Saturday, 18 June 2011

Nothing Compares

Nothing Compares To You is a song written by Prince in the 1980s, though it never had much publicity then as it was never released as a single. When Irish singer Sinéad O'Connor recorded it as a single, however, it took off and gained her global fame. I think we need to take a look at the lyrics and discuss their meaning, as there is so much hidden meaning.

Please carry on to the end of this. Its interesting quality increases as you read on.

It's been seven hours and fifteen days
since you took your love away.
I go out every night and sleep all day
since you took your love away.
Since you've been gone I can do whatever I want.
I can see whomever I choose.
I can eat my dinner in a fancy restaurant,
But nothing
I said nothing can take away these blues,

'Cause nothing compares,
nothing compares to you.

It's been so lonely without you here,
like a bird without a song.
Nothing can stop these lonely tears from falling.
Tell me baby where did I go wrong?
I could put my arms round every boy I see,
but they'd only remind me of you.
I went to the doctor guess what he told me,
guess what he told me.
He said girl you better try to have fun
no matter what you do,
but he's a fool.

'Cause nothing compares
nothing compares to you.

All the flowers that you planted, mama,
in the backyard
all died when you went away.
I know that living with you, baby, was sometimes hard,
but I'm willing to give it another try.

Nothing compares
Nothing compares to you (3x) 

You read these lyrics and, assumedly, you link it to a harrowing tale of love and the loss of it. The fact that only a fortnight has passed since the departure (whether over death's boundary or just out of the singer's life) of the beloved means that the pain is all the more evident. On the topic of death or break-up, I would say that is up to the listener to decide for themselves. "Where did I go wrong?" could mean what did the singer do to deserve sudden self-willed desertion of the loved one, or it could mean 'what have I done to deserve this?' in some sort of karma-esque manner, as in the partner has died. I really don't know.

Perhaps this lover even had a bad effect on the singer. The fact that now he or she can go wherever he or she wants signifies a potential restriction of free will, yet the addressee is still a preciously loved one. That's loyal love for you.

It is particularly confusing when the singer says he or she is "willing to give it another try". Then you think: 'oh so the lover's not dead?' Because when the singer mentions the doctor, we assume it is due to a case of depression.



Prince wrote this song about cigarettes.

Isn't that wonderful? I love eccentricity. Perhaps Sinéad O'Connor sang this about the loss of a loved one, but it was on BBC Radio 2 the other day that Prince had indeed written this song about his love of cigarettes.

Priceless. Do leave a comment below if this twist of events humoured you as much as it did me.

Enjoy the respective performances of Prince and Sinéad O'Connor below:

By Jess


  1. Well hello there! In your blog post did you use the information from some studies or here are fully your exclusive reflections? Waiting forward to hear your answer.

  2. According to another artcile "Prince wrote "Nothing Compares 2 U" about bandmate Wendy Melvoin's sister Susannah Melvoin, a song that became famous when Sinead O'Connor covered it. "

  3. I don't know how a cigarette would plant flowers in the backyard though..

    1. It says 'All the flowers that you planted, mama...' (mama, not cigarettes)

  4. I was told it was about cigaretts as well

  5. “He wasn’t living with anyone, but he was a young man writing about domesticity. The line ‘all the flowers that you planted in my back yard went out and died’… it would have been Sandy who planted those flowers. ‘And I know that living with me baby is sometimes hard, but I’m willing to give it another try…’ There was no romantic relationship with Sandy. It’s not a pained ‘Help me, baby’ track. It’s: ‘You’re gone and I miss you,’ which is probably why he felt comfortable giving the song away to the Family. He released his material based on what he wanted us to know about him and, wonderful as it is, he didn’t want it to represent him.”

    It’s about a friendship he had with someone.

  6. So still what's the whole meaning of this song