United States Of Division

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United States Of Division

single art for Cinnamon Girl

artwork for the 2024 digital release
Song details
Performer: Prince
First Released: 4 July 2004 - NPG Music Club download
Album(s): None
Writer(s): Prince (assumed)
Producer(s): Prince
Live Appearances
First and last live appearance:
  • This track is not believed to have been performed live by Prince.
Performed regularly on tour:
  • none
Performed occasionally in shows:
  • none

United States Of Division was released on 4 July 2004, Independence Day in the USA, as a "virtual b-side" to Cinnamon Girl. Four months later, it was included on the European CD single of Cinnamon Girl, but was not included on the US edition of the single, for unknown reasons.

Specific recording dates are unknown, but the track was recorded in January 2004, likely at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota. The song quotes the line O say can you see from the patriotic song The Star Spangled Banner.

On 5 April 2024, a slightly different mix of the song with more prominent horns was released as a stand alone digital track by Prince’s estate (in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the Musicology album) with this announcement (published a few hours after the availability of the song):

"Today, to commemorate 2 decades of Musicology, NPG Records and Paisley Park Enterprises, in partnership with Sony Music Entertainment, have released United States Of Division, a rare 2004 Prince recording that was initially offered as a virtual B-side download for Cinnamon Girl exclusively from Prince’s NPG Music Club and eventually as a non-LP bonus track for the UK CD single of Cinnamon Girl, but has not been distributed via streaming services until now.
United States Of Division is a powerful protest song that sees Prince boldly confronting the social and political issues that continue to plague the nation to this day. Over a percussive backbeat and slinking bassline colored by synths and horn stabs, Prince laments the state of a fractured nation: “How far from heaven must we go? / Before the winds of change will blow and show / This world how it's supposed to be / Land of peace and harmony.” Released in the midst of the US war in Iraq, United States Of Division serves as a potent reminder of Prince’s often underappreciated passion for social commentary. While Prince’s 2004 lyrics may be referring to a past era, his unyielding stance on inequality remains ever so relevant in the turbulent socio-political landscape of the present. The timelessness of his songwriting once again serves as a reminder that music has the power to bring people together.
"It's obvious that there's an agenda against the disenfranchised and the uneducated," according to Prince during the Musicology era, "so ultimately, I think, to counter that, we're gonna have to talk to one another. One of the ways we used to do that was through our music…"

Oddly, this announcement does not emphasize the fact that this version is different from the one released in 2004. It is suspected the 2024 release wasn't a new mix by design. All signs point to it that it is accidentally a different mix than the version it is supposed to commemorate, from 20 years prior.

Recording Information
Recording Sessions
Date Studio Additional info
January 2004 (assumed) Paisley Park Studios,
Chanhassen, MN, USA (assumed)
Recording Personnel

Released Versions
Title Length Released Version Additional info
United States Of Division 6:18 NPG Music Club download

Cinnamon Girl single

United States Of Division 6:19 Digital release
Studio Alternate mix with more prominent horns

Additional Information

See also Trivia

  • The lyrics contain a reference to Brian De Palma’s 1983 film Scarface and a (cleaned) quote ("who you think you’re messing with?"). A quote from this film is also included in the extended version of I Wish U Heaven.
  • Screenshot of NPG Music Club splash page at the time the download became available:

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