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Thread started 05/31/18 11:43pm

TrivialPursuit

Now he's doing horse - it's June

Let's have some appreciation for "Sign O The Times", the song. Its sparse arrangement, its lore of being a Sunday recording (like "God", etc.), and discussing major social and political issues in the late 80s.


Oh yeah!

In France, a skinny man died of a BIG disease with a little name
By chance his girlfriend came across a needle and soon she did the same
At home there are 17-year-old boys and their idea of fun
Is being in a gang called The Disciples
High on crack and totin' a machine gun

Time
Times

Hurricane Annie ripped the ceiling of a church and killed everyone inside
U turn on the telly and every other story is tellin' U somebody died
A sister killed her baby cuz she couldn't afford 2 feed it
And yet we're sending people 2 the moon
In September, my cousin tried reefer 4 the very first time
Now he's doing horse - it's June

Times
Times


It's silly, no?
When a rocket ship explodes and everybody still wants 2 fly
But some say a man ain't happy unless a man truly dies
Oh why?


Time
Time


Baby make a speech, Star Wars fly
Neighbors just shine it on
But if a night falls and a bomb falls
Will anybody see The Dawn?


Time
Times


Is it silly, no?
When a rocket blows and.. and everybody still wants 2 fly
Some say a man ain't happy truly until a man truly dies
Oh why, oh why?
Sign "O" the times


Time
Time


Sign "O" the times mess with your mind
Hurry before it's 2 late
Let's fall in love, get married, have a baby
We'll call him Nate
If it's a boy


Time
Times

Times
Time


R-133251-1237010632.jpeg.jpg

[Edited 6/1/18 8:17am]

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #1 posted 06/01/18 12:05am

LaurenceNoonan

I love the song, the best version I've heard is the version from the Sign 'O' The Times concert film. However, I also love the studio version and the song is probably one of Prince's most iconic songs from one of his greatest albums.
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Reply #2 posted 06/01/18 12:08am

LaurenceNoonan

I also remember hearing that the song was one of the first songs that spoke about Aids. "In France, a skinny man died of a BIG disease with a little name."
[Edited 6/1/18 0:10am]
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Reply #3 posted 06/01/18 12:59am

Lovejunky

avatar

Love the crunchy opening and the clever Lyrics...

Nina Simone covered SOTT,

but no body do it like Prince can...

“LOVE IS THE MASTERPLAN”
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Reply #4 posted 06/01/18 2:18am

BartVanHemelen

avatar

TrivialPursuit said:

Let's have some appreciation for "Sign O The Times", the song. It's sparse arrangement, it's lore of being a Sunday recording (like "God", etc.), and discussing major social and political issues in the late 80s.

.

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/apostrophe . You'd think a native speaker would know this.

© Bart Van Hemelen
This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties, and confers no rights.
It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
your use. All rights reserved.
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Reply #5 posted 06/01/18 2:42am

mattj

Lovejunky said:

Love the crunchy opening and the clever Lyrics...

Nina Simone covered SOTT,

but no body do it like Prince can...

Simple Minds did a great cover

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nE0tdzPY0w

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Reply #6 posted 06/01/18 4:23am

TheKid94

avatar

I agree, any live rendition of '87 is the shit. I love the guitar solo that bleeds into the lead line 👌👌👌
[Edited 6/1/18 4:25am]
prince
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Reply #7 posted 06/01/18 8:18am

TrivialPursuit

BartVanHemelen said:

TrivialPursuit said:

Let's have some appreciation for "Sign O The Times", the song. It's sparse arrangement, it's lore of being a Sunday recording (like "God", etc.), and discussing major social and political issues in the late 80s.

.

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/apostrophe . You'd think a native speaker would know this.


You'd think by now you'd realize just how worthless you are, Bert. But apparently not just yet, eh?

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #8 posted 06/01/18 12:11pm

PeteSilas

Lovejunky said:

Love the crunchy opening and the clever Lyrics...

Nina Simone covered SOTT,

but no body do it like Prince can...

i heard that, it was kinda funny to me, the generational differences in accent and pronunciation in the black community was evident to me, she sounded like foghorn leghorn. Prince likewise sounded similarly foolish when he tried to use some of the kids' jargon on one of his later songs "club full of thots". Nina is bad that's no diss in any way, just a case of a song not fitting.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #9 posted 06/01/18 3:49pm

giorgio

The funky minimalism, the lyrics, the sparse guitar - pure genius!
BTW: Have you heard this Dub Cover/Rework?

https://youtu.be/7YZKEcf0s3w
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Reply #10 posted 06/01/18 7:21pm

TrivialPursuit

So tonight, I am working on final tweaks of my book. I decided to have Alexa play my Prince station on Pandora.

Don't you know the first song played was "Sign O the Times"!


This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #11 posted 06/03/18 8:56pm

206Michelle

It's consistently my favourite track off of SOTT; utterly brilliant! It's such a funky, danceable track with really profound, socially concious lyrics, but it works perfectly.

Live 4 Love ~ Love is God, God is love, Girls and boys love God above
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Reply #12 posted 06/03/18 9:02pm

purplerabbitho
le

I hate to be morbid but I can't help it. When P sings SOTT during the Montreux 13 performance he doesn't sing the "horse" part...He goes " In September my cousin tried reefer for the very first time
Now he's doing...(instrumental)."

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Reply #13 posted 06/03/18 9:05pm

206Michelle

purplerabbithole said:

I hate to be morbid but I can't help it. When P sings SOTT during the Montreux 13 performance he doesn't sing the "horse" part...He goes " In September my cousin tried reefer for the very first time
Now he's doing...(instrumental)."

When he said "horse" in SOTT, was he referring to heroin? (I was born in 1986, so I have no idea if horse was actually used as a name for a drug back then.)

Live 4 Love ~ Love is God, God is love, Girls and boys love God above
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Reply #14 posted 06/03/18 9:10pm

paraded

The original is a major work, but after thousands of listens, the February 1987 rehearsal version is even more fascinating to me. I really like the sparse, industrial sound he uses. And it begins with a blistering guitar solo.

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Reply #15 posted 06/03/18 9:43pm

ISaidLifeIsJus
tAGame

avatar

206Michelle said:

purplerabbithole said:

I hate to be morbid but I can't help it. When P sings SOTT during the Montreux 13 performance he doesn't sing the "horse" part...He goes " In September my cousin tried reefer for the very first time
Now he's doing...(instrumental)."

When he said "horse" in SOTT, was he referring to heroin? (I was born in 1986, so I have no idea if horse was actually used as a name for a drug back then.)

Yes, Michelle, Horse = Heroin

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Reply #16 posted 06/03/18 10:23pm

TrivialPursuit

206Michelle said:

purplerabbithole said:

I hate to be morbid but I can't help it. When P sings SOTT during the Montreux 13 performance he doesn't sing the "horse" part...He goes " In September my cousin tried reefer for the very first time
Now he's doing...(instrumental)."

When he said "horse" in SOTT, was he referring to heroin? (I was born in 1986, so I have no idea if horse was actually used as a name for a drug back then.)


Yes.
There are a lot of references in the song that are specific. There was a discussion on it last year I think. I forget who people said the HIV line was about but it wasn't Rock Hudson (I had always assumed it was). The "rock ship explode" is an obvious nod to the Challenger disaster.

But yes, horse is a word for heroin. H, smack, junk, and brown are others.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #17 posted 06/03/18 11:50pm

benni

I'm watching the movie right now. Just logged on to the org, and the first non-stickified thread is this one! I've always loved the song Sign O The Times. (Cat just knocked every one out. Beautiful night, y'all say it.)

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Reply #18 posted 06/04/18 3:16am

jaawwnn

avatar

BartVanHemelen said:

TrivialPursuit said:

Let's have some appreciation for "Sign O The Times", the song. It's sparse arrangement, it's lore of being a Sunday recording (like "God", etc.), and discussing major social and political issues in the late 80s.

.

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/apostrophe . You'd think a native speaker would know this.

Believe me, as a native speaker we are more likely to not know our grammar, it's all intuitive learning.

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Reply #19 posted 06/04/18 5:33am

mediumdry

I love the song and the lyrics certainly sound heartfelt. It's a shame that they make Prince look very dumb. Not only does he subscribe to the disproven notion that reefer is a gateway drug, he also thinks that the technology to get a rocket into space and an airplane into the air are related.

.

As much as he comes across as bright, he sure has held some dumb believes (even excluding religion), with a lot of conspiracy thinking and right-wing talking points.

.

Still, great song. I once heard David Ryan Harris play a funk version while he was doing a soundcheck. Best version I ever heard...

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Reply #20 posted 06/04/18 7:02am

poppys

There is a lot of truth in that line. It chills me to read it even now. I lived in the lower east side of Manhattan years before it was rebranded as the East Village by the real estate industry. Good looking well dressed people of all stripes and colors would show up on the corner holding their briefcases while copping dope.

Six weeks later the same people are literally laying by the sidewalk near a vacant lot with a syringe visible in their arm. They leave it in there and re-boost after the first nod. It was terrifying to see.

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Reply #21 posted 06/04/18 11:28am

PeteSilas

mediumdry said:

I love the song and the lyrics certainly sound heartfelt. It's a shame that they make Prince look very dumb. Not only does he subscribe to the disproven notion that reefer is a gateway drug, he also thinks that the technology to get a rocket into space and an airplane into the air are related.

.

As much as he comes across as bright, he sure has held some dumb believes (even excluding religion), with a lot of conspiracy thinking and right-wing talking points.

.

Still, great song. I once heard David Ryan Harris play a funk version while he was doing a soundcheck. Best version I ever heard...

when did he try to correlate the skyrocket/airplane technology? I'll look at the lyrics to check it. oh, i see, the "everybody still wants to fly"? line? i always assumed it meant everyone still wants to go forward with the space program. Maybe he was also insinuating that with all the poverty issues in the US that it was silly to put so much money into pointless space ventures when there are real problems here.

[Edited 6/4/18 11:31am]

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #22 posted 06/04/18 5:17pm

Lovejunky

avatar

PeteSilas said:

mediumdry said:

I love the song and the lyrics certainly sound heartfelt. It's a shame that they make Prince look very dumb. Not only does he subscribe to the disproven notion that reefer is a gateway drug, he also thinks that the technology to get a rocket into space and an airplane into the air are related.

.

As much as he comes across as bright, he sure has held some dumb believes (even excluding religion), with a lot of conspiracy thinking and right-wing talking points.

.

Still, great song. I once heard David Ryan Harris play a funk version while he was doing a soundcheck. Best version I ever heard...

when did he try to correlate the skyrocket/airplane technology? I'll look at the lyrics to check it. oh, i see, the "everybody still wants to fly"? line? i always assumed it meant everyone still wants to go forward with the space program. Maybe he was also insinuating that with all the poverty issues in the US that it was silly to put so much money into pointless space ventures when there are real problems here.

[Edited 6/4/18 11:31am]

yeahthat

“LOVE IS THE MASTERPLAN”
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Reply #23 posted 06/04/18 5:24pm

luvsexy4all

giorgio said:

The funky minimalism, the lyrics, the sparse guitar - pure genius! BTW: Have you heard this Dub Cover/Rework? https://youtu.be/7YZKEcf0s3w

wtf...scary jamacian horror shit

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Reply #24 posted 06/04/18 6:18pm

williamb610

I wish I could make my guitar sound like P's does on Sign O' the Times. I wish I knew if he had a blues overdrive or something to that effect.

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Reply #25 posted 06/05/18 4:04am

CherryMoon57

'A sister killed her baby cuz she couldn't afford 2 feed it
And yet we're sending people 2 the moon'

I like how he managed to include so much in just two lines: the correlation between abortion and poverty, combined with the second verse, illustrates how millions do not have their basic needs met while millions are being spent on interests so remote from humanity itself.

There is also a great imagery: the parallel between the round belly of a mother and the moon, spiritual symbol of fertility, life and death.

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Reply #26 posted 06/05/18 4:40am

mediumdry

Lovejunky said:

PeteSilas said:

when did he try to correlate the skyrocket/airplane technology? I'll look at the lyrics to check it. oh, i see, the "everybody still wants to fly"? line? i always assumed it meant everyone still wants to go forward with the space program. Maybe he was also insinuating that with all the poverty issues in the US that it was silly to put so much money into pointless space ventures when there are real problems here.

[Edited 6/4/18 11:31am]

yeahthat

.

that would be plausible, had he not added "some say men ain't happy truly, until men truly die".

.

I see no other reading than "rockets blow up, airplanes probably too".

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Reply #27 posted 06/05/18 4:49am

mediumdry

poppys said:

There is a lot of truth in that line. It chills me to read it even now. I lived in the lower east side of Manhattan years before it was rebranded as the East Village by the real estate industry. Good looking well dressed people of all stripes and colors would show up on the corner holding their briefcases while copping dope.

Six weeks later the same people are literally laying by the sidewalk near a vacant lot with a syringe visible in their arm. They leave it in there and re-boost after the first nod. It was terrifying to see.

.

Pointing to the few that go from one drug to the next does not prove anything. After watching a documentary about lottery winners you might think you have a chance of winning one too. (you're more likely to be hit by lightning)

.

Decades of research have shown that the "gateway drug" myth is just that, a myth. Of course, if you decriminalize softdrugs, even less people move on to harddrugs. Although in the US, they'd have to do something about how doctors are reimbursed to stop the madness that utlimately also killed Prince. The entire war on drugs in the US has been responsible for turning so many to drugs, it's insane.

.

On an unrelated note.. how come you remember people that walk in your neighbourhood after 6 weeks? That's pretty impressive and quite uncommon. And even Prince gave the process 9 months as opposed to your 6 weeks.

.

Please don't keep feeding this myth...

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Reply #28 posted 06/05/18 4:58am

mediumdry

CherryMoon57 said:

'A sister killed her baby cuz she couldn't afford 2 feed it
And yet we're sending people 2 the moon'

I like how he managed to include so much in just two lines: the correlation between abortion and poverty, combined with the second verse, illustrates how millions do not have their basic needs met while millions are being spent on interests so remote from humanity itself.

There is also a great imagery: the parallel between the round belly of a mother and the moon, spiritual symbol of fertility, life and death.

.

I'm thinking you have an overinflated sense of just how much is spent on space travel, relative to what is needed for fighting poverty.

.

And the two aren't even that related. It really is quite simple, give people protection against companies (unions, strict rules against random firings, etc), take commerce out of medicine (a single payers system, free for all, with good GPs as a first barrier), tax those that take insane amounts of money relative to the work they do (don't tell me an investment banker works 5000+ times that which a factory worker, cleaner or teacher does) and invest in free education.

.

Sending people to the moon (the moon program had ended quite a while before 1987, by the way) is something that costs a lot of money, but if humanity wants to have any hope of surviving, we will need to invest more heavily in space travel, it's the only way off of this temporary rock.

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Reply #29 posted 06/05/18 6:33am

poppys

mediumdry said:

poppys said:

There is a lot of truth in that line. It chills me to read it even now. I lived in the lower east side of Manhattan years before it was rebranded as the East Village by the real estate industry. Good looking well dressed people of all stripes and colors would show up on the corner holding their briefcases while copping dope.

Six weeks later the same people are literally laying by the sidewalk near a vacant lot with a syringe visible in their arm. They leave it in there and re-boost after the first nod. It was terrifying to see.

.

Pointing to the few that go from one drug to the next does not prove anything. After watching a documentary about lottery winners you might think you have a chance of winning one too. (you're more likely to be hit by lightning)

.

Decades of research have shown that the "gateway drug" myth is just that, a myth. Of course, if you decriminalize softdrugs, even less people move on to harddrugs. Although in the US, they'd have to do something about how doctors are reimbursed to stop the madness that utlimately also killed Prince. The entire war on drugs in the US has been responsible for turning so many to drugs, it's insane.

.

On an unrelated note.. how come you remember people that walk in your neighbourhood after 6 weeks? That's pretty impressive and quite uncommon. And even Prince gave the process 9 months as opposed to your 6 weeks.

.

Please don't keep feeding this myth...


I am not feeding anything.

I was commenting on the OP's title - Now he's doing horse - it's June - re heroin addiction. I have no idea if the people I saw fall quickly into heroin addiction used weed first, I'm not against weed by the way. This is a real thing that was happening in my NYC neighborhood the same time as this album.

Alphabet City in the '80s was a designated open drug market, the other was Harlem, that is a documented fact. Dealers worked out of abandoned buildings. I lived there and watched it happen in real time. The same people came back to the source looking worse day after day, they had no choice. Not hard to pick em out. Do you know anything about heroin addiction? Because I do.

[Edited 6/5/18 6:36am]

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