The Healing Power of Prince
*** Orginally published May 2016***
I have a very wise friend who once told me, “There’s nothing a little Prince can’t fix.” I met her my freshman year in college and besides finding a roommate and a friend for life, I found a new appreciation for this musical master. I had heard of him, of course, but my meager knowledge was merely the tip of the iceberg. So she graciously took me under her wing, regaling me with facts, photos and an endless supply of music. By the time I graduated, not only had I earned a B.S. in Psychological Services, but a healthy appreciation for the brilliance of Prince.
When he passed away last month, the world lost a very talented and giving soul, but as my former roomie reminded me, we have his music to help us get through our sadness. Right after I hung up with her, I sat down and compiled a list of the songs which always seem to fix what ails me. It was substantially longer than the six I’ve listed below, but I thought you might appreciate a condensed version as you have places to go and people to see!
“Little Red Corvette”
When I’m in the car with the windows open, nothing makes me feel better than singing this classic from the top of my lungs. The melody is soothing, the lyrics are sensual and you can’t help but have a little swagger in your step once you reach your destination. I do, however, feel sorry for anyone in the immediate area while this song is playing. I love to sing, but my voice usually starts the dogs howling!
“I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man”
When I’m in the mood for dancing, nothing gets my booty shakin’ like this song. It’s actually rather sad if you listen to the lyrics, but it’s so catchy that you will most likely find yourself shakin’ right along with me. It was one of my later discoveries, but quickly became part of my Prince playlist. I found myself swept away by the addictive beat, the vocal harmonies and the masterful guitar solo. The depth of his talent never ceased to amaze me.
When I’ve had an exhausting day, I like to nestle into the couch with a blanket, close my eyes and listen to this song. Prince’s voice was so rich and beautiful, emotion pouring from every word he sang. The instrumental at the end often takes me off to dreamland for a few blissful minutes. When it’s time to resume my regular activities, I have a little Prince Zen to take with me.
When I feel O-L-D, I put on my headphones (little ears don’t need to hear about things like masturbation and grinding) and relive my younger days. Images of hair and makeup sessions, dance parties, strong drinks and stolen kisses fill my mind. When the song is over, I often call one of my college girlfriends and we reminisce about the days when we did crazy things. I may even get lost in a few of my old photo albums. It’s always a nice reminder of the past, which makes me appreciate where I am now even more.
When I feel overwhelmed by the giant amount of work I have to do, you’ll hear this gem blasting from my speakers. (During the school day, naturally, since I’m not ready to explain certain elements—okay, the entirety of the song—to my boys yet.) Once I’ve found my groove, I dance my way through whatever is on my task list. Memories of some of my best days make the chores seem far less tedious. I play the song on a loop and let the smile take over my face. It’s a bonus that this song brings my husband out of his work cave to dance with his wife for a few minutes.
“When Doves Cry”
This is, hands down, my favorite Prince song. I had a serious problem with understanding song lyrics when I was younger, so I thought he was singing about “the most strikerious poses,” though I never had the courage to ask anyone what this intriguing word meant. (Kids today don’t have these issues. The internet reveals all!) Ridiculous childhood misunderstanding aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this song every single time I heard it. The passage of time has only made me appreciate this musical treasure more—the combination of guitar, synthesizer and heartfelt vocals make this song the perfect package. No matter where I am or what kind of mood I’m in, if I hear the opening bars of this song, I will be singing it and I will feel better when it’s over!
Well, there you have it—my go-to songs to invoke the healing power of Prince. Sometimes I still find myself wondering how one person could have been so incredibly talented. The truth is, I will never know, but I will never stop being grateful for his contribution to this world.
Just in case you’re curious, here are the remaining four songs in my top ten:
“Alphabet Street” “I Would Die for You” “Seven” “Kiss”