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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Elevator Omen



I've been contemplating writing about Prince for a few days, but it's hard to put in words how much one person affected so many without making it sound like you're idolizing that person.  As a Christian, this is dangerous territory.  Especially as I see so many traumatized fans around the world filled with grief, who never really knew the artist formerly known as Prince.

However, people like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Prince live in our homes, ride with us in our cars, might be on our first date, or may be encouraging that first middle school dance with the boy or girl whom you've crushed on from afar.  We, fans, feel close to those who can sing about our innermost thoughts or who can sing something that takes us instantly back to a moment in time.  Music, and the artists, almost transport us to a happier place.  I get why some get so attached.

Especially since the songs of our youth are what shape us as individuals as we grow into ourselves - physically, emotionally, and mentally.  This is why it's so important that artists walk a fine line of expression while still understanding that what they say, sing, or do are being watched and listened to by impressionable minds and spirits.  That's a blog for another time, though.

The reason I'm writing today is that one of my most favorite songs, 'Lets Go Crazy', came on the radio and initially filled my heart with smile.  I have fond memories of bouncing on my friend's bed and running around her room singing that particular at the top of my lungs.  She and I went crazy playing it over and over - to which we finally drove her mother crazy and she shut us down.  It was such a sweet memory - for us (maybe not for her mom).

After reminiscing for a few moments, these haunting lyrics broke through:

Cause in this life
Things are much harder than in the after world
In this life
You're on your own
And if the elevator tries to bring you down
My happy memory quickly turned into a sad moment in time.  Prince was a great artist - one to be respected for his hard work, trend-setting, and revolutionary ideas about individuals.  He didn't believe that labels or that labels should define or own you.  He fought for artistic freedoms.  He crossed so many boundaries in the music and film industry that paved the way for others.  

It's still sad to think that the elevator finally broke him down.  He doesn't just reference the elevator in the opening of the song.  This lyric is woven into the theme or message of the entire body of work...  but now in this instance, it's more of an omen versus an artistic message.

R.I.P. PRINCE - you are missed.




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