Meaning of Purple Rain by Prince
Among all the different kinds of music, Prince‘s “Purple Rain” stands out as a story with a lot of metaphors and complicated lyrics.
The power ballad was released in September 1984 while it was recorded one year before, in August 1983. Purple Rain” is ranked at number 18 on Rolling Stone‘s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and is included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame‘s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. The Q magazine placed it at number 40 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks, and Pitchfork named it the best song of the 1980s. Countless artists have covered the song in studio and live versions, including among others Etta James, Melissa Etheridge, Madonna, Stevie Wonder, Adam Levine, Bruce Springsteen and many more.
It was the final song he performed live, taking place at the end of his final performance in Atlanta on April 14, 2016, one week before he died.
It is from the same-named album and is more than just a song; it’s a gallery where Prince draws his feelings, thoughts, and spiritual reflections. There are many ways to understand “Purple Rain’s” lyrics, and each one gives the song’s meaning a different shade.
“Purple Rain” is often seen as a story about love, being sorry, and wanting to fix a broken relationship.
As you read the words, you can feel the pain and want to bring joy back into the life of a loved one. In lines like “I never meant to cause you any sorrow, I never meant to cause you any pain,” the singer feels deeply sorry for what they did and wants to bring back the happiness that was there before.
Going deeper, the name “Purple Rain” is symbolic because it is a mix of red and blue, which stands for the sky and the blood of people. In this way, the song goes beyond the personal and into the cosmic, touching on love, faith, and the end of the world. Prince himself said that “Purple Rain” is about a world where love and faith help you see the beauty in the terrible end of life.
Different ideas also go deeper into the spiritual world, linking the “purple rain” with divine kindness or spiritual transcendence. When talking about Christians, the colour purple means royalty, which ties in with Prince’s character, and the word “rain” could mean God’s kindness or salvation. The spiritual background is mirrored in the lyrics, which talk about a search for something higher and a desire to lead or be led to a state of grace in the midst of life’s problems.
Another interpretation sees the words from a romantic point of view, with Prince confessing his love for Vanity, who was important to him at the time. For Prince, it means he wants her to see that his love for her is different from other men’s. This version gives the story of the song a more personal and romantic feel.
“Purple Rain” is a mysterious story with lyrics that can be interpreted in many ways. The song covers a lot of different human feelings and existential themes, depending on how it is understood: as a personal story of love and regret; as a spiritual hymn; or as a vision of the end of the world. By writing about sadness and hope in “Purple Rain,” Prince asks us to look into the depths of human experience. This makes the song a timeless masterpiece that speaks to people of all ages.