On Episode 8 of the Press Rewind – Prince Lyrics Podcast, I cover the pensive and slightly depressing, “So Blue” from Prince’s debut album For You.
“You meant the world to me, but now you’re gone and I’m so blue.”
The guitar swirls around you as the track begins, grabbing your attention like so many Prince songs do. As the guitar slows down, you realize this will not be a mid-tempo rocker, but instead, a reflective ballad about loss. The blue in “So Blue” seemingly refers to his fragile and despondent emotional state.
“So Blue” is an excellent accompaniment to Side A’s “Crazy You” in the role of folksy singer-songwriter ballads. This is in sharp contrast to “Baby,” the lead song on Side B, which refers back to Prince’s history with soul and R&B music. Prince’s influences were deep and varied, and that explains the eclectic nature of For You’s tracklisting.
For a four-plus minute song, the number of lyrics present here is relatively brief and lacks a chorus. The lyrics that we have are designed to evoke Prince’s same melancholy feeling while singing them in his prolonged, deliberate manner. He draws out every syllable, which highlights the words and matches the music behind them.
What the lyrics don’t tell us is precisely how Prince came to be so blue. He mentions that “now you’re gone” and “now I spend my days crying over you.” Is this about a simple breakup? Or is Prince mourning the death of a loved one? One can interpret these lines in multiple ways, which is why this song could have deep meaning and connections to someone listening to it experiencing a loss—even the loss of a beloved pet.
Prince gets even more melodramatic towards the end when he implies that the feeling of loss is getting stronger, not weaker. Also, he’s talking to himself at night, seemingly as a coping mechanism, even going so far as to declare that he’ll spend his life so blue. “So Blue” is ‘70s sad-sack emo Prince at his best.
The goal of each episode of Press Rewind is to:
- Take a track by track look at the lyrical content of Prince’s discography
- Discuss my own interpretation of each song’s lyrics
- If submitted, discuss listener’s interpretations of each song’s lyrics
Thank you for joining me on this journey through Prince’s catalog!