On Episode 67 of the Press Rewind – Prince Lyrics Podcast, Karen Shedrick & I chat about the lyrics to one of Prince’s most memorable and beloved ’80s tracks, “Raspberry Beret.” What new insight could possibly be gleaned from a song that everyone knows by heart? Well, how about some misheard lyrics? Or different interpretations of the song’s overarching theme (a song about losing virginity vs. a song about the first time with a new girl)? We try to cover it all in this episode!
“Thunder drowns out what the lightning sees.”
What makes a song like “Raspberry Beret” so damn popular? Is it the enjoyable, catchy tune – a pure pop song if ever there was one in Prince’s ’80s discography. The chorus? Yes, the chorus is memorable and easy to sing along to, but it’s more than that. I think the lyrics really turned this fun yet somewhat slight pop song into a mega-hit. How many lines do you think even the most casual of Prince fans know?
“I was working part time in a five-and-dime”
“Seems that I was busy doing something close to nothing, but different than the day before”
“She walked in through the out door”
“We went riding down by old man Johnson’s farm”
“Overcast days never turned me on”
“She wasn’t too bright, but I could tell by the way she kissed me, she knew how to get her kicks”
“Rain sounds so cool when it hits the barn roof and the horses wonder who you are”
“I wouldn’t change a stroke, ’cause baby I’m the most”
These lines aren’t even part of the chorus; that’s how incredible they are. You can’t deny the power of a well-written story song. Even though Around the World in a Day contained some challenging music and lyrical themes, “Raspberry Beret” (and the carry-over success of Purple Rain) helped this album reach #1.
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!