“Comeback” by Prince (1998)

“Comeback” might be the most emotionally vulnerable song in Prince’s catalog. It was written following the death of his son with Mayte Garcia, Amiir. I can’t fathom in a million years what it must be like to lose a child. I often think about how public their pregnancy was, how Prince felt so ready to make himself a family man, and how that all disappeared in the blink of an eye. It felt like such a heartfelt investment, too. I’m jaded and cynical, and I think a lot of celebrity pregnancies (and hell, a lot of non-celebrity pregnancies) are performative events. Prince appeared to be jumping whole hog into embracing fatherhood, and it makes me sad to think of how much differently his life could’ve turned out had the baby lived. Especially since so much of his later life (particularly his religious conversion) seems to stem from his looking for a spiritual reason for the loss of his child.

The one public statement he made (in typically vague Prince manner) was “Comeback”. Singing over a simple acoustic guitar strum, Prince’s falsetto is heartbreakingly mournful. He doesn’t address Amiir’s death directly, but sings about feeling someone’s spirit in the wind, losing someone dear to you, and how they will always be with you so long as you never say “they’re gone”. For obvious reasons, this song took on another life after Prince himself passed. It was one of the first songs I played when I got home the day his death was announced.

Go to that wordless moan right around the minute mark. Tears go here, indeed.

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