Episode 55: When Doves Cry

On Episode 55 of the Press Rewind – Prince Lyrics Podcast, fellow Prince writer Zachary Hoskins of the DMSR blog (princesongs.org) joins me to discuss the familial and romantic dramas presented to us for the Purple Rain film in the musically compelling and massively popular “When Doves Cry.”

What does it sound like when doves cry? Beautifully strange as it turns out.

“You’ve got the butterflies all tied up. Don’t make me chase you, even doves have pride.”

So there’s this song, and it goes by “When Doves Cry.” It’s a pretty iconic track in Prince’s overall discography. Maybe you heard of it? No? That’s odd. It was huge in the summer of 1984. It was all over MTV, on the radio and it was used to hype up the forthcoming Purple Rain film. It’s kind of a big deal and it also happens to be brilliant.

Zach Hoskins and I fawn over the song, talking about its familial drama lyrics, the lack of bassline, the insanely difficult to recreate opening guitar solo, the adventurous musical journeys that the full album version takes us on, and of course, all of the lyrics. On top of it all, there is ample imagery, metaphors, as well as the complex analogies Prince uses to describe himself and his situation. “When Doves Cry” is a perfectly succinct film summary written at the 11th hour that just happens to be one of the best and most successful pop songs of all time.

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!

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