I fell in love with the Prince song "If I Was Your Girlfriend" when I heard a DJ play it at an outdoor arts festival for about a dozen of us who were drawn to its sound. As I watched a few festivalgoers dancing by themselves to the music, it was one of those moments that makes you really listen to what a song is about for the first time.
The song asks how much more open Prince and his partner could be if they were friends, not lovers. It opens a door into the most intimate places in a relationship, exploring the every day moments that don't get shared between two people who otherwise care about each other — getting dressed. Washing your hair. Saying when you've been hurt.
The song pitches up Prince's vocals to create a more feminine persona, sonically pushing the boundaries of sexuality. It was Prince being completely playful and completely genuine at the same time. He had a mastery over the music that let him expand your mind just by listening to your stereo, while also putting ideas into your head that stayed with you from then on.
Like so many Prince songs, it's about Prince wanting to completely experience life — and helping us to do that too.
Watch and listen to a live version of the song (without the pitched up vocals) below: