If you want a sense of how big a cultural impression a song has made, you could look at how often it comes up in our catalog. For John Prine's "Paradise," you'll see that it has had a long life beyond his original 1971 self-titled debut. The album generated enough interest to warrant a companion published score, and it made the cut on a Prine greatest hits album. But it has also been covered repeatedly by everyone from Johnny Cash and John Denver, and it has been included included in bluegrass anthology scores.
However, the song about the damaging effects of strip mining has continued to resonate in another way. Usually when song lyrics are the subject of legal action, it's a copyright issue. But as the Associated Press reports, lawyers for Peabody Energy Corp. have filed a brief requesting to have the Prine lyrics, which name Peabody, removed from a complaint in a suit filed against the company by environmental activists. The activists' lawyer cite other examples of legal writing that quotes lyrics.
Coal protesters, firm still battle over song lyrics in suit