"Sign O' The Times" as written by and Prince Rogers Nelson....
Oh yeah!
In France, a skinny man died of a big disease with a little name
By chance his girlfriend came across a needle and soon she did the same
At home there are seventeen-year-old boys and their idea of fun
Is being in a gang called 'The Disciples'
High on crack and totin' a machine gun

Time
Times

Hurricane Annie ripped the ceiling of a church and killed everyone inside
You turn on the telly and every other story is tellin' you somebody died
A sister killed her baby 'cause she couldn't afford to feed it
And yet we're sending people to the moon
In September, my cousin tried reefer for the very first time
Now he's doing horse, it's June, unh

Times
Times

It's silly, no?
When a rocket ship explodes and everybody still wants to fly
But some say a man ain't happy unless a man truly dies
Oh why?

Time
Time

Baby make a speech, Star Wars fly
Neighbors just shine it on
But if a night falls and a bomb falls
Will anybody see the dawn?

Time, mm
Times

Is it silly, no?
When a rocket blows and, and everybody still wants to fly
Some say man ain't happy truly until a man truly dies
Oh why, oh why?
Sign o' the times, unh

Time
Time

Sign o' the times mess with your mind
Hurry before it's too late
Let's fall in love, get married, have a baby
We'll call him Nate
If it's a boy

Time
Times


Lyrics submitted by Novartza

"Sign 'O' the Times" as written by Prince Rogers Nelson

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Sign O' The Times song meanings
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12 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentA great song with Prince viewing late 80s society as nearing the apocalypse. But the song is unfortunately still relevant (maybe even more so) today. The entire album is in my opinion a concept about late-80s life, when the good times died, finances hurt, people feared world war, and retreated into meaningless sex and drugs to try to escape. So, yeah, pretty much it's not that much different than 2007.

    The "big disease with a little name" is obviously AIDS, which at the time the song was written (1986) was still somewhat of a mystery due to it being so unexpected and people having problems distinguishing reality from myth on it. Must have been especially scary for our favorite sex addict Prince.

    The teenage Disciples gang refers to the Chicago-based Gangster Disciples gang, which reeked havoc on the city in the 80s and 90s, making Chicago the murder capitol of the US for a lot of years.

    The Rocket Ship exploding refers to the Challenger explosion where a schoolteacher who trained to be an astronaut died along with several others.

    "Baby make a speech, Star Wars fly" is talking about then-President Ronald Reagan and his Star Wars missile defense shield in outer space during the Cold War. It turned out to be a huge bluff, but possibly prevented nuclear war with Russia.

    The ending verse is just a wish to try to enjoy life while you can, and just ignore the bad times. A definite late-80s sign o' the times. Prince is a great lyricist when he wants to be. Unfortunately he spends most of his songs obsessing about sex. That's fine once in a while, but songs like this show he is way too talented to be so low brow all of the time.
    cmp744on December 22, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"Sister killed her baby 'cause she couldn't afford to feed it, And we're sending people to the moon"
    I think that line says it all. Prince is so under-rated as a musician and a songwriter, and this song is exhibit A.
    kickstart71on April 16, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdefinitly one of the best songs ever. It's very similar to Marvin Gaye's What's going on.
    sammmon March 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTotally agree sammm,princes finest song.
    endeavouron March 19, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgodly song
    rufiohaspanon August 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsocial commentry - to a beat and a guitar lick
    tenajion May 21, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGenius.
    such an accurate truthful depiction of our pitiful times
    even Mr. Bob Dylan couldn't have said it better.
    naivadaon August 17, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSine
    computerfaceon November 19, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionThis song has recently been cover by British rock gods Muse, whom I think did an amazing cover of it, you can find it on YouTube. I have heard rumors they were possibly going to.record it which would be awesome. They did it on the Radio 1 and on A French Night show. It's amazing....the trouble is I have been trying to find the Prince version of this song and I cannot find it. Can anyone tell me where I can find it? Every time I try to look it up it only brings up the album of the same name. Thanks in advance if anyone has any advice :-)
    youtube.com/…. OR antiquiet.com/news/2012/09/muse-covers-princes-sign-o-the-times-on-radio-1-live-lounge/
    musemadnesson October 15, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat are they going to do to that baby if it's not a boy? I can guess.
    digitalmanMKIIon March 14, 2014   Link

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