There Is Lonely is the seventh track on Prince’s 22nd album The Vault... Old Friends 4 Sale.
While specific recording dates are not known, basic tracking took place in mid-April 1992 at Platinum Studios, Melbourne, Australia (while also on the Diamonds And Pearls Tour, during the same set of sessions as Don’t Talk 2 Strangers, The Rest Of My Life, Poor Little Bastard, Be My Mirror, Wow, 51 Hours and re-recordings of Make Believe and I’ll Do Anything). The song was written specifically for the James L. Brooks movie I’ll Do Anything. The track was re-recorded by actor Albert Brooks with unknown musicians, and was included in a rough cut of the movie. This version was included as the fourth track on a planned I’ll Do Anything album. While Prince was not directly involved in this version, it is included in the listing here as his own version was intended as a demo for the soundtrack version. When preview audience reactions to the music were overwhelmingly negative, all production numbers from the film were cut, and the album was abandoned. No further changes were made to Prince’s original version before its release.
The lyrics refer to the Old Testament Biblical story of Cain and Abel, including the first instance of murder in the world, as told in Genesis 4.