Judging by the number of memorable tunes expressely relating the fact of somebody or other having one eye color or another, this physical trait is, assuredly, of some importance to songwriters. There are it turns out a great many songs referencing eye color in the song title -- which raises perhaps a bit of suspense, a bit of a risk, for instantly there is a point of identification for those who share the eye color of interest. A singer who warbles of how he loves his lady's blue eyes may break the hearts of all the brown-eyed girls who can't help but know that this song isn't about them.

 

This survey is by no means complete. It can't even scratch the surface of complete. So many songs would fall into this category that it is instead a smattering of some of the more interesting such examples. (If I'm missing something which really deserves to be mentioned, draw my attention and I'll hook it up.)

 

BLUE

 

The Elton John song simply titled "Blue Eyes" is probably the best known of the dozen or more songs bearing that same simple two-word title. I'll save you the suspense by telling you now, songs simply titled "Green Eyes" or "Brown Eyes" are equally prodigious.  We'll mention some anyhow.

But for titles only partially composed of that eye color reference (and indeed entire songs addressing it), surely the pole must be topped by "Behind Blue Eyes" by The Who. This song uses the perceived coldness of blue eyes as a metaphor for the heartless role imposed upon the possessor of the particular pair presented in the piece, assuring us that "No one knows what it's like /To be the bad man /To be the sad man /Behind blue eyes."  Crosby, Stills, & Nash notably sing harmonically of a much lovelier sounding "Judy Blue Eyes" (the full name of the piece is "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" to convey a suite of musical pieces combined), though the song itself makes no reference to the title eyes.

For a song with content more reflective of the title, songwriter Fred Rose wrote one in this genre for Roy Acuff, but it was Willie Nelson who made Rose's "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" a hit.  Restless Heart twangily told us about "The Bluest Eyes in Texas." The Velvet Underground sing to us of "Pale Blue Eyes," reflecting on lost love by asking us to "linger on, your pale blues." Jan Terry sings of "Baby Blues" which are "crystal clear, blue enough to fill a swimming pool." A band called Voltaire offers a Spanish-march themed "Blue-eyed Matador" -- wherein the bull is described as a "red-eyed beast" and the song parades out that "Suddenly I remember /The girl with eyes like the sea /I turn, she winks and she smiles gently /While the bull runs straight into me."

And blue eyes are quite popular even in songs bereft of eye color in the title -- in the Guns N' Roses hit "Sweet Child of Mine", Axl recalls, "She's got eyes of the bluest skies. As if they thought of rain. I hate to look into those eyes. And see an ounce of pain." Donna Lewis, deviates from the highly repetitive nature of the lyrics of "I Love You Always Forever" long enough to comment to the subject of her song, "You've got the most unbelievable blue eyes I've ever seen." Jimmy Buffett sang in "Frenchman For The Night" of how "it takes him back To the days of love and war And the girl he knew with eyes of blue Waiting on the shore." On the other hand, PJ Harvey writhingly belts out, in "Down By The Water," that "That blue-eyed girl, she said 'No more,' That blue-eyed girl became blue-eyed whore."

And lastly, as to the blue eyes, it can not pass without comment that one of the smoothest crooners of all time had 'Old Blue Eyes' amongst his parcel of nicknames, a fact which has not escaped mention in song.

 

GREEN


Coldplay has had some success with one of the many songs titled "Green Eyes."  If you prefer a big band sound, you might prefer Helen O'Connell's rendition of a much older "Green Eyes." A node-assist reveals that Hüsker Dü rocks out another "Green Eyes", "It's a great big world /There's a million other guys /I feel so lucky when I look /In those green eyes."

You might have heard, as well, the old Spanish standard, "Aquellos Ojos Verdes" without knowing that the title meant "Those Green Eyes" -- which bears no relation to The Avett Brothers song titled "Those Green Eyes." And what's this? A fellow noder has directed me to Nat King Cole singing the Spanish version (yes, in Spanish). Other items of fellow noder direction: Kingmaker, in their song "Loveless/Defamed" asking "What the hell have you seen with your eyes of green?"; and this folk song by Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan, "Eyes of Green."

But (in mine own humble opinion) the standard for referencing eyes of this hue falls to "Green Eyed Lady" by Sugarloaf, which has one of the funkiest bass tracks put to wax, and uses it to convey the idea of the fiery green-eyed femme fatale, that "Green-eyed lady, lovely lady. Strolling slowly towards the sun. Green-eyed lady, ocean lady. Soothing every wave that comes." Surely her glance will foreshadow your emotional destruction, possessed as she is of a heart too funkalicious to be captured by mortal man.

 

BROWN


Well, then we come, inevitably, to brown eyes. And all of the above songs set aside, there is one which surely stands atop the pile of all eye-color themed songs, and this is "Brown Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison, a paeon to growing up in young love and "making love in the green grass behind the stadium" (a sentiment which was originally censored out). And, surprisingly enough, this almost never was a song referencing eye color, as Van Morrison had originally intended the Caribbean-inspired rhythm to reference a brown-skinned girl-- but somewhere along the writing process, a point he himself later could not recall, the girl became brown-eyed and her skin color was left up to the imagination.

Smoove jazzily celebrates "The Brownest Eyes," and in the lyrics expands on those being the biggest brownest eyes. The Pogues rattle on in their deep Irish brogue about "A Pair of Brown Eyes," though the song is mostly about the cursed ground of Irish oppression, movingly declaring:

Some cursed, some prayed, some prayed then cursed
And prayed then bled some more
And the only thing that I could see
Was a pair of brown eyes that was looking at me.
But when we got back, labeled parts one to three
There was no pair of brown eyes waiting for me.
And a rovin' a rovin' a rovin' I'll go
For a pair of brown eyes.
For a pair of brown eyes.

Brown-eyed girl Kelly Clarkson had her second breakout hit with "Behind These Hazel Eyes," hazel being generally deemed a shade of brown and so fitting in here. Somewhat similarly to "Behind Blue Eyes," this song addresses the chanteuse's own thoughts, framing them as what is going on behind those eyes (from which you won't see tears, 'cause, she informs us, "I don't cry on the outside anymore.") And speaking of eyes which are brown, but not exactly brown, Southern star Crystal Gayle crossed color lines (eye color lines, anyway) altogether in country-crooning "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue"; Gayle's eyes were, in fact, blue all along.

Songs simply referencing brownness of eyes seem less frequent than those for blue, but one comes away thinking that the INXS song "Mystify" is obliquely relating such a reference when speaking of "Almond looks /That chill divine." The Taylor Swift song "Superman" tells us "Something in his deep brown eyes has me saying /He's not all bad like his reputation," while Bachman-Turner Overdrive regales us with a study in contrast, "she looked at me with big brown eyes, and said: You ain't seen nothing yet."

 

BLACK, WHITE, SILVER, GREY

 

There are a few songs out there referencing other eye colors besides the big three. Big Country sing of the "Girl With Grey Eyes," mournfully observing that they "only see the sad grey eyes."  Second tier rocker Shawn Phillips has a song called "Steel Eyes" (about "steel grey" eye color, not robot peepers). A fellow noder notes that the Doobie Brothers as well sing of "Eyes of Silver": "Eyes of silver hungry and aware/Eyes of silver, your mystic love I share."

And another noder pointed out to me that "the excellent "Kajra Re," from Bunty aur Babli, is about kohl-lined/black black eyes." Snowden's song "Black Eyes", highlighted by another noder, appears to be directed to eye color as well, and not the results of violence, as the song ultimately relates how "in your black eyes, you were hiding.... you were hiding nothing, nothing at all." And oh my stars, Electric Six goes to the opposite end of the spectrum with 80s techno warning us of the "White Eyes" -- "everybody here gonna have white eyes, when they die!!" And, no joke, the song climaxes with:

As I take my last steps toward that guiding light;
I can hear that ghost laughing as my eyeballs turn white;
I got white eyes;
I say everybody here gonna have white eyes.

 

THE REST

 

An interestingly noisy band called My Gold Mask has a nu metal sort of song titled "Violet Eyes," which is completely different from the sweetly acoustic Jewel song of the same name; while Sixx:A.M. sings lovingly of the "Girl With Golden Eyes." Pop rockers Paul Heaton and Dave Rotheray of the band Beautiful South cowrote a soulful number called "Old Red Eyes Is Back" (describing one symptom of alcoholism). Surely not to be outdone Ween has a song of utterly indescribable genre titled "Pink Eye (On My Leg)" -- which song is not actually about eyes of any color, being mostly an instrumental, the only living sounds being a barking dog effect and some eerily deep groans.

Some songs are more abstract in relating eye colors. In "Total Eclipse of the Heart" a dejected Bonnie Tyler is implored, "turn around, bright eyes" (but with no clue as to the coloration of those bright eyes to be turned). And, Eric Carmen gives us no clue as to the color of the "Hungry Eyes" which lead to Dirty Dancing, just as Survivor does not disclose the color of the "Eye of the Tiger" -- in nature, the tiger has yellow eyes, though with respect to humans this is most likely an fearsome aspect of the eye which can be carried across all colors. And speaking of all colors, well here is Regina Spektor singing a quite amusing song of "Silly Eye Color Generalizations."

Nothing screams heavy metal like Ronnie James Dio, and metal-sounding title like.... "Rainbow Eyes". Okay, actually it's not metal at all; the chief instrumental accompaniment to Dio's soft singing is.... a flute.  But probably no eyes can beat the ones commented upon in the Beatles song "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds," which lyricizes about "the girl with kaleidoscope eyes." No surprise, then, it turns out that Panic! At The Disco had their own song titled "Kaleidoscope Eyes," exclaiming "Kaleidoscope eyes, sparkle at the world. My emerald city, downtown girl."

 

....

 

So whoever you love or otherwise aim to impress with a serenade to their eye color, be comforted in the notion that whatever that color is, there are songs which relate it in their titles at least, if not in lyrics as well.

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* Thanks to Dannye, Oolong, Tem42, Wertperch, alex, jmpz, and Zephronias for pointing out many that I missed!!

 

 And here's a few more special mentions.... I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes, with a song-within-a-story setup; Mud Brown Eyes, a poem by an E2'er which would make a fine song; and The Girl With the Sad Grey Eyes  would make a pretty good song title.

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