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Forums > Prince: Music and More > Prince's SpookyElectric Lyrics (sin, devils, etc.)
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Reply #30 posted 10/06/18 4:40pm

1725topp

While Prince's "breakups" or "romantic relationships" provide a vehicle to manifest his internal dichotomy of good vs. bad, spiritual vs. physical, I would suggest that the root of that dichotomy lies with his parents, especially in the manner in which the carnal and the spiritual always coexist and battle in "religious" households. His father was a man of certain religious convictions who had to play in some "interesting" places to be a working musician. His father was a "stern" and sometimes "hurtful" man who could be lots of fun when he wanted to be. Similarly, his mother was a secular vocalist who also had some deep religious convictions as well. There is the story/myth of Prince finding his mother's porn stash, hidden in this, again, "religious" household. Of course, the easy way to approach this is to say that his parents' religious hypocrisy had a lifelong, "negative" impact on Prince, creating a certain hypocrisy in Prince. However, if one is able to allow space between oneself and that specific subject of Prince's life and include other examples, such as Marvin Gaye and Little Richard's lifelong struggle with the dichotomy of the spiritual and the physical, one sees a more nuanced picture about the struggles of navigating the space/gap/hurdles between one's ideal and who one actually is. As such, I have always seen Prince's discourse about the relationship between the spiritual and the physical and good vs. evil as, just that, a discourse, an internal discourse through his artistry, working himself from one extreme to the other, trying to find balance, which is difficult when one thinks that achieving the "ideal" is the only solution.

*

Additionally, based on the history of music created by black musicians, one must also explore why this issue of the conflict between the carnal and the spiritual is so present and prevalent in music created by black musicians. It's not to say that it isn't present and prevalent in music created by white musicians, but the cultural struggle/stigma seems to have a heavier impact on black music, such as the notion by many African Americans at the time that Sam Cooke's death was a result of him forsaking gospel for R&B. Of course, it's not a question of whether or not I believe that Cooke's death was "spiritual" punishment, but it is an element that is part of that culture that continues to pervade the music. And, why is it more common for black entertainers to return to some form of church/religious entertainment when their secular star no longer shines as bright? It may mean nothing. But, again, this history of black musicians struggling with the righteous and the hedonistic is a path/blueprint that Prince begins to follow as early as Controversy and even earlier if one realizes that the image of the cross arrives during the Dirty Mind-era.

*

So, again, I don't deny or refute that Prince's romantic relationships often served as triggers or vehicles for the manifestation of his internal struggle with the sacred and the profane, but that internal struggle seems to be more deeply rooted than just his romantic relationships.

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Reply #31 posted 10/06/18 4:48pm

Krystalkisses

avatar

Thanks 1725. That was an aspect I didn't consider before.
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Reply #32 posted 10/06/18 6:17pm

peggyon

Krystalkisses said:

peggyon said:

No, I did not know him, but was struck by a common thread throughout much of my reading about him. He seemed to be unable to commit and I think serial infidelity caused a great deal of pain to his girlfriends. They handled it differently, but most seemed to experience quite a bit of pain and eventually left him. I got the sense he applied one set of rules to himself (seeing a number of women while in a 'committed' relationship), and another to his partners.

He, himself, must not have been OK with some of his behaviors if he was asking for forgiveness to the extent he did. Why not just avoid behavior that needs forgiveness on that level?

[Edited 10/5/18 15:13pm]

Peggy I just want to say how much I enjoy your posts and you analytical reflection on his life and the philosophical questions you pose. That stuff has crossed my mind before and it is cool to know that is true for others as well. smile

Thanks, Krystal

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Reply #33 posted 10/06/18 6:20pm

peggyon

Krystalkisses said:

peggyon said:

No, I did not know him, but was struck by a common thread throughout much of my reading about him. He seemed to be unable to commit and I think serial infidelity caused a great deal of pain to his girlfriends. They handled it differently, but most seemed to experience quite a bit of pain and eventually left him. I got the sense he applied one set of rules to himself (seeing a number of women while in a 'committed' relationship), and another to his partners.

He, himself, must not have been OK with some of his behaviors if he was asking for forgiveness to the extent he did. Why not just avoid behavior that needs forgiveness on that level?

[Edited 10/5/18 15:13pm]

Peggy I just want to say how much I enjoy your posts and you analytical reflection on his life and the philosophical questions you pose. That stuff has crossed my mind before and it is cool to know that is true for others as well. smile

Thanks, Krystal

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Reply #34 posted 10/06/18 6:20pm

purplefam99

1725topp said:

While Prince's "breakups" or "romantic relationships" provide a vehicle to manifest his internal dichotomy of good vs. bad, spiritual vs. physical, I would suggest that the root of that dichotomy lies with his parents, especially in the manner in which the carnal and the spiritual always coexist and battle in "religious" households. His father was a man of certain religious convictions who had to play in some "interesting" places to be a working musician. His father was a "stern" and sometimes "hurtful" man who could be lots of fun when he wanted to be. Similarly, his mother was a secular vocalist who also had some deep religious convictions as well. There is the story/myth of Prince finding his mother's porn stash, hidden in this, again, "religious" household. Of course, the easy way to approach this is to say that his parents' religious hypocrisy had a lifelong, "negative" impact on Prince, creating a certain hypocrisy in Prince. However, if one is able to allow space between oneself and that specific subject of Prince's life and include other examples, such as Marvin Gaye and Little Richard's lifelong struggle with the dichotomy of the spiritual and the physical, one sees a more nuanced picture about the struggles of navigating the space/gap/hurdles between one's ideal and who one actually is. As such, I have always seen Prince's discourse about the relationship between the spiritual and the physical and good vs. evil as, just that, a discourse, an internal discourse through his artistry, working himself from one extreme to the other, trying to find balance, which is difficult when one thinks that achieving the "ideal" is the only solution.

*

Additionally, based on the history of music created by black musicians, one must also explore why this issue of the conflict between the carnal and the spiritual is so present and prevalent in music created by black musicians. It's not to say that it isn't present and prevalent in music created by white musicians, but the cultural struggle/stigma seems to have a heavier impact on black music, such as the notion by many African Americans at the time that Sam Cooke's death was a result of him forsaking gospel for R&B. Of course, it's not a question of whether or not I believe that Cooke's death was "spiritual" punishment, but it is an element that is part of that culture that continues to pervade the music. And, why is it more common for black entertainers to return to some form of church/religious entertainment when their secular star no longer shines as bright? It may mean nothing. But, again, this history of black musicians struggling with the righteous and the hedonistic is a path/blueprint that Prince begins to follow as early as Controversy and even earlier if one realizes that the image of the cross arrives during the Dirty Mind-era.

*

So, again, I don't deny or refute that Prince's romantic relationships often served as triggers or vehicles for the manifestation of his internal struggle with the sacred and the profane, but that internal struggle seems to be more deeply rooted than just his romantic relationships.

1725 what do you think about the way god and the devil were often protrayed in AA church

culture? How often it was a highly dramatic affair, almost like a play, loud vivid spitting speech, robust movement and banging and then of

course here comes the choir moving, stomping and shaking and tearing down the house. that these dramatic "fire and brimstone" religious plays deeply painted themselves upon a highly impressionable sponge like Prince. And

his songs are his highly dramatic reinterpretations of those sermons "plays". in anycase i agree the roots

are deeper than his romatic relationships.

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Reply #35 posted 10/08/18 4:48pm

peggyon

Thanks to both of you for elaborating on the origins of some of Prince's behavior.

My original question was somewhat rhetorical as I was looking for more insight to dig a little deeper into

his sometimes perplexing behavior/personality.Thank you. I find that some orgers idealize him which I feel hinders a more realisitic/authentic view of the man. I find him fascinating though very difficult do read. One day I will think he was a kind, thoughtful, soft-spoken, generous man, then other information pointed to a rather ego-centric, somewhat ethically-challenged, hypocritical person.

Some fof this is fame-related, I guess, but I don't see many of these behaviors in Bruce Springsteen. (Comparing super-stars).

Why the need to go to these dark, questionable places? I am not a "goody-two-shoes" by any stretch and have experimented with many ideas about religion, lifestyles, tried some drugs, had different kinds of romantic relationships etc., but just don't have the need or desire to do things that would weigh on my conscience. And, behavior I am referring to (Prince) encompasses more than infidelity.

Several days/weeks after his death there were about 20 people who met and were being interviewed by the media. Included were Questolve, Alan Leeds, Toure, Alan Light etc. One of the later questions asked has stayed with me; "Was Prince a good guy with some minor failings or was he a bad guy who did a few good things? They kinda squirmed, looked at each other and the body language pointed to the latter.

I was somewhat stunned by that.

purplefam99 said:

1725topp said:

While Prince's "breakups" or "romantic relationships" provide a vehicle to manifest his internal dichotomy of good vs. bad, spiritual vs. physical, I would suggest that the root of that dichotomy lies with his parents, especially in the manner in which the carnal and the spiritual always coexist and battle in "religious" households. His father was a man of certain religious convictions who had to play in some "interesting" places to be a working musician. His father was a "stern" and sometimes "hurtful" man who could be lots of fun when he wanted to be. Similarly, his mother was a secular vocalist who also had some deep religious convictions as well. There is the story/myth of Prince finding his mother's porn stash, hidden in this, again, "religious" household. Of course, the easy way to approach this is to say that his parents' religious hypocrisy had a lifelong, "negative" impact on Prince, creating a certain hypocrisy in Prince. However, if one is able to allow space between oneself and that specific subject of Prince's life and include other examples, such as Marvin Gaye and Little Richard's lifelong struggle with the dichotomy of the spiritual and the physical, one sees a more nuanced picture about the struggles of navigating the space/gap/hurdles between one's ideal and who one actually is. As such, I have always seen Prince's discourse about the relationship between the spiritual and the physical and good vs. evil as, just that, a discourse, an internal discourse through his artistry, working himself from one extreme to the other, trying to find balance, which is difficult when one thinks that achieving the "ideal" is the only solution.

*

Additionally, based on the history of music created by black musicians, one must also explore why this issue of the conflict between the carnal and the spiritual is so present and prevalent in music created by black musicians. It's not to say that it isn't present and prevalent in music created by white musicians, but the cultural struggle/stigma seems to have a heavier impact on black music, such as the notion by many African Americans at the time that Sam Cooke's death was a result of him forsaking gospel for R&B. Of course, it's not a question of whether or not I believe that Cooke's death was "spiritual" punishment, but it is an element that is part of that culture that continues to pervade the music. And, why is it more common for black entertainers to return to some form of church/religious entertainment when their secular star no longer shines as bright? It may mean nothing. But, again, this history of black musicians struggling with the righteous and the hedonistic is a path/blueprint that Prince begins to follow as early as Controversy and even earlier if one realizes that the image of the cross arrives during the Dirty Mind-era.

*

So, again, I don't deny or refute that Prince's romantic relationships often served as triggers or vehicles for the manifestation of his internal struggle with the sacred and the profane, but that internal struggle seems to be more deeply rooted than just his romantic relationships.

1725 what do you think about the way god and the devil were often protrayed in AA church

culture? How often it was a highly dramatic affair, almost like a play, loud vivid spitting speech, robust movement and banging and then of

course here comes the choir moving, stomping and shaking and tearing down the house. that these dramatic "fire and brimstone" religious plays deeply painted themselves upon a highly impressionable sponge like Prince. And

his songs are his highly dramatic reinterpretations of those sermons "plays". in anycase i agree the roots

are deeper than his romatic relationships.

[Edited 10/8/18 16:51pm]

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Reply #36 posted 10/10/18 1:18pm

42Kristen

heart

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Reply #37 posted 10/16/18 7:24pm

RJP1205

Sometimes people, for whatever reason (childhood trauma usually I would think) don't feel worthy of deep love. They want it, they crave it but when they are on the brink of having it, they find a way to screw it up because it frightens them (fear that it will be taken away at some point) or they don't feel they are worthy of it (incorrectly of course, but its engrained in them).
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