Episode 143: Donna / Nadara / Baby, Baby, Baby / Down a Long Lonely Road / Miss You

On episode 143 of the Press Rewind – Prince Lyrics Podcast, I’m talking about five songs pulled from Prince’s vault recorded in late 1978 or early 1979 at his France Avenue home in Edina, MN. “Donna” and “Nadara” (or Nadera or Nadeara) are sensitive ballads written about mysterious (to us at least) women. “Baby, Baby, Baby” and “Down a Long Lonely Road” are sketches of songs without much substance. “Miss You” is a short but sweet melancholy ballad of lament. Some of these songs are more fully fleshed out than others, but all are worth a listen or two. 


“Donna, I guess it’s not meant to be.”

Donna – Prince uses an acoustic guitar to delve into ballad territory to tell a story about a pretty object of affection who is already with someone else. “Donna” is not your typical early Prince ballad, as the song’s tempo is a bit quicker than one might come to expect. The lyrics contain only a few lines, and I’m sure if this track were ultimately earmarked for the record, it would have received a bit more lyrical work, but the groove is there. “I guess it’s not meant to be” might be a key line in the song, but it also perfectly sums up the status of “Donna” as a finalized recording. I would have loved to have heard this, as unpolished as it is on this vault recording, as a B-side from a For You or Prince single.

“Now that you know that I love you, baby, what are u gonna do?”

Nadara – Prince retreats to ballad territory for this one. The recording is a little shaky, as are Prince’s lyrics about being intimidated by his feelings of love for the titular woman. He eagerly expresses love for her and nervously awaits her response—short but sweet, but also a tad forgettable.

“Surely, you must know how bad I want to be with you.”

Baby, Baby, Baby – Prince reverts to familiar, upbeat territory for this track. His ethereal voice fades in with quick, poppy guitar licks following closely behind. As the song’s simple name might imply, “Baby, Baby, Baby” is another early vault track that is more of an exercise in creating music than creating a piece with captivating words or a catchy chorus. This is a lovely track if you want to hear Prince make beautiful guitar-based music. Otherwise, it’s very raw and difficult to hear an actual song.

“Down a long lonely road, I’ve been cryin’, lookin’ for someone to care.”

Down a Long Lonely Road – A simple acapella ditty that features Prince’s multi-tracked vocals, not unlike “For You” but without embellishments. A simple sentiment repeated multiple times for effect, a song with an exciting premise but nothing more at this phase.

 “I miss the time we made love under the stars.”

Miss You – Acoustic ballad in the same vein as “Nadara” or “Crazy You,” Prince lists off the things he misses (the ocean, the time they made love under the stars, etc.) in the song’s only verse. Most importantly, he misses “you,” which makes the top of any list he ponders. Another very short ballad with impeccable musicianship with his guitar playing in top-notch form (which it always was). Beautiful but gone too soon. Just like Prince.

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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