"Prince Johnny" as written by and Anne Erin Clark....
Prince Johnny you're kind but you're not simple
By now I think I know the difference
You wanna be a son of someone

Remember the time we went and snorted
That piece of that berlin wall that you extorted
And we had such a laugh of it
Prostrate on my carpet

You traced that andes with your index
And brag of when and where and who you're going to bed next
Oh we're sons of someone's
Oh we're sons of someone's

I saw you pray to, oh oh oh oh oh, to make you a real boy
Saw you pray to oh oh oh oh oh, to make you a real boy

Prince Johnny you're kind but do be careful
By now I know just when to stand clear
When all your friends and acolytes
Holding court in bathroom stalls
Where you pray to, oh oh oh oh oh, to make you a real boy
Saw you pray to oh oh oh oh oh, to make you a real boy

But honey, don't mistake my affection
For another spit in penny style redemption.
Cause we're all sons of someone's
We're all sons of someone's
I'll mean more than I mean to you
I'll mean more than I meant to him

So I pray to, oh oh oh oh oh, to make me a real girl
So I pray to, oh oh oh oh oh, to make me a real girl
So I pray to, oh oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh oh, oh oh
Oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh oh

Lyrics submitted by j0nnynoname, edited by llscience, kreepmode, Ddevil701, pavelkomarov, lanicholas, ChipperSpiff, LouMusic

"Prince Johnny" as written by Anne Erin Clark


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Prince Johnny song meanings
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  • +6
    General CommentHe's a self-important person with a conquerors mentality that deep down is lost and a a liar. Like Pinocchio, deep down he thinks he's phony. She won't lower herself to being mistreated or not an equal, but deep down she's lost and wants to be important, i.e. treated like a princess. The Prince of a King = someone important in line for the throne. We're all sons of someones. . . But we self-loath and devalue others instead of loving ourselves and those around us. Translation = people with Mommy & Daddy issues that can't get by them and choose destruction instead.
    bohbohon February 28, 2014   Link
  • +4
    General CommentIt sounds like Prince Johnny is a pretentious, superfluous man preoccupied with his and everyone else's descendents. My guess is he's a wealthy and notable socialite given his life style.

    There are many illusions to him perceiving himself to be royalty. For example, he "holds court in bathroom stalls" and brags about all of the women or men that he conquered, who are always "sons of someone's". He extorted and then snorted a piece of the Berlin wall, which is ripe with historical significance. The Berlin wall was an important factor of the Cold War, but it didn't mean much to Prince Johnny, who put it up his nose along with the narrator (who has her doubts about him).

    The fact that Prince Johnny was capable of squandering a piece of the wall shows that he must be in a position of power. However, it seems like the narrator can see right through him. She knows that she has more meaning than what he sees in her. She even has more meaning that what her ex saw in her. This song ends on the note that the narrator is in a position of power over a man who is obsessed with it.

    However, both parties are desperately praying to be made into real people again, so perhaps wealth and power has gone to the narrators head as well after being with Prince Johnny.
    Ddevil701on April 16, 2014   Link
  • +4
    General CommentThis song is about a woman who is in love with a homosexual male that wishes he weren't gay.
    flemmingon April 28, 2014   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI'm guessing that the title and mentions of the Berlin Wall are referring to John F. Kennedy. Seeing as how my knowledge of the Cold War or JFK isn't fabulous I won't go any farther than that.
    mrwillyon February 12, 2014   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI think this song is about a fake, pretentious hipster guy that the singer hangs around, hoping that he actually cares about her or their relationship. Even though she knows that someone else will treat her better, she can't help but want to be around him anyway. The song also seems to hint that this "Johnny" guy is only really interesting after he does cocaine ('praying" in bathroom stalls to make him a "real boy" sounds like a thinly veiled metaphor for snorting cocaine off of a toilet seat, in the bathroom of a club or maybe a bar). Or else he's only fun to be around when he's drinking ("praying" could also be throwing up after having too much alcohol).

    Johnny and all of his friends feel "above" everyone else because they're rich, famous artsy types who think they can see beauty in ways that other people can't (hence, being "sons of somebody"-- they see themselves as more important than anyone else). In actuality, they're just a bunch of boring snobs who get high and sleep around with each other. From the outside looking in, it's probably a romantic, bohemian lifestyle, but now that the singer hangs around these people, she sees that other people are more genuine and will treat her better.

    Despite all of her observations about how everyone in her circle of friends (particularly "prince" Johnny, the leader of the pack) are just fake and disappointing, at the end of the song, she finds herself joining in "prayer" with the rest of them. It's an admission that even though she could do better, she still wants to feel like royalty with the rest of them. It's actually a very ironic, self-aware song about true friendship in young adulthood.
    zeeshineon January 17, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about gender identity and defying traditional gender roles. What it means to be a 'real boy' or a 'real girl'.
    musicbitchon December 23, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSt. VIncent speaks about the song here, a video titled "3voor12 Song Stories: St. Vincent - Prince Johnny". She says more about composition than meaning, but everything informs art and it's infinite interpretations.

    warmPhaseon June 08, 2016   Link

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