Woo, this is a troubling song! It’s barely 90 seconds and if you ignore the words you’ll probably enjoy the hell out of it. Just pretend he’s speaking a different language and you’ll love it.
Now you have to know what he’s singing about, right? If you’ve never heard it and you’re actually reading this you must be thinking, “OK, what does he say that’s so bad?”
Look, this is not a Grover “There’s a Monster at the End of This Book” stunt. At some point very soon I’m going to analyze this song and once you know what he said, you can’t not know it anymore. I’m serious. Please stop now.
Still reading? OK. You were warned.
Dirty Mind is a fantastic album. I wish I was old enough in 1980 to live it when it was released. Prince walked up to the line of appropriate content at that time, gave it the finger, and walked about 100 miles past it. It’s glorious. “Head” is about exactly what you think it’s about, but in this case he’s receiving something from a virgin in a wedding dress and said dress ends up…soiled. “Do It All Night” is also about exactly what you think it’s about. The title track is actually pretty tame. Then near the back end of Side 2 when you’re still reeling from the absurd synth funk of “Head” he sneaks in “Sister.”
He opens the song with, “I was only 16 but I guess it’s no excuse. My sister was 32 lovely and loose.” Yikes. I know he was going for shock value on this album, but holy shit. He goes on for the next minute about how she taught him where to put it and how a blow job doesn’t really mean blow. OK. Good to know. Thanks? If this song is even remotely autobiographical (he did have a half-sister who was 32 when he was 16) that’s really messed up. As far as I can tell, he never truly confirmed or denied any of it.
Despite all that, “Sister” is an upbeat punk song. I’m always surprised by the guitar sound. It almost sounds like an electric guitar that’s not plugged in, if that’s possible. If you can look past the freaky shit he’s saying, it’s a cool song. You could also say it’s only 90 seconds between two amazing songs, “Head” and “Partyup.” It’s barely worth the effort it takes to hit the skip button and it’s definitely not worth getting up and moving the needle on your turntable. When you hear “Sister” just buckle up and get ready to feel wildly uncomfortable! I give it 3 out of 5 stars.