At the time of this album I didn’t know the meaning behind Purple Rain (the song). As a teenager, it had its simplistic meaning and I never delved beyond it. Years passed and I enjoyed the song with the same understanding. That is, until a coworker shared Prince’s intent behind the song:
When there’s blood in the sky – red and blue= purple… purple rain pertains to the end of the world and being with the one you love and letting your faith/god guide you through the purple rain.
I’m 95% positive I’m late to this realization. While I can appreciate part of that sentiment, where does that leave a music loving atheist or, in my case, agnostic? I mean, I’m happy that Prince’s music led him to religion or vice versa, but it’s become a bit of a quandary for me as it doesn’t lead me in the same direction. I can completely empathize with the desire to be with the one you love at the end of days, but it doesn’t go beyond that to some mystical being leading me/us to death and beyond.
I suppose all I can do is appreciate the artistry and pageantry of the song and concert. Somehow that just doesn’t seem enough for me… as if I owe it more… something. Also, I may be alone in this, but although the song runs over the 19 minute mark, it still feels short to me as though he still had more that he wanted to express through the communion with his guitar.