Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"Uncovering the Truth": The Meaning Behind Purple Rain

"Purple Rain" is not only one of my favorite Prince song, but also one of my favorite songs of all time. However, I have always wondered what the song's title meant. When I thought about it literally, it would be completely weird to see purple rain. I would think that I was high or on an LSD trip. Figuratively, the title has various meanings. According to Prince.org, Prince was asked about what he meant by "purple rain" and his reply was "the meaning is there if you look for it. We can sit all day and discuss them and argue the point, but all we will find is we all find something different that he tried to express." Mysterious as usual, Prince.

So, I have decided to put a compilation of possible meanings of the title. Rain can represent sadness (and tears), life's troubles, or fears and it can represent a type of cleansing. It could also be a pun for the word "reign." On the other hand, purple is associated with royalty, which connects to Prince's name, his royal purple wardrobe and the pun of "reign." Also, purple rain reminds me of the Jimi Hendrix song, "Purple Haze," which was making a reference to psychedelic drugs like Marijuana and LSD. Prince's music mixes psychedelic funk and rock together and hearkens back to artists like Jimi Hendrix. In that sense, purple can represent being high or spiritual.

If one puts these into different combinations, he or she will get a variety of meanings that all could be the meaning of the phrase at the same time. "Purple Rain" could be a spiritual cleansing, a "showering" of Prince's love, to let Prince be his loved one's protection and guide, to face life's problems or get through the pain through spiritual healing, or to be "showered" in something great (royal). All of these have basis in the movie, which was named after the song.

Those are my theories about "Purple Rain." You can make some guess on your own, but while you are doing that, enjoy the song!

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