On Episode 22 of the Press Rewind – Prince Lyrics Podcast, Karen Shedrick joins me again to discuss Prince’s relationship woes on the bluesy “Gotta Broken Heart Again” from his 3rd album, Dirty Mind. We also offer up our own interpretations of what the loud bang at the end of the song signifies!
“‘Cause once your love has gone away, there ain’t nothing, nothing left to say.”
Dirty Mind’s only ballad, “Gotta Broken Heart Again,” arrives as the last song on Side-A, a track that can sometimes be mistaken as inconsequential when speaking about the entire track-listing on the album. It’s a song that isn’t cited often as one of the essential tracks from the record, but there are a few notable moments where the music rises above its short balladry.
It has a bluesy-garage feel to it that was a bit antiquated even in 1980. It is especially noticeable when a song like this is surrounded by synth and drum machine heavy tracks like “Do It All Night” and “Uptown.” It’s a tale of romantic woe, not unlike “When You Were Mine,” with the exception that Prince doesn’t quite get into the down and dirty details as to why he’s so broken-hearted. However, he does state he loses his “old-lady” to his “supposed to be friend,” which is a gut-punch line that makes you feel for the narrator. In this respect, it does bear some similarities to “When You Were Mine” in terms of another guy clouding the once happy relationship skies.
Prince piles on the sympathy in the next verse by telling us he’s broke because he “spent it all on a long-distance phone call, beggin’ her to please come home.” These lines allow us to envision a destitute man with literally nothing to lose. There is nothing more pathetic than a broken-hearted man that is so financially strapped that even a long-distance phone call will exceed his meager savings.
The song ends with Prince singing the lines, “’Cause once your love has gone away, there ain’t nothing, nothing left to say.” After this, you only hear the final guitar chords and plunking piano very low in the mix, truly a made for headphones moment. Upon conclusion of the song, you hear a loud banging noise, and the track ends. What this banging sound represents is open to interpretation, as is clear from mine and Karen Shedrick’s (my co-host for the episode) comments in the episode. You’ll have to listen to it to get both of our very different takes on the song’s closing moments.
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 along with any guest I may have
- If submitted, discuss listener’s interpretations of each song’s lyrics
Thank you for joining me on this journey through Prince’s catalog!