Ivković

    Few days ago I heard this song for the first time. Can't stop listening......

  78. Pat Longfellow

    Eat your heart out Bruce and Bob...

  79. Anne Brooks

    the best thing ever!

  80. Mike Winters

    Our world's been changed now and not for the good, but sometimes, yes SOMETIMES, everything comes together like the ending of this song: and it is just FUCKING FANTASTIC!

  81. Cooper Barth

    Just saw the Tree of Forgiveness tour. My dad turned me onto Prine this year. Glad to see him while I can!

  82. Aidan Lille

    Love John Prine.
    This songs reminds me more of Van Morrison at his best like "When the Healing has begun" from his "Into the music" album....
    Great stuff this!

  83. yvon

    j'aime beaucoup ce genre d'artiste

  84. Ric Andersen

    just amazingly good and love the comment by im4out again

  85. john jones

    am amercan poet.

  86. Brian Millen

    oh yeah..............just amazing John Prine. I'm smiling, always smiling....................

  87. Danny Puckett

    John made a man that hadn't cried 3 times ever cry like a baby when I heard him sing Sam Stone I was hooked on his music ever since.
    Thank you John for getting me through a very bad time.

  88. Jeff Mostrom

    Great song !

  89. Martha Haley

    I'm 81 now. The Main Point, Bryn Mawr, "Hello in there," early 70s. jesus...

  90. peerman2006

    Sha-diddly-addy-ows.

  91. MSD Zappa

    Elizabeth and Marie my two most favorite people EVER!

  92. KBYoder

    This is a good version, but i think this one is a bit better: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVO4DixMLcY

  93. frank

    Fucking brilliant.

  94. teddy bear

    Id surely like to sit and talk to you again....think the story would be different now a days....yer a good old fell a yep.....

  95. Cynthia Bitto

    Lake Marie and Lake Elizabeth are right down the road here... Thank you for posting, and thank you, John Prine!! <3

  96. Bo Never

    I love this song. And this is the best version of this song. I would love to hear John Prine explain what the song is about. Every time i listen I try to figure out what it is.

  97. Jim Smith

    my god, that guitar just sings, doesnt it!

  98. John Powers

    You know how people will complain “that’s a part of my life I wont get back again!” Thank God for You Tube that watching this clip is a part of my life I can have again!

  99. Joe Kelly

    I fucking hate you mister john prine. who could ever pick up a pen & even try to write a song? you done wrote all worth having.