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. cindy knoke February 24, 2020 / 12:59 am

    Oh, sweet, wonderful Bessie. I used to have the Smithsonian collection of Classic Blues. LP’s in a nice box. I don’t know what happened to it. Cab, Ella, Billie, Sarah, just so much bursting talent and joy. Thanks for the memory.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 24, 2020 / 9:59 am

      All the singers you mention are real good. You know who else I like a lot too? Dinah Washington.

      Like

  2. cindy knoke February 24, 2020 / 1:01 am

    PS- Before I knew what I know now, blue was my favorite color.
    Now every color is my favorite one.
    Be well my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Sheree February 24, 2020 / 2:19 am

    Blue is actually my least favourite colour, particularly when it comes to furniture and decor. I particularly dislike blue bedrooms. However, I love blue in nature:: water, sky, birds, flowers. Two of my favourite flowers, hydrangea and agapanthus, come in blue.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lynette d'Arty-Cross February 24, 2020 / 3:07 am

    Red is my favourite and has been for as long as I can remember. I like blue as well, but not teal, which seems to be everywhere right now. I once read somewhere that blue is very calming; maybe that’s one reason why people like it so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. alison41 February 24, 2020 / 3:13 am

    I prefer the hot colours : yellow, orange & red. But I also like pastel peach, misty mauve and icy green. Let’s face it: I enjoy colour. With the exception of grey. Wishing yo9u happy walking and lower BP!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 24, 2020 / 10:04 am

      Hi Alison. I just got in from another walk in my neighborhood. Because of all the hilly streets I climbed, my heart is still beating pretty fast.

      Like

  6. George February 24, 2020 / 4:00 am

    “Blue are the life-giving waters taken for granted,
    They quietly understand”

    – as Jimi Hendrix once sang. I’ll go with you and Jimi on backing blue.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 24, 2020 / 10:07 am

      Great song! I couldn’t remember which song those lyrics are from, so I went to google to find out. That whole album is incredible.

      Liked by 1 person

      • George February 24, 2020 / 11:14 am

        Absolutely. So many influences blend seamless and manage to sound like no-one else. On Castles Made of Sand and Little Wing, you realise how delicate his guitar playing could be when the song demanded it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah, Another Blogger February 24, 2020 / 12:37 pm

          Last year a label came out with a huge box set containing every single song performed at Woodstock in 1969. I heard some of it, including Hendrix’s entire performance. Great!

          Liked by 1 person

          • George February 24, 2020 / 12:45 pm

            Fantastic!

            Liked by 1 person

  7. joylennick February 24, 2020 / 4:31 am

    Thank you, Neil. Many years ago, my Yoga teacher suggested I wore yellow if feeling blue… “It’s the colour of sunshine and hope,” she said. So I bought a yellow T shirt, although I wasn’t blue…But blue was and is my all-time fav. because it’s the colour of our Spanish sky – most of the time, and the Mediterranean sea. Also all ‘blood’ members, except one, of our immediate family had/have blue eyes and i was always encouraged to wear it. I do have a fascination for brown/dark eyes though…Aren’t we lucky to have such a beautiful palette to choose from!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. endardoo February 24, 2020 / 5:50 am

    Good point above about colours working well in one scenario, and not in another. I like blues a lot, but not in a bedroom… a bit wishy-washy, perhaps. And we have used yellows in the kitchen and definitely brightens the vibe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 24, 2020 / 10:13 am

      Hi. My house has a lot of neutrals, but we jazz things up with colorful objects such as the painting that I photographed for this article.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ally Bean February 24, 2020 / 6:02 am

    When I think of yellow and music I think of Donovan’s Mellow Yellow song: “I’m just made about Saffron…”

    As for color preferences I imagine that what we prefer changes over time and is a sign that we’re growing as individuals. I mean, I loved lavender when I was a little girl, but now? Ugh. Check back with yourself in a few years and you may be surprised by what you like.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 24, 2020 / 10:16 am

      Right. Probably most people’s taste in colors changes over time. Thanks for adding your thoughts, Ally. See ya!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. northie February 24, 2020 / 6:04 am

    Unless you live life as a perpetual groundhog day, it’s inevitable things change. Tastes in food, drink, clothes, and yes, colours. Went off green for a long time, but now it’s back. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Cristina Crawford February 24, 2020 / 6:12 am

    Great post! I’ll have to check out that podcast as I often listen to various podcasts during my morning walks with The Poodle. As for colors? Yes…it is blue….always blue, in any hue. It’s the color of my eyes…and my first love, the ocean…and the spectacular sky on it’s best day….and at least a hundred more I could name. Have a lovely Monday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 24, 2020 / 10:20 am

      Hey, Cristina. I really like this guy’s podcast. I listened to another episode today during my morning walk. It was about Oscar-nominated and Oscar-winning songs from the early 1950s.

      Like

  12. Cathy Cade February 24, 2020 / 6:15 am

    Turquoise. (Or aquamarine – sounds nicer.) Ambivalent (I never could make a decision), warm, interesting. Yellow doesn’t go with a lot of things.
    After that the various shades of purple (aubergine, violet, plum, mauve, lavender, lilac . . .)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 24, 2020 / 10:27 am

      Hey there, Cathy. Right, there’s a wide variety of purples. Something I didn’t know till not too long ago is that an aubergine is what we here in the USA call an eggplant.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Alyson February 24, 2020 / 7:10 am

    My favourite colour for walls in the house for many years was Gentle Yellow and we’ve used it many times, in many rooms – Sadly there are fashions in interior design and those rooms still painted yellow look a bit dated now as Grey seems to be the new trendy colour. I’m not a fan of grey so don’t want to go down that route but with blue there are so many shades, so always something to please everyone – I do prefer the warmer Turquoise shades but yes indeed, a deep blue sky on a sunny day takes some beating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 24, 2020 / 10:30 am

      Yeah, from the little I know about interior design, the “clean” look of grey and white and black has been in favor for a while. Have an excellent week, Alyson. Thanks for adding your thoughts.

      Like

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 24, 2020 / 10:32 am

      I like to eat mustard on various sandwiches! Especially Gulden’s spicy brown mustard. Thanks for dropping by, Emily. Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Rama Arya February 24, 2020 / 7:56 am

    I just love the way you write! You make the ordinary extraordinary. I wish I could write like you. Seriously. Regarding your question, I have different favourite colours for different parts of my life. My clothes are all black. My home is white, cream, taupe and oakwood. And my favourite pictures are those with a heavenly blue sky and a dazzling blue ocean. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. joyce hamilton February 24, 2020 / 7:59 am

    I like a variety of colors. I do like blue sky and water . Thinking of flowers l like a variety of colors. Keep up the walks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 24, 2020 / 10:35 am

      Hi Joyce. From one Cape Cod lover to another: The blues of Cape Cod’s skies and waters are hard to beat!

      Like

  16. Fictionophile February 24, 2020 / 8:17 am

    Fascinating post Neil. I’ve always thought my favorite color is green. I wonder what that says about me?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 24, 2020 / 10:36 am

      I’m pretty sure that green ranked high on the color surveys I looked at. Green has similar qualities to blue.

      Like

  17. Debra February 24, 2020 / 8:54 am

    I am partial to green, as in green plants and forests. BTW, our new condo had gray walls throughout. It looked “sophisticated,” but we found it depressing. We changed it to the light creamy color we have lived with for the past 20 years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 24, 2020 / 10:40 am

      Morning, Debra. You can’t go wrong with green or with a soft cream! You’re going to enjoy your new home a lot.

      Like

  18. Laurie Graves February 24, 2020 / 10:04 am

    Blue is also my favorite color. It is also the color of our beautiful water planet. However, as you implied, all colors have their beauty, and that picture in your living room surely deserves a Maine “Wowsah!” It made my heart leap just to look at it on your post. I can only imagine what seeing the real thing would do to me. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Helen Devries February 24, 2020 / 10:14 am

    Thanks for the music suggestion…I shall listen to it later when things are quieter!
    When i was growing up in the U.K. there was a vogue for painting bathrooms in a cold tone of blue…almost sinister. Mother used to call it suicide blue but i have no idea what the trade name was. Luckily it had disappeared by the time I came to thinking about decorating a house myself…
    I love the pale blue of the Scottish skies….

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Des February 24, 2020 / 10:15 am

    Although I can enjoy any color in the right context, I must say blue has always been my favorite. To me it signifies depth, as in sky or water. But yellow can be amazing too! It’s funny how our tastes change over the decades, Neil.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. crowcityblog February 24, 2020 / 10:24 am

    Since adolescence, I have always been drawn to the indigos of the sky after sunset, those hues between cerulean and night. But as I endure the long dullness of winter, I long for the pale green of my garden’s bib lettuce. I have a strong aversion to red, the color of blood.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Jacqui Murray February 24, 2020 / 10:42 am

    While I agree about blue, I have never ever considered considering why blue is such a great color. That, Neil, is why I read your blog. You are unpredictable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 24, 2020 / 11:19 am

      Hey there, Jacqui. Till I wrote this piece, I don’t think I ever gave much if any thought to why blue is so appealing.

      Like

  23. SandyL February 24, 2020 / 11:19 am

    I love all colors. Color = Life. When I was younger I loved bright vibrant colors. I didn’t like pastels. They seemed a bit too pale and lifeless to call themselves color. I’m older now & I can appreciate their quiet subtlety. Not everything has to be intense to be beautiful.

    I love all colors. Except mauve. It smells funny. Like dust and stale body powder.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Paula B February 24, 2020 / 11:45 am

    Strangely, my favorite color as a youth was blue, and now it’s yellow! To me, blue is more beautiful but yellow makes me happier. Then again, thinking about what colors I WEAR, my most commonly worn color is blue and my least is yellow. Nothing makes any sense.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. talebender February 24, 2020 / 11:48 am

    For me, it’s green, representing life. Blue would come second, I think, representing peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 24, 2020 / 1:25 pm

      Hello. You know, I very much like the reasons you give. I think they are right on the money.

      Like

  26. JT Twissel February 24, 2020 / 1:15 pm

    I love that music. It’s got a beat you can easily walk along with. I don’t really have a favorite color but when I go to the nursery I gravitate to white or yellow flowers which I like to contrast with cardinal red or a cobalt blue. I steer clear of the pastels. Being from Nor Cal, there is nothing that brings me more joy than when the hills turn vivid green. The sight is almost blinding – like approaching the Emerald City!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 24, 2020 / 2:22 pm

      Hi. Yeah, it’s great when nature comes “alive”. I love forests and woods in autumn when leaves change color.

      Like

  27. swabby429 February 24, 2020 / 2:41 pm

    Orange does it for me. I suppose I need the visual energy boost.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. cath February 24, 2020 / 2:45 pm

    Lovely post, Neil. I think I like blue most, too, though that picture from Haiti does tempt me to think about changing my mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Imelda February 24, 2020 / 3:44 pm

    I don’t think I have an absolute favorite color. It depends on the subject, I guess. For example, green does not look so good on a rose, but is lovely on grass. Orange is not a good one for lipstick, but maybe, great for…. What? Ugh, an orange, I guess. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

        • Basia Korzeniowska February 24, 2020 / 5:10 pm

          well, i have always liked bright colours. my mother’s motto was everyone looks better in black – which may or may not be true. But as a teacher I preferred to stand out from the crowd. I was never sure about the success of this tactic when the kids called me parrot, or sked if I was going to a party. but hey-ho, I’m still just about teaching and lipstick is very important to my well being!

          Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 24, 2020 / 5:07 pm

      One thing for sure is that we’re fortunate there are SO many colors out there. Glad to hear from you, Imelda. See ya —

      Like

  30. Cindy February 24, 2020 / 5:02 pm

    My favorite color is blue, too, I think because many shades of it match so well with (blue) jeans. Color is fascinating! Have you heard of the recent book called The Secret Lives of Color? It’s about the history and psychology of colors. There are four pages just about basic blue! And more about cerulean, Prussian blue, woad (?), indigo, and 70 other shades of non-gray. Who knew ultramarine has a history??

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Becky Ross Michael February 24, 2020 / 5:46 pm

    Interesting thoughts, here, Neil. Blue has been my favorite color since childhood, and I have no reason why. If I were to pick something blue that I’d like to see, it’s the sky reflecting in the Great Lakes…

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Mellow Curmudgeon February 24, 2020 / 6:44 pm

    I like most bright colors (which, for me, excludes black and white as well as gray), but I like the various blues and greens best.  They tend to get along with each other much better than the various reds.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 24, 2020 / 8:03 pm

      I agree with that. Blues and greens have agreeable personalities.

      I’m glad to hear your thoughts. Thanks for adding them.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. tanjabrittonwriter February 24, 2020 / 7:51 pm

    I don’t remember what my favorite color was when I was a wee lass, but in the last decades, I waffle back and forth between blue, purple, and pink. And I have no problem whatsoever admitting that I love any shade of pink. But blue is definitely high on the list, too.
    Colorful greetings,
    Tanja

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Catwoods February 24, 2020 / 8:24 pm

    I favor green from mid-range to teal, with mid-range purple a close second. I do like blue, and cool colors over warm in general. Warm colors are best as small accents, to me. All that said, highly skilled painters/visual artists can make me forget all that even using colors I’m not especially fond of.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Browsing the Atlas February 24, 2020 / 8:28 pm

    I love the color yellow (and the song “Yellow” by Coldplay), but more and more, I’m gravitating toward orange. It’s almost become my signature color lately.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 24, 2020 / 9:31 pm

      Hi. You’re the third person who has said they love orange. Orange is more popular than I’d have guessed.

      Thanks for your input. I appreciate it.

      Like

  36. selizabryangmailcom February 24, 2020 / 9:56 pm

    I haven’t read ALL the responses, but I might be the odd man out, ’cause I don’t have a favorite color. I’m either an alien or my brain is wired oddly.

    I love the Haitian painting, though.
    And when I listen to Bessie’s song, the overwhelming color that comes to mind is magenta, of all things……

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 24, 2020 / 11:10 pm

      I think there are one or two others who said they don’t have a favorite color.

      I had to go to google to remind myself what magenta looks like. It sure is a strong color. Apparently, another name for magenta is fuschia.

      Hi Stacey. Have a colorful week!

      Liked by 1 person

      • America On Coffee February 24, 2020 / 11:26 pm

        Sorry Neil for the shared choice (well black some people believe is not a color) but a lot of bright colors are disappearing into it, leaving us with fake rays, from lighting, the internet and everything electronic. Actually, the fake lights are harming our eyes. We can see better under the natural sunlight. Black is the recessive absorption.🤔🤕🥺

        Liked by 1 person

  37. viewfromoverthehill February 24, 2020 / 11:54 pm

    Favorite color? Red. Bright red. RED. And I’ve always preferred red. I once read an article which said red was the color of anger. the nerve! I was furious. Angry? Me? Well, ahem…..

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Paddy Tobin February 25, 2020 / 2:49 am

    It’s blue for me and, given that it is such a popularly liked colour, isn’t it odd that we also use it to describe the state of being down, being sad – “feeling blue”. I think “feeling grey” might be more appropriate. There certainly are few views more depressing than looking out the window at more and more dark, grey, cloudy skies. By the way, the sky is mainly blue this morning – cold and windy but blue! Blue is grand with me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 25, 2020 / 7:14 am

      Good point — where did the expression “feeling blue” come from? The expression probably has a convoluted history.
      Anyway, you’re right that “feeling grey” would be accurate.

      Have a sunny, non-grey day!

      Like

      • Paddy Tobin February 25, 2020 / 10:45 am

        The sky today – blue or grey – was like the Irishman asked to check if the car indicator was working: “It is; it isn’t; it is; it isn’t; it is; it isn’t.

        Liked by 1 person

  39. sniderjerry February 25, 2020 / 3:00 am

    Mister Blue, Blue Eyes Crying In the Rain, Blue On Blue, Blue Skies, Red Red Wine. Purple Haze, Yellow River, Green River, Nights In White Satin…and Over The Rainbow. Thanks again for a great essay. Jerry

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Annika Perry February 25, 2020 / 10:30 am

    Neil, you weave music, clothing and colour skilfully into this post! I haven’t heard of the yellow music period but I’m intrigued. As for clothes, my school uniform was a variation of blue all my student time and hence avoided it with a vengeance … until recently when I’ve started to like the colour. I’m smiling at your young self smitten with the colour yellow – and its bright cheerfulness!

    Liked by 1 person

  41. andrewcferguson February 25, 2020 / 2:40 pm

    I’m sure I read somewhere that the traditional ‘green room’ where artists wait to go on stage was green because it was a calming colour. But I’m a blue kind of guy.

    By the way, Neil, way to go with your description as a ‘wee lad’ – we’ll make a Scot of you yet! We do like our blue skies over here, although much of the time it’s different shades of grey…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 25, 2020 / 3:22 pm

      That’s interesting about the “green room.” I guess that color theorists have been around for many decades. Or maybe many millennia.

      Hi Andrew. Bye till next time from your wee pal.

      Liked by 1 person

  42. sloppy buddhist February 25, 2020 / 6:22 pm

    I love blues yellows and a touch of red Neil and a blue raincoat 🎵🎶☺️ smiles Hedy

    Liked by 1 person

  43. eden baylee February 25, 2020 / 8:52 pm

    Black , red, orange are my favourite colours for clothing. I love yellow for flowers. I also like green but not blue.

    And I love that song by Leonard Cohen! Great musical choice too with Bessie Smith,

    eden

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 25, 2020 / 10:41 pm

      Evening, Eden. I like your fashion sense.

      And right, that Cohen song is terrific. Until tonight, I hadn’t thought about it or heard it in a long time.

      Liked by 1 person

  44. melissabluefineart February 26, 2020 / 11:08 am

    I remember reading there is some science behind the colors we like, and why so many like blue, although your thoughts on the matter sound spot-on. I know that many people shift to reds as they age and it has to do with perception and processing of color. As you know, I’m with you on the blue scale, although I’ve found I do indeed like reds more as I age. And did you know, Pantone felt we all needed to calm down this year and so they chose blue as the color of the year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 26, 2020 / 3:11 pm

      You know, I never knew about people liking red more as they age. Color!perception is a deep topic.

      Anyway, you and I are still in the blue camp. Many thanks for your thoughts and info.

      Like

      • melissabluefineart February 27, 2020 / 8:49 am

        I wasn’t able to attend, but the last meeting of my local art league had a speaker on the history and use of blue in art this month!

        Liked by 1 person

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