Episode 63: 4 the Tears in Your Eyes

On Episode 63 of the Press Rewind – Prince Lyrics Podcast, I take a somber approach in discussing the equally somber track, “4 the Tears In Your Eyes,” originally recorded for the We Are the World charity album. Prince uses the Bible as his primary lyrical inspiration while delivering beautiful acoustic guitar and vocal harmonies with Wendy & Lisa for the Live Aid performance.

“For the tears in your eyes if they’re tears of sorrow. Four cents may be all that they’re worth.”

As the story goes, Prince declined participation in the “We Are the World” recording session that immediately followed the American Music Awards in late January 1985. He wasn’t much for singing songs that he didn’t write himself, with few exceptions. As this was a Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie collaboration, Prince would have just been a hired musician, and the song would capitalize off his post-Purple Rain fame. Not necessarily a bad thing, considering that the song was to be part of a larger project with a charitable cause in mind. Prince did feel that the cause, feeding starving children in Africa, was noble and offered his own unique composition. That composition was “4 the Tears in Your Eyes.”

Whether you prefer the faster, rock version featured on the U.S.A. for Africa album or prefer the Prince, Wendy, and Lisa acoustic “live” version shown to the viewers of the Live Aid concert that summer of ’85, the messages are the same. Prince gives us a Bible lesson in the lyrics, expressing his thanks to Jesus dying for our sins (i.e., our tears), thanks to his fans and those willing to give money and time to the cause, and a sincere thank you to us.

The original version of “4 the Tears in Your Eyes” found on the We Are the World album.

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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