I don't understand about complimentary colors
And what they say
Side by side they both get bright
Together they both get gray

But he's been pretty much yellow
And I've been kinda blue
But all I can see is
Red, red, red, red, red now
What am I gonna do

I don't understand about
Diamonds and why men buy them
What's so impressive about a diamond
Except the mining

And it's dangerous work
Trying to get to you too
And I think if I didn't have to
Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill
Kill myself doing it
Maybe I wouldn't think so much of you

I've been watching all the time
And I still can't find the tact
And I wanna know is it okay
Is it just fine
Was it my fault
Is it my lack

I don't understand about
The weather outside
Or the harmony to the words
why somebody lied

There's solace a bit for submitting
To the fitfully cryptically true
What's happened has happened
What's coming is already on its way
With a role for me to play

I don't understand
I'll never understand
But I'm trying to understand
There's nothing else I can do


Lyrics submitted by maxivolt, edited by lisasonoda

Red Red Red song meanings
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27 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentTo me, this song deals with a woman who feels a level of disconnect with a man she cares for. She has identified that they're on different wavelengths yet still finds herself wanting him, and questions whether this disconnect is her fault or his. Just like she doesn't understand the weather etc., she doesn't understand their inability to connect despite the attraction or way they compliment each other. By the end of the song, however, she realizes that whatever happens, happens, and you can't push feelings or relationships.
    eastcoastloveon June 04, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General CommentDescribing someone as "yellow" was often used in the old days to describe someone as cowardly.
    If you were being yellow, you were being a coward.
    I remember an old movie, and the man was afraid that his girlfriend or wife (I forget) would think he was one and asked "You don't think I'm yellow, do you??"

    I'm pretty sure that's simply what it means. He was being cowardly and not standing up for what they had, so she got down in the dumps, or "blue" about that.

    As for the rest, there's so, so much behind it. I can't even begin to describe. She sounds like she doesn't know how to do anything but blame herself, but at the same time she rationally knows she shouldn't.
    gingerhon November 19, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think this song is about fear of commitment. She's thinking back on the relationship and events that just took place and now she's trying to figure out what her decision should be.

    "I don't understand about complimentary colors/and what they say/Side by side they both get bright/ Together they both get gray" -She's saying she doesn't get how people can mix and stay together without losing themselves. We shine bright on our own but once we mix were just gray.

    "But he's been pretty much yellow/ And I've been kind of blue/ But all I can see is/ Red, red, red, red, red now/ What am I gonna do"- They've been two different colors but now she can see them finding a 'happy' medium of sorts and that scares her. Him yellow, meaning happiness, and her kind of blue, maybe meaning kind of sad.

    "I don't understand about/Diamonds and why men buy them/What's so impressive about a diamond/Except the mining" -This could be literal or a reference. The literal explanation would be that he's proposed to her and now she's saying well i don't even like diamonds why even buy them? She could be saying that they're new age and tacky. The work to get them is better than the result. Though if it were a reference i believe it would be

    "But it's dangerous work/Trying to get to you too/And I think if I didn't have to/Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill myself doing it/Maybe I wouldn't think so much of you"-She's rethinking now. Saying if she didn't have to work so hard and go through dangerous emotional territory to get him then she wouldn't value or think so much of him. She's torn between being vulnerable and not moving forward in the relationship.

    "I've been watching all the time/ And I still can't find the track/ But what I wanna know is it okay/ Is it just fine/ Or is it my fault/ Is it my lack" -Shes trying to fit into the mold to commit but she cant quite figure out how to do it. Shes willing to try but its hard and she wondering if its her lack of emotion or if its someone elses fault. As well as whether or not he will still accept her with her flaws.

    "I don't understand about/ The weather outside/ Or the harmony in a tune/ Or why somebody lies" -Maybe she's been hurt in the past and now she's looking back on the lies she's been told. She's trying to figure out whether or not she wants to be vulnerable again with someone new.

    "There's solace a bit for submitting/ To the fitfully cryptically true'' - She's saying that there's comfort in simply submitting to what's unfortunately true, which is the evolution of the relationship. And that maybe she should let herself just get swept away and 'go with the flow.'

    "What's happened has happened/ What's coming is already on its way/ With a role for me to play" -This is pretty straightforward. Everything is happening whether she likes it or not. She already has a role to play in this and she now has to make a decision about whether or not she wants to accept that role.

    "I don't understand/ I'll never understand/ But I'm trying to understand/ There's nothing else I can do" -Again she's trying to make it work. She wants to make it work but there's nothing else she can do but try.

    I suck at doing things like this but thats just my interpretation in really shitty words.
    luckyme1192on December 21, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is the only song of which I hate the leaked version... the album version is sooo powerful. I love Fiona. I wanna marry her 'n stuff. ;)
    FeyTHon December 18, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHere's the way I see it: this song is about being married or in a long term relationship and falling out of love. Its about how they both know it. "red red red" means all they do is fight, and also symbolizes her frustration within the relationship. The complimentary color part means they they are all or nothing together: in the beginning or on good days they beam together; as of late, they have just been growing old and bored together. The diamond signifies a mistress. She keeps asking him and bringing it up even though she isn't getting clear answers...but she knows if she didn't it'd tear her apart.
    heidismellson February 13, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't understand about complimentary colors
    And what they say
    Side by side they both get bright
    Together they both get gray
    But he's been pretty much yellow
    And I've been kind of blue
    But all I can see is
    Red, red, red, red, red now
    What am I gonna do

    I don't understand about
    Diamonds and why men buy them
    What's so impressive about a diamond
    Except the mining
    But it's dangerous work
    Trying to get to you too
    And I think if I didn't have to
    Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill myself doing it
    Maybe I wouldn't think so much of you

    I've been watching all the time
    And I still can't find the track
    But what I wanna know is it okay
    Is it just fine
    Or is it my fault
    Is it my lack

    I don't understand about
    The weather outside
    Or the harmony in a tune
    Or why somebody lies
    There's solace a bit for submitting
    To the fitfully cryptically true
    What's happened has happened
    What's coming is already on its way
    With a role for me to play

    I don't understand
    I'll never understand
    But I'm trying to understand
    There's nothing else I can do
    susiestentoron October 08, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't think there is a relationship in this song, at least not in the official sense. Fiona's careful with her words. If she's seeing red, then they aren't together - they're getting bright.
    So why can't they be together? A hint might be in the colors, and her subsequent frustration. He's a coward. She can't reach him (like the diamond) and doesn't understand why. So the concern isn't the disconnect - it's the doubt. She honestly doesn't know if his resistance is because of his fear or her acts.

    Everything is a juxtaposition: the colors, the diamonds (bright) compared to the mining (dirt, dull), and truth/lies at the end. Musically, the song's center is neither major or minor. The entire doubt is then internalized to the song. Wonderful.
    MindsTheatrreon October 10, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentJust for anyone that doesn't know what complementary colors are, they're opposite colors on the color wheel. So you have your primary colors (red, blue, yellow) and your secondary colors (orange, green, purple). Each secondary color is made of two colors (yellow and blue make green) and the color not used is the complement of the secondary colors produced by the other two primaries.

    yellow + blue = green (red is the complementary color of green)
    yellow + red = orange (blue is the complementary color of orange)
    blue + red = purple (yellow is the complementary color of purple)

    When you put complementary colors side by side, they offset each other and they seem to grow brighter. When you mix them together they make gray or brown.

    That is some wonderful insight, MindsTheater. I think you're right on.
    LoserNo1on November 04, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSo this could possibly be way out of whack, but when she says:

    "Side by side they both get bright
    Together they both get gray"

    It makes me think of a relationship in the sense that the two people complement each other so well and as LoserNo1 said about complementary colours, the two people offset each other and seem to grow brighter, or happier rather when they are side by side. And then with the second part "Together they both go gray", the two people so happy and in love grow old together. I don't know if that makes sense to anybody else but it's another way to look at it, even if it doesn't fit with the meaning of the song as a whole.
    bttrflsndhrrcnson December 12, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentin poetry the color yellow often symbolizes someone who is sick (physically or mentally) or kind of defective in some way. and obviously blue is sadness.

    This song is about one of the damned if you do, damned if you don't situations of life and she's saying "well, I don't get it, but that's just how it is and that's that." I think they can't stand to be apart or together and she can't stand what's happened or what's going to happen but she's just trying get by.
    alovelyfadeouton August 31, 2008   Link

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