Friday, April 22, 2016


This morning I dialed up my Prince playlist and listened as I walked my dogs through--wait for it--the cemetery.  I wasn't being all symbolic although it was apropos somehow to be wandering through a thicket of tombstones while hearing Prince in my ear talk about the afterlife.

I was surprised yesterday by how emotional I felt when I heard the news of Prince's death.  I've always said he was my favorite guilty pleasure, although now I'm wondering why I felt obliged to attach the "guilty" disclaimer.  (My other favorite guilty pleasure = AC/DC and yeah.  I should probably keep the "guilty" part in place for that one.)

Who knows why we love the music we love?  I could say Prince's music had a good beat and was easy to listen to.  I could also say that I admired his way with lyrics.  I often used "Raspberry Beret" when I taught creative writing because that song does so much kickass work in such a few short lines.


I was working part time in a five-and-dime
My boss was Mr. McGee
He gold me several times that he didn't like my kind
'Cause I was a bit too leisurely.

Seems that I was busy doing something close to nothing
But different than the day before
That's when I saw her, ooh, I saw her
She walked in through the out door, out door

Think about all the work those two stanzas do.  We have "setting"--a five-and-dime.  We have "characters"--a grumpy employer, an underachieving clerk, and a girl who defies.  Dude.  She walk IN though the OUT door.

Great stuff, right?

But for all our fancy schmalzy analysis of why we like what we like--and the intellectual justifications for it all--humans connect with music in their gut.  And something about Prince and his mind-blowing, body-moving, foot-stomping funk punk vibe invited me into His Purple-ness's world.

Let's go crazy today, okay?


Donna Tagliaferri said...

Is it because we were young without a care in the world? Is it because he is, wait for it, younger than me. healthier, thinner, and eating better....and he still died?
Is it because life is so unpredictable that totally iconic people can die before their time?
Is it an unknown fear I am harboring?
Or is it because the music stopped?

Jim said...

Bruce Springsteen's Atlantic City is that way. In very few words in the middle of the song there are characters defined, financial setting, a conspiracy, and recognition that love is gone.