"Purple Yellow Red and Blue" as written by John Baldwin Gourley and Brian Joseph Burton....
All I
Wanna do is
Live in ecstasy
I know what's best for me
I can't help it
It's this hopeless itch
I just wanna feel (wanna feel)
Purple yellow red and blue

(Oh, ah)

When I grow up I wanna be
A movie star or on TV
'Cause workin' just don't work for me
But I can't focus feeling hopeless
So I'll just sit back, try to relieve

All I
Wanna do is
Live in ecstasy
I know what's best for me
I can't help it
It's this hopeless itch
I just wanna feel (wanna feel)
Purple yellow red and blue

When I grow up I wanna be
A rich kid born celebrity
It's not greed, but necessity
Now I don't focus on the hopeless
When I look out it's only for me

All I
Wanna do is
Live in ecstasy
I know what's best for me
I can't help it
It's this hopeless itch
I just wanna feel (wanna feel)
Purple yellow red and blue

I just
Wanna be evil
I just
Wanna be evil
Wanna be evil
Wanna be evil
I just wanna be evil

I just
Wanna be evil
I just
Wanna be evil
Wanna be evil
Wanna be evil
Purple Yellow Red and Blue

(Oh, ah)

All that I needed
Is something to believe in
Because everything just falls in place like that

All that I needed
Is something to believe in
Because everything just falls in place like that


Lyrics submitted by Inoue versus Date, edited by initialKF

"Purple Yellow Red and Blue" as written by Brian Joseph Burton John Baldwin Gourley

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Purple Yellow Red and Blue song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • +5
    My InterpretationI heard this song when the music video was recommended to me by YouTube a few weeks ago, and honestly, I feel that the song makes much more sense in context if you watch it with the video, but, let me try to explain what I think it's about anyway...

    We begin with the words "All I want to do is live in ecstasy, I know what's best for me." Then goes on to "I can't help it. It's this hopeless itch. I just wanna feel purple, yellow, red and blue."

    At first one might think the song is about drugs, pills, poppers or booze as those things come in many colors, many in the titular colors, but that is not what the song is about-- the first lines are put into context by the continuing lyrics...

    "When I grow up I want to be a movie star or on TV," the singer is an adult, and is portrayed as an adult in the video, a young man, but still an adult, then the words "Cause working just don't work for me." He's (the actual singer) not saying he doesn't want to work because he can't, he's saying that the person he's singing as is a lazy, overly privileged manchild living in the internet generation.

    "But I can't FOCUS feeling hopeless, so I'll try to sit back and try to relieve." Then the chorus, again. Many of us these days bask in front of a computer hours on end, endlessly and hopelessly arguing with other faceless users across the world and we're focused when we're online but offline we're not focused-- the young people, myself included born between 1984 and 1989 were often screened for Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit HYPERACTIVE Disorder, ADD and ADHD, respectively. Now the children of those days are growing up, endured to our lives of privilege, being told that there's no such thing as those disorders, and that's all part of some sort of "autism spectrum."

    The song not only conveys the lazy, narcissistic and nihilistic people of my generation, but how our reliance on constant technology use is actually dumbing us down, as seen in the music video, when the girls in the limo are completely oblivious to everything, not because of the alcohol or drugs they're ingesting, but because they're glued to their smartphones. It also places an emphasis on the lies that the common psychoanalyst will tell in order to push speed on children-- when I say speed, I mean Ritalin, a drug that comes in a pill that's often times purple, yellow, red or blue.

    Then there's a second chorus, "I just want to be evil," I believe this is the actual singer interjecting into the song, mocking the character singing the lyrics. He's saying that all of this technology and pharmaceutical solution to keeping children quiet has turned the once hopeful Millennial generation into invalids who expect everything to be handed over to them. The song climaxes with "All that I needed was something to believe in, because everything just falls in place like that." He's saying that the only reason Millennials even made it through this far in life is because everything fell into place for them by chance, blind belief and a whole lot of corrupt sociologists who think they did the world a favor by saying we had this, then that, then that and so on and so forth.
    Serumon August 16, 2013   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationThis song is an ode to hedonism and egocentrism.

    The world is "hopeless" so I may as well focus on myself and chase "Ecstasy" or physical pleasure; I may not know what's best for the world, but "I know what's best for me."

    While the singer knows what's best for himself he can't quantify it to others in words beyond "purple yellow red and blue" Though the shared simplicity; yet depth, of color conveys a strong general message among humans of vibrancy. Plus it breaks the rule of three naming 4 colors and is thus excessive even in form.

    Selfish, entitled and apathy ridden verses turn into the mantra of what the verses represent. "I just wanna be evil". Narcissism is the "something to believe in"

    While the tone of the song's lyrics are full of conviction; the sadness of the melody expresses doubt or a regret that life couldn't have more meaning than it does and that the world wasn't so hopeless.
    danoelmanoon May 09, 2014   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationDefinitely "an ode to hedonism and egocentrism" like danoelmano says.

    What's striking to me is how this is like the speaker in "Evil Friends" (the song) taking things too far. That guy knows everything's a mess and is trying to make sense of everything, all while insisting that he doesn't really need the help of the idiots around him to do so. "It's not that I'm evil"; he just doesn't see any point in pretending that those morons have any value to add.

    But here, the speaker's driven himself too far inward. Everything is still screwed up, sure, but now he responds to it not by trying to forge his own path, but by just embracing sensory pleasure without any care about how doing so affects anyone. He's no longer insisting that he's not trying to be evil--in fact, "evil" selfishness is now his only escape from all of the world's issues and all of the idiots that surround him. Because he needs to escape--it's not greed, but necessity.

    Think Pink from "The Wall" on Side 2. He's retreating from all of his pain, just pursuing sensory pleasure ("Young Lust") while angrily pushing everyone else away from him ("Another Brick in the Wall Pt. 3"). I think this song is pretty analogous.
    erie_boundon June 17, 2014   Link

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