16 Of The Best Songs About The Color Purple

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

What do you think of the color purple? You’ll notice that it makes things pop! Aside from that, it is an imaginative color made from the right balance of red and blue.

This color is often associated with royalty, wealth, nobility, and power. It also represents sophistication, passion, fantasy, and spirituality, among others. See? Purple is the right color to showcase feelings and ideas.

And so musicians have penned songs that celebrate this color. If you appreciate purple and all its shades, you’ll enjoy our compilation of 16 of the best songs about the color purple. Have fun reading!

1. “Purple Rain” By Prince

One of the most popular songs with “purple” in the title is one from singer-songwriter and musician Prince. “Purple Rain” has been firmly embedded within pop culture references and on numerous music charts globally.

In the song, purple rain has a deep symbolic meaning. Prince himself explains that this song is about the end of the world and being with the person you love. Purple rain comes from blood in the sky – a combination of red and blue. Hence, purple rain represents an apocalyptic scenario.

The song is also about asking God or your faith to guide you through challenging times.

Notably, another song by Prince, the 1982 single “1999,” also references this ominous purple sky. The line goes, “The sky was all purple,” and the song was also about the end of the world.

2. “Purple Haze” By Jimi Hendrix

Our next spot belongs to Jimi Hendrix‘s “Purple Haze,” a song that has been given various interpretations over the years. Nevertheless, this song secures Hendrix’s legacy as a pioneering figure in rock music.

The purple haze presents itself throughout the song as both a state of mind and a color-associated symbol. Lyrics such as “purple haze all around, don’t know if I’m coming up or down,” effectively convey a sense of confusion and disorientation.

Hendrix has also denied suggestions that the song is about the use of drugs. He said that “Purple Haze” was inspired by a dream where he was surrounded by a purple haze. This suggests that the color signifies a dream-like state or an otherworldly experience.

3. “Purple Lamborghini” By Skrillex And Rick Ross

The 2016 film Suicide Squad features the song “Purple Lamborghini” by Skrillex and Rick Ross. The color is associated with Joker’s car, a standout feature of his character in the film.

If you’ll notice, the song focuses more on the lifestyle than a car. The lyrics paint a picture of luxury and power, reflecting Joker’s desire for control and dominance.

Notably, Joker’s car is not a Lamborghini but a Vaydor G35. However, “Purple Lamborghini” is a metaphor for Joker’s eccentric personality. The term represents the lavish and dangerous lifestyle that he lives as a criminal.

4. “purpleworld” By Olivia O’Brien

Purple represents passion. Or a relationship filled with mystery and confusion. This is the idea behind Olivia O’Brien‘s 2019 single “purpleworld.”

In the context of “purpleworld,” the color symbolizes a place or a state where the singer’s emotions are intense. She feels safe in this place to feel the depth of her feelings. But outside of this world is the fact that her lover, or ex, is no longer interested in her.

Despite knowing better, she still harbors strong feelings for him, telling him she’d run to him if he called her. Even if he keeps making mistakes, she still finds herself forgiving him. All of these hurt her, so she retreats to her purple world, where everything is okay.

5. “Purple People Eater” By Sheb Wooley

Up next is a novelty song that’s sure to give you a smile. “Purple People Eater” by Sheb Wooley was released in 1958 and topped the charts in Canada and Australia.

The song is about this strange creature “comin’ out of the sky.” It is described as a “one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater.” The color adds to the unusual nature of the creature, referencing the observation that it is not of this world.

The big confusion arises when it comes to the real character of this creature. While it is a “purple people eater,” the lyrics also claim that it is a creature that eats purple people. So which is which? Is it a purple creature that eats people or a creature that eats purple people? With a lot of adjectives in the song, it’s definitely hard to tell.

6. “Purple Yellow Red And Blue” By Portugal. The Man

With its catchy melody and infectious rhythm, “Purple Yellow Red and Blue” by Portugal. The Man explores themes of fame, hedonism, and self-expression.

As you know, the color purple is associated with royalty. Hence, purple is a metaphor for fame and success in the song. It can also stand for the excitement that the singer seeks.

Another interpretation of purple in the song is one’s desire for an extraordinary life, one that is far from monotonous. The singer wanting to be “a movie star on TV” or “a rich-kid born celebrity” aligns with this view.

7. “Purple Hearts” By Kendrick Lamar, Summer Walker, And Ghostface Killah

The 2022 single “Purple Hearts” is a collaboration between Kendrick Lamar, Summer Walker, and Ghostface Killah. The song uses the color purple as a metaphorical symbol.

The “Purple Hearts” represent one’s intense feelings of love. In the lyrics, the song talks about a rollercoaster of emotions that come with passionate love. The color purple best describes these complex feelings to represent the ups and downs and intensity of emotions.

Moreover, “Purple Hearts” encourages listeners to turn away from shallow relationships. Instead, focus on meaningful connections with family and friends. The song reminds us to cherish these people because they are the ones who stick with us through thick and thin.

8. “Purple Hat” By SOFI TUKKER

The infectious track “Purple Hat” is by SOFI TUKKER. With its playful lyrics, the song uses the color purple to represent freedom, celebration, and self-expression.

The song’s title itself holds symbolic meaning, as the color purple is associated with creativity, individuality, and uniqueness. By donning a purple hat, you easily stand out, and you accept your uniqueness. You’re not afraid to be the center of attention.

At its core, this song celebrates one’s individuality. It encourages listeners to revel in self-expression and celebrate life’s colorful moments. It tells us not to be afraid to stand out, like the color purple in its vibrancy.

9. “A Purple Cow” By Doris Day

The whimsical and playful “A Purple Cow” is one entertaining song to listen to from Doris Day. Here, the song mentions “purple” to evoke a sense of fantasy, imagination, and unexpected joy.

The purple cow represents something that is unusual but delightful, just like seeing a purple cow in real life. It best represents a happenstance in the singer’s life. That is, falling in love.

The song claims that “You gotta be in love to see a purple cow.” It speaks to the power of love, of what it can do to a person when it manifests.

10. “Purple Sky” By Kid Rock

Adapted from Jason Boland & The Stragglers’ “Telephone Romeo,” Kid Rock‘s “Purple Sky” is a lively and upbeat song that showcases the artist’s unique blend of rock, country, and rap. The song explores themes of belongingness, companionship, and adventure.

In this song with “purple” in the lyrics, the singer recounts the feelings of confusion and loneliness while being disconnected from the person he loves. He and his lover are separated by time and distance, and their only connection is “the same stretch of road.”

In the context of the color, purple is used in the song to represent melancholy or longing for something in the past. The color also represents the singer’s nostalgia and longing for reconnection.

11. “The Purple Bottle” By Animal Collective

The color purple symbolizes intense feelings of love and affection, as shown in “The Purple Bottle” by Animal Collective. This song uses purple as a metaphor for connection and deep emotions.

In the line “Can I tell you that you are the purple in me?” the singer means that his lover brings a deeper meaning to his life. The color purple, representing romance, encapsulates the emotions that the lyrics convey. When you’re deeply in love, the other person becomes a part of you, coloring your world and emotions.

In the context of the color, the purple bottle is seen as a container of these intense emotions. Purple symbolizes the emotional connection that two people in love foster and nourish.

12. “Purple Snowflakes” By John Legend

Purple is the perfect color to represent mystery and magic. Incorporating this color in a song, a Christmas and love song at that, adds a layer of depth to the lyrics. Such as the case with John Legend‘s rendition of “Purple Snowflakes.”

In the song, purple helps to create metaphorical imagery. The purple snowflakes work as a metaphor for a rare and extraordinary love. The lyrics express the idea that just as purple snowflakes are unique and uncommon, the love described in the song is also extraordinary and special.

The song’s meaning can be interpreted as a celebration of a love that stands out from the ordinary. It suggests that the love shared between two people is unlike anything else, as rare and beautiful as purple snowflakes.

13. “Purple Sun” By Cannons

The American indie pop band, Cannons, is known for its dreamy and atmospheric sound, often incorporating elements of electronic and synth-pop. All of these charming qualities come together in their song “Purple Sun,” released in 2022.

The song uses the color purple to depict a dreamy state of love. It’s about being with someone you love, having fun, and living happily in the moment.

The purple sun is a metaphor for a beautiful world where reality and dreams collide. In this world, lovers are free to express their desires and emotions without any fear or worries.

14. “Purple” By Nas

From Nas‘ album The Lost Tapes comes the single “Purple.” Here, Nas uses color to represent his state of mind.

In the lyrics, he sings, “My state of mind’s all purple.” This is a reference to using weed (sometimes referred to as “purple haze”) as one’s coping mechanism for emotional and psychological distress.

In this case, the color purple represents the sense of calm and escape he experiences when using weed. If you must know, this is a common theme in Nas’ music. He often reflects on his struggles and experiences on the streets.

15. “Lavender Haze” By Taylor Swift

Our list will not be complete without Taylor Swift‘s “Lavender Haze.” Swift got the idea for the title after she had learned the expression from the television series Mad Men. If one experiences lavender haze, she experiences the serenity that comes with being deeply in love.

The song is all about protecting the love you share with someone important. When you’re in a lavender haze, you’ll do everything to protect it from people or circumstances that might ruin it.

The lyrics were inspired by Swift’s romance with English actor Joe Alwyn. She shares that since we are in a social media era, everyone wants to know everything. This often leads to baseless rumors and tabloid issues. Swift found out that the best way to approach these is by ignoring them so she can protect her relationship.

16. “Violet Hill” By Coldplay

To end this list, we have “Violet Hill” by the British rock band Coldplay. The song explores themes of conflict, war, and social commentary.

The song uses purple, or in this case, violet, to symbolize mystery, spirituality, and change. The lyrics depict a bleak and war-torn landscape, and the violet hill represents the aftermath of a battle.

The inspiration behind the song’s lyrics was drawn from various sources. Coldplay has stated that “Violet Hill” was influenced by the band’s concerns about global conflicts and the consequences of war, as well as their observations of societal and political dynamics.

Summing Up Our List Of The Color Purple Songs

As you’ve seen, the songs above made a significant impact on music history. From rock ‘n roll classics to modern pop anthems, these songs showcase the unique significance and symbolism of the color purple. So if you’re looking for playful songs or emotional ballads, our list delivers just that.

Did you like our compilation today? We hope you do! This is yet another idea for a cool playlist about colors.

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Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.