Too much tertiary education... Former performer/wrestler, teacher, scientist; Published author & Father... Want to be a writer if I grow up...
Published May 9th 2021
Pink and Purple are the colours of music
We continue with our look at colours in songs. We've done red, blue and green and yellow. Some weird tracks and some choices that you were clearly not expecting. So, let's continue with Pink and Purple!
Again, because of a lack of songs in each colour, we'll lump these two together, but they complement one another. Pink generally represents love and purple royalty. Not here, though. They're just colours. And we can't even say they are rhyming because purple is notoriously impossible to rhyme well. Also, there is a song here with a synonym for a shade of purple to make it up to an even dozen of tracks.
So, let's get to it. Tracks that my daughter would have loved when she was five years old (not so much now). Pink and purple in song. (My one song per artist is waived here because one artist has two songs with two different variations of the colours.)
'The Purple People Eater' by Sheb Wooley (1958)
We'll start with a song that I have on 45… twice. Both my parents bought the single when it came out, so I have two copies of it. It was clearly one of those songs that was everywhere at the time, and it is just a strange novelty song… with a story later adapted into Blondie's 'Rapture'. But the tale of an alien who joins a rock band is still great fun.
'Pink Shoelaces' by Dodie Stevens (1959)
A novelty song sung by a girl in her teens (maybe even pre-teen; details are sketchy), with lyrics that make very little sense, about a guy she likes who has an interesting dress sense. Still, a song I strangely don't mind.
'Deep Purple' by Nino Tempo & April Stevens (1963)
A song from the 1930s, performed by a brother and sister duo, this is an odd song that I have on 45 thanks to my father. I guess because I grew up hearing it, I cannot hate it. And it is just a great version of the classic track.
'Purple Haze' by The Jimi Hendrix Experience (1967)
This was the first song I thought of with the colour purple. And why not? That amazing guitar playing, the strange lyrics ("Excuse me, while I kiss the sky…") about taking hallucinogenic drugs or maybe about a science-fiction book he read ad Chas Chandler's house (and I am not making that up) and Hendrix's decent voice, this is a classic rock staple for a reason – it's brilliant.
'Lily The Pink' by Scaffold (1968)
A bizarre novelty song about a snake-oil medicine, written by comedian John Gorman, poet Roger McGough and Mike McGear (Paul McCartney's younger brother). It might seem simple, but after you hear it, it is one of the most insidious earworms ever. Still, I like it.
'Pretty In Pink' by Psychedelic Furs (1981; re-recorded 1986)
Yes, the film was named after the song, not the other way around. Just a standard song lyrically, but the early New Romantic music accompaniment really made it stand out. I admit I did not know it until the film came out (which I saw in the cinema with Clare), and I have enjoyed the track ever since.
'Pink Houses' by John Cougar Mellencamp (1983)
An interesting song, this one is Mellencamp telling the world that the American Dream is failing. I did not know that, to be honest, until I read an interview many years later. But it's Mellencamp at the peak of his songwriting powers, and this is such a good track.
'Purple Rain' by Prince (1984)
From the film of the same name, resulting in one of Prince's best albums, this slow track about his early life is just stunning, sung fantastically, with guitar playing that goes beyond what we had expected from Prince at that point. For what it's worth, I do enjoy the film as well, but the album is just amazing. And this song is one of the many highlights.
'Raspberry Beret' by Prince & The Revolution (1985)
Given this column's colour scheme, you had to know that The Purple One would be the artist I doubled up on. To my mind, Prince's prime song-writing period was in the middle of the 1980s, from '81 to about '88. And this is yet another of his songs that has become a classic, with some really nice instrumentation and quite poetic lyrics. I really like this one.
'Sink The Pink' by AC/DC (1985)
AC/DC at their most raunchy and unsubtle. However, it has two meanings. Neither are subtle. One is about shooting up heroin, the other is about making love. Or maybe it really is about playing snooker? That's it. Made by a cool guitar line and Brian Johnson's delivery, it is just a typical, fun AC/DC song.
'Pink Cadillac' by Jerry Lee Lewis & Bruce Springsteen (2006)
Originally a non-album B-side by Springsteen, made into a charting single by Natalie Cole, my favourite version is from the Jerry Lee Lewis duets albumLast Man Standing where Lewis and Springsteen countrify it and I just love the sense of fun they have singing it. Great version.
'Give Boys Pink Toys' by Laura Imbruglia (2019)
From the Scared Of You album, this song, with its vocal distortion and great guitar playing has a message and sells it awesomely. Great song from an under-rated album. And the perfect way to close off this list.
Pink and purple songs. Another eclectic list. I am noticing that these colour lists are featuring a lot of songs from before 1970, which I find odd. I mean, I am used to having some songs from that era in my lists but a lot are appearing here.
Anyway, as usual, I hope you found something you like and if I forgot something, leave it in the comments below.