Bill Murray Once Lifted Himself Out of a Dark Place Thanks to John Prine's "Linda Goes to Mars"
"I heard that song and I went 'hmmmm,' and that was the beginning of the return."
Despite his bright, cheery, and ever-funny exterior, Bill Murray has grappled with feeling low from time to time, just like the rest of us. What's one tried-and-trued way he freed himself from a state of gloom? A good old-fashioned dose of country music.
In a 2017 video interview posted on the YouTube channel of John Prine — the Americana singer and songwriting legend who sadly passed away last year from complications resulting from coronavirus — Bill Murray talks about a time in his life when he found comfort and solace in Prine's lyrics.
Holding a copy of Prine's Beyond Words songbook, Murray shared the story: "So once upon a time I was...it was the first time ever in my life I was...a real bummer, a real downer to be around, and I just couldn't get myself having any kind of fun. And I thought to myself I remember I was talking to my friend Hunter Thompson [who] had said during a kind of adult stage," he began, joking he wasn't sure he could imitate Thompson's voice with a turkey, cheese, and Duke's mayonnaise sandwich in his throat. "'You're gonna have to rely on John Prine for his sense of humor,' [Thompson said,] which I thought was like one of those adult things that you say. But as it turned out, it came to me as I was feeling so miserable," he continued, noting that he got a copy of Great Days: The John Prine Anthology, and when he came to a particular track...
"And I remember listening [to "Linda Goes to Mars"]...and I heard that song and I went 'hmmmm,' and that was the beginning of the return...I don't know what it was that made me laugh at it, but God...I remember going 'huh,' and I thought 'it just happened, it just happened.' That was a great day, so I owe you one," he concluded in this message to Prine. Watch the full clip below.
It's safe to say many of us are feeling gloomy these days amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, so if you'd like to see if the song does the trick for you as well, listen to "Linda Goes to Mars" on Spotify below. With amusing lyrics like, "Oh, my stars, my Linda's gone to Mars / Well, I wish she wouldn't leave me here alone / Oh, my stars, my Linda's gone to Mars / Well, I wonder if she'd bring me something home" and "Now I ain't seen no saucers 'cept the ones upon the shelf / And if I ever seen one I'd keep it to myself," it's easy to see how this intriguing ditty can bring a smile to your lips and warmth to your heart.
WATCH: Watch Eric Church Perform John Prine's "Long Monday" in the Late Songwriter's Honor
We have a hard time narrowing things down to a winner, but dare we ask: What's your all-time favorite Prine song? Whatever song tops your list, one thing's for sure, there's nothing quite like the gravel in Prine's voice and the magic in his lyrics.