There are so many excellent songs with colors in the title–ones that paint vivid imagery about life and depict gamut of emotions we all experience. So in this article, I’m going to provide you with sixteen of my favorite songs that deal with the topic of color, in hopes that you just might find a brand new song that you can add to your playlist.
Songs with Colors in the Title That You’ll Love
Let’s begin with one of the most well known pop songs about colors ever made.
True Colors by Cyndi Lauper
Cyndi Lauper takes a quick break from having some fun with her girls to share this somber song about seeing the true nature of a person. In a world where people often assume the worst in others, Cyndi wants the person to whom she is singing to know that she sees past one’s tough exterior. She can see beyond the front we all put up to face the cruel world—she can see our true colors shining through.
In contrast to her other poppier tunes, “True Colors” is a piano-driven pop quiet storm song with mild percussion punctuating the song very rarely. The emotional impact comes mostly from Lauper’s soulful singing and resonant piano melodies.
It’s a deep, honest, and emotional song–and that’s why we love it. If you’re looking for good songs about colors, well, it probably doesn’t get much more iconic than this one.
She’s A Rainbow by The Rolling Stones
Okay, so you saw the word “rainbow” above and immediately thought: “Well, I knew it was coming. Here we go. Time to slot in Somewhere Over the Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz onto this list.”
Well, not so fast. While that’s no doubt a very worthy addition to this list, and in most cases would be here, I wanted to go with a different song that featured the word “rainbow.”
Now The Rolling Stones were always known to hop genres at the drop of a hat, and “She’s A Rainbow” is a standout standing next to Stones more hard rock-oriented classics like “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” “Paint It Black,” and “It’s Only Rock N’ Roll (But I Like It).”
The song is stylistically uncharacteristic of the Stones, but the piano melody is very pretty and instantly recognizable amidst soft guitars, a mid-tempo snare beat, and romantic lyrics sung by Mick Jagger in a celebratory tone. There’s even a string outro arranged by none other than John Paul Jones, bassist of Led Zeppelin.
While it gets less recognition than other big hits by this legendary act, it’s a beautiful song.
Red Red Wine by UB40
Many people are familiar with this classic by UB40, but not many realize that it was originally written and recorded by Neil Diamond 16 years prior. The original was an acoustic ballad, but UB40 injected lighthearted reggae vibes into it giving it new life.
What works especially well for the UB40 version is the stark contrast between the lyrical content and the feeling of the song. It’s about someone with a deep longing after they’ve presumably been left by their lover. They feel they’ve done all they can do, and now it’s up to their lover and fate to decide what will become. To cope with the pain and to drown out the poignant memories, “just one thing makes [them] forget. Red, red wine!”
99 Red Balloons by Nena
Originally recorded in German in 1983, Nena’s “99 Red Balloons” was a German new wave pop song. While the sound is fun and upbeat with a whimsical melody that gets lodged in your brain for hours or days, the lyrics are about war, paranoia surrounding war, and the lost dreams of the German people following World War II.
The song’s protagonist buys 99 red balloons in a little shop and lets them go. There’s no meaning behind the action other than to have a little fun and add color to the morning sky. Upon seeing 99 unidentified objects on radar, the military freaks and calls everyone on high alert, readying for a war that is all but imagined.
In addition to this knee-jerk reaction and fear of war at any moment, Nena draws parallels to the balloons themselves, representing dreams of the German people that were all but lost after a defeat in World War II.
The song is catchy and was culturally relevant when released, but unfortunately was the only success Nena ever achieved in the States.
Blue by Beyoncé featuring Blue Ivy
“Make it last forever. Come on, baby, won’t you hold on to me?”
But knowing that it’s about a mother’s love for her child adds depth and conveys an emotion that any parent can relate to. The soft chords of the piano supplemented by a mid-tempo high-hat and click combo drive the song forward, but the unsurprising main attraction of the song are Beyoncé’s vocals crying out in a soulful falsetto that pierces the soul and touches our hearts.
And for those that still had no idea this was about her child, then one-year-old Blue Ivy makes a special appearance in the outro with some lyrics of her own. Like mother, like daughter.
Blue (Da Ba Dee) by Eiffel 65
If you grew up in the late 90s, you’ve heard this song everywhere and prayed that one day it would stop getting endless radio play.
“Blue (Da Ba Dee)” gets only an occasional novelty play now, but it was literally everywhere when it was first released, getting remixed and parodied everywhere by everyone. It reached the number one chart position in 18 different countries, peaking at number 6 here in America.
A close inspection of the lyrics may indicate that “blue” refers to his mood, and he’s coping with some sadness. Musically, however, you would never guess because the song is dancey, singsongy, catchy, but silly.
Very, very silly.
Blue and Yellow by The Used
The Used was hugely popular in 2002 when they debuted their eponymous album featuring singles like “The Taste of Ink” and “Buried Myself Alive.” For the new wave of mallcore emo, the lyrical urgency and raw emotional composition was infectious, leading into a counterculture that would dominate during the decade.
“Blue and Yellow” was one of the songs from this certified platinum release, but often remained overlooked by fans due to the stylistic departure. Singer Bert McCracken at the time was known primarily for dating Kelly Osbourne and for screaming so intensely on stage that he would vomit. “Blue and Yellow” features minimal or no screaming whatsoever, but still packs in the raw emotion of their more brutal tracks amidst clean guitar melodies and piano.
“Blue and Yellow” remains one of the most beautiful songs ever written by The Used.
Black and Yellow by Wiz Khalifa
“Black and Yellow” hails from Wiz Khalifa’s third studio album but marks his first number one hit single. On the surface, Wiz Khalifa throws in a collection of common hip hop tropes including his penchant for the finer things “from the whip to [his] diamonds.”
What makes this track different is Wiz Khalifa’s Pittsburgh pride, as the repeating and iconic “black and yellow” is in reference to the team colors of Pittsburgh teams the Steelers, the Pirates, and the Penguins despite it never being explicitly confirmed in the lyrics themselves.
“Black and Yellow” is absolute fire. If you’re looking for some rap songs with colors in the title–look no further. This track will make you want to start dancing. It’s a tough, fierce track. It’s everything you need in a hype song. From the second the bombastic beat drops, uh-huh, you know what it is.
Yellow by Coldplay
Back in 2000, Coldplay released one unassuming mid-tempo alt-indie track titled “Yellow” and the rest was history. “Yellow” was the breakthrough single that put the band on the map as that band with the falsetto vocals and poppy hooks.
Lyrically, Chris Martin sings a crooning tune of love and devotion. The speaker of the song would do anything for the person they’re singing to because this person is so special, the stars shine solely for them. And they were all yellow.
Yellow Submarine by The Beatles
The Beatles set a precedent for all modern music with their discography, which ranges from subtle songs of revolution, love ballads, pop ditties, and psychedelic explorations of the bizarre. I mean, seriously, why is he the walrus?
“Yellow Submarine” is a folky singalong-type tune describing a narrator’s discovery of true freedom from beneath the waves living aboard a yellow submarine. The imagery is vivid and the lyrics are laid out like a storybook, but beneath the details is a tale of freedom away from the daily dramas of routine living.
The song was so popular that it inspired an animated film of the same name, and the yellow submarine itself has been featured prominently on Beatles merchandise.
Green Light by Lorde
Lorde achieved unprecedented success with her first album Pure in 2013 at the young age of 16 years old, becoming the youngest person to chart in 26 years with the single “Royals.” As she entered the limelight, people were obsessed with the vocal talent and poise shown by such a young performer.
The New Zealand singer-songwriter followed up this success with another chart-topping and critically acclaimed album featuring the lead single “Green Light,” an electro pop track led by a soft piano melody, a chorus laden with vocal harmonies, and a thump-thumping bass beat to drive the “danciness” despite the somber lyrics.
Lorde wrote the song about her first major heartbreak and, although she holds resentment towards her former lover who moved on from the relationship, she writes about waiting for the green light so she can move on from the relationship.
Purple Rain by Prince
Most people associate Prince with his flawless sense of style, chart-topping collection of singles, top-tier musicianship, and the song “Purple Rain.” When you’re done partying like it’s 1999, slow things down with this timeless classic.
Although it’s one of the most recognizable album closers in music history, the lyrics are dripping with imagery and metaphors that are not easily interpreted beyond the slow, mournful tone of the vocals and instrumentation. Prince offers insight by explaining that purple is the color he would associate with the end of the world, and that the connotations of doomsday endeared him to the color. This is why we most often see him clad in violet hues during his music video appearances and live performances.
While there seems to be a hint of apocalypse beneath the unassuming lyrics, the rain serves as a symbol of rebirth. Despite the song being an album closer with themes of finality, there is also a sense of new beginning.
Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix
“Excuse me while I kiss the sky.”
Jimi Hendrix remains the unrivaled guitar master, even a half a century after his untimely death. Of his musical achievements, none is more recognizable than “Purple Haze,” a song inspired by a science fiction novel and that omnipresent sticky herb that was all the rage in the 1960s.
“Purple Haze” remains an absolute love song to the guitar featuring Hendrix’s unique fusion of blues, jazz, and hard rock that blends so seamlessly with his soulful singing style. Today, the song remains an anthemic testament to the 1960s free love movement, drug counterculture, and guitar musicianship rolled into one tight package.
Back To Black by Amy Winehouse
The late and great Amy Winehouse brought a monster of a track to life by inserting her trademark soulful rhythm and bluesy vocals alongside a resonant piano, reverberating tambourine, and bumping bass on “Back To Black.”
Inspired by Motown and jukebox jingles from the 50s and 60s, Winehouse allegedly wrote the lyrics in an hour’s time, discussing the termination and toxicity of her relationship to Blake Fielder-Civil.
As far as iconic songs by Amy Winehouse go, “Back To Black” is second only to classic “Rehab,” and remains one of her greatest songwriting achievements of all time.
White Wedding by Billy Idol
It’s a nice day to start again.
Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” is the full package. It’s got a rock guitar with an edge, a thumping bassline, catchy lyrical refrains, and a darkness conveyed by Billy Idol’s expert vocal delivery of the lyrics.
Despite repeatedly addressing the subject of the song “little sister,” Idol denies it having anything to do with his own sister’s marriage which did occur around the time this song was released. Instead, it’s about a former lover of Idol’s who moved on from the relationship to marry someone else. Although she moved on, Idol, or the character in this song, is still in love with her.
Ironically, the tune is played frequently at weddings despite the tongue-in-cheek anti-marriage sentiments it expressed lyrically.
Colorblind by Counting Crows
Coffee black and egg white.
This classic by Counting Crows is less colorful than our other entries because it talks about the absence of color. The speaker of the song is “colorblind,” stuck with an extreme all-or-nothing, black-or-white type perspective on the world which hinders their ability to feel and connect to others. However, the turn in the song happens when the speaker lets down their defenses and lets their true self be pulled out from inside.
In this regard, the song is about triumphing over your inhibitions and letting your true colors be revealed.
The instrumentation led predominantly by piano is melancholic, and the vocals convey this tone as well. We feel the sincerity and longing of the singer in the delivery of each line. Overall, it’s a beautiful song and one of Counting Crows’ best.
Whether a song is about real colors or the metaphorical colors of a person’s character, there are thousands of songs with colors in the title that help put into words our emotions involving ourselves, our loved ones, and the world around us..
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