Prince Charming (Adam and the Ants song)

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"Prince Charming"
Prince Charming Single.jpg
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, new romantic
Length 3:17
Label CBS
Songwriter(s) Adam Ant and Marco Pirroni
Producer(s) Chris Hughes[1]
Adam and the Ants singles chronology
"String Module Error: Match not found"
(1981)
"Prince Charming"
(1981)
"String Module Error: Match not found"
(1981)

"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 and 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 and 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. Choreographer Stephanie Coleman explained that each hand movement in the Prince Charming dance had a meaning (in order: Pride, Courage, Humour, Flair) each representing an element of Adam Ant’s personality. 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: Clint Eastwood from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Alice Cooper, Rudolph Valentino from the silent film The Sheik,[6] Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) from The Godfather, and his own "Dandy highwayman" from the "Stand and Deliver" video. The music video was one of Diana Dors' last on-screen performances.

Lyrics[edit]

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. ^ "Stand and Deliver! - Unofficial Adam Ant Site". Oocities.org. 1989-12-21. Retrieved 2016-10-23. 
  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 and Barbara Gaskin