Why I’ll miss a man I didn’t know.

I have listened to Purple Rain by Prince about 10 times a day for 40 days.

Now, my eldest son has had enough.

‘Mummmm…turn it off,’ he whined yesterday with his hands over his ears.

That’s 400 times…I suppose he has a point.

‘I like it.  I love purple,’ said my youngest.  Bonus points to him.

But, despite the moaning from the backseat as we drive around Sydney, I can’t stop listening. There’s something about the lyrics and the pure emotion of this song that won’t let me go.

I’ve been on a Prince drought for a long time.  The last time I saw him perform was at Wembley Arena in 1996 and CDs that I bought a… (I can’t tell you exactly when…let’s just say more than 10…less than 20) years ago have been on the shelf with all our other CDs, covered in dust.  I tried to play Diamonds and Pearls on the day I heard about his death, in a desperate attempt to listen to him, to listen to anything by him.

I searched for our CD player and then remembered it went out with the council clean-up in circa 2005.  So, into the Mac this CD thing went.  The Mac whirred, the rainbow wheel turned and turned and then…plah, it spat it out.

My eldest picked it up, turned it in his greasy fingers and asked,

‘What is this mum?’  I groaned.

So what next? Oh yes, Spotify.  Prince must be on Spotify. 20 seconds later I discovered Prince isn’t on Spotify.  After Googling the reason: he disagreed about royalties apparently.  Fair enough. So back to ITunes.  I was manic now.  Salvation.  Hallelujah. Prince’s Greatest Hits. $14.99. I’m in.

When Doves Cry began.  I sat still and listened and realised I was in a place where I was grieving for a man I didn’t know.

Purple Rain.  I’ve no idea what this song is about but it connects to me. It makes me want to laugh, sob and shout out all at the same time and I don’t know why. But that doesn’t matter.

His stylist, Michaela Angela Davis said, ‘Every song was either a prayer or foreplay.’ And every song was. Listen to the lyrics of When Doves Cry. If they don’t turn you on…well… courtyards, trembling, the ocean, sweat and animals…it’s all there.

His music grows with you. Surely that’s the aim of every artist.  Prince did that and I’ll miss him.


For my friend Karen P-T x


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