Mellencamp's Battle Hymn?

By Jean Metcalfe

Just before the fight breaks out, the bitter words of 'The Proof's Here in My Hand' pour from the jukebox in a scene from John Mellencamp's newly released movie, 'Falling From Grace.'

Two Kentucky boys, Sam Reid from Brooks and Springfield, Ky.'s, Charlie Walls, collaborated to pen the drinkin' and hurtin' lyrics (Walls wrote the music) to the entire song, although only about 20 seconds of it are in the movie.

It is the voice of Larry Rollins that delivers the musical catharsis, as well as the movie's title song.

Reid, Rollins and Walls are all members of the Louisville Area Songwriters Cooperative.

A premiere of 'Falling From Grace' was held on February 18 in Seymour, Ind., Mellencamp's hometown. Although Mellencamp wasn't there, Claude Akins, who plays Mellencamp's character's father, made an appearance.

Reid and his wife Lois drove to Seymour for an advance look at the movie. Rollins made a whirlwind trip to the West Coast to attend the glitzier Hollywood premiere and Mellencamp was there.

Reid downplayed the role of his song in the movie, saying that it could be heard only faintly in the background.

Although Rollins' rendition of 'Proof' will not be included on the movie's soundtrack album, his version of the title song will be.

Right there alongside Janis Ian, Dwight Yoakam and John Prine.