Prince and the Revolution – “Let’s Go Crazy” Lyrics Meaning

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Written By Joanna Landrum

Joanna holds a BSc in English Literature and uses her expertise in literary analysis to uncover the deeper meaning of her favorite songs.

Prince and the Revolution’s “Let’s Go Crazy” is a vivid portrayal of life’s fleeting nature and the urge to live it fully. The song calls for embracing the present, challenging societal norms, and searching for personal freedom. Amidst its energetic tunes and electric vibes, it’s an anthem urging listeners to dance through life’s challenges and not let the “elevator” bring them down. The “elevator” symbolizes life’s downfalls, while the repeated urging to “go crazy” celebrates individuality and the spirit of rebellion.

Ever wondered why Prince wanted to “look for the purple banana”? Let’s find out.

“Let’s Go Crazy” Lyrics Meaning

The opening lines, “Dearly beloved, We are gathered here today, To get through this thing called life,” immediately sets the tone. Life is a journey; we’re all in it together, searching for meaning and purpose.

With the lines, “Electric word life, It means forever and that’s a mighty long time,” Prince juxtaposes the transitory nature of life with the concept of eternity. He suggests that while life is short, the afterlife – “The after world” – offers eternal happiness, where “You can always see the sun.”

The song also addresses societal expectations and pressures. The “shrink in Beverly Hills” represents our quest for answers and healing. Yet, instead of wondering about life’s duration, Prince emphasizes the importance of mental freedom, urging, “Ask him how much of your mind, baby.”

The chorus is where the song truly shines. “And if the elevator tries to bring you down, Go crazy, punch a higher floor,” is a call to defy adversity. When life becomes challenging, change your perspective, and seek a higher ground. This idea is further enhanced by the phrase “Look for the purple banana,” possibly a metaphor for seeking uniqueness or a euphoric escape from reality.

Interactions with friends and loved ones are highlighted as well. Life is unpredictable, as depicted by the phone-dropping incident, suggesting that we should cherish our relationships while we still can.

Prince’s exuberant plea, “Let’s go crazy, Let’s get nuts,” serves as both a call to action and a statement of his philosophy. Embrace the wild, unpredictable nature of existence and live every moment.

The Story Behind “Let’s Go Crazy”

By the time Prince and the Revolution released “Let’s Go Crazy” in 1984, Prince had already solidified his reputation as an avant-garde artist, constantly pushing boundaries both musically and thematically.

Drawing inspiration from his own struggles and experiences, Prince often tackled deep topics. In this song, he confronts the dualities of life and afterlife, freedom and confinement, and joy and despair. At its core, “Let’s Go Crazy” is a carpe diem anthem—seize the day.

It’s important to consider the broader context of the 1980s. With societal norms being increasingly questioned and redefined, many felt trapped by the expectations set upon them. Prince, ever the rebel, often advocated for breaking free from these chains. The song’s energetic and carefree tone serves as a musical representation of this liberation.

Furthermore, Prince’s personal beliefs also play a role. Known to have been a devout Jehovah’s Witness, Prince believed in an afterlife—a paradise Earth where the righteous would live forever. This belief seeps into the lyrics, suggesting an eternal realm of happiness as contrasted with the trials and tribulations of the current life.

“Let’s Go Crazy” encapsulates Prince’s view on life, spirituality, and the need for individual expression. Through its pulsating beats and profound lyrics, Prince invites everyone to join him in a dance of life, embracing its chaos, beauty, and fleeting nature.