Prince Charming (Adam and the Ants song)

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"Prince Charming"
Single by Adam and the Ants
from the album Prince Charming
B-side Christian D'or
Released 4 September 1981
Format vinyl record (7")
Genre New wave, post-punk
Length 3:17
Label CBS
Writer(s) Adam Ant & Marco Pirroni
Producer(s) Chris Hughes[1]
Adam and the Ants singles chronology
Stand and Deliver Prince Charming Ant Rap

"Prince Charming" was a number-one single in the UK Singles Chart for four weeks in September 1981 for Adam and the Ants.[2] Written by Adam Ant & Marco Pirroni, and featured on the album of the same name, it was Adam and the Ants' second number-one single in a row,[3] and was the fifth biggest hit of the year 1981.[4]

Music video[edit]

Band member and producer Merrick (Chris Hughes), normally on drums, played a stirring riff on an open-tuned acoustic guitar throughout the song. Lead guitarist Pirroni mimed to this part on both an orchestral harp and a miniature harp in the promotional video. The music video was notable for its extravagant production compared to the videos being produced at the time.

It featured Adam Ant in a male Cinderella role, complete with moustached drag queen evil step-sisters. The sisters accept an invitation to "Come to the ball, and dance the Prince Charming," leaving a dirty Adam home to do chores.

Sitting at a table in an old style kitchen, Adam is surrounded by his band members, who are encouraging him, "Don't you ever/Don't you ever/Stop being dandy, showing me you're handsome." His Fairy Godmother, portrayed by Diana Dors,[5] suddenly appears with five shirtless men dancing the "Prince Charming." With a wave of her magic wand, she transforms Adam's attire into flamboyant Regency clothes.

Adam makes a grand entrance onto the balcony at the ball, and swings down on a chandelier. He, the Ants, his Fairy Godmother, her male accompaniment & the invited guests of the ball dance the "Prince Charming," which became a much imitated arm-crossing dance as the song rose up the charts. The video ends with Adam smashing a mirror, then singing the "Prince Charming, Prince Charming/Ridicule is nothing to be scared of" refrain as different characters, including Clint Eastwood from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Alice Cooper, Vito Corleone from The Godfather, Lawrence of Arabia & his own "Dandy highwayman" from the "Stand and Deliver" video. The music video was one of Diana Dors' last on-screen performances.

Lyrics[edit]

The images from the video & song lyrics seemed to lend themselves to the rumours about his sexuality that plagued Adam during the early part of his career. The song also coincided with early rumours about Prince Edward's sexuality, leading to speculation that the song is about him.[6] According to Adam, Prince Charming is based on Beau Brummell. Pirroni described the song as "A cleverer song than any of you realise."

War Canoe[edit]

On 27 March 2010, Rolf Harris claimed on BBC Radio 5 Live's Danny Baker Show that an out-of-court settlement had been reached, and a large sum of royalties received, after a musicologist found "Prince Charming" to be musically identical to Harris's 1965 song "War Canoe".[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Buskin, Richard (January 2013). "Adam & The Ants ‘Stand & Deliver’". Sound on Sound. 
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 398–9. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. pp. 216–217. ISBN 0-85112-250-7. 
  4. ^ "Top 100 1981". UK-charts.top-source.info. 1981. 
  5. ^ Kutner, Jon (26 May 2010). 1000 UK Number One Hits. Omnibus Press. 
  6. ^ Sanz, Cynthia (April 11, 1994). "Edward Falls in Love". People (magazine) 41 (13). 
  7. ^ "Prince Charming". Songfacts. 
Preceded by
"Tainted Love" by Soft Cell
UK number one single
19 September 1981 - 10 October 1981
Succeeded by
"It's My Party" by Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin