I Would Die 4 U

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"I Would Die 4 U"
Prince Die4U.jpg
US 7" single
Single by Prince and The Revolution
from the album Purple Rain
  • "Another Lonely Christmas"
  • "Free" (UK 12")
ReleasedNovember 28, 1984
Length2:51 (Album Version)
2:57 (Single Version)
10:15 (12-Inch Version)
LabelWarner Bros.
Prince singles chronology
"Purple Rain"
"I Would Die 4 U"
"Take Me with U"
Prince (UK) singles chronology
"Purple Rain"
"I Would Die 4 U"
"Let's Go Crazy"/"Take Me with U"

"I Would Die 4 U" is a song by Prince and the Revolution, the fourth single in the US from their 1984 album, Purple Rain. The up-tempo dance song was a top 10 hit—the final one from the album—in the US, reaching number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The song's lyrics evoke Jesus Christ's message to his followers: "U—I would die 4 U, darling if U want me 2"; as well as, "if you're evil I'll forgive you", "all I really need to know is that U believe," and, "I'm your messiah and you're the reason why."[1]

Cash Box called the song "a practice in restrained ecstasy" in which "Prince delivers one of his finest and most passionate...vocal performances."[2]

"I Would Die 4 U" is often played in sequence with "Baby I'm a Star", the track following it, on Purple Rain. As of April 30, 2016, it has sold 561,772 copies in the United States.[3]

"Another Lonely Christmas"[edit]

The B-side, "Another Lonely Christmas", is a melancholy account of a man mourning his lover, who had died from pneumonia on a previous Christmas Day. Prince recorded "Another Lonely Christmas" in February 1984.[4] Although during that period of his life Prince was socially very solitary, he insisted that "Another Lonely Christmas" was a fictional story.[4][5] The song has been compared to the song "Sometimes It Snows in April," from the 1986 album Parade.[4] He only performed "Another Lonely Christmas" live one time, on the day after Christmas, December 26, 1984, at the St. Paul Civic Center in Minnesota.[5][4]

Alternate versions[edit]

The extended version of "I Would Die 4 U" is actually a rehearsal jam on the song with The Revolution and musicians from Sheila E.'s band, Eddie M (on sax) and Miko Weaver (guitar), along with Sheila E. herself recorded some time before the Purple Rain Tour. The jam features some overdubbing and fades at the end; a longer version, nearly 31 minutes long, was never released officially, but has been bootlegged. The extended mix was also used as the B-side of the 1989 "Erotic City" single (the artwork of which features the same image of Prince that was used for this single's cover).

The B-side of the UK 12" single release includes "Another Lonely Christmas" as well as the 1999 track "Free".


Track listing[edit]

7": Paisley Park / 7-29121 (US)[edit]

  1. "I Would Die 4 U" (Single version) – 3:03
  2. "Another Lonely Christmas" – 4:51

12": Paisley Park / 9 20291-0 (US)[edit]

  1. "I Would Die 4 U" (Extended version) – 10:15
  2. "Another Lonely Christmas" (extended version) – 6:47

12": Warner Bros. / W9121T (UK)[edit]

  1. "I Would Die 4 U" (Single version) – 2:57
  2. "Another Lonely Christmas" – 4:51
  3. "Free" – 5:00



  1. ^ Saunders, Martin. "I Would Die 4 U: The Christian themes in Prince's lyrics," Christian Today (22 Apr 2016).
  2. ^ "Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. December 15, 1984. p. 7. Retrieved 2022-07-26.
  3. ^ "Hip Hop Single Sales: Prince, Desiigner & Drake". HipHopDX. April 30, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d Ross, Alex Robert. "Prince's Only Christmas Song Is Still Completely Devastating," Vice (Dec. 11, 2018).
  5. ^ a b Needham, Jack. "The story behind Prince's lost Christmas song," Red Bull (December 20, 2019).
  6. ^ "Prince and the Revolution – I Would Die 4 U" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  7. ^ Lwin, Nanda. Top 40 Hits: The Essential Chart Guide (2000).
  8. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 4, 1985" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved April 18, 2021.
  9. ^ "Prince and the Revolution – I Would Die 4 U" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  10. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  11. ^ "Prince Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  12. ^ "Prince Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  13. ^ "Prince Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  14. ^ "Prince and the Revolution – I Would Die 4 U" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved April 18, 2021.
  15. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1985". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved April 18, 2021.
  16. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1985". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved April 18, 2021.

External links[edit]