When Doves Cry

Prince Drawing by golfiscool

cover art Prince Drawing by golfiscool

How can you leave me standing. Alone in a world that’s so cold. Maybe I’m just too demanding. Or maybe I’m just like my father, too bold. Or maybe you’re just like my Mother. She’s never satisfied. Why do we scream at each other? This is what it sounds like when doves cry.  – When Doves Cry, Purple Rain, Prince, 1984


When Doves Cry by the late great Prince.



When Doves Cry
written & edited by Kendall F. Person

In 1984, a recording artist from Minneapolis by the name of Prince Rogers Nelson would completely take over.  He started slowly, with a song titled I Wanna Be Your Lover, which was new and different and fresh and would begin an odyssey of a performance artist named Prince. Although, there would be plenty of great songs that followed, no one will argue, even the most hardcore Prince fan who owns dozens of his albums, that When Doves Cry from the surprise blockbuster film Purple Rain, his aura would match that of Michael Jackson, who at that time, ruled the world.

Performance Art – in its most traditional definition – is spoken in reference to fine art or the theater or Shakespeare-like performances in the park, avant garde, if you will. But words and phrases often evolve or widen, becoming more inclusive, offering a greater variety. Performance Art derives from the imagination, and takes shape within the soul of the artist. And when the idea springs outward as a song or a dance or a motion picture or an essay, in the most spectacular occasions, it becomes more than those words, it becomes a performance.

Prior to the arrival of MTV and the music video, the true measure of an artist, was their stage presence, live and in concert. And in 1985, in Long Beach California, I was in the audience of a sold out arena to see Prince in person, and not only did he not disappoint, but he delivered  a roof-raising, stand and deliver shouting, show-stopping performance, that I would remember for decades after.

Prince would call his own shots. He would change his name, and ultimately pull all his music from the internet,  if that was what it took to have it his way with the mind-boggling library of music he wrote, composed, performed and played nearly every instrument on nearly every song.

Prince was an extraordinarily successful entertainer, but to him, he was an artists and he felt every one of his creations. And yes, sometimes, at the expense of the fans that loved him, but how could we find fault with him?

Defining ourselves as performance artists, does not mean we are making a living at our craft, but of course that is a goal. It does not mean that we walk in a singular, non-inclusive  circle. Nor does it mean we ever retire, as after we are students (which never ends) we should pass on our knowledge, through teaching or sharing or continuing to entertain.

I have never met Prince, nor have I ever seen an in-depth interview, where I felt like I learn something about him. And although he has been lambasted in both music circles and the press, his near self-vanishing act, seems exactly like another Prince performance. But when you are planning or designing or living your imaginative world, always remember, that the  art we have been gifted with, ultimately serves two purposes: It is our contribution to the world, our signature that we were here; and more pressing, as performers, we are here to entertain.

So what does it sound like When Doves Cry? The brilliancy of the prose, laid over a groundbreaking beat made it a number one song. But I imagine, that the real sound of doves crying is silence, from the voice of an artist who should be singing and sharing his wealth of songs.


Rest in Peace


Welcome to The Neighborhood


34 Comments on “When Doves Cry

  1. Can’t believe he passed away! My heart is so broken. He passed away 2 months after I had to put my dog down because she had Congestive Heart Failure. So with them both passing I’m slowly trying to repair myself. Will always love u Prince R.I.P

    Liked by 2 people

    • Prince had many fans that feel the same. I understand. And I am sorry to about your dog. Mine was named Chas. Thank you for adding your voice and for being in The Neighborhood.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so much. Your very sweet and that means a lot. My dad and dog passed a couple months apart from each other. This year hasn’t been a good one and my favorite singer ever passing was like u hear things come in 3’s 😢

        Liked by 2 people

  2. This is so beautifully written. 💜💜 I’m so glad it came up on my feed. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, ideas, and feelings about Prince’s work. There are so many videos on YouTube now, I’m actually overwhelmed with them. It’s so refreshing to see something positive that was written so much before he moved on to a higher plane. I have been blessed to see him live so many times over a period of 30+ years. I was also blessed enough to speak to him and share with him a gift that I made. I will truly miss the sunshine he brought into my life. I am grateful to have over 50 of the albums he released… ok and maybe a few he didn’t release. 😊 🎼 💜

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow. I must tell my old friend Charisse to stop in and read your words. She is the biggest Prince fan I have known or been acquainted with, until now (big smile). I knew he had a mind-boggling body of work and catalog, but I would have never imagined it was over 50 albums.Thank you for sharing your experiences here. i am so proud that such a big fan would enjoy my tribute to him so much. You are appreciaed. So good to have you in The Neighborhood. – KP p.s. Are you from the Twin Cities or did you meet him at a concert on the road? Just curious. Never met anyone who spoke with Prince

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’m glad to be in your neighborhood. I enjoy your stories. I live in New York. I first met Prince at Tower Records in Manhattan in 1994. He was giving autographs. I figured, in exchange, I would give him something I wrote. The second time I came face-to-face with him… well not actually face-to-face, since I’m 5’8″ 😂, but practically a foot apart, was on 6/17/06 at Butter Restaurant. He was performing there but, there was no stage. So there I was just standing there on the floor in front of him, uncomfortable and nervous. He made fun of me twice that night. Once for not realizing I was standing on his mic cord, and the second time for not being able to properly execute the 3121 hand signals he had the audience doing. But I had been a fan long enough to know his sense of humor. His loyal fans actually got to see a different Prince than the one the media presented. He had a wonderful sense of humor and would make fun of you at the drop of a dime, if he felt comfortable with you. It was an amazing ride and I never wanted to get off. ✨

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I was absolutely in love with Prince while I was in high school. I never stopped enjoying his music either. I found him odd at times, but loved his quiet and humble demeanor. I saw a few small interviews with him and was on the edge of my seat to listen to him since he so rarely spoke to the press. I wish I would have found a time and place to see him in person. Now, I will always regret that. He was a true artist on so many levels. The music world has lost a legend indeed.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: When Doves Cry — The Neighborhood | www.didyouhearpodcast.com didyouhearpodcast@gmail.com

  5. NoTHING compares to uuuuu! I have some of his vinyl! I mean, who didn’t buy a Prince album? I have heard some of his songs on internet radio. And I can always sing them myself!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. All I can say is (I Love Prince, and always will). He is a very talented and Beautiful man. There are really no words to express all the things I think and feel about him. Your blog was very well written.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I remember seeing Purple Rain and being so captivated by Prince. The music and images brought depth to the story in a dynamic way. I would have loved to see him perform in person!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Prince is a multi-talented performer. If we are channel surfing and come across “Purple Rain,” we will invariably stop to see some of the songs he performs. He also wrote songs for others.

    Liked by 3 people

    • It took me a moment to figure out what was going on. In some cases, the video still plays but no sound. Found a site in Asia that played the first 20 seconds of When Doves Cry then went silent. Only Prince. Got a love him.

      Liked by 1 person

      • When Dove Cry is one of the most lovely songs ever, genius! Purple Rain is right up there to. I was heartsick to find I could no longer get them here on youtube.com or anywhere else on line. Such a shame. I agree completely, Prince rocks!

        Liked by 2 people

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