Diamonds and Pearls and Acrobats and Children

Thanks to a childhood without MTV or a general knowledge of Prince beyond Purple Rain, I first saw the video for "Diamonds and Pearls" just a few days ago. And wow, do I have questions.

First off, full credit to my pal Danit for finding the video and texting it to me on Wednesday, because I probably would have forgotten our conversation about it if she hadn't. Since then, I've watched it at least five more times and I can't get the song out of my head. 

If you haven't experienced the joy and confusion that this video summons, have at it (and soon, because knowing the internet's reputation with Prince videos, it might disappear):

Unlike my last post about a music video, I don't have questions about one person in "Diamonds and Pearls," but more of a general question about what the hell is going on here. There seem to be three general themes:

  • Sexy times in a sexy, barely-furnished mansion
  • Acrobatic dance party out on some nice steps
  • Hanging out in a kindergarten(?) class

I get the sense that these were pitched as separate ideas, but then the producer — or maybe Prince himself? — was like, "yeah, sounds good, let's mash all three of those together!" And so, Prince and Rosie Gaines — his passionate, bedazzled-headband-wearing supporting vocalist — sing and groove their way through all three worlds. 

Wikipedia, knower of all things, says that the song "is an expression of love and not lust," so I guess that's why they juxtaposed Prince caressing a lady in a bodysuit with him singing to children but... I still feel confused. Why hang out with little kids at all? And why in black in white? Did we go back in time? Is this a Citizen Kane thing?

Despite all my questions, there are still some beautiful moments, like:

When you remember how tiny Prince was (also, hi, weird ladies in the back!):

This dancer doing her best Kate Bush:

This guy:

These guys:

Rosie singing to children who look politely confused:

Also, because I couldn't properly capture them in GIF form, please go back to minute 2:35 and watch Prince casually bounce off a couch and do a split, then go to minute 3:12 and watch him do a full spin before he sits down in the tiny child's chair. WHAT.

I hope this changes your life the way it changed mine. And if you can provide any answers to the artistic concept behind this video, please, please do.

Because all I can do is offer you my looo-ooove.