As the 62nd anniversary of Prince’s birth approached, I thought about how to honor that. Since he is one of the people who has inspired me most in life, I had to ponder it. I decided to approach it from the perspective of what he did best: music. And how, what he did best impacted me. So, I came up with 7 Prince songs that connected to my life.
When I first saw the video for “1999,” I was into the rock music that my older brothers and sisters listened to. I was in the middle of a David Bowie obsession, and, then, a man in a purple trench coat came on the screen. The object of my obsession changed that instant.
2. “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World”
At a time when I didn’t feel like the most beautiful girl in the world, one of the lowest points of my life, Prince reminded me I wasn’t so worthless after all. His ex-wife, Mayte Garcia said in her memoir that he intended to honor all women with that song. Not only did he honor this one, he elevated her when she needed it.
3. “Let’s Go Crazy”
Only Prince could talk about God and the Devil and still make it funky. The guitar riff in this song mesmerizes me to this day. If I ever get on stage and play guitar, I will be moving my hips the way he did in this song.
One of Prince's bandmates talked about how Prince produced the chorus of this song. He sang it multiple times back to back, singing it differently each time. Then, he layered the tracks together. When I heard that, I was in awe of his dedication and talent. It made me want to be that dedicated and talented at something.
5. “Sexy M.F.”
This song from the Love Symbol Album reminds me of my college days in the dorms when I would blast this song from my CD boombox. My friends would walk passed my room and hear me singing along to, “Sexy muthafucka shakin’ that ass! Shakin’ that ass! Shakin’ that ass!”
6. “The Arms of Orion”
Orion is my favorite constellation. It’s the only one I immediately recognize and always gave me hope during dreary Pennsylvania winters. "The arms of Orion, that's where I want to be." When I hear him sing that, I smile to think that's where he wanted to be, too.
Nobody could write a love song like Prince. He knew it, too. “If God one day struck me blind, your beauty I’d still see. Love’s 2 weak 2 define just what you mean to me.” My 13-year-old self swooned when I heard that line. Who doesn’t want someone to say that to them and mean it?
Too many of Prince's songs impacted me to list here. I am as grateful for his inspiration today as I was when I first heard him. May you find that kind of inspiration, too.
Until next time... look behind and beyond the veil...
Sameena K. Mughal, Author, Freelance Writer