Cover Versions: Prince’s The Cross by Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy

Yet another Prince cover here which is kind-off new but kind-off old at the same time. In the last few days both Bono from U2 and now Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins over night have used this song as a bit of tribute to him one way or another but the best comes from Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, yes that’s someone called Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy doing Prince. If you never heard of him I’ll let known now he’s better than both Bono or Billy and U2 or Smashing Pumpkins, just because you never heard of him doesn’t mean a thing, OK?

It really should be Palace Music because it was record back in 1994 which was when Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy when under that name and his debut album had just came out the previous year. There Is No-One What Will Take Care Of You album is one of his which my faves, he didn’t change his name to Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy until 1999 also if don’t know his real name is Will Oldham. Which thinking about that now 1999 is the title of one of Prince’s most well known tracks and was the name of his 1982 classic album too.

Only released earlier this year on The Peel Sessions comp album called Pond Scum. Three Peel Sessions are included on one album which are taken from 2002, 2001 and 1994. Ease Down The Road was the second Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and was released around the time and the other two sessions, It’s one of my least faves of his albums if you wanna known but coming after I See A Darkness might be a hard act to follow and maybe should have another listen now and see if I enjoy it a bit more now.

The Cross was from Sign O The Times Prince’s 1987 masterpiece, third song from the very end of the album. Oldman with just an acoustic guitar here transforms into a bit of country & western ditty but that’s was very him at that time, with the religions lyrics too it seems a prefect match because he had of that going on at the time too but also the vulnerable of his singing does make this a great cover version. Does this one also now have new meanly too?

The Cross lyrics by Prince

Black day, stormy night
No love, no hope in sight
Don’t cry, he is coming
Don’t die without knowing the cross

Ghettos to the left of us
Flowers to the right
There’ll be bread for all of us
If we can just bear the cross

Sweet song of salvation
A pregnant mother sings
She lives in starvation
Her children need all that she brings

We all have our problems
Some big, some are small
Soon all of our problems
Will be taken by the cross

Black day, stormy night
No love, no hope in sight
Don’t cry for he is coming
Don’t die without knowing the cross

Ghettos to the left of us
Flowers to the right
There’ll be bread for all, y’all
If we can just, just bear the cross, yeah

We all have our problems
Some are big, some are small
Soon all of our problems, y’all
Will be taken by the cross the cross
The cross

http://www.npr.org/player/embed/462829531/462834332

Well it don’t embed but click on the link above. I don’t own this album yet but I’ve got to buy it now!

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One comment on “Cover Versions: Prince’s The Cross by Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy

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