I really think one of the best things about country music is that artists find inspiration anywhere, and sometimes all it takes is a simple colour to spark creativity. I love songs that use colour, and think it’s one of the best ways to evoke emotion – red for passion or hate, blue for sadness, yellow for calm. When doing my research for this post, I really was surprised by the number of songs that utilise colour, but I’ve narrowed them down to my top five – let me know what you think! In no particular order…
1. Red – Taylor Swift
Starting off strong with an absolute classic. Taylor’s Red album may have marked the beginning of her move away from country music, but still has enough country in it for me to consider it a country-pop record, and that definitely goes for the title track too. It’s country music on steroids with its EDM style backing vocals, and full of plenty of evocative colour imagery charting a very intense relationship. She sings: “Losing him was blue, like I’d never known, missing him was dark grey, all alone, forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you never met, but loving him was red.” I think Taylor could write a whole album just about colour and it still be a lyrical masterpiece. Indeed, in my opinion, the whole Red album is already a masterpiece, and I can’t wait to hear the re-records!
2. Blue – Leann Rimes
Yes for strong female vocalists, yes for more yodelling in country, and yes for Leann Rimes. I don’t think I was ever more astounded than when I found out that Leann recorded Blue when she was just thirteen years old, and remains the youngest ever Grammy Award Winner, taking home two Grammy’s for Best New Artist and Best Country Female Vocal Performance for that song at the age of 14 in 1997. It’s no surprise why – Blue speaks volumes of Leann’s vocal maturity, even at that age, and I have doubts that many older singers could tackle this song. Whilst the lyrics are fairly simple, to me this song perfectly highlights those lonesome blues.
3. Black – Dierks Bentley
I applaud any artist who writes songs about their significant other, because you’re putting your personal life out there for the whole world to see and comment on. However, when you write a song like Dierks Bentley’s Black, that’s not such a bad thing. An homage to his wife Cassidy, whose maiden name is Black, this is a song that talks about the mysterious and sexy side of their relationship, and what happens in the black of night. Maybe sometimes what we need is not colour itself, but the absence of it to bring our other senses to the fore…
4. Blue Ain’t Your Colour – Keith Urban
Guess what emotion we’re dealing with here? This Keith Urban song takes sort of an outsider’s perspective of the aforementioned Leann Rimes song, looking across the bar at a lonesome woman and commenting that blue emotions don’t look good on her. I love the lines: “Blue looks good on the sky, looks good on that neon buzzin’ on the wall but darling, it don’t match your eyes.” It’s the kind of song you want to slow dance too (although probably shouldn’t, given the sad lyrics), but one things for sure – if Mr Urban sang this to me, I certainly wouldn’t be feeling blue anymore.
5. Pink Sunglasses – Miranda Lambert
Let’s finish with a fun one – we can always count on Miranda Lambert to provide a bit of levity, and Pink Sunglasses is such a fun song that made me feel like a boss the first time I heard it. This song is less about feeling like a colour than the feeling that colours can give us, and in this case, the power of $9.99 pink plastic sunglasses to help us feel a little better. With testimonials like “I put ‘em on to keep it positive”, “my pink sunglasses always make the world look a little better,” and “you can try ‘em anytime you need a change of the weather,” I’m seriously starting to think that all I need is a pair of pink sunglasses to fix 2021.
I hope you enjoyed today’s Top 5! What colour songs would make your list? Blake Shelton’s Green? Hunter Hayes’s Wild Blue? Dustin Lynch’s Seein’ Red? Let us know on Twitter @Think_Country and @CiarasCountry, and if you want to hear even more connected country songs, tune in for Ciara’s Country Connections every Friday from 5-8pm on www.UKCountryRadio.com. Thanks for reading!
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