I never realized before that the achingly beautiful phrase “an ocean of violets in bloom” from Princes’s song “When Doves Cry” is the dream landscape of my childhood. Nothing made me happier than a field of brilliantly purple wild violets. My father would mow over the field, much to my dismay, and they would resolutely grow back in short order, flouting his disregard like the delicate rebels they are. I would pick a bouquet for my mother and they would last perhaps an hour before they shrank to nothing, but they were a blaze of glorious purple while they lasted.
Prince’s music was an integral part of the soundtrack to my teen years. “Purple Rain” was the first rated R movie I ever saw, sneaking in with my older sister posing as my guardian. My friend and I would wash the family car while blasting the soundtrack to shock the neighbors (so we thought). I had a well-loved and often played copy of the song “Purple Rain” on a purple-colored vinyl single record. His song “1999” created a happy excitement for the approach of the second millennium for a whole generation of people.
Prince’s field of violets is a scene of seduction of course. Yet you can’t deny the innocence of violets, like Prince who didn’t swear or drink despite his sexy music and style of dress. I am saddened at the news of his passing. Like the violets he was gone too quickly and like them he will thrive and live on in a blaze of royal purple – his music.
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