“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life.”
So begins “Let’s Go Crazy,” one of legendary Minnesotan musician Prince’s most iconic songs, and one of the most poignant pieces in the wake of his unexpected passing. Yet for car freaks like us, one Prince song has always stuck out from the rest. And as Ford lovers, we were always a little disappointed that His Royal Badness wrote his best car song about a Little Red Corvette.
But as it turns out, not only was Little Red Corvette not inspired by a General Motors vehicle – it was inspired by a Ford after all!
Well, to get a little technical (we are car people, after all,) Little Red Corvette was inspired by a vehicle from Ford Motor Company’s Mercury division. As Jalopnik’s Jason Torchinsky recently revealed in a series of articles, Prince helped bandmate Lisa Coleman purchase a Mercury Montclair Marauder at auction in 1980, and wrote the lyrics to Little Red Corvette while sleeping in the Marauder after a late-night recording session.
Perhaps “Little Red Marauder” doesn’t have the same ring to it. Perhaps the very word Marauder, which conjures images of raiding armies, sneak attacks, and violent power, doesn’t match the message Prince was trying to get across.
But we can’t help but wonder what a more Ford-centric Prince song would sound like. We can’t help but think of all the little red Corvettes he inspired people to buy. We can’t help but wonder if, had Prince changed a few words around, little red Mercurys might still be rolling off of showroom floors and onto American highways.
It says a lot about Prince that even automotive enthusiasts are mourning his passing in their own way. It also says a lot that we miss Prince so much that we’ve been passionately listening to a song that substitutes a Chevy for a Ford.