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WFPK Song of the Day: Kacey Musgraves "Cardinal"

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Interscope/MCA Nashville
Kacey Musgraves

John Prine was the inspiration behind Kacey Musgraves "Cardinal"

Grammy Award winning artist Kacey Musgraves recently released her long awaited new album, Deeper Well. “Cardinal,” one of the new songs on the album, was inspired by her dear friend John Prine, who died in 2020. Prine was more than just a good friend of Musgraves, but also had a profound impact on her songwriting.

"When cardinals appear, angels are near."

In her Deeper Well zine that can be purchased with her new album, Musgraves shared that in some cultures, cardinals are seen as signs from the afterlife, and described Prine’s fascination with the birds.

"Unexplainable things started happening and cardinals started showing up on my doorstep soon after my good friend and mentor passed, John Prine. He always had a big connection to cardinals and felt that they were messengers from the spirit realm. He inspired this song, no doubt."

“John Prine singlehandedly impacted my songwriting more than anyone else. He’s the king of turning phrase but keeping it simple,” Musgraves told PEOPLE magazine following his death four years ago. "They say you shouldn’t meet your heroes, but you’ll never meet someone as truly genuine as he was. There are two times I’ve ever seen my dad cry: my Memaw’s funeral and the time I got to play with John Prine.”

Kacey Musgraves brings her Deeper Well Tour to the KFC YUM Center in Louisville November 12.

WFPK Song of the Day spotlights a song we love - weekdays at 11:10.

John is the mid-morning host on WFPK. Email John at jtimmons@lpm.org