The Essential Advent Calendar – December 13: Bright Eyes Covers John Prine’s “Christmas In Prison” ft John Prine

21 years after their ever-popular, ‘A Christmas Album’, beloved band Bright Eyes – the talented trio of Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis and Nate Walcott –  have returned to celebrate the holiday season with a heartwarming version of John Prine’s “Christmas In Prison” ft John Prine. Prine, a notoriously huge fan of the Christmas season, was a friend and hero to Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst, and all proceeds from the single will go to benefit Prine’s charity, The Hello In There Foundation. Featured within the rendition is a sample from the song “A John Prine Christmas,” taken from its eponymous A John Prine Christmas EP from 1993.

You can stream ‘Christmas In Prison, featuring John Prine, here.

All proceeds will go to four major beneficiaries of The Hello In There Foundation’s 2023 grantees — Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, Porters Call, National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, and Renewal House.

Fans can also purchase a bespoke Prine x Oberst holiday ornament, the proceeds of which will also go to The Hello In There Foundation, and comes with a digital download of the track. All digital purchases will come with a festive Christmas card for fans to send to their friends and family.  

Of the track, Oberst says, 

“It is strange to get a chance to share a track with a hero of mine who has passed on. Normally not something I would do. I don’t like holograms. But I have so much love and affection for John as a person and his music. He really changed my life on a lot of levels. When I heard the sample of him talking about Christmas just put such a big smile on my face and I couldn’t help but want to share it with other people. A little Christmas gift to a stranger. It’s all about John and his beautiful song. But I am happy to sing in the choir. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone all around the world. I wish love and light this season to you and yours.”

Over the decades Bright Eyes’ impact and influence have been significant throughout pop-culture, appearing in countless films and television shows. Their songs have been covered by dozens of artists including Lorde, The Killers, Mac Miller, Phoebe Bridgers, Jason Mraz and beabadoobee, and sampled by rappers like Young Thug and Lil Peep.​For an artist that’s often been perceived as an outlier, the depth, breadth, and impact of the Conor Oberst and Bright Eyes canon is remarkable. Their most recent album, ‘Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was’ was released in 2020 on Dead Oceans.

Christmas in Prison (feat. John Prine)

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