This honky-tonk breakup tune finds John Prine nursing the same old heartache at his regular barstool. He's so used to drowning his sorrows over his fractured relationship he thinks they oughta name a drink after his lady. Fellow bar patrons shout out their suggestions, including "Bloody Mary" and "Near Beer."
The song doesn't have a chorus, a fact that Steve Goodman, who provided guitar work and harmony vocals on the album, thought kept it from being a hit. Prine explained: "I was going for a Hank Williams kind of song. Steve Goodman always told me that if I'd taken another couple of minutes and put a chorus to the song - there isn't any, just a tag line to every verse - that it would have been a hit country song. And I was set in my ways. Once a song was done, it was done."
Prine's brother Dave plays fiddle on the track.
According to Prine, the album (his second release) took just three days and around $7,200 to record at Atlantic Recording Studios in New York City with producer Arif Mardin. "I just wanted to do Diamonds the way I was used to playing music at my house with Dave and Steve," he explained in the liner notes of Great Days: The John Prine Anthology. "But it's taken me years to figure out how to balance those first two records. About every other record, after making a real studio or rock 'n' roll album, I'd come back and do a Diamonds in the Rough."