"Pink and Blue" as written by and John Darnielle....
Wind out of Oklahoma this morning smelled like blood and smoke
And the crows discuss their future in the branches of their Louisiana live oak
The limbs are strong and heavy and its leaves are all aglow
And the branches brush the upper air but the roots reach down to where the bad people go

And what will I do with you?
Pink and blue
True gold
Nine days old

Nice new clothes on you and an old cardboard produce box for a cradle
I mashed some bananas in a coffee cup and I fed you there at the kitchen table
Crows outside complaining about the finer points of local politics
Strange wind all full of new smells, rust and fur and reception sticks

And what will I do with you?
Pink and blue
True gold
Nine days old


Lyrics submitted by fuckedupdog, edited by Xamnam, recognizer, Eccentricity

"Pink and Blue" as written by John Darnielle

Lyrics © PACIFIC ELECTRIC MUSIC

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Pink and Blue song meanings
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17 Comments

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  • +4
    General Commentthis is a song about a single father with no idea how to be a father, pink and blue are common colors to see babies wearing,

    I love the parts with the crows and the tree, it symbolizes how society completely overlooks people in situations like the narrator. the tree is very healthy judging by the lyrics "strong and heavy branches, leaves all aglow" which just further contrasts with the narrator and his situation, feeding his baby mashed bananas, and using an old produce box for a cradle.
    thedreamlordon December 29, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOKC bombing interpretations feel a little forced to me, but there IS something very dark at the core of this song.

    "cardboard produce box for a cradle" - mashed bananas in a coffee cup for an infant - "what will I do with you?" It all points to something awful, but it's conveyed sideways, in a lullaby.

    I think the singer's wife - the baby's mother - died giving birth. The "nice new clothes" were probably a parting gift from the hospital, but the free formula samples didn't last very long, and he can't afford even basic baby furniture, and he doesn't know a damned thing about how to take care of a baby, and he's out of his mind with grief and sleep-deprivation - but also with love, for this tiny life that he's suddenly responsible for.

    Darnielle is really good at this - hiding an enormous emotional payload in words and sounds that seem so simple - and I think this is one of his best.
    bobgon December 01, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti've been chewing on this song for the past week. i thought about how you wouldn't want to feed nine day old babies mashed bananas. so maybe the song is about just not knowing what to do with babies. then i thought about how maybe...the babies...are...monkies. baby monkies. to some zoos, that's as good as gold.
    fuckedupdogon April 18, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlol baby monkeys?? love it. unfortunately i don't quite think that's what it's about. unfortunately also, i do not know what it's about.
    hab204on December 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit really bothers me that you can't feed a nine old baby bananas. i mean, why would he say that? and what is this pink and blue business? is it pink and new baby but blue in the face?
    elodieon November 29, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentcould the colors have anything to do with the Husker Du song "pink turns to blue"?

    Not to make it a drug thing, but...
    chowfun18on October 13, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think its about a baby that was left on a door step the pink being the skin color and blue eyes
    lol21on February 22, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think a poetic features is worth further notice here. There's a kind of multistable ambiguity in the crow lines that I think shows real genius in songwriting. Here in the second verse:

    "crows outside complaining
    about the finer points of local politics"

    we have an observation about the background environment from the narrator. But, is his observation about crows or (say) old men? Are crows making noises back and forth that he imagines to be a discussion of local politics? Or are their people out there talking about local politics, and he imagines them to be crows? Of course either of these is possible, and I think the song is made richer for drawing your ear to the ambiguity in the stream of consciousness description.
    Eccentricityon September 25, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it is just about someone (most likely a single mother) who has a nine day old infant with absolutely no clue how to raise it, and nothing but a cardboard box for a cradle.
    aristotelianon September 26, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJD has said that this song is about parents abandoning their twin children.
    cbinghamon January 26, 2018   Link

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