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A collection of quotes and sayings by Kris Kristofferson on wisdom, power, war, paddle, listening, music, love, truth, life, creative, older and freedom.

104 Great Quotes By Kris Kristofferson For The Musician In You

Quick Facts

Famous As
Singer, Songwriter, Musician, Actor

Born On
22 June 1936 AD

Born In
Brownsville, Texas, U.S.

Age
81

Kris Kristofferson is a renowned American actor, singer, musician and songwriter. After graduating from Oxford he joined the Army but after a few years, inspired by artists like ‘Johnny Cash’ and ‘Willie Nelson’, he started focusing on his passion for music. He gained appreciation after few of the songs that he had written were recorded by artists like ‘Lee Lewis’ and ‘Johnny Cash’. However, his breakthrough song was, ‘Me and Bobby McGee’ which reached the top of charts. His second album, ‘The Silver Tongued Devil’ was a huge hit and established him as a recording artist. ‘Help Me Make it through The Night’ earned him a ‘Grammy Award’. ‘Why Me’, ‘Full Moon (Album), ‘Ray Price’ and ‘Jesus Was a Capricorn’ are few of his noted songs. Kris is also a very successful television and film actor. ‘Freedom road’, ‘Blume in Love’ and ‘Alice Doesn’t Live Here anymore’ are a few of his popular movies. He won a ‘Golden Globe Award for Best Actor’ for his performance in ‘A star is Born’. He was also inducted into the ‘Country Music Hall Of Fame’. Here is a compilation of thoughts and views by the celebrated artist which have been excerpted from his writings, work, lyrics, tweets, interviews and public utterances. Let us browse through the quotes and sayings by Kris Kristofferson that are sure to inspire us.

The older I get, the less conservative I become.

- Kris Kristofferson

I've tried to be more self-sufficient as I've gotten older. I'd like to not worry about whether they're going to sell my next album or book. Hell, William Blake wasn't even published in his lifetime.

- Kris Kristofferson

I ended up being friends with all my heroes. Lefty Frizzell, George Jones, Johnny Cash - it was incredible.

- Kris Kristofferson

Dylan's relationship with Johnny Cash was the biggest influence on Nashville in my lifetime - they opened up country music.

- Kris Kristofferson

Songs are just like your kids. You love them all, and they're all different. I can't really pick out favourites.

- Kris Kristofferson

I've never really felt comfortable co-writing. I usually go at my own speed, you know.

- Kris Kristofferson

I did co-write 'Moment of Forever' with Danny Timms. He wrote the melody, and I just did the words.

- Kris Kristofferson

'This Old Road' somehow seems to get better the older you get.

- Kris Kristofferson

I think it's kind of odd that 'This Old Road' was the first video I ever did. Because of all of the work I had done in films and everything, you'd think I would have done a video before that.

- Kris Kristofferson

To do the things that I did, I'm amazed that I had the audacity - like resigning from the Army and becoming a janitor and a songwriter.

- Kris Kristofferson

Right after I resigned from the Army in 1965, I flew helicopters for oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. I flew personnel from rig to rig, and I'd live on a platform out at sea.

- Kris Kristofferson

I have no neighbors. I live in a small town where everybody is very protective of me.

- Kris Kristofferson

My albums really are like scrapbooks to me.

- Kris Kristofferson

Bobby Bare is one of the greatest people in country music.

- Kris Kristofferson

Every album I've made is about what I'm experiencing at the time.

- Kris Kristofferson

My old man worked for Pan American.

- Kris Kristofferson

It's always embarrassing when somebody does something praiseworthy of you.

- Kris Kristofferson

The first movie I was ever on was a Dennis Hopper film down in Peru.

- Kris Kristofferson

They say the first thing to go is your legs, then it's your reflexes, then it's your friends.

- Kris Kristofferson

As far as fame, the everlasting fame thing. I used to think that was important for a writer... the desire to make your mark.

- Kris Kristofferson

If 'Bobby McGee' lasts, if 'Star Is Born' lasts, if 'Help Me Make It through the Night' lasts, if all of 'em last, man... who cares?

- Kris Kristofferson

Look at me! I can go from 'Donny and Marie' to Sam Peckinpah to Radio City Music Hall in one week.

- Kris Kristofferson

I watched Dylan record 'Blonde On Blonde' in my first week at work at CBS. It was just incredible.

- Kris Kristofferson

I remember having a lot of Josh White albums. Johnny Cash. Elvis. I loved the Coasters.

- Kris Kristofferson

I thought he was the greatest thing. Bob Dylan.

- Kris Kristofferson

I turned 30 as a janitor. I was thinking at the time that Hank Williams died when he was 29. All my peers were at least 10 years younger than I was. I felt like an old has-been at the time.

- Kris Kristofferson

Havin' Dylan cover one of your songs is like being a playwright and having Shakespeare act in your play.

- Kris Kristofferson

That's who I wanted to be like was Bob Dylan.

- Kris Kristofferson

I can interpret my own work honestly. And performing by myself seems to focus the attention in the right places.

- Kris Kristofferson

I feel like an old boxer. The brain's gone, but I can still move around.

- Kris Kristofferson

I really have no anxiety about controlling my own life.

- Kris Kristofferson

When I wrote 'Help Me Make It Through the Night,' I was on an oil platform out in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico and was just thinking of myself.

- Kris Kristofferson

I was never big or fast, but I got to play football and box.

- Kris Kristofferson

I enjoy looking back on my life. I'm thinking seriously about starting to write about it.

- Kris Kristofferson

I hope that I'll keep being creative until they throw dirt on me.

- Kris Kristofferson

Those 'Idol' shows are kind of scary to me. They wanted me to be on one of those panels one time, and I said it's the last thing in the world I'd ever want to do. I would hate to have to discourage somebody.

- Kris Kristofferson

Human rights is something that wasn't hard to be inspired to write about because there have been so many violations of those rights.

- Kris Kristofferson

I am grateful every morning I wake up. I've a big family full of kids, who laugh all the time and love each other.

- Kris Kristofferson

Being in love with a lot of people is incompatible with a stable family life.

- Kris Kristofferson

There was a film that really affected me, 'La Strada' by Fellini, where Anthony Quinn and Giulietta Masina travel around on his little motorcycle thing.

- Kris Kristofferson

There's a time where people were out holding posters in protest outside shows I was doing, and thankfully, we've moved past that. And a lot of country stations wouldn't play me. They were more conservative than I was.

- Kris Kristofferson

I gave everything I ever wrote to Johnny Cash. I think he said later in some interview that he would take them home and throw them in the lake with all the other demos. I'm sure he got a million of them.

- Kris Kristofferson

There was time in the first half of the '80s when what I was saying on the stage was controversial. A lot of things I was talking about - Nicaragua and American foreign policy.

- Kris Kristofferson

The most valuable thing to me seems to be time, and with time, I can be great. I have been... and I will be.

- Kris Kristofferson

When I was stationed in Germany, Johnny Cash was already a legend over there because he'd done some shows, then gone off to some bar straight afterwards and played just for the troops. So he was a real hero.

- Kris Kristofferson

I think that a society lives or dies according to its respect for - for its art.

- Kris Kristofferson

I used to think that my songs were the best things that I would leave behind me. And I definitely think my kids are now. For starters, they're writing better songs than I was at their age.

- Kris Kristofferson

I had fought for my independence and fought for my freedom to do as I chose.

- Kris Kristofferson

It's much better being an older father. You don't have to go prove to the world and to yourself that you're who you want to be, for better or worse.

- Kris Kristofferson

I don't think I'm that good a singer. I can't think of a song that I've written that I don't like the way somebody else sings it better.

- Kris Kristofferson

Just the words and melody - that's what moves your emotions.

- Kris Kristofferson

There are a lot of Iraqi people we can never pay back for what we've done.

- Kris Kristofferson

I wish my memory weren't so bad. They tell me it's from all the football and boxing and the concussions that I got.

- Kris Kristofferson

When I was thirty, and a long time after that, I felt like I had to leave home to do what I had to do. Now, it's just the opposite.

- Kris Kristofferson

The one thing I regret is missing the time with my older children when they were young.

- Kris Kristofferson

I've never forgotten a single record I cut or a song I wrote.

- Kris Kristofferson

I boxed in Golden Gloves at Oxford and still know how to throw a straight left jab.

- Kris Kristofferson

I've had a life of all kinds of experiences - most of them good. And I've got eight kids and a wife that puts up with everything I do and keeps me out of trouble.

- Kris Kristofferson

I've been writing songs since I was a little boy. You know, I think I wrote my first song when I was 11.

- Kris Kristofferson

Johnny Cash has always been larger than life.

- Kris Kristofferson

I always had to wait until something hit me, and I could write it. But when I would cut an album, to me it represented the time that I spent since the last one. Just the way I was looking at the world.

- Kris Kristofferson

I had a list of rules I made up one time. It says: Tell the truth, sing with passion, work with laughter, and love with heart. Those are good to start with, anyway.

- Kris Kristofferson

Freedom is just another word: It seems to get truer the older I get.

- Kris Kristofferson

Nothing ain't worth nothing but it's free.

- Kris Kristofferson

I have no regrets. I feel very grateful for the life that I had - you know, family I live with; and I've been doing work that I love, ever since I came to Nashville.

- Kris Kristofferson

I've been trying to think of things to tell my kids, something that I could pass down, and it's like, gee whiz, I maybe never learned anything that didn't contradict itself.

- Kris Kristofferson

Your weight has to be behind the punch to make it matter.

- Kris Kristofferson

To me, the best love songs work on two - maybe three - different levels, where you're talking about the person who you're right opposite, and all the people like that.

- Kris Kristofferson

If you can't get out of something, get into it.

- Kris Kristofferson

There are points in your life, especially if you have creative ambitions, where selfishness is necessary.

- Kris Kristofferson

The closest I've come to knowing myself is in losing myself. That's why I loved football before I loved music. I could lose myself in it.

- Kris Kristofferson

I have a special place in my heart for Nashville because it saved my life back in the day.

- Kris Kristofferson

If it hadn't been for Johnny Cash, I'd probably have been a Nashville songwriter because that's what I had done for almost five years.

- Kris Kristofferson

Everything that I write is sort of autobiographical, and I don't know that I'm getting better, but I'm certainly running out of time.

- Kris Kristofferson

I grew up listening to Hank Williams and Johnny Cash, so arriving in Nashville in the '60s was really exciting for me.

- Kris Kristofferson

By not having to live up to people's expectations, I was somehow free.

- Kris Kristofferson

To me, if you love it enough to devote your life to it, then you're doing the right thing.

- Kris Kristofferson

I feel like I'm kind of lazy, but I keep the yard looking good.

- Kris Kristofferson

You don't paddle against the current, you paddle with it. And if you get good at it, you throw away the oars.

- Kris Kristofferson

My thirsty wanted whiskey...

- Kris Kristofferson

The heart is what matters most of all

- Kris Kristofferson

If God made anything better than women, I think he kept it for himself.

- Kris Kristofferson

Tell the truth. Sing with passion. Work with laughter. Love with heart. 'Cause that's all that matters in the end.

- Kris Kristofferson

Freedom's just another word for "nothing left to lose".

- Kris Kristofferson

I'd trade all my tomorrows for one single yesterday.

- Kris Kristofferson

I grew up in a time when people believed in duty, honor and country. My grandfathers were both officers. My father was a General in the Air Force. My brother and I were both in the Army. I've always felt a kinship with soldiers; I think it's possible to support the warrior and be against the war.

- Kris Kristofferson

Never give up, which is the lesson I learned from boxing. As soon as you learn to never give up, you have to learn the power and wisdom of unconditional surrender, and that one doesn't cancel out the other; they just exist as contradictions. The wisdom of it comes as you get older.

- Kris Kristofferson

I got scars on my face that tell some kind of story. I'm looking in the mirror, and I got one scar that's really two scars - half from a baseball bat and half from playing football in college. I'll tell you, though, after a while, your face gets so wrinkled up you can hardly see them.

- Kris Kristofferson

I feel so lucky to have lived the life that I did and to be surrounded by the people I love. I've got eight kids, and they're always laughing all the time. It's like music to my ears. I think that my frame of mind these days is probably happier than I've ever been, which is kind of odd, coming close to the finish line.

- Kris Kristofferson

I never thought of acting as a creative process. Christ, I used to go to the movies and see Brando talking like he was trying to sell shoes, and he was great. I thought anybody could do it. Then I tried it, and I got so uptight, I'm limited as to what I can do on film.

- Kris Kristofferson

I was working the Gulf of Mexico on oil rigs, flying helicopters. I'd lost my family to my years of failing as a songwriter. All I had were bills, child support, and grief. And I was about to get fired for not letting 24 hours go between the throttle and the bottle. It looked like I'd trashed my act. But there was something liberating about it.

- Kris Kristofferson

I think I'm a much better father as an older man than I was with my first kids. Occasionally, I have to yell at the little guys, but they don't take me seriously. 'Listen to the old guy,' they say. 'Isn't he great? He's mad.'

- Kris Kristofferson

'Heaven's Gate' was based on a true story about the cattle people: the people who had the money turned on the settlers who were in the area. And it was mainly a defense of their behavior. And the cattlemen's association had just about declared war on these people who were poaching cattle, and because they were mainly immigrants.

- Kris Kristofferson

Johnny Cash's legacy, I think if it was one word, it would be 'integrity.' He was the original wild man and grew from that guy that was doing all the crazy things that you read that rock n' rollers do to being someone who was like the father of our country, you know. He was a guest at the White House. He was Billy Graham's friend.

- Kris Kristofferson

I never was one to go into an office and write. For one thing, I had a job. I was cleaning the ashtrays and setting up the studios at Columbia for a couple of years and working every other week down in the Gulf of Mexico flying helicopters. I didn't really get to just write songs for about five years.

- Kris Kristofferson

The great thing about Nashville back in the day was that the old guys hung out where the young guys were. The established writers like Harlan Howard and Jack Clement gave us encouragement and passed the guitar, you know? Chet Atkins let me sit in on his sessions. Everybody was good to us, and everybody loved the music.

- Kris Kristofferson

I feel like sometimes, when I'm singing a song like 'Moment of Forever,' that it goes both to your significant other and to the audience, and was it wonderful for you, you know? I think the best love songs I've written work on that level, like 'Help Me Make It Through the Night.'

- Kris Kristofferson

I was in Nicaragua with the Sandinistas. I've argued for Leonard Peltier, Mumia Abu-Jamal, the United Farm Workers. I've been a radical for a long time. I guess it's too bad. I'd be more marketable as a right-wing redneck. But I got into this to tell the truth as I saw it.

- Kris Kristofferson

What really makes me happy now is my home. I know that I have that to lose. But I don't see losing it. And I don't care if I never do another movie. And I don't care if I never get back on the road. I like to think that I'm gonna do that. But if I don't, I can live with that.

- Kris Kristofferson

I remember I had an actor friend - a close friend from college - Anthony Zerbe. He sent me a telegram before I started my first movie, 'Cisco Pike.' It said, 'Have a good time. Ignore the camera.' That was the extent of my training.

- Kris Kristofferson