Song: 'In Spite Of Themselves' — A Tribute To John Prine And Quarantined Parents Everywhere

Apr 14, 2020

John Prine passed away earlier this month due to COVID-19 complications. He was 73 years old. The music world lost a giant of a composer, recording artist and performer, who was known for his often humorous style of original music.

Lake Effect contributor Meagan Schultz takes a similarly amusing musical approach in reflecting on her current circumstances staying at home with her children during a pandemic. Here she is with her homage to John Prine’s song “In Spite of Ourselves." Her song is called “In Spite of Themselves":

For three straight weeks you know it ain’t been sunny
The kids all say that my food tastes funny
They won’t eat toast unless it’s smothered in honey
They got more juice than the energizer bunny 

They’re my babies and I love ‘em like crazy but sometimes I'd like to let ‘em go

They ain’t seen friends in a month of Sundays
They’re gettin’ so bored they start to sniff each other’s undies
We’re not doing much, hardly getting things done
But I’m breathin’ in farts like they’re oxygen 

They’re my babies and I love ‘em like crazy but today I’d like to let ‘em go 

In spite of themselves, they’ll end up sittin’ on my last nerve
Against all odds, I sure hope that we survive
I might just knock their noses right off their sweet faces
I don’t need nothing’ but a glass of wine, tell me when it’s five 

They think my daily schedules are corny
But I hardly give myself time for coffee in the mornin’
They like screen time with their scrambled eggs
And I give in quick they don’t even have to beg 

We don’t do lickings but sometimes I wanna kick ‘em and I wouldn’t mind if they’d just go 

They’ve got more balls than Giannis has sunkie
They’re Big Nate weirdos and Pokémon junkies
They’re sweet as can be when the Kindle’s at stake
But they turn into werewolves when I take it away

They’re my babies though they drive me crazy, I swear I’d never let them go

In spite of themselves, they’ll end up sittin’ on my last nerve
Against all odds, I sure hope that we survive
I might just knock their noses right off their sweet faces
I don’t need nothin’ but a glass of wine, tell me when it’s five 

I don’t need nothin’ but a glass of wine, tell me when it’s five 

Lake Effect essayist Meagan Schultz writes and lives on Milwaukee's East Side.