Rainbow Children

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Rainbow Children

from the album The Rainbow Children
Song details
Performer: Prince
First Released: 16 October 2001 - The Rainbow Children album
Album(s): The Rainbow Children

One Nite Alone... Live!

Writer(s): Prince
Producer(s): Prince
Live Appearances
First and last live appearance:
Performed regularly on tour:
Performed occasionally in shows:

Rainbow Children is the first track on Prince’s 24th album The Rainbow Children, his first album after reverting to the name Prince. In late 2001, it was also included as the third track on the She Loves Me 4 Me "Jazz Sampler" promo CD available only in the USA. The track was heavily played as the opening song on the One Nite Alone... Tour and in 2002 a live version from the tour was released as the first track on the One Nite Alone... Live! album (with no other tracks included from the same show).

Specific recording dates are unknown, but it is likely that basic tracking took place in late 2000 or early 2001 at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota.

The song contains a quotation from the track Sexuality, released 20 years earlier - "Reproduction of the New Breed, Leaders, stand up! Organize!"
The track opens with narrative in a distorted low voice by Prince that continues through many of the album’s tracks. It introduces the story of the "Rainbow Children", who "go about the work of building a new nation" with "accurate understanding of God and his laws". "The Wise One" and his woman are tempted by "The Resistor" "as prophesied". The woman succumbed, and was banished from the land along with five others, who became "The Banished Ones" (this was long thought to be as being written about Prince’s separation from his first wife Mayte, which she confirmed in her 2017 biography "The Most Beautiful"). The Wise One trusted in God to bring him another woman (read: Prince’s soon-to-be second wife, Manuela Testolini). Although the term "Rainbow Children" is used during the narrative and some lyrics throughout the album, these uses are not considered a reference to this particular song, but instead to the same idea referred to in the lyric of this song - a group of people who have obtained some kind of spiritual enlightenment, "flying on the wings of the New Translation" (likely referring to the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures used by Jehovah’s Witnesses, the religious group Prince belonged to at the time of recording).

Recording Information
Recording Sessions
Date Studio Additional info
Late 2000 - early 2001 Paisley Park Studios,
Chanhassen, MN, USA
Recording Personnel

Studio version

  • Prince - all vocals and instruments, except where noted (credited as "All other instruments - digital or otherwise, lead and co-lead vox, percussion and sound FX per4med by Prince ...and U.")
  • John Blackwell - drums (credited as "John Blackwell, the Magnificent")
  • Najee - saxophone and flute (credited for "soprano sax appeal & flute")
  • Niyoki White - background vocals (credited collectively as Milenia)
  • Mikele White - background vocals (credited collectively as Milenia)
  • Tia White - background vocals (credited collectively as Milenia)
  • Malikah White - background vocals (credited collectively as Milenia)
  • Clare Fischer - orchestration (assumed, sampled)

One Nite Alone... Live! version

Released Versions
Title Length Released Version Additional info
Rainbow Children 10:02 The Rainbow Children

She Loves Me 4 Me "Jazz Sampler" promo

Rainbow Children 11:45 One Nite Alone... Live! Live 31 March 2002, Warner Theatre, Washington, D.C., USA

Additional Information

See also Trivia

  • The song is titled Rainbow Children (missing the definite article of the album title, The Rainbow Children).

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