Tuesday, August 6, 2013

On Raspberry Berets



I was obsessed with music when I was a kid.  Well, I still am.  But, back then, all I cared about were the lyrics.  I needed to understand songs.  And I found Prince's lyrics extremely confusing. I looooved Prince and also, I didn't get Prince at all.  Prince was a puzzle.  Like, in "1999," he sings, "I was dreaming when I wrote this." How did he write a song while he was dreaming? Was he, like, a sleepwalker?  Sleepwriter? That one bugged me for ages.  The worst, though, was "Raspberry Beret." (If you're an alien or a teenager and don't know this song, watch the sexy sexy video above.)  I would listen to "Raspberry Beret" over and over again trying to figure out exactly what happened.  If I could've sat Prince down back then, I would've had a lot of questions for him.  (In my head, he's sitting in a spotlight, cross-legged on a purple throne while I grill him. I am wearing a powder blue tutu.)

So, here you go, Prince.  10-year-old me has some things she'd like to say to you regarding your awesome hit song, "Raspberry Beret."

I was working part time in a five-and-dime/ My boss was Mr. McGee
HA! Funny name. My teachers all have boring names.

He told me several times that he didn't like my kind/ Cause I was a bit too leisurely
RUUUDE!  

Seems that I was busy doing something close to nothing/ But different than the day before
You're so cool, Prince.

That's when I saw her, ooh, I saw her/ She walked in through the out door, out door
So, you liked it that she walked in the out door?  Why?  Isn't that bad?  Wouldn't she be messing up the flow of traffic? If I walk in the out door will boys like me?

 She wore a raspberry beret/ The kind you find in a second hand store
Did the beret look like a raspberry?  Was it just raspberry colored?  Oooh, or was it, like, yellow, with little raspberries all over it?  Also, do second hand stores sell lots of fruit hats?  

And if it was warm she wouldn't wear much more
What?!! Oh like if her head gets hot, she'll take it off?  Or maybe when summer comes, she'll have to stop wearing her cool hat?  

She wore a raspberry beret/ I think I love her
BUT WHY?!  BECAUSE OF HER CRAZY FRUIT HAT?

Built like she was/ She had the nerve to ask me/ If I planned to do her any harm
I have no clue what any of this means but it makes me feel SUPER WEIRD, PRINCE.

So, look here/ I put her on the back of my bike/ And-a we went riding/ Down by Old Man Johnson's farm
You just LEFT WORK?  No wonder Mr. McGee hates you.  I could never leave school.  Adults are sooooooo lucky.

I said now, overcast days never turned me on/ But something about the clouds and her mixed
What?  Why?  Is she sad?  Is it because of her hat?

She wasn't too bright/ But I could tell when she kissed me/ She knew how to get her kicks
If she's dumb, WHY ARE YOU DATING HER?!!!  Did you kiss with your tongue? How did you kiss while you're riding a motorcycle, was it like in Grease 2 when Stephanie rides the wrong way?  That's dangerous!  WHAT ARE KICKS?!

The rain sounds so cool when it hits the barn roof/ And the horses wonder who you are/ Thunder drowns out what the lightning sees /You feel like a movie star
WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW THERE ARE HORSES AND MOVIE STARS?!  I LOVE HORSES AND MOVIE STARS!!

Listen they say the first time ain't the greatest/ But I tell ya/ If I had the chance to do it all again
First time at what? Second chance at what?  Kissing?  Horses?  This is soooo confusing!!!

I wouldn't change a stroke/ Cause baby I'm the most/ With a girl as fine as she was then
Stroke what MOST WHAT? Is she not fine anymore?!  What happened to her?  Did she take her hat off, did she go in the IN DOOR, what are you saying?  WHY DO I EVEN LIKE THIS SONG?  Basically, you like a girl in a fruit hat -WHO THINKS YOU'RE GOING TO HURT HER, BY THE WAY-  because she walks in the wrong door so you put her on your motorcycle and kiss her and then horses appear and then you're the most?  Ugh, Prince, ugh. 

20-something years later, I still want a raspberry beret, whatever that means.  I still want to be the girl who walks in the out door.  But, I'm glad I got that off my10-year-old chest.  Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to listen to the Prince station on Pandora and put a tutu on my dog.