Rainbow-themed playlist.
July 7, 2012 2:26 AM   Subscribe

I'm making a Rainbow-themed playlist for my boyfriend. Could you recommend colour-themed songs? I'm doing fine for "Reds" and "Blues." It's the Indigos and Violets (or Purples) and Oranges and Yellows (and the non-rainbowy colours, like Browns and Whites and Blacks) that are tripping me up.
posted by flibbertigibbet to Media & Arts (77 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I'm also open to generally colour-filled songs, like Florence + the Machine's "Spectrum."
posted by flibbertigibbet at 2:27 AM on July 7, 2012

Best answer: Purple Haze by Jimmy Hendrix
posted by smokingmonkey at 2:37 AM on July 7, 2012

Best answer: Here are a few more:

Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
True Colors, Cyndi Lauper
Mellow Yellow, Donovan
Orange Sky, Alexi Murdoch
Yellow Submarine, The Beatles
True Colors, Glee Cast Version
Tangled Up In Blue, Bob Dylan
Red Red Wine, UB40
Rainbow Connection (Muppets), Bobby Morganstein
Purple Rain, Prince
Blue Suede Shoes, Elvis Presley
Green Light, Beyonce
Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Patti LaBelle
Orange Crush, REM
Colors, Amos Lee
Purple Stain, Red Hot Chili Peppers
Little Red Riding Hood, Freakwater
Over the Rainbow, Jason Castro
Yellow, Coldplay
Little Red Corvette, Prince
True Colors, Phil Collins

(I did a playlist a few years back
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 2:44 AM on July 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

A Whiter Shade of Pale---Procol Harum
posted by book 'em dano at 2:48 AM on July 7, 2012

Paint it black - The Stones
posted by Prof Iterole at 2:52 AM on July 7, 2012

She's a rainbow- stones
posted by KateViolet at 3:13 AM on July 7, 2012

Best answer: Violet - Hole
Mood Indigo - Nina Simone
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John
Little Yellow Spider - Devendra Banhart
Golden Brown - The Stranglers
posted by Coobeastie at 3:14 AM on July 7, 2012

Pharoah Sanders: Colors
posted by WalkingAround at 3:17 AM on July 7, 2012

Best answer: black and brown blues by the silver jews is a lovely song
posted by runrunrun at 3:17 AM on July 7, 2012

Best answer: start wearing purple - gogol bordello
posted by nadawi at 3:22 AM on July 7, 2012 [3 favorites]

Brown Eyed Girl, by Van Morrison
posted by gt2 at 3:31 AM on July 7, 2012

White Room by Cream
posted by ellenaim at 3:38 AM on July 7, 2012

Follow the Yellow Brick Road. Colors of the Wind. Kermit's Being Green.
posted by oceano at 3:39 AM on July 7, 2012

Your Every Color - Train

(Just randomly scrolling through the music on my phone.)
posted by Defying Gravity at 3:49 AM on July 7, 2012

Best answer: Green is the Color by Pink Floyd
posted by tetralix at 4:15 AM on July 7, 2012

Best answer: The Dells I can sing a rainbow
Laurie Anderson: Bright Red
Chemical Brothers: Orange Wedge
Joni Mitchel: Big Yellow Taxi
Tom Waits: Green Grass
Elvis Costello: Almost Blue
Moloko: Indigo
U2: Ultra Violet Light my Way
Astrud Gilberto: Look to the Rainbow
posted by rongorongo at 4:19 AM on July 7, 2012

Best answer: 40 Shades of Green (covered by nearly every folk musician alive at some point)

Deine Lakaien - Fighting the Green
posted by MinusCelsius at 4:33 AM on July 7, 2012

Jimi Hendrix - Bold as Love from the album Axis: Bold as Love
posted by segatakai at 4:51 AM on July 7, 2012

Best answer: Black is the Color of my True Love's Hair - Nina Simone
posted by phunniemee at 5:01 AM on July 7, 2012

Best answer: 311 - Amber
Tori Amos - Amber Waves
posted by TheCavorter at 5:03 AM on July 7, 2012

Best answer: Orange Crush - REM
Generation Indigo - Poly Styrene
Violet - Hole
Yellow Bird (lots of versions around)
A Tisket A Tasket (about a little yellow basket) - Ella Fitzgerals
posted by Trivia Newton John at 5:04 AM on July 7, 2012

Best answer: Back to Black, Amy Winehouse.
posted by southern_sky at 5:12 AM on July 7, 2012

Best answer: Infra-Red, Placebo
Green Arrow, Yo La Tengo
posted by EvaDestruction at 5:16 AM on July 7, 2012

Traveling Wilburys - Inside Out (about yellow)
Fiona Apple - Red Red Red
Pendulum - Hold Your Colour
Cocteau Twins - Pink Orange Red
posted by Enki at 5:20 AM on July 7, 2012

Color my world - Petula Clark

Rainbow Connection - muppets
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 5:21 AM on July 7, 2012

Ballet for a Rainy Day by XTC ("When it rains, it rains all the colours in my paintbox ...")
posted by Perodicticus potto at 5:22 AM on July 7, 2012

It's not Easy Being Green sung by Kermit the Frog.
posted by pickypicky at 5:31 AM on July 7, 2012

Caviar, Tangerine Speedo
posted by pie ninja at 5:36 AM on July 7, 2012

Gold - Spandau Ballet
posted by The ____ of Justice at 5:40 AM on July 7, 2012

Best answer: Being Green has been covered by a bazillion people if you want someone more serious than Kermit (links to a post I made).
posted by ChuraChura at 5:44 AM on July 7, 2012

Black Metallic - Catherine Wheel
posted by Fui Non Sum at 5:49 AM on July 7, 2012

Best answer: The Lemon Pipers' Green Tambourine and Duke Ellington's Black and Tan Fantasy.
posted by Rash at 6:05 AM on July 7, 2012

White Light/White Heat - The Velvet Underground
posted by pecanpies at 6:08 AM on July 7, 2012

Er, specifically, the song "White Light/White Heat" from the album of the same name.
posted by pecanpies at 6:08 AM on July 7, 2012

Best answer: Mood Indigo - Duke Ellington
posted by pecanpies at 6:10 AM on July 7, 2012

Little Fluffy Clouds!
posted by mykescipark at 6:20 AM on July 7, 2012

Samantha James - "Amber Sky"
posted by sabira at 6:22 AM on July 7, 2012

Digital Versicolor by Glass Candy hits red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, and white.
posted by semaphore at 6:32 AM on July 7, 2012

Best answer: Previously

Sir Richard Bishop - Nowhere Over The Rainbow
St. Vincent - Black Rainbow
Vashti Bunyan - Rainbow River

Papa M - Purple Eyelid
Arto Lindsay - Blue Eye Shadow
St. Vincent - Your Lips are Red
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth
Devendra Banhart - Little Yellow Spider
Sonic Youth - Green Light
posted by hydrophonic at 6:34 AM on July 7, 2012

Knights in White Satin
posted by Telpethoron at 6:35 AM on July 7, 2012

How serious is your mix?

Wouldn't be complete without Donnie & Marie's version of Deep Purple from this album.
posted by vitabellosi at 7:01 AM on July 7, 2012

Brown girl in the ring - Boney M
Black magic woman - Santana
Karma Chameleon (although the title itself has no colour in it) - Boy George
Love is Blue (L'Amour est bleu)
posted by infini at 7:01 AM on July 7, 2012

Black or white
posted by randomnity at 7:22 AM on July 7, 2012

Mr Brown Bob Marley
Black Coffee Sarah Vaughan (I like her version, there are others including Ella Fitzgerald and Peggy Lee)
posted by sciencegeek at 7:55 AM on July 7, 2012

Brown Sugar by the Rolling Stones

Little Bit of Red by Serena Ryder. Covers quite a few colours.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 8:03 AM on July 7, 2012

Best answer: The Monochrome Set - White Noise
The Monochrome Set - The Man with the Black Moustache
Mighty Mighty - Blue and Green
The dB's - White Train / Black and White / Big Brown Eyes
Harvey Danger - Happiness Writes White
Jumbling Towers - Black Courage
McCarthy - Red Sleeping Beauty
Roxy Music - Grey Lagoons
The Chills - Pink Frost / Dan Destiny and the Silver Dawn
Strange Boutique - Black Sun
The Wolfhounds - Blue Nowhere
posted by Redfield at 8:10 AM on July 7, 2012

Yellow by Cold Play
Black and Yellow by Wiz Khalifa
posted by gt2 at 8:17 AM on July 7, 2012

Best answer: Here are the color songs I have, minus some that people have already mentioned.

Icy Blue - 7 Year Bitch
Pink - Aerosmith
White Wedding - Billy Idol
Carolina Blues - Blues Traveler
Heart Full of Black - Burning Brides
The Red - Chevelle
Blue Spanish Sky - Chris Isaak
Black Sunday - Cold
Golden Years - David Bowie
Counting Blue Cars - Dishwalla
Blue - Eiffel 65
Blue Hawaii - Elvis
Yellow Brick Road - Eminem
Snow White Queen - Evanescence
White Men in Black Suits - Everclear
Red to Black - Fort Minor
The Red Strokes - Garth Brooks
Black Balloon - Goo Goo Dolls
Hoist the Colors - Hans Zimmer (Pirates of the Caribbean At World's End)
Over the Rainbow - Harry Nilsson
Red Tail Lights - Hinder
John Deere Green - Joe Diffie
Brown Eyes - Lady Gaga
Indigo Flow - Limp Bizkit
Red Light-Green Light - Limp Bizkit
Behind Blue Eyes - The Who or Limp Bizkit
Blackout - Linkin Park
Golgotha Tenement Blues - Machines of Loving Grace
Fade to Black - Metallica
The Ecstasy of Gold - Metallica
Red Right Hand - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
White Lace and Strange - Nirvana
Grey Goose - Nirvana
Blue Monday - Orgy
Black Clouds - Papa Roach
Black - Pearl Jam
Raspberry Beret - Prince
What a Wonderful World (trees of green, red roses, too) - The Ramones
Purple Stain - Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Color Green - Rich Mullins
Black Sheep - Saliva
Shadows in Red - Sevendust
Black - Sevendust
Round of Blues - Shawn Colvin
Girl With Golden Eyes - Sixx A.M.
Vermilion - Slipknot
Vermilion, Part 2 - Slipknot
Black Betty - Spiderbait (and others)
Red Star - Third Eye Blind
Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue - Toby Keith
White as Snow - U2
Rainbow in the Sky - Ziggy Marley
posted by ThisKindNepenthe at 8:22 AM on July 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

I meant to mention that I don't know your musical tastes, but if you're not into the heavy stuff like Slipknot, you still might want to give Vermilion, Part 2 a listen. It's not typical Slipknot.
posted by ThisKindNepenthe at 8:32 AM on July 7, 2012

Black, Blue by the Avett Brothers
posted by punchtothehead at 8:34 AM on July 7, 2012

Best answer: If you want to totally geek out with this (which I totally would in your situation), you could add The Rains Of Castamere to your playlist, from the Game of Thrones.
  • It includes both red and gold in the lyrics.
  • It is sung by Bronn in the Red Keep, prior to the battle of Blackwater
  • 'Minstrels' play it again at the Red Wedding.
There are also both Blue Bayou (I like the Linda Ronstadt version) and Black Bayou (aka Swamp Witch), performed by everyone from Jim Stafford to the Charlie Daniels Band.

And don't forget All Around My Hat, I wear a Yellow Ribbon.

Has Yellow Submarine been mentioned yet? White Christmas? I'll Have a Blue Christmas Without You?
posted by misha at 8:51 AM on July 7, 2012

cat power- colors and the kids
cocteau twins- cherry colored funk
the decemberists- red right ankle
doc watson- black mountain rag
the dodos- black night
elliott smith- the white lady loves you more
fleet foxes- white winter hymnal
fleetwood mac- gold dust woman
joanna newsom- this side of the blue
leadbelly- poor howard/green corn
the mountain goats- pink and blue
the mountain goats- black pear tree
pixies- silver
weezer-pink triangle
will oldham-black
posted by iahtl at 8:52 AM on July 7, 2012

Green Eyed Lady
posted by misha at 8:54 AM on July 7, 2012

Best answer: Colors by Trocadero is exactly what you're looking for. It's on the album "The Ghosts that Linger," which was used as the soundtrack for a season of the web series Red vs. Blue.

And it's a love song, so you've got that going for you. (And a man/woman duet, if you dig that sort of thing.)

COLORS MENTIONED: Cyan, yellow, red, cobalt blue, purple.

You said you were good for red and blue songs, but I'll throw in other color-specific songs Trocadero did on Ghosts that Linger and their first album, "Roses are Red, Violets are Blue."

(I really love Trocadero)

Good Fight -- Ghosts That Linger

Steady Ride (Gun Metal Green) -- RAR, VAB

Blood Gulch Blues -- RAR, VAB

Blood Gulch Blues (Bloody Mix) -- GTL
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 8:57 AM on July 7, 2012

Little Red Riding Hood
posted by misha at 9:01 AM on July 7, 2012

Best answer: Someone made me a color-themed mixtape last year! Here are some of the tracks from it:

The Road Is A Grey Tape - Max Richter
Love Will Tear Us Apart (Red Version) - Swans
Orange With a Touch of Blue - Darin Schaffer
All The World Is Green - Tom Waits
Baby Blue - Martina Topley Bird
A Violet Fluid - Nine Inch Nails
The Sky Is Black - Telefon Tel Aviv (feat. Robin Guthrie)
The Blue Notebooks - Max Richter
Vladimir's Blues - Max Richter
Green Arrow - Yo La Tengo
More Yellow Birds - Sparklehorse
Agent Orange - Depeche Mode
Red Apple Falls - Smog
posted by colorproof at 9:51 AM on July 7, 2012

Best answer: Roygbiv by Boards of Canada has got em all!
posted by ZipRibbons at 10:35 AM on July 7, 2012 [2 favorites]

A Pair of Brown Eyes, The Pogues
Indigo Eyes, Peter Murphy
Violet Town, The Church
Pink Moon, Nick Drake
Pretty in Pink, Psychedelic Furs (note: original version is far superior to the re-recorded version for the movie!)
Pretty Green, The Jam
Orange Blossom Special, Johnny Cash
posted by scody at 1:35 PM on July 7, 2012

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots by The Flaming Lips.
posted by ellenaim at 1:40 PM on July 7, 2012

A few more:

My own favorite version of Rainbow Connection, by god himself, Willie Nelson.
Coat of Many Colors, Dolly Parton
Choice of Colors, the Impressions
Fade to Grey, Visage
posted by scody at 1:49 PM on July 7, 2012

Grace Kelly by MIKA:
I could be brown
I could be blue
I could be violet sky
I could be hurtful
I could be purple
I could be anything you like
Gotta be green
Gotta be mean
Gotta be everything more
Why don't you like me?
Why don't you like me?
Why don't you walk out the door!
posted by homodachi at 5:47 PM on July 7, 2012

For a little sonic variety, I think "Joseph's Coat" from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat would be just about perfect here. (Of course it's the 1974 studio version you want, if you can get it.) In particular, I truly doubt you are going to find another single song with this many colors in it:
I look handsome, I look smart
I am walking work of art
Such a dazzling coat of colours
How I love my coat of many colours

It was red and yellow and green and brown
And scarlet and black and ochre and peach
And ruby and olive and violet and fawn
And lilac and gold and chocolate and mauve
And cream and crimson and silver and rose
And azure and lemon and russet and grey
And purple and white and pink and orange
And red and yellow and green and brown and
Scarlet and black and ochre and peach
And ruby and olive and violet and fawn
And lilac and gold and chocolate and mauve
And cream and crimson and silver and rose
And azure and lemon and russet and grey
And purple and white and pink and orange
And blue
posted by escabeche at 7:09 PM on July 7, 2012

But since you seem to be best-answering lots of indie, let me also recommend "Orange Ball of Love" and "Orange Ball of Hate," back to back songs on the Mountain Goats' astounding Zopilote Machine. Heck, if you want three tracks from the same record, "The Black Ice Cream Song" is on there too.

Here's "Orange Ball of Love."

I will also second Mika's "Grace Kelly," a piece of sugary pop so transcendently great that even people like me who don't really like sugary pop have to pay it its due respect.

Oh, and most people with warm memories of the early 1990s are always happy to be reminded of "Grey Cell Green," by Ned's Atomic Dustbin.
posted by escabeche at 7:22 PM on July 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Pretty Pink Rose, Adrian Belew featuring David Bowie
posted by Ardea alba at 8:10 PM on July 7, 2012

...Dunno if you really *need* more blues. Blue is a popular color!
posted by NoraReed at 8:29 PM on July 7, 2012

The Scarlet Thing in You, Peter Murphy

Black Planet, The Sisters of Murphy. If I were to pick a song to epitomize "black," this is the choice.
posted by Ardea alba at 8:34 PM on July 7, 2012

Ebony Eyes - Bob Welch
Indigo Blues - The Smithereens
Sister Golden Hair - America
Golden Lights - Twinkle or The Smiths
Black Coffee In Bed - Squeeze
posted by SisterHavana at 9:52 PM on July 7, 2012

Plain Gold Ring - Kimbra
White House - Vanessa Carlton
posted by kylej at 11:47 PM on July 7, 2012

*White Houses
posted by kylej at 11:47 PM on July 7, 2012

There are 3 color songs on the AFI album Sing the Sorrow: Bleed Black, Silver and Cold, and Girl's Not Grey.
posted by ThisKindNepenthe at 12:10 AM on July 8, 2012

Bled White -- Elliott Smith
posted by secretary bird at 5:25 AM on July 8, 2012

Best answer: Red Rain - The White Stripes
Red Rabbits - The Shins
Red Shoes - Tom Waits
Murder in the Red Barn - Tom Waits

Orange Blossom Special - tons of artists
Orange Crush - REM

Yellow Ledbetter - Pearl Jam
Yellow Submarine - Beatles
Yellow Sun - The Raconteurs

Green Light - Firewater
Green Pastures in the Sky - Ralph Stanley
Leaves That Are Green - Simon and Garfunkel
All the World is Green - Tom Waits
Green Grass - Tom Waits
The Willow Green - Uncle Skeleton

Questions in a World of Blue - Angelo Badalamenti (with Julee Cruise)
Blue Frank - Angelo Badalamenti
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea - Benny Goodman
Cool Blue Reason - Cake
Blue Railroad Train - Doc Watson
Blue Monday - Fats Domino
Out of the Blue - George Harrison
Blue Eyes Cryin in the Rain - Roy Acuff
Blue Angel - Roy Orbison
Blue Bayou - Roy Orbison
For You Blue - The Beatles
Blue Jay Way - The Beatles
Blue Rondo a la Turk - Dave Brubeck Quartet
Blue Veins - The Raconteurs
Blue Orchid - The White Stripes
Blue Monk - Thelonius Monk
What's That Blue Thing Doing Here? - They Might be Giants
A Sweet Little Bullet From a Pretty Blue Gun - Tom Waits
Blue Valentines - Tom Waits

Mood Indigo - Thelonius Monk

Purple Toupee - They Might Be Giants

White Bitch - Black Diamond Heavies
White Lexus - Mike Doughty
Honey White - Morphine
White Girl - Soul Coughing
White Moon - The White Stripes

The Beauty of Gray - Live

Back in Black - AC/DC
The Black Dog Runs at Night - Angelo Badalamenti
Black Tambourine - Beck
Buried in Your Black Heart - Burden Brothers
Black Mountain Rag - Doc Watson
Black Waters - Jody Stecher
The Long Black Veil - Johnny Cash
Man in Black - Johnny Cash
That Old Black Magic - Louis Prima
Fade to Black - Metallica
Black - Pearl Jam
Black Heroes - Ratatat
Black Betty - multiple artists
Black Grease - The Black Angels
Little Black Submarines - The Black Keys
Black Door - The Black Keys
Black Rain - The Mattson 2
Many Shades of Black - The Raconteurs
Black Wave - The Shins
Black Math - The White Stripes
Black and Tan Fantasy - Thelonius Monk
Big Black Mariah - Tom Waits
Black Wings - Tom Waits
Black Market Baby - Tom Waits
Black Girls - Violent Femmes

Poor Brown Sugar - Black Diamond Heavies
The Fields Have Turned to Brown - Ralph Stanley
Golden Brown - The Stranglers
posted by komara at 8:23 AM on July 9, 2012

"Theme" (or even "lyric") might be overstating it, but Aquarius by Boards of Canada contains this Sesame Street sample of the word "orange".

Also they have a song called Turquoise Hexagon Sun.

Yes, I'm a huge fan.
posted by O9scar at 7:04 PM on July 9, 2012

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