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Dear Ann,

Unlike some people, I didn’t grow up in Music City. I had to find out about John Prine by babysitting for a fairly uptight young couple that had a bedtime-compliant little boy, the good snacks, and John Denver’s 1972 album, Rocky Mountain High. Denver covered John Prine’s 1971 song, “Paradise,” which has the line: “Where the air smelled like snakes, and we’d shoot with our pistols/but empty pop bottles was all we would kill.” I thought that was a hell of a lyric, and I became a lifelong John Prine fan.

John Prine’s songs are always good company, the right blend of humor and biting observation. And he’s good company, too. He reminds me of my favorite uncle—I bet he gets told that fairly often.

For your Saturday knitting, I recommend cuing up this April 2018 interview of John Prine by Rita Houston of New York’s WFUV. That will get you started, and then, if you’re like me, you’ll proceed directly to YouTube and let the John Prine songs roll until you cry 20 times and laugh 40 times.

Then you’ll be all set.



Rita Houston with John Prine (photo by Fiona Whelan)


  • Love, love ,love “In Spite Of Ourselves”… “Illegal Smile” introduced me to Prine many years ago! Thanks for sharing❣

  • I first heard John Prine on the Bruised Orange album. Next learned about Steve Goodman. Probably my all time favorite song is The Dutchman by SG. Sounds like a new Spotify playlist is in order 🙂

  • I loved it! “Convict movies make her hornie” what a great line. And of course in spite of ourselves we’re the door prize. So precious, sweet, and beautiful. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • I saw John Prine in concert years ago. I had the cheap seats, of course. After the concert started and he saw there were empty expensive seats he stopped and told us all to come down to the front. Love him.

  • Thank so much! I didn’t know about him. This is too funny and such great lyrics. They don’t make ’em this kind of artist anymore.

  • Oh gosh. Back in the day I worked at the Chicago club where JP played regularly. I was so lucky to be there.

  • John Prine is my absolute favorite songwriter. I have everything that he has written on my I-pod and I also can play “In Spite of Ourselves” until I’m blue in the face. His lyrics are beyond description and thank you for mentioning him this morning ❤️❤️❤️

  • Just another reason to love you: been a big fan of John Prine forever! Hubby and I saw him at Tarrytown Music Hall a few ( and a few more) years back. He’s awesome, and I’m so glad he’s well and performing again.

    I’m traveling and on temporary hiatus from my shakerag – I’m reading! – but the needles are calling me.

  • I was able to see John Prine and Iris Dement in concert together in San Francisco, just after his recovery from throat cancer. In Spite of Ourselves was just one of the many treats I got to hear to that night.

  • Paradise. Angel from Montgomery. Hello In There. Sam Stone. Music with an edge to it. That was my introduction to John Prine, way back in the day.

  • Because I am old as dirt, and a Chicagoan, and a folkie, our paths crossed a lot. He was brilliant then, and every bit as good now. And I adore “In Spite of Ourselves” so much, I can’t hardly stand it!

    • ❤️

  • I don’t know much about today’s John Prine, but my parents had his Sweet Revenge album on an endless loop in the 70’s. When I was little I thought the turkeys, along with the pistols, were carved out of wood and a really mean way to treat prisoners on Christmas.

  • What a wonderful blast from the past! Back in the 1980s I’d go to see John Prine at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Maryland or Wolf Trap in Virginia every summer. I see he is playing at Wolf Trap on June 1.

  • I feel like John Prine is a dear old friend. I love him.

    • ME TOO ❤️

  • This is one of my favorite John Prine song’s… Thanks for putting it out there

  • This has been one of my favorite songs for years and I’ve been a John Prine fan forever…he is wonderful !

  • I had to watch this again today.
    Someone said the deaths from Covid, now over 200,000 here, is what it is .
    This is John Prine. He was a national treasure. He always will be. Unlike the person learning what Covid is now.

  • My husband loved John p music sooo much!!! He was so sad when he passed away. I would love to buy his last cd but I don’t know where it is are name of it I’ve been sick a very long time is there anyway I could order from you thank you happy thanksgiving! Beverly morgan 119 woodcreek dr Augusta Georgia 30907

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