Woman who grew up in a conservative evangelical home explains why she’s not so sad about Prince

Here are a few snippets:

  • That’s because I grew up in a conservative evangelical home in the Midwest in the 1980s and ’90s, with pop culture kept carefully at arm’s length. We were told — at my charismatic church where the faithful “spoke in tongues” and believed in miracles, and at my strict Christian school where girls wore skirts below the knees every day — that rock ‘n’ roll was “the devil’s music.”
  • But this week brought back some of the old feelings of isolation that I first felt in the workplace and around peers from outside my evangelical cocoon — a sense of being out of place and maybe not quite right.

    Instead of David Bowie and Prince, I grew up on contemporary Christian artists like Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant — and some others you’ve probably never heard of. Even those artists who occasionally scored crossover hits that made it to the pop charts were viewed by some in my parents’ circles as too “worldly” because their lyrics didn’t always mention Jesus. There were also concerns about Grant’s choice of red leather pants when she performed on stage.

  • So while my friends were quoting Prince lyrics and reminiscing about going to Prince concerts, and strangers were gathering to mourn in Minneapolis, I just felt … like I was peering in the window of someone else’s wake. My friends were all in the same funeral procession marching by, and I was standing by watching.

    After Prince’s death, and Bowie’s a few months ago, and Michael Jackson’s several years back, I recognized, cognitively, their importance. I felt sympathy for my friends who felt their loss. But mostly, I’ve felt isolated from all of you who share these ties, and regret for what I missed. These cultural figures don’t just speak to us as individuals; they join us together as a community. They create touchstones — without which, it’s easy to feel like an outsider.

Full Sarah McCammon article – I’m Not Sad About Prince, But Let Me Explain

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3 Responses to Woman who grew up in a conservative evangelical home explains why she’s not so sad about Prince

  1. RPM says:

    I've drawn a lot of fire lately over my lack of devastation over Prince's death. I mean I'm sorry he died, I understand people that were fans are sad. But personally? Meh. Never liked his music and thought he was a weird little dude. Sorry he died though.

  2. Andy B says:

    Jenny can relate to this woman a bit. Her parents went through a Christian-music-only phase when she was a kid, so she never got attached to some of the secular artists that I liked such as Michael Jackson.

    I didn't get into Prince much until I became an adult. Over the weekend I bought his Ultimate Prince compilation and heard some awesome music I'd never heard before. His version of "Nothing Compares 2 U", which is actually a song he wrote, is a great duet with a female singer.

  3. Ben W. says:

    The Prince article resonates with me, too. Up until about age 15, I was pretty "sheltered" in my fundamentalist family and church, and had little understanding of what people at school were talking about most of the time. I'd learn what I could from their conversations, and try to piece things together when I visited my grandma or my cousin (because they actually had TVs). I grew up in the '80s and graduated high school in the '90s, but most of what I've learned about that time period I learned in retrospect, during and after the late '90s. It's still weird because, like the author, I have gaps that I just never took the time to fill in. Prince was one of those. On the flip side, I can probably still sing from memory every song Dottie Rambo ever wrote. So, I got that going for me, I guess…

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