independent and unofficial
Prince fan community site
Fri 15th Nov 2019 12:55pm
Welcome! Sign up or enter username and password to remember me
Forum jump
Forums > Prince: Music and More > Around the World in a Day - Lyrical Analysis
« Previous topic  Next topic »
  New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
Author

Tweet     Share

Message
Thread started 01/24/15 11:51am

LikeAHornyPony
Would69

avatar

Around the World in a Day - Lyrical Analysis

Hi everybody. This album is somewhat infamous and was met with confusion after Purple Rain. People also often write off Prince's lyrics as the "weakest" element of his music. I think it's crucial to understand Prince never wanted to be a poet like Bob Dylan -- he's a storyteller, with Prince the character as the central character and narrator. His career is a large story, and my lyrical anaylsis of Around the World in a Day as a turning point in the "novel". Here are my thoughts.

Around the World in a Day – Prince has been confirmed as a messianic character you should listen to previously in Purple Rain; in this song he is asking you to open your mind and heart to be able to join him on a journey to spiritual enlightenment . The symbol of purple and electricity are often euphemisms for God in his work, and he says there are 2 places in ur mind

The former is red, white and blue – your country; a land on Earth
The latter is purple, come on and climb – The latter AKA the “Ladder” to salvation is following Prince/God

Prince is asking you to fuse these two places in your mind to make a Heaven or Utopia on Earth

And like the rest of the album, loneliness and the feeling of isolation is highlighted, with the utopia he is proposing as the alternative to that isolation.

Paisley Park – In this song Prince acknowledges that, to make this utopia, it requires people to change on an INDIVIDUAL level and find peace within themselves first. This requires forgiveness & understanding. If U have inner peace U won’t be lonely.

Condition of the Heart – In this song Prince is addressing feelings of loneliness he has which show a more human side to him. He is less shamanistic in this song and more reflective on his own feelings of loneliness, as well as fake ways to happiness such as money, which will be touched on more in Pop Life.

Raspberry Beret - This song seems like a pretty shallow pop ditty, and though it isn’t terribly deep it sheds more light on Prince as a character. His head is always in the clouds, thinking about the heavenly instead of the earthly, and sexuality is also this aspect of the heavenly. Sexual energy is the meeting in the middle between the real world and the spiritual world.

Tamborine – Prince fantasizes about Utopia in the first two songs, and in this song he is fantasizing about an abstract sexual feeling. He has to stay alone and play his tamborine, which isn’t enough to complete the fantasy. Because Prince keeps asking WHY about the tamborine, why are you the star of my dreams, why am I alone, etc., it puts the first 2 songs in a new light. It makes him question the whole idea of Utopia. He is wondering why people aren’t fulfilling this fantasy. He settles for being alone at the end of the song and making this fantasy by himself- functioning like an individual fantasy like Paisley Park, rather than actual human connection. This is considered a toss-off track by many, but lyrically it wraps up the whole flesh VS soul, fantasy VS reality, and Connection VS Isolation themes in Prince’s work. Lyrically the centerpiece of Around the World in a Day.

America – This track harkens back to the first track’s mention of red, white and blue. It brings the listener back to reality. So in the first track, when he mentions “red, white and blue” and the “Latter is purple” (ladder is purple) he is referring to the songs “America” and “The Ladder” respectively. This song could be construed as strangely patriotic, but taking into account Prince’s request to fuse the “red, white and blue” with the purple, he wants us to be able to pledge allegiance to SOMETHING to be able to make this utopia real. If you are “too cool” to pledge allegiance to anything we will be destined for annihilation. He wants us to pledge allegiance to the IDEAL America, the Utopia, the one that values Freedom, Love, Joy and Peace.

Pop Life – This song focuses on a lot of earthly pleasures which still leave a person feeling a void. These substitutes for real connection or enlightenment won’t lead you to the ladder, they will only end up isolating you. This song is very earthly compared to the fantastical and impressionistic nature of some of the earlier songs. It, along with America, provides a more Earthly warning.

The Ladder – In this song Prince goes ahead and makes the ideological leap in saying spiritual salvation is more important than sex. However, he still uses suggestive language in describing this salvation. He says a feeling of self worth will “caress U” and the “love of God’s creation will undress U’. It won’t be easy, but the reward is great and you will no longer be lonely.

Temptation – in this song Prince says “everyone on this Earth has got a vice”. He listed off some of them in Pop Life, and he mentions that his vice is sexual. It brings Prince back down to Earth after the heavenly atmosphere of “The Ladder”. The ending is a bit cheesy, but it signifies a turning point in the “story” of Prince. Without it he would’ve still been promoting sex as a way to communicate with the cosmic divine. Now he knows that feeling is love, and sex, like the other vices mentioned in pop life, are not adequate substitutions for the true inner peace that you must find to be able to make Utopia on earth.

When Prince said “You’re gonna have to fight your own damn war, cos we don’t wanna fight no more” in “Partyup” he was talking about Individuals reclaiming their own souls, finding their Paisley Parks so we can reach Utopia and not fight each other anymore; to have real peace on earth. Purple Rain was establishing Prince as a messianic character, while Around the World in a Day is delivering on that message from “Partyup”. Purple Rain was a loud noise to gain our attention, and Around the World in a Day was part of the sermon.

Musically, it may not be as strong as Purple Rain, but it holds its own place in the Prince “story” that makes perfect sense.

For these reasons, Around the World in a Day is not as “slap dash” or messy album as some people say—though musically disparate, it’s actually one of the most coherent statements Prince has made. Even the album cover perfectly communicates the message, with all the characters looking somewhat withdrawn or lonely or off kilter even though they are in a "fantastical" environment. It benefits from being read as part of the Prince "story" and the lyrics as part of much larger picture.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #1 posted 01/24/15 1:03pm

thedance

avatar

Brilliant album, I just love this pop-psychadelic-album DEEPLY......


worship

[Edited 1/24/15 13:04pm]

Prince 4Ever. heart
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #2 posted 01/26/15 4:10am

ThomasBjj

Interesting take on the album.

Most of what you said makes sense. I'm not sure if everything was planned out to have those meanings, though. I have a feeling that sometimes we fans read a little bit more into some songs and make connections that were never intended, but by chance happen to fit. And I think Prince likes that, for us to interpret his music in our own way, and create our own meaning. I also think the opposite is true... that sometimes he puts meaning and connections into his songs and we fans and the general public totally miss it, or don't get it.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #3 posted 01/27/15 8:48am

LikeAHornyPony
Would69

avatar

ThomasBjj said:

Interesting take on the album.

Most of what you said makes sense. I'm not sure if everything was planned out to have those meanings, though. I have a feeling that sometimes we fans read a little bit more into some songs and make connections that were never intended, but by chance happen to fit. And I think Prince likes that, for us to interpret his music in our own way, and create our own meaning. I also think the opposite is true... that sometimes he puts meaning and connections into his songs and we fans and the general public totally miss it, or don't get it.

I totally agree -- I don't think he always plans out these meanings, but I think he treated his career arc as a story, so sometimes the choices he makes later affect those in the past, such as my connection of the lyric in "Partyup" with themes in Around the World in a Day. That's why I treat his musical career & life story as a Novel -- usually authors don't expect them to be read in one particular way (unless you're John Grisham)

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #4 posted 01/28/15 6:16am

Javi

A very interesting lyrical analysis. I think Prince is at his best lyrically on this album, and even musically, were it not for the weak rock of "America" and the noisy and directionless "Temptation". But the lyrics are great, loneliness and spiritual redemption at the heart of most of them.

---

Thank you for writing this post. You won't get many answers, many people here prefer simpler (which usually means more sexual) stuff. But you've made a phenomenal effort. Particularly with "Tambourine", which people often refer to simply as a "song about masturbation", when it's actually much more than that.

---

Hopefully there'll be more contributions to this thread.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #5 posted 02/05/15 11:19pm

ashynevermind

uh, Tamborine=vagina, sorry, not very deep, or maybe it is, depending on the chick...

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #6 posted 02/05/15 11:22pm

ashynevermind

uh, Tamborine=vagina, sorry, not very deep, or maybe it is, depending on the chick...

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #7 posted 02/06/15 10:17am

LikeAHornyPony
Would69

avatar

ashynevermind said:

uh, Tamborine=vagina, sorry, not very deep, or maybe it is, depending on the chick...

I'm analyzing things in the context of his career and the albums themes. The more you isolate a song from its context, of course the less meaning it will carry.

Tamborine, what are you? (I think he knows what a vagina is...so I think this line is affirming the inherent abstractness of sexuality)
Why are you the star of all my dreams?
(Star of all my dreams, are you a good tamborine?)
Are you good? Are you bad?
Are you just unnecessary means?

It fits in with "Temptation", and this period in his career, as he is questioning sexuality on an intrinsic level.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #8 posted 02/06/15 12:27pm

novabrkr

I thought it was about traveling around the world in a day.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #9 posted 02/09/15 5:25am

jcurley

I think it is only recently that Prince has been accused as being a weak lyricist. In the 80s n longer he wants abrlliant lyricist with little competition. When doves cry,etc even stuff like another lonely Xmas. Genius.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #10 posted 02/09/15 6:29am

appleseed

red white and blue mixed make purple.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #11 posted 02/09/15 1:17pm

LikeAHornyPony
Would69

avatar

appleseed said:

red white and blue mixed make purple.



I think Prince is a bit smarter than to only mean to educate us on how mixing colors works...
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #12 posted 02/09/15 11:00pm

econtinental

avatar

All this from an author called "Like a Horny Pony Would 69?" Who wrote this pseudo, imaginary, introspecitve-non-introspective *bullshit shit, shit, shit, lyric analysis? This shit doesn't need any analysis. This whole album is as straight forward as they come. Around the World In a Day is about "speedy travel," Paisley Park is a "recording studio," Tamborine means pussy, Raspberry Beret is "headwear," Temptation is just that, and so on and so on. This is one of those rare times when you can actually judge an albums list of songs exactly by its cover (except for Lisa holding that violin, I still don't have thtt one figured out) but for everything else, its as clear as day (pun intended..........or maybe it wasn't intended but it just sounds like it was).

So, deciphering "Around the World In a Day" is not a problem for anyone but deciphering the real meaning of one's moniker, now that's what the people want to know. Like a Pony, you first, cause I don't have a clue.

*Note: Bullshit, shit, shit shit is just a play on words from the song "Strange Relationship" which nobody knows if he's saying "relationship, ship, ship, ship" or "relationship shit, shit, shit." I will say it may deserve some lyrical analysis but I think both phrases could be correct for arguments sake.

Why settle for a star?
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #13 posted 02/10/15 1:25am

DeeLucks72

so profanity is allowed on this site, but asking questions about movies is prohibited?

hmmm.

sounds hypocritical, if u ask me...

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #14 posted 02/10/15 5:40am

LikeAHornyPony
Would69

avatar

econtinental said:

All this from an author called "Like a Horny Pony Would 69?" Who wrote this pseudo, imaginary, introspecitve-non-introspective *bullshit shit, shit, shit, lyric analysis? This shit doesn't need any analysis. This whole album is as straight forward as they come. Around the World In a Day is about "speedy travel," Paisley Park is a "recording studio," Tamborine means pussy, Raspberry Beret is "headwear," Temptation is just that, and so on and so on. This is one of those rare times when you can actually judge an albums list of songs exactly by its cover (except for Lisa holding that violin, I still don't have thtt one figured out) but for everything else, its as clear as day (pun intended.....or maybe it wasn't intended but it just sounds like it was).



So, deciphering "Around the World In a Day" is not a problem for anyone but deciphering the real meaning of one's moniker, now that's what the people want to know. Like a Pony, you first, cause I don't have a clue.




*Note: Bullshit, shit, shit shit is just a play on words from the song "Strange Relationship" which nobody knows if he's saying "relationship, ship, ship, ship" or "relationship shit, shit, shit." I will say it may deserve some lyrical analysis but I think both phrases could be correct for arguments sake.



Someone forgot to take their "plus" sign today. My name is pretty simple. "Rock ur body like a horny pony would" + the numbers 69 since the name was taken. The real question is why u wanna poison the world with negative energy. Excuse me for believing.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #15 posted 02/10/15 6:05am

Javi

econtinental said:

All this from an author called "Like a Horny Pony Would 69?" Who wrote this pseudo, imaginary, introspecitve-non-introspective *bullshit shit, shit, shit, lyric analysis? This shit doesn't need any analysis. This whole album is as straight forward as they come. Around the World In a Day is about "speedy travel," Paisley Park is a "recording studio," Tamborine means pussy, Raspberry Beret is "headwear," Temptation is just that, and so on and so on. This is one of those rare times when you can actually judge an albums list of songs exactly by its cover (except for Lisa holding that violin, I still don't have thtt one figured out) but for everything else, its as clear as day (pun intended..........or maybe it wasn't intended but it just sounds like it was).

So, deciphering "Around the World In a Day" is not a problem for anyone but deciphering the real meaning of one's moniker, now that's what the people want to know. Like a Pony, you first, cause I don't have a clue.

*Note: Bullshit, shit, shit shit is just a play on words from the song "Strange Relationship" which nobody knows if he's saying "relationship, ship, ship, ship" or "relationship shit, shit, shit." I will say it may deserve some lyrical analysis but I think both phrases could be correct for arguments sake.

You seem happy to see Prince as a moron. No, he isn't. But go on, many Prince fans are with you on this issue.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #16 posted 02/10/15 6:27am

Scotsman1999

Around The World In A Day is not a straightforward album. It contains nuances that, granted, some fans won't appreciate or take the time to ponder but there's alot of potential for analysis and conjecture amongst fans.

My World 2.0 by Justin Bieber is a straightforward album.

"I'm much too hot to be cool"
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #17 posted 02/10/15 9:09pm

econtinental

avatar

LikeAHornyPonyWould69 said:

econtinental said:

All this from an author called "Like a Horny Pony Would 69?" Who wrote this pseudo, imaginary, introspecitve-non-introspective *bullshit shit, shit, shit, lyric analysis? This shit doesn't need any analysis. This whole album is as straight forward as they come. Around the World In a Day is about "speedy travel," Paisley Park is a "recording studio," Tamborine means pussy, Raspberry Beret is "headwear," Temptation is just that, and so on and so on. This is one of those rare times when you can actually judge an albums list of songs exactly by its cover (except for Lisa holding that violin, I still don't have thtt one figured out) but for everything else, its as clear as day (pun intended..........or maybe it wasn't intended but it just sounds like it was).

So, deciphering "Around the World In a Day" is not a problem for anyone but deciphering the real meaning of one's moniker, now that's what the people want to know. Like a Pony, you first, cause I don't have a clue.

*Note: Bullshit, shit, shit shit is just a play on words from the song "Strange Relationship" which nobody knows if he's saying "relationship, ship, ship, ship" or "relationship shit, shit, shit." I will say it may deserve some lyrical analysis but I think both phrases could be correct for arguments sake.

Someone forgot to take their "plus" sign today. My name is pretty simple. "Rock ur body like a horny pony would" + the numbers 69 since the name was taken. The real question is why u wanna poison the world with negative energy. Excuse me for believing.

To be honest you're right, I should have just critiqued your analysis without the personal assualt, so my bad for that and it's all good. I still stand by my comments regarding the albums straight forwardness nature, but having different opinions is what its all about. Also, I don't know if this was lost in translation but I do enjoy the album as it showed P's creativity going in any direction as it was released right after PR.

As for the econtinental, 1. It's the continental, its the main thang; 2. That all so elusive E-Class Continental I wish they would finally come out with.

Pony, have a great day.

Why settle for a star?
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
  New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
« Previous topic  Next topic »
Forums > Prince: Music and More > Around the World in a Day - Lyrical Analysis