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In Spite of Ourselves was Prine’s first release since successfully battling throat cancer. 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. Prine wrote the duet with Iris DeMent in mind to sing it with him. Prine’s wife said she called Iris to tease her about the song and Dement said it took a lot of courage to sing some of the lines the first few times. The In Spite Of Ourselves album is a collection of duets Prine did with female singers. "In Spite of Ourselves" was the only song Prine wrote for the album; the rest were covers. 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.