"All My Colours" as written by and Ian Stephen/sergeant Mcculloch....
And I know I'm not coming down
You're trying
But you know you must soon go down
All my colors turn to clouds
All my colors turn to clouds


What d'you say
When your heart's in pieces?
How d'you play
Those cards in sequence?
That box you gave me burned nicely
That box you gave me burned nicely


Flying down
Flying down
All my colors turn to clouds

Hey, I've flown away
Hey, I'm blown away

Lyrics submitted by Golgotha

"All My Colours" as written by Leslie Pattinson Ian Stephen Mcculloch

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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All My Colours song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThe song is about letting go of dreams, of the depressed mood that swamps you when you realise what you really want slips away from your reach. "All my colours turn to clouds" and "that box you gave me burnt nicely" clearly indicates that, as does the whole feeling of the song. The 'zimbo' was done by coincidence in fact: they wanted some word to fill the gap between the other parts of the song, and at some moment Ian just said 'Jimbo Jimbo' refering to a Doors record playing, they thought that actually looked quite good to fill that space but did change it to 'zimbo zimbo' as it somehow fitted better they thought.
    Cracked Pleasureson June 03, 2006   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningFrom book Turquoise Days, The weird world of E&TB (by Chris Adams). In an interview for MTV Online in 1995:
    MTV: What does 'Zimbo' mean?
    IAN: It's an anagram of 'mozib', an old African word
    MTV: What does 'mozib' mean?
    IAN: 'Zimbo'.

    Again the same book.
    "Zimbo is about the loss of someone and the fact that people hold on to things that have already gone" - Ian McCulloch, 1981
    bobriverson August 15, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't really understand the meaning of this, and trying to hard will not come out good.

    Excellent song, the Zimbo Zimbo Zimbo is cool and the "The box you gave me
    Burned nicely" part is really amazing, Ian sings it painfully and beautifully.
    JpnGhton April 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentEcho and the Bunnymen are simply AWESOME!
    monster36604on January 21, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think this song is about one who is dying, and who regrets the comfort of his lover by his death bed. zimbo could mean a war cry, or it could be african for death, as if he has fough a battle but lost in himself.
    the567ajton February 25, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is one of the greatest songs ever written and it means very much to me...
    However, I must admit I don't really understand what it is about.. Like most of you, I think about depression and death, but I cannot explain it.
    InBetweenTheLineson April 12, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have to admit that i heard the Nouvelle Vague (and Ian McCulloch) version before the E&TBM version.

    Ian sang on the Nouvelle Vague version so i assume he approves.

    I am convinced this is about cremation.

    I just wondered what "The box you gave me, burned nicely" was all about.

    My first thoughts were a box of gifts from an ex-lover that the lead character burns to try to scorch her out of his life.*

    Then i thought maybe the box is a coffin and he is referring to being cremated.

    This also fits with "all my colours turn to clouds"

    And ...

    Hey, I've flown away (his spirit)
    Hey, I'm blown away (the ashes after being scattered)

    * I tried this. It doesn't work. You might as well keep the stuff.
    JLoDaMofoon March 14, 2019   Link

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