Music Monday: This is the Ballad of Dorothy Parker As Told By Prince

If you know me, then you must know that I am an avid fan of Prince. I have my sister to thank for my adoration towards him and his admirable music.

I grew up listening to Prince and the-insert-one-of-his-many-band-names-here. The Minneapolis sound could be heard in our house all the time: Sheila E., The Time, Jesse Johnson, The Family, and any other musician or band associated with Prince were always on heavy rotation. So when I say I am a fan, I’m not talking about only knowing his released singles. I can recall anything the man has done right down to the music he has produced for a plethora of artists.

When it comes to his music, the “Sign O’ the Times” LP album is easily in the top two, vying for the number one position with “Lovesexy.” For me, this album is a classic one because the sound isn’t particularly dated. The Ballad of Dorothy Parker, with its seductive bass pattern, is an exemplar of how Prince owns the title of being a mastermind of music and a genius at storytelling.

The song, sung in first person, is about a man who takes a break from a quarrel he’s had with his lover. He visits a local diner where he meets Dorothy Parker, a waitress with beauty and the wits to match. The two dally in their exchanges with one another before the temptation to cheat on his lover interrupts. The man makes a pass at Dorothy Parker, who pretends she is suddenly bewitched with blindness. The two laugh off the pass, and he returns back to his lover where he is able to overcome the fight by taking another bubble bath with his pants on.

Below are the lyrics to this 24-years-old, timeless song. (I can’t post a video of the song since the Purple One does not allow for any of his material to be distributed through the likes of YouTube.) The bars highlighted are my personal favorite lines of all time by any music artist.

This is the Ballad of Dorothy Parker. . .

Dorothy was a waitress on the promenade
She worked the night shift
Dishwater blonde, tall and fine
She got a lot of tips

Well, earlier I’d been talkin’ stuff
In a violent room

Fighting with lovers past
I needed someone with a quicker wit than mine
Dorothy was fast

Well, I ordered, “Yeah, let me get a fruit cocktail, I ain’t really hungry”
Dorothy laughed
She said, “Sound like a real man to me (kinda cute)
You’re kinda cute, you wanna take a bath?”
(do you want to, do you want to) “Bath?”
Oh, I said, “Cool, but I’m leaving my pants on (what you say)
’cause I’m kind of going with someone”

She said, “Sound like a real man to me
Mind if I turn on the radio?”
“Oh, my favorite song,” she said
And it was Joni singing, “Help me I think I’m falling (in love again)”

(Drring) The phone rang and she said
“Whoever’s calling can’t be as cute as you”
Right then and there I knew I was through
(Dorothy Parker was cool)
My pants were wet, they came off
But she didn’t see the movie
‘Cause she hadn’t read the book first
Instead she pretended she was blind
An affliction brought on by a witch’s curse

Dorothy made me laugh (ha ha)
I felt much better so I went back
To the violent room (tell us what you did)

Let me tell you what I did

I took another bubble bath
With my pants on
All the fighting stopped
Next time I’ll do it sooner

This is the ballad of Dorothy Parker

Dorothy Parker, Dorothy Parker, Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker, Dorothy Parker, Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker, Dorothy Parker

Source: Prince Rogers Nelson (giving credit where credit is due).

By the way, Dorothy Parker is actually a real person–an American poet who was known for her witty storytelling . . . much like Prince himself. Brilliant.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s