A couple of Saturdays ago, I was at my friend’s house for her young daughter’s birthday. Her daughters, ages 7 and 9, and nieces, ages 12 and 14, were performing some of the newest (radio-edited) pop songs, complete with dance moves. They then moved on to using their Wii U game system and playing Just Dance Disney Party 2 – a singing and dancing game. And, after that, I saw many videos the older girls had made using the app – “a social media platform for creating, sharing and discovering short music videos.”

I started thinking about how important music is in our lives. Both my friend’s daughters were experts at singing “Let It Go” from the movie Frozen. They were huge Taylor Swift fans from when they were barely able to talk. Music has already permeated their existence. For older kids and adults, look no further than the popularity of iPods, downloadable and streaming music. The radio is always on in the car and everyone has times when a song or music is stuck in their heads.

All of these thoughts came together the day we learned Prince passed away. I heard so many people talking about how he and his music affected their lives or the lives of those they care about. Three co-workers reminisced about seeing him in concert at the Spectrum and how his music was the soundtrack of their lives back in the 1980’s. Even if you did not follow him back then, who is not familiar with “1999” or “Purple Rain”?

If you have not heard Prince in a while or are just discovering his music, the Mercer County Library System can help. As you may have seen in our Facebook posts, we have a variety of free ways for you to access his music:

If you would like to listen to a compact disc, we have many of his titles throughout the library system. Search our catalog or ask a staff member to help you find the ones you would like. The DVD and Blu-ray of Purple Rain are also available.

If you would rather stream his music, use hoopla. If you have not already signed up, it only takes a minute. Access hoopla through the library’s website or access hoopla directly. For a full list of what is available through hoopla, look at their artist page for Prince. In addition to music, there are two documentaries. (hoopla may be used with chromecast or Apple TV in addition to the app)

Sheila E. is a musician who met Prince in the 1970s and went on to collaborate with him on Purple Rain and many other projects. Her music is available to stream or download through Freegal. Just login with your library card number.

Rolling Stone has put together a very informative webpage on Pirnce It includes performances, news, history and a biography – a good place to start if you want to know more about the artist.

Photo by Ann Althouse.

-Andrea at the Hopewell Branch


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