In Spite Of Ourselves

Album: In Spite Of Ourselves (1999)

Songfacts®:

  • John Prine's songs are filled with imperfect people who lead ordinary lives. "In Spite of Ourselves" is the story of two such imperfect people who are perfect together. He drinks too much beer and tells corny jokes; she swears too much and puts catsup on her eggs. They not only look past each other's flaws, they find them endearing. It's a love that will last in spite of themselves.
  • Prine wrote this for a movie called Daddy And Them, which was written and directed by Billy Bob Thornton. In the film, Prine and Thornton play brothers; Andy Griffith plays their father. Thornton asked Prine to write a song for the end of the movie, and Prine complied, writing it loosely based on the characters in the film. Daddy And Them wasn't released until 2001, two years after the song appeared on Prine's album In Spite Of Ourselves.
  • The In Spite Of Ourselves album is a collection of duets Prine did with female singers. This title track he sings with Iris DeMent.

    When Prine asked some of his favorite singers to appear on the album, he expected a lot of them to turn him down, but most said yes. Lucinda Williams, Trisha Yearwood, Connie Smith, Melba Montgomery, Emmylou Harris, Patty Loveless and Dolores Keane also appear. "In Spite of Ourselves" was the only song Prine wrote for the album; the rest were covers.
  • This was the first song Prine recorded after developing cancer in 1998, which required surgery on his neck. He had to go through rehab after the ordeal, and with all the radiation in his neck, it wasn't clear if he would ever sing again. When he recorded "In Spite of Ourselves," it was a happy day - Prine could still sing, just with a bit more of rasp.
  • Prine's record company released an official video for this song in 2017 after asking fans to send in photos of their "big door prizes" (meaning their significant others), which were used as footage.

Comments: 1

  • Bill from UsThere is so much going on with these characters. It could be a whole movie.
    Or a great family reunion or wedding anniversary topic.
    I was introduced to Iris Dement from the live versions he did with her. And fell in love with her music too!.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Tommy JamesSongwriter Interviews

"Mony Mony." "Crimson and Clover." "Draggin' The Line." The hits kept coming for Tommy James, and in a plot line fit for a movie, his record company was controlled by the mafia.

Lace the Music: How LSD Changed Popular MusicSong Writing

Starting in Virginia City, Nevada and rippling out to the Haight-Ashbury, LSD reshaped popular music.

Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian OrchestraSongwriter Interviews

Writing great prog metal isn't easy, especially when it's for 60 musicians.

Tim Butler of The Psychedelic FursSongwriter Interviews

Tim and his brother Richard are the Furs' foundation; Tim explains how they write and tells the story of "Pretty In Pink."

WeezerFact or Fiction

Did Rivers Cuomo grow up on a commune? Why did they name their albums after colors? See how well you know your Weezer in this Fact or Fiction.

Christopher CrossSongwriter Interviews

The man who created Yacht Rock with "Sailing" wrote one of his biggest hits while on acid.