Friday, April 10, 2020

Little Red Corvette: The Song and The Car

Released in 1982, "Little Red Corvette" was the second track on Prince's fifth album, 1999.

Back in 1982, I was a young guy driving the 1976 Corvette shown below, but, honestly, I don't remember thinking Prince was actually talking about an actual Corvette—of any of the (then) three generations—when I heard the song the first time.

All you had to do was pay attention to the song lyrics.

To me it was obvious he was talking about a promiscuous girl (or maybe a hooker) who had a "pocket full of horses, Trojan, some of them used." Ew!

Hey, that's how I understood that part of the song.



SO, THE SONG IS NOT ABOUT A CAR?

"Baby, you're much too fast." —Prince

According to Wikipedia...
Prince got the idea for the song when he dozed off in band member Lisa Coleman's 1964 pink Mercury Montclair Marauder after an exhausting all-night recording session. The lyrics came to him in bits and pieces during this and other catnaps. Eventually, he was able to finish it without sleeping.
And so a Mercury, of all things, seems to be the extent of a specific automotive "influence," if you can call it that. The rest of the car-related allusions could be nothing more than artistic license.


SO WHAT'S THE SONG ABOUT, THEN?

According to Jack Hamilton of Slate... (Bold text is mine).

"Prince was 24 when he recorded “Little Red Corvette,” and thirty-four years later it remains the greatest song about casual sex ever written."

He adds, "It’s unexpected, then, that what makes “Little Red Corvette” so great is how seriously it takes casual sex: It’s awash in ambivalence, vulnerability, and fear.

It’s not about sex as fun—or at least it’s not just about that, but rather about the entirety of the act: its physical, emotional, psychological, even spiritual dimensions.

And uniquely,
Little Red Corvette” isn’t really about anything other than sex."


WHY A "LITTLE" RED CORVETTE?

"All Corvettes are red. The rest are mistakes." —John Heinricy
Racecar Driver and Corvette Assistant Chief Engineer (Ret.)

But seriously, I have no clue as to why Prince chose the title or why he referred to the girl as "Little Red Corvette."

Was she a redhead? Sexy? Petite?

Okay, I do have my own theory as to what he was referring to, but I'll keep that opinion to myself.

At the start of the song, he says, "I guess I should've known by the way you parked your car sideways that it wouldn't last." I am not sure if he's talking about her careless attitude; or about some of those collector car owners who park sideways taking two parking spots instead of just one; or maybe a combination of the two.

If the latter, it would clearly indicate an attitude of "you can look, but don't touch... unless I say it's okay."

Or maybe he was just hinting at having casual sex in the back seat of a car, an impossibility in a factory-built Corvette.

Who knows. That's up for debate, but it's one of the many great lines of the song.

Like the "I'm gonna try to tame your little red love machine" line, which I'm going to leave up to you to interpret, although I'm pretty sure he was not talking about a tune-up.

"Little Red Corvette" was a great, naughty song.

And almost four decades later, it still is.

Thank you, Prince, for the great music.




LITTLE RED CORVETTE

Little Red Corvette
Songwriter: Prince Rogers Nelson
Lyrics Notice: EXPLICIT


I guess I should've known
By the way you parked your car sideways
That it wouldn't last
See you're the kinda person
That believes in makin' out once
Love 'em and leave 'em fast
I guess I must be dumb
'Cause you had a pocket full of horses
Trojan and some of them used
But it was Saturday night
I guess that makes it all right
And you say what have I got to lose?
And honey I say
Little red Corvette
Baby you're much too fast
Little red Corvette
You need a love that's gonna last
I guess I should've closed my eyes
When you drove me to the place
Where your horses run free
'Cause I felt a little ill
When I saw all the pictures
Of the jockeys that were there before me
Believe it or not
I started to worry
I wondered if I had enough class
But it was Saturday night
I guess that makes it all right
And you say, "Baby, have you got enough gas?"
Oh yeah
Little red Corvette
Baby you're much too fast, yes you are
Little red Corvette
You need to find a love that's gonna last, ah huh
A body like yours (A body like yours)
Oughta be in jail (Oughta be in jail)
'Cause it's on the verge of bein' obscene
('Cause it's on the verge of bein' obscene)
Move over baby (Move over baby)
Gimme the keys (Gimme the keys)
I'm gonna try to tame your little red love machine
(I'm gonna try to tame your little red love machine)
Little red Corvette
Baby you're much too fast
Little red Corvette
You need to find a love that's gonna last
Little red Corvette
Honey you got to slow down (Got to slow down)
Little red Corvette
'Cause if you don't you gonna run your
Little red Corvette right in the ground
Right down to the ground (Honey you got to slow down) you, you, you got to
Slow down (Little red Corvette) you're movin' much too fast
(Too fast) you need to find a love that's gonna last
Girl, you got an ass like I never seen
And the ride,
I say the ride is so smooth
You must be a limousine
Baby you're much too fast
Little red Corvette
You need a love, you need a love that's
That's gonna last
(Little red Corvette)
Babe you got to slow down (you got to slow down)
Little red Corvette
'Cause if you don't, 'cause if you don't,
You gonna run your body right into the ground (Right into the ground)

Of course, "Little Red Corvette" isn't the only song that's been misconstrued because of its title, as this MentalFloss article demonstrates. It's a great read and I was, actually, surprised by the "Born in the U.S.A." explanation.

Thank you for following my '76 Vette Blog!



Product Links... (#sponsored)

Little Red Corvette (Digital Download)
Let's Go Crazy (Digital Download)
1999 Single (Digital Download)
Delirious (Digital Download)

1999 | Deluxe Album (2 Compact Disks)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please share your thoughts.