The “liquid” meaning of Purple rain

«When there’s blood in the sky, red and blue goes to purple… Purple rain pertains to the end of the world and being with the one you love and letting your faith/god guide you through the purple rain».

Prince used this words to describe the Purple Rain,  few words,  not enough to uniquely define the meaning of the expression Purple Rain. The story is roughly the same: in 1983, Prince returns to his home in Minneapolis after touring the album 1999 and prepares to make his first concert at club first Avenue. Meanwhile his retinue had risen and in his head he had begun to think of a screenplay about his life/career, within which to introduce the songs of his new album, among which was the song that would then give the title to the film. Purple Rain released on June 25, 1984 for Warner Bros. Records, and is the first job for which Prince makes use of a studio band, Prince and the Revolution, whose name will be retained in the film version. Prince plays the role of his alter ego Kid, an egocentric and controversial character, with great potential, but unable to work synchronously with other musicians. He constantly discusses with the girls in his band, as well as with rival bands, while private life is no better. Parents often argue and the father, in anger and frustration at having failed as a musician and as a husband, beats his mother. In All this he meets Apollonia, aspiring singer and between the two is born a reciprocal attraction. In the couple’s relationship, the Kid discovers a part of himself that makes him similar to his father and that causes Apollonia to move away and accept the offer to sing for the rival band.

The notes of Purple rain overlook timidly during the various scenes, in the form of a cassette tape that Kid/prince tries several times to listen, then interrupted. He is a song written by the girls de The Revolution for him, but that until the end refuses to sing. Everything is going to wreck, career, sentimental and family life that ends in tragedy, with a gunshot left at the height of yet another quarrel, and that reduces the father in the end of life.

Being in front of the misfortune, reveals himself as a shock in the head of Kid, puts in front of him an aberrant scene in which he sees materialize his greatest fear: to make the same end of the parents. Face to face with the worst nightmares, after having vented the anger and put the cellar down, finds the sheet music of his father and in a state of discovered lucidity, realizes that it is still in time to reverse the course.    He sits on the piano and puts back on the cassette tape; Purple Rain finally takes life in full desolation, like a light in the deepest darkness, like a flower in the midst of the most arid rocks. For the Kid is the last chance to save his career, he knows that he can disappear or be reborn and there are no middle streets allowed. Purple rain is ready, and so are the other members of The Revolution and the First Avenue audience. Before beginning, the Kid declares he wants to dedicate that piece to his father and decides to do justice to the girls of the band, marking the role of author. The music starts and the audience is mesmerized by a shower of emotions. The sequel we know, an overwhelming and legendary success, transformed into reality, in an Oscar won for the best Original soundtrack and millions of copies sold in the United States and the rest of the world.

However, what is this purple rain, no one has certainty and everyone keeps asking it from that far 1984. Reading and researching in my turn an answer, I found many and disparate, all plausible, but no certain and incontrovertible. What could really mean to Prince, I think we will never know, but the point is the emotion that inspires in each of us listening to Purple rain. The Purple Rain can take a thousand forms and embody as many moods; It can represent the tears after a disappointment, after a fatigue and the last legs for the barrel received; It can become the freedom to close your eyes and let go, letting your emotions flow, intimate, pure, uncontainable like the rain that falls and flows in rivulets on the ground; It may be the story of a beautiful love story or a manifest of excuses, if you dwell on what the text suggests, but anyway, the beauty of Purple rain, resides in the liquid consistency of its interpretation, which, like the liquid, naturally assumes the features of its container. Those containers are us, each unique, each different.

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