It’s rare that I write a post about a single song. However, there is a single song that has consumed my entire summer. It is called Raspberry Beret, and it is one of many excellent singles by the androgynous pop king, Prince. Why has a song from 1985 suddenly entranced a girl in 2012? Is it because it’s timeless? Or is it just that it has a great hook? Probably all of the above.
When I was growing up, Prince was not an uncommon background to daily home life. My parents had lived in Minneapolis for many years, and my mom had developed quite the liking for Prince. Because of this, I thought of Prince as “my parents music,” and nothing too special. I barely cast a thought towards Prince, until one day earlier this year when I heard Raspberry Beret on the radio. I turned it up. Then I turned it up some more. And then I immediately pulled out my phone and bought the single.
Many Prince-related musical purchases later, I can still safely say that Raspberry Beret is my favorite. It is my song of the summer. So much so that I even enjoy the almost 7 minute extended version, which I have included here for similarly obsessed weirdo fans. I must say, in its defense, that there is some excellent instrumentation in the extended version, and any music fan might enjoy it.
In the end, I think my love for Raspberry Beret stems from it’s complexities. On the surface, it’s a happy little pop song about a cute girl. But the opening hook never fails to take my breath away because there is such a fascinating strain of melancholy. The strings, which come back in to play several times, have such a hint of sadness. Perhaps the mysterious girl with the beret in more mystical than available. Perhaps she leaves him. While none of this is expressed, and thus purely my own projections and wonderings, but the emotion of the actual instruments leaves me with so many options. And that is why the excellent hook is tied in with the timelessness; because unlike most pop songs, it leaves you with questions.
:Prince – Raspberry Beret:
:Prince – Raspberry Beret (Extended Edition):