The future of music

35 Best Songs With A Color In The Title

December 14, 2023
Songs With A Color In The Title

I’ve curated a vibrant collection of the best songs with a color in the title, each one painting a unique auditory experience through its lyrics and melodies.

This article is a kaleidoscope of tunes that use colors to bring stories, emotions, and imagery to life in music.

Top songs with a color in the title

  • The Marcels – “Blue Moon”
  • Elvis Presley – “Blue Suede Shoes”
  • Nena – “99 Red Balloons”
  • Dawn – “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree”
  • Chris De Burgh – “Lady In Red”
  • Prince – “Purple Rain”
  • The Moody Blues – “Nights In White Satin”
  • The Tremeloes – “Silence Is Golden”
  • Hawkwind – “Silver Machine”
  • Black Sabbath – “Black Sabbath”

1. The Marcels – “Blue Moon”

Drawing inspiration from the low probability we associate with something happening once in a “Blue Moon” this harmony-fuelled crooner’s dream sings about finding the love of your life beneath the light of the blue moon by some way of a miracle.

“And then there suddenly appeared before me
The only one my arms will hold
I heard somebody whisper “Please adore me”
And when I looked, the moon had turned to gold”

2. Elvis Presley – “Blue Suede Shoes”

Originally performed by Carl Perkins but perhaps better recognized when sun by the hip-shaking devilish king of rock and roll Elvis.

There is no real subtext, metaphorical edge, or moral takeaway within the lyrics with this one but it sure is a lot of fun.

It is also one of those rare songs with blue in that aren’t about a case of misery.

3. Nena – “99 Red Balloons”

One of the few German hits with which everyone is familiar; an obvious go-to when you are making a list of songs with a color in the title.

The storyline of the song tells the tale of a full-scale cataclysmic war caused by the harmless release of one short of a hundred ballons.

4. Dawn – “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree”

An oldie that not everyone will remember has a narrative that follows the protagonist’s journey by bus to see his sweetheart after a 3-year stint in prison.

He anticipates his arrival nervously hoping to find a yellow ribbon tied around the oak tree nearby if she is still interested. If not he will accept and respect her decision and drive past.

He sees not one but 100! One of the sweeter songs with a color in the title out there.

5. Chris De Burgh – “Lady In Red”

There is no clever meaning to look for with this song that has a color in its title, it is a well-loved classic love song sung with a spoonful of disbelief at the protagonist’s luck and the woman in question’s unmistakable beauty.

The singer remarks that he hardly recognizes the person beside him, she must have gone all out!

6. Prince – “Purple Rain”

When sifting through songs with a color in the title, who could forget this classic? written for the artist’s film with the same title this almost 8-minute epic should be a staple in anyone’s music collection.

The song was a co-write but Prince has said that it addresses apocalyptic themes despite the love song surface. He had previously referenced the doom of purple skies in other work.

7. The Moody Blues – “Nights In White Satin”

A mellow and melancholic song about pining after an unrequited love from afar.

Justin Hayward once received white satin sheets as a gift from a girlfriend and the imagery attached inspired the song’s lyrics.

“Nights in white satin
Never reaching the end
Letters I’ve written
Never meaning to send”

8. The Tremeloes – “Silence Is Golden”

You will have noticed that a lot of the song titles with colors in them are also idioms as is the case with this one. Originally recorded by The Four Seasons, this version by the Tremeloes reached No.1 in the UK charts.

We often hear the color gold used as a descriptor for precious things, because of the colors associated with the precious metal resource.

9. Hawkwind – “Silver Machine”

Stealing a spot among the many rock songs with colors in the title that we have decided to include is this epic track.

Calvert was inspired y an essay he had read entitled “How To Build A Time Machine” and noted that it was similar to the description of building a bicycle except the steps overly complicated by a tonne of physics jargon.

He liked the idea and wrote an ambiguous song about his silver racing bike disguised as a song about a space-capable vehicle that matched many space-themed songs at the time. They eventually decided to let bassist Lemmy Kilminster sing the vocals as Calvert lacked the power needed.

10. Black Sabbath – “Black Sabbath”

The band’s opening self-titled track from their self-titled album is cited by many to be an example of one of the first-ever ‘Doom Metal’ tracks ever composed.

The heavy band’s lyrics were very dark for the era, frightening members of the band even, but the genre suckered in many a lost teenager and got them through troubled times.

11. George Baker – “Little Green Bag”

A groovy song with a color in the title that many forget the title of. It is featured in the movie Reservoir Dogs and has an instantly recognizable riff.

The little green bag that the singer is on the hunt for is a drug reference which is common with songs about colors.

12. Janet Jackson – “Black Cat”

This track was an important transformative piece for Janet Jackson who up until its reveal and release had been very firmly planted in the pop and dance category.

The track had rock and even glam-metal influences and even got her a grammy nomination for best female rock vocal performance. This in turn made Janet the only female artist to have ever received nominations in 5 different genres.

13. Lana Del Rey – “Blue Jeans”

In the tragic, cinematic style that she has come to be known for, Lana sings a melancholic trip-hop, love song.

The instruments are very low-fidelity and the arrangement leaves plenty of space for her beautiful voice to explore. The key and musical dynamics really add to the bitter-sweet lyrics of her fairy-tale without a happy ending.

14. Katie Melua – “Gold In Them Hills”

The gold in this one is an analogy for the better days ahead if you just keep calm and carry on. This was a gorgeous rendition from the Georgian-British songbird.

Originally written and recorded by Ron Sexsmith on his “Cobblestone Runway” album that featured a bonus duet version sung with Coldplays’ Chris Martin. The lyrics encourage you to look for the little things in life and count your blessings.

15. Amy Winehouse – “Back To Black”

Much like the color blue, black is substituted for its fair share of negativity. In this one of her most sultry tracks, Miss Winehouse treats us to the breathtaking depths of her lower register and back again as she sings her heartbreaking album title track.

The lyrics probably stemmed from her breakup with Blake Fielder-Civil, Amy reveals how her relationship ended and he went back to an old girlfriend.

She on the other hand, with no work at the time to pour her energy into, went back to ‘Black’ which she coined as a catch-all term for the silly things you do when your young and out of love.

16. Gin Wigmore – “Black Sheep”

There has been some modern debate around whether or not using the term black sheep is derogatory or not, however, it represents an idea we all understand the person in the group who goes against the grain does their own thing and doesn’t need to be negative.

Gin Wigmore gives it to us in this, up-tempo tongue-in-cheek track. The singer takes another (altogether more risque) familiar saying and uses it a the punch-line of her chorus giving it a clever hook for those with their ears turned all the way up.

“Once you go black, you never go back
I’m a black sheep”

17. Beyoncé – “Blue”

In a touching song dedicated to her daughter Blue Ivy, Beyoncé sings about a mother’s love. The lyrics of the hook are kept loose enough it can b a love song for anyone, but it remains very personal to her. This is one of those songs with a color in the title that is actually about a person.

“Each day
I feel so blessed to be looking at you
‘Cause when you open your eyes
I feel alive”

18. D-12 – “Purple Hills”

Also available in a longer version with its original title “Purple Pills”, D12’s drug and Sex-infused chill-hop track was the track that really helped rapper Eminem to blow up.

Some of the radio edits in this one remove some of the humor;

” I’ve climbed the highest mountain” replaces “I’ve been to mushroom mountain” in an effort to censor the drug references. Despite adult themes, it is one of the more juvenile songs with a color in the title that we have short-listed.

19. UB40 – “Red Red Wine”

UB40’s much-loved delivery of Neil Diamonds’ sobering ballad gives it a lighter feel with its reggae-based rhythm and beat.

The narrative depicts a man who has turned to the bottle to help to forget his worries for a while.

In the lyrics department, it’s a 2-for-1 deal as in addition to the “Red Red Wine you get a “blue blue heart” shoutout, making it one of our top songs with a color in the title!

20. Sinead O´Connor – “Scarlet Ribbons”

O’Conner gives us her haunting version of a song that has become known as a standard.

Many, many singers have covered this miraculous story-song including the likes of Sir Cliff Richard. But, Sinead’s vocal delivery and lack of instrumentation give the tale of the “Scarlett Ribbons” appearing a whole new somewhat creepier edge.

One of the more chilling songs with a color in the title that we have included.

21. Billy Idol- “White Wedding”

Who doesn’t relate the color white to weddings? Typically they are the happy kind, not so much in this case as Billy Idol sings about watching the love of his life marry somebody else.

Some believe it was about his younger sister who was getting married at the time but Idol says her wedding merely inspired the title and that he was writing about a girlfriend.

22. David Bowie – “Blackstar”

The title track from the late, great artist David Bowie’s final album. It was one of the most experimental things he ever released, which for Bowie is saying something, incorporating his childhood love of jazz.

The lyrics definitely reflect the fact that he was coming to terms with facing his mortality. It was a unique way to say goodbye to his fans.

23. Aerosmith – “Pink”

Remember when Aerosmith resurfaced with this weird one?

Though well-received and thought of by many as an empowering be yourself song because of its all-inclusive music video, it is probably about female anatomy. Aerosmith has often used the word pink as a euphemism.

There is a fair amount of debate but for some listeners, the link is glaringly obvious.

24. Van Morrison – “Brown Eyed Girl”

“Sha-la-la, la-la, la-la, la-la, la-la tee-da”

Who doesn’t enjoy a chorus that anyone can sing along to? Welcome at most social gatherings and easy enough to join in with after you’ve had a little too much to drink, Van Morrison leads us all in a serenade to his sweetheart.

Songs with a color in the title aren’t all doom and gloom.

25. Rolling Stones – “Paint It Black”

This song about color is difficult to try to sum up in a blurb.

There is so much to unpack. It was one of their more experimental tracks at the time, the slow chanted bars of the verse (without refrain) suddenly burst into a hectic flurry as the real time-signature comes to a head each chorus.

The use of sitar was subject of controversy as many argued was an imitation of The Beatles’ sound at the time.

26. George Harrison – “Grey Cloudy Lies”

Harrison wrote this track in reference to the path of depression he was on following his failed marriage. The lyrics have some ambiguity but are in part inspired by his relationship with the Hare Krishna movement.

“Now, I thought to close my mouth
With a padlock on the night
Leave the battlefield behind me”

His devotion brought him trouble because of how his friends and family perceived it.

27. Dolly Parton – “Crimson And Clover”

Crimson And Clover” was written by Tommy James and Peter Lucia although the two dispute whose idea it was and why it was written!

Regardless of the real reason why, many have covered this beautiful song. Notably; Joan Jett and Prince but we opted for Miss Dolly Parton’s version with the writer himself Tommy Jones.

28. New Order – “Blue Monday”

While it isn’t the only song with the color blue in its title on our color song list; It is the only song on listed that lost money on every record pressed despite being a best-seller.

Someone made the decision to die-cut each sleeve with silver, making it more expensive to produce than the average recommended retail price in 1986.

29. Elton John – “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”

Ironically this song was written when Elton was rapidly growing to higher and higher heights as an artist, yet the lyrics reflect on the road to simpler times!

“When are you gonna come down?”

The yellow brick road represents the bright lights of the city life on offer and hints at the fact that the splendor may be an illusion as it gives a nod to “The Wizard Of Oz”.

“Oh I’ve finally decided my future lies/Beyond the yellow brick road.”

30. Ed Sheeran – “Gold Rush”

Ed Sheeran is kicking off our little gold streak from here on out, with his song about a girl who left him with nothing but a note.

The lyrics have been interpreted by many fans as being about working too hard and putting your focus on your job to try and make life better for you and your love only to realize you are neglecting their needs in the process.

Sheeran says;

“But I do it for the love,
Waiting on the gold rush”

and later seems to kick his narrative ‘self’ with self rhetoric;

“maybe you should learn to love her like, like the way
You wanna be loved”

31. Sting – “Fields Of Gold”

In his own quoted words he described the wind blowing across the barley fields that surrounded his family’s Wiltshire home as having something primal and “something inherently sexy” about it.

Whatever the tantric frontman/bassist says inspired it, it is a beautiful love song that has been covered by numerous artists ever since.

32. The Stranglers – “Golden Brown”

Though for the majority this song with a color in it is clearly and brazenly about drug use with the “Golden Brown” in question being heroin the group themselves still argue to this day it is up for interpretation.

For a baroque style song that centers around a harpsichord with time signature changes and compound rhythms strewn around the giddy piece and drug-taking themes, it hit a huge success!

33. Dire Straits – “Love Over Gold”

This tinkly piano piece, with jazzy frills and cheeky builds, played a stark contrast to other tracks on the album with the same title.

Knopfler wrote this track about his ex Holly Vincent it pays homage to his previous love song “Romeo and Juliet” which makes mention of being able to fall in love with chains of silver and gold.

5 and half minutes of pizzicato and staccato pitted against the languid terminating in a marimba solo, Knopfler was clearly upset.

34. Shirley Bassey – “Goldfinger”

John Barry was no stranger to writing Bond themes, but boy did he do a good job of insisting that Bassey sing this one. A stunning vocal performance about the “man with the Midas touch” over the classic Bond expectations.

A nod to the previously composed, Dr. No and a brass to spare, it’s truly one of the most memorable songs with a color in the title, by anyone’s criteria.

35. Spandau Ballet – “Gold”

Honestly, we could maybe have dedicated an entire article to songs with the color gold in the title, but none are greater than this 80’s power anthem from the iconic Islington-based boy band.

There is a lot to unpack in this upbeat, motivational love song and some suggestions that it was written as a spoof bond theme. Maybe even specifically the track above, with which it does share a few resemblances.

It takes the crown when it comes to cheesy songs with a color in the title for us.

For more behind the production of the legendary song, you can head over to This Is Dig.

Final Thoughts

And that was our shot at hot-listing the best songs with a color in the title. We hope it narrows down your hunt as there are endless options!

Thankfully we had titles as a parameter rather than including songs with colors in the lyrics.

We use colors on a daily basis to describe the nuances of our lives as a whole. Many of the songs that we settled on make great examples of color being used figuratively, as an analogy for emotion or situation, or for pure imagery purposes. Lots of them have an interesting back story which with any luck you’ve enjoyed.

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Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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