Too much tertiary education... Former performer/wrestler, teacher, scientist; Published author & Father... Want to be a writer if I grow up...
Published May 7th 2021
Green and Yellow are the colours of music
So, we've had red songs and blue songs, and those lists were not too bad to collate. Well, now we come to some issues. Some colours did not have enough songs I like (and that is important) to warrant lists of their own, and so now I'm going to be combining colours from here on.
The first of these combo lists is Green and Yellow.
Green traditionally represents jealousy and yellow represents cowardice. But that is not what you'll find in the music. They are just colours that rhyme well, I guess. But that does mean this is an interesting collection of songs.
So, here we go – yellow and green in song!
'Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini' by Brian Hyland (1960)
A novelty song, sure, but it is one of those strange pre-Beatles songs of the 1960s that just lodges itself in your head and will not leave. About a girl in a revealing bikini, the songwriter later revealed it was written about his five year old daughter. Strange. But fun.
'Green Onions' by Booker T. & the MG's (1962)
One of those instrumental pieces that you hear everywhere and yet don't know the name of. The MG's would go on to become part of The Blues Brothers, and you can hear why they were selected in how tight they play here. Good track.
'Mellow Yellow' by Donovan (1966)
I first heard this song when I was 12 or 13 and had no idea what it meant. It is now close to 40 years later and I still have no idea what he's going on about, but I still like the song with is weird lyrics and low-level psychedelia.
'Yellow Submarine' by The Beatles (1966)
From their classic album Revolver, and later the title track of a really strange animated movie, this song is a bit of pop fun that I learnt in school (Singing And Listening on the ABC) and still know. I had an experience in 2015 where I started singing it and led a chorus of over 30 people in it by the end. Everyone still knows this song.
'Green, Green Grass Of Home' by Tom Jones (1966)
A country song that Jones turned into one of his bombastic 60s pop hits, about a man remembering his home from the confines of or after leaving the confines of a prison cell. One of the songs that has become synonymous with Sir Tom, he sells it so well. Despite all the jokes, he has a really good voice.
'Little Green Bag' by George Baker Selection (1969)
Probably best known to today's pop culture junkies from its use in Quentin Tarantino' film Reservoir Dogs, this bit of jazz-pop-rock is a good song on its own. I didn't like it as a kid, but when I rediscovered it as a teenager in the 80s, it grew on me. Decent track.
'Green River' by Creedence Clearwater Revival (1969)
One of Creedence's many great songs, a rocker about nostalgia, this is just, quite simply, a really good rock song. Hard to believe the sheer number of awesome tracks CCR released over such a short period of time.
'Yellow River' by Christie (1970)
A strange song that is sort of proto-glam rock and, I think, an anti-Vietnam War song, it is just a song that has stuck with me for years, ever since I first heard it. Not a personal favourite track, I admit, but I cannot help but stop and listen to it whenever it comes on.
'Big Yellow Taxi' by Joni Mitchell (1970)
A depressing song lyrically about how modern human life is taking away something of the natural beauty of the world. It could be argued that it is the first environmentally conscious song to make the charts, and it is still relevant today… which is really depressing in and of itself.
'Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree' by Tony Orlando & Dawn (1973)
Another guy in prison song. Odd. Anyway, this is my guilty pleasure song for this list, because it is considered cheesy and annoying, but I like it, and, yes, I know all the lyrics. My mum liked this, so I think that's why it is so ingrained in me. Not the best, but fun.
'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' by Elton John (1973)
One of Elton John's very best songs, this tale of not coping with fame and wanting to go back to a simple life made an instant impact and is still one of his best-known songs. The allusion to The Wizard Of Oz is deliberate and well-done without being overbearing; Bernie Taupin's lyrics are a masterclass of writing. Beautiful song.
'Green Door' by Shakin' Stevens (1981)
I know it is a cover of a Jim Lowe sing, but I heard Shakin' Stevens' version first and associate it with him. He does a great version, and I still know all the words, and I sing them with his inflection. Shaky was better than people gave him credit for.
'Yellow' by Coldplay (2000)
A depressing song with a depressing video, when it was released, it was one of those tracks that was everywhere, which was odd, because I'm pretty sure you couldn't dance to it. Still, I like it. Their first single and it all started here.
'Green Light' by Lorde (2017)
I liked 'Royals' and then sort of forgot about Lorde. Then she released this track in 2017 and it felt different, but it still dragged me in. The piano section, her voice, the poppier feel without losing the intensity of her voice – I felt it was dismissed by too many undeservedly. Great song to finish on here.
And there you are, green and yellow in song. Another strange collection, with a lot of older songs and then a couple from more recent times. Hope you found something here to enjoy.
And, again, if you have any others, please leave them in the comments below.