My Favorite Color Once Was Yellow, Now It’s Blue. What’s Yours?

A couple of stories ago I reported that, for health reasons, I recently started going out on half-hour walks four or five times each week. A lot of the walks have taken place in my remarkably hilly neighborhood. In early February, while hauling my ass up and down slope after slope, I listened to a podcast that I like quite well. The podcast, Music From 100 Years Ago, is hosted by easy-going and real knowledgeable Brice Fuqua, and the episode that played from my earbuds was called Yellow Music (click here to find it, if you like).

Now, I’d chosen this particular episode, one of many that I’ve heard in Music From’s archives, because the word yellow had jumped out at me and set my mind in motion. As I readied to begin that walk, I fondly remembered that yellow was my favorite color when I was a wee lad. Yellow was a good choice of color for me back then. It’s cheerful and packed with energy, like most little kids. I still dig yellow, but for a long time haven’t been in love with it to the extent that I was millions of moons ago. That’s especially true these days, seeing that I ain’t especially cheerful and packed with energy anymore. Ah, the joys of getting old!

I don’t know when yellow ceased to be my fave. Probably when I was more or less ten years old. For the next 35 or so years I didn’t have a favorite color, not consciously anyway. During that time I was a fan of just about every color, something that has remained true to this day.

But somewhere in the 1990s I began to notice that I was particularly attracted to blue, or should I say blues, because various shades of blue pleased me just fine. I suppose that blue will remain my favorite for the rest of my life. I’d be shocked and awed, for instance, if on my death bed my final words were something like these: “Listen, after all this time I’ve decided that I like green more than blue. Who’d have thunk it? Okay, it’s time for me to go. Goodbye, cruel world!”

And I’m not alone in my pick. Surveys have determined that blue is the favorite color of more people than any other. So, why blue? Well, I’ve given this some thought and have come up with some notions. For one, I suspect that the preference has to do with the prevalence of blue. In daylight, when the heavens above aren’t cloud-covered, it’s blue that dominates our world. Duh! And who can resist a blue sky? It smiles upon us with a twinkle in its eye and with welcoming embraces. We’ve probably come to think of blue as a healthful force.

Blue comforts us. It helps us to vibrate at a beneficial pace. You can’t say the same for all colors, I think. You better watch out for orange, red and yellow, among others, for example. They just might bop you in your frigging nose or get your hormones racing way faster than you’re in the mood to deal with. And though white, black and the rest of the neutrals might possess blue’s healthful qualities, they lack the factor that, to me, sets blue apart from them: prettiness. Blue has just enough in the looks department to keep you more than interested.

Still, what do I know? There’s no right or wrong when it comes to color preferences. I’d be very interested to learn what colors are favored by this article’s readers.

The time has arrived to insert a couple of photographs of my once and current favorite colors. The explosive painting below hangs in my living room. It’s from Haiti and won my heart when I saw it in a Philadelphia art gallery in the 1980s. There are a variety of giddy yellows in there.  As a child, all of them would have enthralled me.

I have no doubt which shade of blue rates highest on my scale. It’s the blue of a late-morning sky, a soft but rich blue. Looking at the photo below, which I took on February 16, I can feel my blood pressure dropping to an acceptable level. Healthful is right.

Let’s get back to Brice Fuqua, a guy with wide musical ears who builds each of his broadcasts around a theme. The theme for Yellow Music is songs with yellow in their titles. During my walk, the number that got to me the most was one I’d never heard before, Yellow Dog Blues. W. C. Handy wrote it in 1915. The version that Brice played, sung by the fabulous Bessie Smith, came out in 1925. The song is about a heartbroken lady who is desperate to find out where the love of her life has disappeared to.

Yes, it’s very appropriate to this essay that Yellow Dog Blues contains in its title the colors that have stood out the most for me in my life. Thank you, Brice, for enabling me to bring the present proceedings to a vaguely logical conclusion.

(As always, comments are welcome and appreciated. And please don’t be shy about sharing this story. Mucho gracias.)

171 thoughts on “My Favorite Color Once Was Yellow, Now It’s Blue. What’s Yours?

  1. annieasksyou February 26, 2020 / 6:28 pm

    I like varying colors at different times—with the exception of the harsh neons or fuchsia.

    For some years I was the “ghost” for the Pantone Color Institute’s spokeswoman, writing twice-yearly pieces introducing the colors they were featuring. It was a fun and easy gig, though I remember little of what I wrote except an intro to a particular green: “Picture a stately elm tree…” I think that was when I learned that apricot is a good color to paint a dining room, as it stimulates the appetite. In retrospect, that may well have been fake science.

    I like following your imagination as you wend your way through these posts.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pam Lazos February 26, 2020 / 8:57 pm

    Blue, blue, cool blue, always blue for me, Neil, and if we need to get specific, it’s the color of the sky when it turns from day to night so it’s really a spectrum of blue, and if we want to get even more specific, then it’s cobalt blue. ;0)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Crystal Byers February 27, 2020 / 7:20 am

    Just yesterday I asked my three-and-a-half-year-old great niece what her favorite color is, and she said, “Blue.” And my sister/her grandmother said, “Blue? I thought it was yellow.” We told her it’s okay to change her mind.

    My favorite colors are blue, too, especially that sky color, like your photo, and sapphire, like my missing ring and the Mediterranean Sea.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Angie February 27, 2020 / 7:50 am

    So 1st let me congratulate you on your dedication to continue the walking plan it is so important in your health. Especially with diabetes. Now I do like the color blue very much, but my favorite color is purple

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 27, 2020 / 10:04 am

      Morning, Angie. I bet that purple ranks at the top for many people. Purple has character and strength.

      Like

  5. johnlmalone February 27, 2020 / 12:05 pm

    nice bluesy track, Neil and good to et another post from you. I’m really warming to your style: warm, amiable, knowledgeable. Blue would be my favourite colour: it’s the colour of hope and appears in quite a few of my poems. I love the ‘giddy yellows’ in your painting from Haiti 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. twobrownfeet February 27, 2020 / 9:28 pm

    Hi Neil. Yellow was also my favourite colour in school. 🙂 I like green and blue these days. Green leaves and mountains are so soothing. And if the skies are blue — it’s such a treat. You would enjoy a trip to Mongolia. The skies are amazing there and dominate the landscape.
    Your posts are always enjoyable to read. Have a great weekend!
    Cheryl

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 27, 2020 / 11:19 pm

      Hi Cheryl, and thanks.

      I’m pretty sure that I won’t be visiting Mongolia, but I’ve seen documentaries about that country. It’s fascinating and beautiful. It seems like a good part of our planet.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. danielashby1 February 28, 2020 / 7:28 am

    Red was always my favourite colour as a child, as I loved the vibrancy and richness to it. As I have got older though it has changed to purple. It is such a soothing, calming colour. I think this mirrors my gradual shift into being a person who looks for more peace and serenity in my life. Doesn’t always work but the colour purple along with other things helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 28, 2020 / 2:05 pm

      Hi Daniel, and thanks for your input. You know, a number of readers have said that purple is their fave color, or one of their faves. I didn’t know that purple is as popular as it is.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Librarylady February 28, 2020 / 5:30 pm

    Wow, you have 136 comments on this post? I can only dream of such a thing. This was an interesting article. I love blue – in a way, it’s more of a sea-foam color, at least that;s what I think its called, kind of a bluey green. Anyway, let me put my two cents in. I work at the library, and when people get a new library card they have to choose between red, green, orange, blue, and purple, Blue and purple always go first , then red, then green and alas poor orange no one picks it unless there is no other option. A very non-scientific study, but there you have it. I agree with your theory about the blue sky.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 28, 2020 / 8:05 pm

      Hello there. Believe it or not, at least two readers who commented above said that orange is their favorite color. But I’m glad to hear that blue is the favorite at your library — it validates the reliability of the surveys that I looked at.

      Like

  9. Michele Anderson February 28, 2020 / 6:05 pm

    I like all colors but I’ll have to agree that blue is a calming color. It always reminds me of the ocean and that makes me happy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 28, 2020 / 8:07 pm

      Hello Michele, and thanks for your input. Like you, I’m a fan of all colors. But blue, for me, leads the pack.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. betunada February 29, 2020 / 11:20 am

    (the requisite) hmmm … a while back i think i read a theory that humans may be ‘evolving’ (yeah, rite) in that our ‘sensing’, or ability to see ‘more’ is expanding. could be the other weigh around. this theory remarked that poets and writers of, say, 2 or 3,000 years ago remarked on the 3 colors of the rainbow. and … if & when the species becomes more “advanced” we’ll see 12 or so colors in the rainbow. well, what with your in-depth essay musing on colors, perhaps YOU already do ~

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 29, 2020 / 1:38 pm

      Good to hear from you. I bet that old cultures were just as into colors as ours. Egyptian tombs, for instance, were painted in all sorts of colors. Enjoy the weekend! Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Isabelle March 2, 2020 / 4:37 pm

    Purple, or light purple has been my favourite colour since I was a little girl. I remember I was hooked by a piece of fabric in purple when I was about 5/6 years old. But as I’m getting older, I’ve developed a particular like for blue, the kind of turquoise-blue, the colour of The Aegean Sea surrounded Greek islands. Always a delight to read your posts, Neil. I hope you’re well.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 2, 2020 / 6:00 pm

      Purple gets another vote! I think that at least four or five other people said that purple is their favorite.

      It’s always good to hear from you. Many thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 2, 2020 / 7:34 pm

      Hi Kathy. Thanks for voting. I think that you are the fourth or fifth commenter who said they like red the best. See ya!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. cigarman501 March 3, 2020 / 5:47 am

    Pink…and if it wasn’t for dragging my ass up and down the hills around my house I’d go crazy…crazier.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 3, 2020 / 7:05 am

      Morning. Right, walking can have beneficial effects. It’s a good thing to do. See you —

      Like

  13. alhenry March 4, 2020 / 6:26 pm

    Neil, first off, I’m sorry to hear that you “ain’t especially cheerful.” Yes, hell is threatening to break out everywhere, the coronavirus being but one example. BUT you not cheerful? Say it isn’t so. It’s our one defense against the soulless drones of the world. “You can’t take that away from me!”

    Like you, yellow was my first fave color. I liked it best well into my 30s, probably because it is the color of daffodils, Spring, rebirth, hope. But for many years now, my favorite has been RED. And I’m okay with racing hormones–good to be alive! Boldness. Clarity. Don’t eff with me, etc. That’s RED.

    But to each their own.

    Like

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 4, 2020 / 7:57 pm

      I’m cheerful in spurts!

      You know, the comments show that a pretty big variety of colors are peoples’ favorites. Blue is on top. Red got a bunch of votes too.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Silver Screenings March 8, 2020 / 4:28 pm

    I love this essay, and your anticipated “final words” made me laugh out loud. Also: I love the Haiti piece. The colours are vibrant and beautiful.

    As for a favourite colour, I can never decide. Yellow was once a fave, as was red, then lime green, purple, and, recently, pink. I can’t really made up my mind!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. grimspound March 20, 2020 / 10:05 pm

    Loved this, Neil! My favorite color has always and forever been blue.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. jeanleesworld March 22, 2020 / 8:14 am

    Oh, I’m a sucker for green: it’s outside, it’s mysterious, it’s growth, it’s life. But blue’s nice, too. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Sophia Ismaa May 1, 2020 / 9:36 pm

    My favourite colour as a child was yellow because it symbolised hope which is what I was clinging on to. It’s once again resurfaced as my favourite colour. But, strangely, I like people who list blue as their favourite colour. As you said, it feels healthy, peaceful, and warm, but not the overpowering warmth of orange, but the warm contentment you might feel in basking in the blue of the skies. I do fear people who associate red not as their favourite colour, but because it symbolises love because get ready for the most toxic and unhealthy love you could ever imagine. But people who love red because of its vibrancy and the glamour, they’re slightly dramatic, but, more or less, far less likely to be harmful. This is such a brilliant post. Would you be okay if I spoke about favourite colours for my own blog? I will make sure to give full credit to your post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 2, 2020 / 7:26 am

      Thanks very much, Sophia. Yes, feel free to write about your favorite color on your site.

      Be well. Stay safe.

      Like

  18. loristory June 10, 2020 / 6:15 pm

    My favorite color as a child, and until about two years ago, was yellow. Now it’s indigo. Why the change? I moved to Tucson, probably am suffering from an overdose of bright yellow sunshine, but am graced with the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen. One night, just before the sun slipped away, the sky turned this gorgeous velvety deep indigo that took my breath away.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. myowncalcuttablog.com June 10, 2020 / 11:37 pm

    My favourite colour for years has been red. Maybe because I’m Canadian and red and white are in our flag, I dunno, but red is so vibrant and it always cheers me. However, I can say yellow is vibrant and always boosts my mood as well! In nature and photography, greens and blues win hands down. As I get older, I’m more a fan of many colours. Thanks for asking, and great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger June 11, 2020 / 7:25 am

      Hi there. I’m a fan of just about every color too, though blue is my fave. It’s incredible that there are as many colors as there are!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Léa June 24, 2020 / 9:55 am

    I’m afraid I am unable to limit myself to one color, one song… I need variety.

    Liked by 1 person

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