On Episode 59 of the Press Rewind – Prince Lyrics Podcast, Karen Shedrick & I talk at length about one of Prince’s most popular B-sides, “17 Days.” Let the rain come down, down and wallow in the misery with us. Just grab those 2 cigarettes first.
“I know your head is underwater, I doubt that you can hear me.”
Kicking off Purple Rain’s B-side-apalooza, “17 Days” is one of those upbeat, heartbreaking songs that Prince does so damn well. Karen and I spend the episode gushing over the song, how we first came across it, and the nature of changing musical media while also discussing a little about its history as a potential Vanity 6 track that Prince ultimately decided to just record for himself.
I appreciate Prince’s attention to detail (“all I got is two cigarettes and this broken heart of mine”), use of metaphors (“I know your head is underwater”), and melody (the simple yet worthy earworm chorus) to create a standout B-side. “17 Days”, along with “Erotic City,” are two B-sides from the Prince era that likely would have made the album in the CD era, but as B-sides, they give listeners that special bonus treats for forking over the dough for the 45 single. Give the episode a listen and see if you agree with our assessments of Prince’s intention behind lines such as “let the rain come down,” “you’re the one who’s always lonely, I’m the one who’s always alone,” or the significance (or lack of) in choosing 17 days as the length of time Prince is missing his girlfriend.
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!