On Episode 40 of the Press Rewind – Prince Lyrics Podcast, Christy Norman from The Mountains & the Sea and Killer Fun podcasts joins me discuss the straightforward (dance! music! sex! romance!) and arcane (Who is Jamie Starr? Why is there a woman crying for help?) in the epic party that is “D.M.S.R.” from Prince’s 5th album, 1999.
“Now you can all take a bite of my purple rock, can we stop?”
Dance. Music. Sex. Romance. Yes, it’s time to relish the most basic and hedonistic aspects of what Prince’s music can convey for this episode. Four simple words also serve as an ideology of sorts for the funky one from Minneapolis. Armed with his Linn LM-1 drum machine, handclaps, call and response lyrics, and synthesized horn stabs, “D.M.S.R.” is that song. That song you play for someone unfamiliar with Prince’s music and wants to know what it’s all about.
In the case of this track, it’s all about freedom of expression. Creative freedom. Freedom of choice. Freedom to wear as few clothes as possible, even in a restaurant. As long as you’re not harming anyone, you don’t have to worry. The party is on, and it’s “alright.”
Christy and I have a good time on this episode, making sure not to take this song too seriously. The lyrics do not warrant a serious or deeper dive. Instead, we apply some of the perspectives that Prince is singing about in “D.M.S.R.” to what his life was like at the time. This includes the enjoyment he had making music and the party atmosphere he gave off by recruiting people around him to assist in the call and response sections of the song.
We also touch on the fascinating, humorous (“Jamie Starr’s a thief”) and somewhat disturbing (“somebody help me!”) ending of the song while offering our own interpretations and possible meanings. It’s quite the roller coaster of emotions, but it certainly helps us as listeners to never get bored. Prince would want it that way, I think.
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!