Colors play an important role in everyday life and at times, can evoke emotion much in the same way as music. Yellow is a magnificent color that tends to embody a feeling of joyful, radiant warmth. Here is a list of songs that utilize the color yellow within the song.
Song Year: 1973
This classic track from the 1970s by Elton John is a song you’ve likely heard at some point in your life. The song features potent lyrics written by Elton John’s creative co-writer, Bernie Taupin.
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road features a message about someone walking away from the glitz and glamour of the fame spotlight to return back to a rustic, honest way of living. The title is also an obvious nod to the famed film, The Wizard of Oz.
Song Year: 2000
When Yellow was released in 2000 by the power pop rock band Coldplay, it became an instant radio hit. The song was allegedly written in a flash of inspiration induced by the stars in the night sky while the band was taking a break during a recording session.
Yellow is a beautiful song lyrically, as it pays homage to the care one has for another and all the small things they do for each other. The song is driven by a pulsing rhythm with soft, falsetto vocals delivered in a heartfelt ballad.
Song Year: 2005
The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth is a seriously catchy and upbeat song that will certainly make you want to clap your hands and say, “yeah!” The song opens up with a bitcrushed synthesizer before a dance beat drum pattern and jangly guitars enter to amplify the mood of the song.
This track by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah features a message about someone from a rural background taking a chance to live in the big city. There are obviously quite a few differences between country life and city life, and this song manages to capture that feeling quite well.
Song Year: 1974
There are quite a few things that Frank Zappa is known for, including zany lyrics and wizardly musical compositions. Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow, from Zappa’s album Apostrophe(‘) is a classic, fan-favorite piece in the musician’s repertoire.
The song features a story about somebody who became an Eskimo in a dream. The song derives its title from a warning the main character’s mother gives them when they decide to venture out into the unknown.
Song Year: 1967
This classic track from Donovan is highly fitting for the period of psychedelia that was so popular at the time. Mellow Yellow is as mellow as the title suggests, and there is no doubt that the song will get stuck in your head.
There are a few fan theories about what the song is about. Some say it involves the famous album by The Velvet Underground that features iconic artwork by Andy Warhol. Others claim that the song is about bananas, or rather, electric-powered banana-shaped things. Regardless, this is an absolute timeless song.
Song Year: 1992
The song Yellow Ledbetter became a massive radio hit, forging itself into a fan-favorite anthem in Pearl Jam’s repertoire. Yellow Ledbetter features spanky Stratocaster-sounding guitar riffs by Stone Gossard as well as Eddie Vedder’s iconic voice being used as an instrument.
The meaning of the song is supposedly a nod to a friend of Vedder who lost his brother in the Gulf War. A yellow envelope was delivered to his friend, which was immediately recognizable for the message it contained.
Song Year: 2013
The song Purple Yellow Red and Blue by Portugal. The Man is a song about having ambitions to be a star, reveling in the colors of a television screen. The lyrics convey a message of commentary on the mindset of the modern age, where people are driven and dominated by instant gratification. The song is has a very pop-rock feel driven by the singer’s falsetto delivery.
Song Year: 2007
The band Arctic Monkeys grew to public acclaim in the early 2000s with the social media platform Myspace. The song “Old Yellow Bricks” features indie-rock stylings that are the signature sounds of this band.
Old Yellow Bricks is essentially about somebody who has issues with escapism, always avoiding something and never doing anything to change their situation. This is a person that would rather live a life blinded by sentimental nostalgia. The person in question is a professional at performing a disappearing act.
Song Year: 2018
The song Yellow by Pity Party (Girls Club) is a track that meshes a low-fi downbeat aesthetic with a simple pop arrangement. The lyrics deliver a message about someone who fully appreciates another person, and who would like to take a chance on love despite the obvious hurts that could come with it.
Song Year: 1970
The song Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell is a massively famous song that has been covered by many musicians since it was first released in 1970. This song’s lyrics embody the fact that everything is impermanent.
Quite often, things that are so enjoyable to someone will be demolished, only to accommodate something for someone else’s enjoyment. This song also features an iconic chorus that echoes and rings true throughout history, while also being a soft jab at consumption-driven capitalist society.
Song Year: 2020
Yellow Hearts is a song by pop artist Ant Saunders that features vocalist Audrey Mika to deliver a story about how love can be complicated with mixed signals. This song is quite reminiscent of teenage love in all its innocence. Musically, the song is a relatively straightforward pop song with simple piano chord stabs, allowing the vocal stylings of each artist to take the main stage.
Song Year: 2018
Yellow Lights is a pop song about how one person’s love can be the sunshine of their life, despite the other person being in a dark period of their life. This Harry Hudson track asks some questions about the permanence of love and whether the same feelings would be reciprocated if the roles were reversed. Musically, this is a gentle song with multi-layered vocals accompanied by piano.
Song Year: 2013
The song Yellow Bird is an instrumental track composed by producer Derek Vincent Smith (a.k.a. Pretty Lights) from his release A Color Map of the Sun. The track features multi-layered instruments that have a vintage-feeling sun-washed vibe. Yellow Bird could almost land itself in a chill-step musical category, as it is a song that is perfect to have on while getting tasks accomplished.
Song Year: 2021
The song Steal a Yellow Cab by the electronic dance-pop group Matt and Kim is an energetic song about throwing caution to the wind to experience the small joys in life, such as making friends with strangers in a jail cell and feeling the breeze through the window of a stolen taxi cab. It must be said that that is a strange way to experience life’s luxuries, but to each their own, right?
Song Year: 2002
Blue and Yellow is a classic track from the emo-rock band The Used. The song features musical stylings that are signature to this band (and the music genre overall), with ballad-y vocals and melodramatic instrumentation.
There are many different fan-made interpretations of what this song’s lyrics mean. For the most part, there is consensus that it is about jealousy due to the fact that the mixture of yellow and blue makes green, which is sometimes thought to be the color of envy. Overall, the song conveys a message about someone wishing to have made changes sooner to spend their time with someone else, as opposed to what they were doing previously.
Song Year: 2015
Yellow Love by the band Citizen is a love song that features incredibly sparse instrumentation. In a way, the song evokes a sense of desolation.
The music coupled with the lyrics seems to convey a sense of unrequited love, of a candle that’s been burning too long. The song washes out in gentle white noise at the end of the track, with lonely lo-fi singing accompanied by a piano that is reminiscent of the darkest night one would like to forget.
Song Year: 2012
This track by the Icelandic folk-pop rock group Of Monsters and Men features a call and response type of lyric delivery, accompanied by a rolling musicality that builds into a massive climax.
Yellow Light is a song about following someone else through the darkness of life, and trusting that love will prevail despite all of the dangers that could cause hurt. The song also conveys that even if the aforementioned dangers get the upper hand, the consequence will be shared out of love for one another.
Song Year: 2015
Yellow Eyes is an easy-going track that is tinged with the golden tones of country guitar that seem to herald the coming of a brand new day. This song by Rayland Baxter is about moving on from somebody and taking the chance to start a new life, despite how that other person might feel about them leaving.
Song Year: 1966
You didn’t think we would forget about Yellow Submarine by The Beatles, did you? This is likely the first song that would pop into the thoughts of many people when asked to name a song with the color yellow in the title.
This track is a true classic that would go on to spawn a delightfully colorful film in 1968. The song, sung by drummer Ringo Starr, tells the tale of a group of people who embark on a long journey aboard a submarine. In many ways, it could be thought of as a parallel to life on the tour bus during the heyday of The Beatles’ performing career before they decided to retire from the road.
As you can see, the color yellow has been used quite frequently in music throughout the decades. Many of these songs deal with love, but many others have messages about taking chances and having a sense of adventure. These songs about yellow (whether it be an item, a look, or a feeling) can make a great addition to any playlist, especially one that is yellow-themed.