20 Songs About the Color Green

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Written By Julia Mehalko

Julia is a music journalist with a passion for retro songs. She holds a degree in journalism from University of Nevada.

The color green can often represent a feeling, emotion, or hidden meaning in songs and various forms of art. For example, green can hint at jealousy or envy, positivity, or health. The color green can also often be used to describe sceneries and the greenery in a setting.

As green trees, grass, and nature often signal abundance and health, you can still find hidden depths when the color green is used in even this general, descriptive way!

There are a lot of artists who have used the color green to help increase description and emotion in their songs. Below, we’ve ranked 20 of our favorite songs with green in the lyrics!

1. “Green Light” by Beyoncé

Up first, we’ve got Beyoncé’s 2007 song “Green Light”. In this song, Beyoncé describes her romantic relationship, which seems to have a few problems. However, she lets her partner know that he has the “Green Light”.

Here, Beyoncé’s using the color green to let her romantic partner know that she wants this relationship to continue. She’s giving him the “Green Light”, comparing her acceptance to a green signal traffic light. This is a common theme in many songs, which we will see later in this list!

2. “Greenlight” by Jonas Brothers

Jonas Brothers’ 2019 song “Greenlight” is similar to Beyoncé’s use of the color green, which we discussed above. In this song, the band sings about how much they like a girl. However, they don’t exactly know how she feels — so they’re waiting for the “Greenlight” of approval.

3. “Little Green Fountain” by Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash released his song “Little Green Fountain” on his 1975 album The Johnny Cash Children’s Album. This song opens with the lyrics, “There’s a little green fountain on a little green mountain / Don’t you think we ought to stop and get a drink of water”.

In this song, Cash uses the color green to describe the scenery, which instantly helps listeners imagine a descriptive setting. Later in the song, he describes blue, the color of the water, and more about this abundant and healthy area of nature!

4. “Green Light” by Lorde

Lorde’s hit 2017 song “Green Light”, which appears on her album Melodrama, discusses the end of a relationship. Lorde uses the color green to discuss how she’s ready to move on. However, she still sees her ex around every corner and can’t seem to forget him.

Similar to other songs here on this list, Lorde also uses a green traffic signal to better get her point across. She sings the lyrics, “But honey, I’ll be seein’ you ‘ever I go / But honey, I’ll be seein’ you down every road / I’m waiting for it, that green light, I want it”.

5. “Pleader” by alt-J

The band alt-J released their song “Pleader” on their 2017 album RELAXER. This song, which was inspired by the novel How Green Was My Valley, discusses youth, love, romance, and life — all while using the descriptive color green.

6. “Paradise City” by Guns N’ Roses

Guns N’ Roses hit song “Paradise City”, which appears on the band’s album Appetite for Destruction, also mentions the color green! The band sings about missing their hometown in this song. They want to go home. However, they are stuck with big city living — and can’t seem to return home.

When discussing the beauty of “Paradise City”, their home, they mention the green nature. They sing, “Take me down to the Paradise City / Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty”.

7. “Over the Love” by Florence and the Machine

Florence and the Machine’s song “Over the Love” was written for the 2013 film adaptation of The Great Gatsby. In the novel (and film version) of The Great Gatsby, the green light has a huge part in the story. Thus, it’s not surprising to see the color green discussed a lot in this song.

Florence Welch sings in the chorus, “Now there’s green light in my eyes / And my lover on my mind”.

8. “Green, Green Grass of Home” by Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley released his song “Green, Green Grass of Home” on his 1975 album Today. In this song, Presley opens by saying he’s returned home. He’s back with his family and his friends in his hometown, and he loves seeing the “Green, Green Grass of Home”.

However, by the end of the song, we learn the truth. He’s not really home. He’s in a prison cell, which is gray, and he only has a guard to talk to. Thus, Presley uses green to describe his hometown, full of life and love. Compared to his gray cell, his hometown has so much more that he’s missing.

9. “Wrong Number” by The Cure

The Cure’s 1997 song “Wrong Number” also mentions the color green! There are many ways to interpret the meaning of this song. However, it does appear that the band is discussing a nightlife or drug scene, one that can quickly spiral out of control.

To help describe the setting and the emotions he’s feeling, the singer talks about the color green. He sings at the beginning of the song, “Lime green lime green and tangerine / The sickly sweet colours of the snakes I’m seeing”.

10. “Rocky Road” by Peter, Paul and Mary

Peter, Paul and Mary released their song “Rocky Road” on their 1963 album In the Wind. There are many interpretations one can get from this folk song!

The song opens with the verse, “Red light green light ’round the town / I found a penny on the ground / Met a friend I never know’d / Walkin’ down ol’ Rocky Road”.

Throughout the rest of the song, the trio sings about childhood memories and rhymes they sang when they were younger, all while mentioning the color green!

11. “All the World Is Green” by Tom Waits

Tom Waits’ 2002 song “All the World Is Green” was written for a play. Therefore, this song follows the fictional story of a love triangle. Waits sings from the perspective of a man who marries a woman named Marie. However, Marie eventually leaves him for another man.

In this song, we learn about how the narrator wants to remember the good parts of their relationship, when things still worked. When he thinks back to this harmony, he uses the color green.

He sings, “Pretend that you owe me nothing / And all the world is green / We can bring back the old days again / When all the world is green”.

12. “Village Green” by The Kinks

The Kinks’ 1968 song “Village Green” also uses the color green for description! In this song, the band sings about their hometown, a small town with a “Village Green”. The people are friendly and nice, and the area is full of nature. However, we learn the singer left to seek out fame — but now he misses his hometown.

He sings about his hometown, saying, “Out in the country / Far from all the soot and noise of the city / There’s a village green”.

13. “Tell Me Who I’ll Marry” by Judy Collins

In Judy Collin’s 1962 song “Tell Me Who I’ll Marry”, Collins talks about wanting to learn about who she will marry. She opens the song with the lines, “Tell me who I’ll marry, tell me who he’ll be / While the Vistula is flowing / By the green oak tree”.

Here, Collins uses green to help describe the setting and the health and abundance of the green oak tree!

14. “Green Light” by John Legend

John Legend’s 2008 song “Green Light”, which appears on his album Evolver, also uses green traffic signals to help describe his romantic relationship. In this song, Legend is saying that he’s giving his romantic partner the green light, while he is also waiting for her to give him the green light.

A common phrase and idea that is used once again in this John Legend song!

15. “Little Green” by Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell’s song “Little Green” was released on her iconic 1971 album Blue. Mitchell sings about having to put her infant daughter up for adoption. Even though it pained Mitchell to do this, she felt it was the right thing to do for her child.

When discussing her daughter and her hope for her child’s future, Mitchell sings a lot about the color green. In the opening of the song, she sings the lyrics, “Choose her a name she will answer to / Call her green and the winters cannot fade her / Call her green for the children who’ve made her / Little green, be a gypsy dancer”. 

16. “A Little Bit of Green” by Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley’s song “A Little Bit of Green” was released on his 1969 album Back in Memphis. In this song, Presley sings the chorus, “Just a little bit of green / Clouds my eyes to what I’ve seen / Just a little bit of green / When I see you with someone new / And knowing that there’s nothing I can do”.

Therefore, Presley is using the color green to describe his envy and jealousy. He doesn’t want his ex to move on, as he’s still in love with her. However, he must watch her with another — and that makes him jealous and see green!

17. “Forty Shades of Green” by Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash’s 1961 song “Forty Shades of Green” sings about his love for Ireland — and how much he wants to return there. This beautiful country is full of “Forty Shades of Green”.

However, it’s not just the nature that Cash misses. He also sings about how much he misses a girl there in Ireland!

18. “The Grass Is Green” by Nelly Furtado

Nelly Furtado released her song “The Grass Is Green” on her 2003 album Folklore. Furtado discusses the common idea that the grass is greener over on the other side. However, Furtado flips this saying. Instead, she says that once you have that person or thing on the other side, you realize it’s not as good as you once thought!

19. “Green-Eyed Boy” by Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton’s 1995 song “Green-Eyed Boy”, which appears on her album Something Special, discusses Parton’s longing for an ex from her youth. Even though she left, she still finds herself thinking of that “Green-Eyed Boy”.

She sings, “I still burn for that green-eyed boy”.

20. “The Green Leaves of Summer” by Eddy Arnold

At last, we have Eddy Arnold’s song “The Green Leaves of Summer”! In this song, Arnold sings about the green nature of his youth. He longs to return home, back to those times. He sings, “The green leaves of summer are calling me home”.