"When Doves Cry" as written by and Prince Rogers Nelson....
Dig if you will the picture
Of you and I engaged in a kiss
The sweat of your body covers me
Can you my darling
Can you picture this?

Dream, if you can, a courtyard
An ocean of violets in bloom
Animals strike curious poses
They feel the heat
The heat between me and you

How can you just leave me standing?
Alone in a world that's so cold (so cold)
Maybe I'm just too demanding
Maybe I'm just like my father, too bold
Maybe you're just like my mother
She's never satisfied (she's never satisfied)
Why do we scream at each other?
This is what it sounds like
When doves cry

Touch if you will my stomach
Feel how it trembles inside
You've got the butterflies all tied up
Don't make me chase you
Even doves have pride

How could you just leave me standing?
Alone in a world so cold? (world so cold)
Maybe I'm just too demanding
Maybe I'm just like my father, too bold
Maybe you're just like my mother
She's never satisfied (she's never satisfied)
Why do we scream at each other?
This is what it sounds like
When doves cry

How can you just leave me standing?
Alone in a world that's so cold? (a world that's so cold)
Maybe I'm just too demanding (maybe, maybe I'm like my father)
Maybe I'm just like my father too bold (ya know he's too bold)
Maybe you're just like my mother (maybe you're just like my mother)
She's never satisfied (she's never, never satisfied)
Why do we scream at each other? (why do we scream, why)
This is what it sounds like
When doves cry
When doves cry (doves cry, doves cry)
When doves cry (doves cry, doves cry)

Don't cry (don't cry)


Lyrics submitted by Novartza

"When Doves Cry" as written by Prince Rogers Nelson

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

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When Doves Cry song meanings
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26 Comments

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  • +6
    My InterpretationThe scene opens with a couple engaged in more than a passionate kiss. Animals observe but do not pass judgment ( a recurring motif in Prince’s lyrics) for the creative act is in harmony with the natural world. Violets symbolize delicate love and certain purity, and also can be symbolic of early death. This scene foreshadows the deterioration of the pure passionate love celebrated by the players.
    When the flush of passion fades, we’re left with the reality of what we are when we are not loving another purely. The union of “us” breaks apart, and we’re left with two individuals with different expectations. He demands what she cannot deliver, she resents not getting what she expected, and so they lash out at each other. Neither can conceive that the expectation is unrealistic, so neither can back down. Pride trumps love.
    The speaker cries “how can you do this to me?” not recognizing that he’s doing it to her, too. There is almost an acceptance: it’s how my parents did it, now it’s how I do it.

    “When does cry” is a euphemism for “when love dies.”
    msp201on October 18, 2014   Link
  • +5
    General CommentA song of 2 lovebirds perfect for each other, finding temselves in a nightmare, of hurt hate and jeulousy gone wrong... this is what it sounds like, when doves cry.
    Rob_98443on February 08, 2002   Link
  • +5
    General Commentwhen doves cry... it's a really sad metaphor when you think about it... something so beautiful that represents peace is mourning... a perfect love is destroyed... at least that's how i take it to mean.
    x_emobangs_xon May 28, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThere's a quote about "When Doves Cry" from Bennett The Sage's Top 20 Best Number One Songs that I agree with "Sure the subject about a relationship on the rocks isn't new territory but, Prince takes it a whole new direction. Instead of laying the blame squarely on himself or her he approaches it as a means of self examination, and show a level of maturely that is sadly lacking in music in general, not just in pop music"
    OtakuZero52on April 13, 2015   Link
  • +1
    General CommentA very awesome song and my favourite song by Prince. In the film for Purple Rain, Prince's parents fight lots and his relationship with Apollonia is becoming very similar to theirs. Basically the song is talking about how a couple's relationship is going bad and how it's just like their parents bad relationship. It was also really good and meaningful in Romeo and Juliet.
    River Wolfon May 04, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about inheriting the worst qualities of your parents. Prince wanted a song for a particular scene in the movie, and he quickly threw something together. That "throwing together" turned out to be an amazing song.
    jordanson June 16, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHe's saying that no matter how much he hates it, he ended up like his parents, in personality and the fact that he hurt the person he loves.

    Purple Rain has hands down the best soundtrack ever.
    devilchild8389on October 30, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love this song also.

    From purple rain, as devilchild said, now matter how much he hates it he ends up like his parents, but i think the difference is that prince uses his musical talent and succeeds and is able to change the way of his father who didnt make it.

    I love it because its just got a fantastic meaning to it.
    mikhailvon December 23, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commenta couple that abuse each other :( but in Romeo&Juliet it was just 2 people in love and the mixed bullshit around them. beautiful song.
    dark_eyez_666on November 09, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWell at first glance at the lyrics and when you are kind of just listening to it on the radio or ipod or whatever it seems like things are good at first then are bad. Violets flowers mean in flower language faithfullness but that is only the dream part so maybe they are not faithful to each other. But it makes sense for the feel of purple rain which is about abusing women. It is sort of the abusive "honey moon period" cycle where the male character is saying I can give you all of this hot passion and when we get together it is just going to be crazy hot and passionate. He talks about his partner and he as a sort of Adam and Eve where everyone including animals cans see their animalistic sensual attraction to each other.
    Then it turns kind of cold he you realize the first two stanzas are about a dream sort of world but what is actually there is just two bickering people. he is not really seeing the woman before him he much rather see this sort of dream woman who is constantly waiting for a dream world not the real woman. Perhaps suggesting that man and women not just his parents are always in the same situation men are always too bold and women want more. Also it the male character is very egotistical saying that you know I think you are pretty but I am a dove and I am not going to chase you around-- you need to come to me. The male character in the song seems rather hurt and has too much pride to invest in pursuing this woman he so clearly wants and he actually holds it against the woman. He thinks it sad that it cannot be that way but he does not ever invest in the relationship so how can this situation change.
    freshmegamixon November 28, 2009   Link

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