Episode 71: The Ladder

On Episode 71 of the Press Rewind – Prince Lyrics Podcast, Eloy Lasanta from the Prince’s Friend YouTube channel joins me in discussing the powerful spiritual ballad “The Ladder” from Prince’s 7th album, Around the World in a Day. We spend time discussing the song’s genesis in the wake of Purple Rain’s success, its inclusion towards the end of the album’s crazy journey, and how this particular track might speak to many different religious and secular listeners.

“What’s the use in half a story, half a dream? U have 2 climb all of the steps in between.”

Once upon a time, a man named Prince was compelled to express his spiritual journey more overtly on his Around the World in a Day album. He spoke in riddles, metaphors, and in the example of “The Ladder,” a parable about a man who was living a sinful life (projecting, much?) who decided one day to search for the ladder. But what does this mean? The answers are right there in the chorus, beckoning listeners to search for the ladder along with this King/Prince.

Eloy and I make a concerted effort on this episode to expand on the lyrical themes Prince is expressing here. Lines such as “What’s the use in half a story, half a dream,” and “The love of God’s creation will undress U, and time spent alone, my friend will cease.” These lines, among many others in this song, remain fascinating and compelling to discuss decades later. The search remains, and keep climbing until you reach your destination.

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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