Summer reminds me of good music and as a delicious start of this week, his Royal Badness had another birthday. Prince Rogers Nelson. Had FanGirl stuff been popular back then, I would have been the official Prince FanGirl, but maybe not since I once read that Prince doesn’t like fans because it stands for fanatic. (He’s so amazingly and wonderfully complicated! ) Sorry Prince, I have been and will always be fanatic over what you represent to me.
The magical joy of getting an album, taking the disk out of the paper or plastic sleeve and putting it on the record player, then listening to new music over and over again while staring at the album cover. His soul seemed to seep in and the lyrics played like a movie. The scenery is set and there is bated breath waiting for the crescendo and denouement.
He has many songs that eventually help shape my social views. Prince has become one of my reasons for becoming a social worker.
Check this out:
“In France, a skinny man died of a BIG disease with a little name. By chance his girlfriend came across a needle and soon she did the same. At home there are 17-year-old boys and their idea of fun Is being in a gang called The Disciples High on crack and totin’ a machine gun.”
(How much has changed?)
Hurricane Annie ripped the ceiling of a church and killed everyone inside U turn on the telly and every other story is tellin’ U somebody died A sister killed her baby cuz she couldn’t afford 2 feed it And yet we’re sending people 2 the moon In September, my cousin tried reefer 4 the very first time Now he’s doing horse – it’s June
(Then Hurricane Katrina, then introducing meth and ecstasy, and heroine STILL on the rise.)
It’s silly, no? When a rocket ship explodes and everybody still wants 2 fly But some say a man ain’t happy unless a man truly dies Oh why?
Baby make a speech, Star Wars fly Neighbors just shine it on But if a night falls and a bomb falls Will anybody see The Dawn?”
Sure, these aren’t the most carefree lyrics of summer, but to me they are as liberating as a caged bird being free.
It’s fair and just to see the world for its beauty and its curses. The question is, What are you going to do about it? We all have family and friends and communities who’ve experienced triumph and tragedy. Do you shy away? Ignore it? Jump in? Do we take responsibility for what we can and can’t do? How about taking responsibility for your own life? Do you recognize your self destruction, do you celebrate your accomplishments?
Let summer shine bright on your possibilities on helping yourself and helping others around you. As you can see by the song lyrics, when we don’t faces stuff, things tend to get worse. In almost 30 years since this song was written, society hasn’t gotten it right. How much longer do you want to wait before you get your life together?
Prince Sign of the Times © 1987 Paisley Park Records