“Purple Rain” is a song about the end of the world. Prince himself said that the purple rain comes from the blue of the sky mixing with blood to form purple rain. The deeper meaning behind the song is that the listener is supposed to be with the person he loves during the apocalypse, buoyed by faith.

According to Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks, the song was supposed to be a country song and not a power ballad. Somehow, the meaning of “the end of the world” during the twang of a country song wouldn’t have made much sense. Nicks said that Prince offered her a chance to write the lyrics, but she begged off because she thought that it was too much of an overwhelming responsibility to do it.

Purple Rain’s Impact

The song has an undeniable social impact. Prince told the band that they were “making history” by recording it, and it took them a marathon six-hour recording session to map the song and get it ready for recording. Dez Dickerson described it as the kind of song that would affect people to the point that they would say, “I know where I was the moment I heard “Purple Rain.” The song has appeared in television shows and in movies. Other than its eponymous film appearance, it featured in “Black-ish” and “Some Kind of Wonderful.” Unfortunately, the single version is more than four minutes shorter than the full song, which lasts for 8:41 and features rock, gospel, and orchestral music.

Exceptional Guitar Solo Perfectly Compliments Lyrics

There is an urban legend about Eric Clapton and Prince. The story goes that, when asked by a British commentator, “Eric, what is it like to be the world’s best guitarist?” Clapton supposedly said, “I don’t know. Ask Prince.” While that’s a good story, it’s just not true. Clapton, however, was even more effusive when praising the late star. He referenced “Purple Rain” as an inspiration after having seen it in a Canadian movie theater. Clapton had been having a down period in his life, and he credited Prince with dragging him out of the doldrums.

Despite what has been described as “cartoonishness,” Prince has had the same effect on people as he had on Clapton back in 1984. Critic Anthony DeCurtis described the ending guitar solo, before the orchestral outro, as “astonishing” and noted that Prince’s foray into the end of the world generated an endorphin rush in him and also that it would probably engender the same effect in others.


I never meant to cause you any sorrow
I never meant to cause you any pain
I only wanted one time to see you laughing

I only want to see you laughing
In the purple rain

Purple rain, purple rain
Purple rain, purple rain
Purple rain, purple rain
I only want to see you bathing
In the purple rain

I never wanted to be your weekend lover
I only wanted to be some kind of friend, hey
Baby, I could never steal you from another
It’s such a shame our friendship had to end

Purple rain, purple rain
Purple rain, purple rain
Purple rain, purple rain
Only wanted to see you underneath the purple rain

Honey, I know, I know, I know times are changing
It’s time we all reach out for something new
That means you too
You say you want a leader
But you can’t seem to make up your mind

And I think you better close it
And let me guide you to the purple rain

Purple rain, purple rain, yeah
Purple rain, purple rain
If you know what I’m singing about up here
Come on, raise your hand
Purple rain, purple rain
I only want to see you
Only want to see you in the purple rain

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Prince Rogers Nelson

Purple Rain lyrics © Controversy Music

Listeners of music from the 1980’s, might also appreciate the song Hallelujah by Lronard Cohen.