On Episode 92 of the Press Rewind – Prince Lyrics Podcast, I welcome a new guest, Angel Monique, to chat about one of the greatest story songs in Prince’s career, “The Ballad of Dorothy Parker,” from Sign O’ the Times. We navigate the dream-like stream of consciousness lyrics, debate whether Prince actually knew who Dorothy Parker was when he wrote the song, and generally have a great time talking about a song we both hold in such high esteem.
“Yeah, let me get a fruit cocktail, I ain’t too hungry” Dorothy laughed. She said, “It sound like a real man to me.”
What Prince delivers on “The Ballad of Dorothy Parker” is a collection of abstract thoughts, quirky characters, and dream-like situations that would be at home in a David Lynch film. The song appears to be about a man who finds himself in a diner who meets a waitress on the promenade and how this chance meeting turns into a night of flirting, pants-on baths, Joni Mitchell fawning, and more flirting (but no sex, we don’t think at least). It’s a heck of a song, and we hope you enjoy the episode trying to decipher or at least make sense of our takeaways.
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!