On Episode 44 of the Press Rewind – Prince Lyrics Podcast, Karen Shedrick & I dive into “Lady Cab Driver,” the sex-as-therapy offering from Prince’s breakthrough album, 1999. Everyone seems to focus on the middle section of this song, and we definitely do as well! There’s a LOT going on and we’re not just talking about Jill Jones vocal performance.
“Will you accept my tears to pay the fare?”
A funk workout for the ages, “Lady Cab Driver” is one of the most “The Time” sounding songs on the 1999 record. It’s got a synth hook designed for bopping along to and a bass groove so nasty that it should be in time-out. Not to mention some stellar live drumming, courtesy of Mr. Nelson himself. On an album full of Linn-drum machine loops, the sound of live drums on this track stands out.
“Lady Cab Driver” continues the underlying dread thread of the 1999 album by showing Prince trying to escape something or someone. Something or someone that might kill him. (“get me outta here, I feel I’m gonna die”) Luckily for him, the scared for his life schtick works wonders on the titular lady cab driver, and his sad-boy/horny-boy approach allows him to forget his troubles for a little while in her bed.
Then you have that bridge! Whew, it’s a scorcher thanks to Jill Jones’ vocal performance, and no, I’m not talking about her fantastic singing voice. It was fun to dissect each of Prince’s thrust dedications and note the moment he seemed to have achieved enlightenment through sexual intercourse. Hopefully, you enjoy listening to this episode, and please let me know what you think the overarching theme of this song is if you believe Karen and I missed the mark.
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!