Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas in Prison

My friends Mark and Jen periodically host “hootenannies” at their house in St. Paul. Friends gather in the living room or, in summer, on the back porch, to make music together.

Friday’s edition quite naturally had a holiday theme. The numbers ranged from traditional religious (“We Three Kings”) to seasonal secular (“Run Run Rudolph”) to contemporary country (Alan Jackson’s “Please Daddy Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas”). So clearly we covered the waterfront, with each contribution adding something to the mosaic.

Yet the moment that really stood out for me was when someone sang John Prine’s “Christmas in Prison.” Just the title itself is enough to give one pause — and the lyrics? Well, give them a listen.

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