A Rainbow of Songs in Celebration of PrideFest



Archdiocese be damned, PrideFest is going to be all kinds of crazy fun this year.

Celebrating with new digs at Soldier's Memorial downtown, commitment ceremonies in City Hall, a headlining appearance by Taylor Dayne and the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, the 2013 PrideFest promises to be a little, well, gayer than usual.

RFT Music is waving its multi-colored flag, too! To help prepare you for the fabulous PrideFest weekend ahead, we've curated our favorite songs representing each color of the gay pride rainbow flag: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. Will you make the rainbow connection with us?

RED: "(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes"

Honestly, we were going to give our red spot to Prince's "Little Red Corvette," but since The Artist Formerly-Formerly Known As Who Gives A Crap doesn't allow anyone on YouTube to use his songs, the honor instead goes to Elvis Costello. Not that Costello doesn't deserve it! This little ditty about greed and bad bargains is just one of several gems on 1977's My Aim Is True. It even was covered on Kids Incorporated!

Runners-up: "Little Red Corvette" by Prince, "Lady in Red" by Chris de Burgh, "Little Red Riding Hood" by Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs

ORANGE: "Orange Crush"

We're going to level with you -- we couldn't come up with many "orange" singles without Interwebz assistance. Like, uh, at all. But that doesn't make this R.E.M. tune any less awesome. For being about the Vietnam War, "Orange Crush" is awfully catchy!

Runner-up: "Orange Blossom Special" by Johnny Cash

YELLOW: "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road"

If anyone deserves a spot on RFT's rainbow flag, it's Elton John. Not only is he among the world's most famous gay performers and AIDS awareness activists, but the British knight also has an Academy Award AND was the inspiration for a Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor ("Goodbye Yellow Brickle Road"). And come on, the Muppets are fans; that should be enough for anyone.

Runners-up: "Yellow Ledbetter" by Pearl Jam, "Yellow Submarine" by the Beatles, "Big Yellow Taxi" by Joni Mitchell, "Mellow Yellow" by Donovan

GREEN: "Mean Green Mother from Outer Space"

It wouldn't be Pride weekend if we didn't throw a musical into the mix, and Little Shop of Horrors is one of the best. Rick Moranis deserves a ton of credit as leading dork Seymour, but he's a bit upstaged by both Steve Martin as a sadistic dentist and an evil plant that sings about taking over the world. "I'm mean and green, and I. AM. BAAAAAAAAAAD!" What's not to love, people?

Runners-up: "Little Green Bag" by the George Baker Selection, "Green Onions" by Booker T. and the MG's, "Green River" by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Continue for blue, violet and the greatest rainbow song of all.

BLUE: "Blue Sky Mine"

Erstwhile Aussie band Midnight Oil's lyrics from "Blue Sky Mine" are a bit of a downer -- they publicize the consequences for workers who were forced to forced to toil in an asbestos-ridden factory -- but the harmonica prevents the song from being too depressing. Known in the United States mainly for the single "Beds Are Burning," the Oils are famous for using music to bring important causes to the forefront -- something Pride supporters surely identify with.

Runners-up: "Devil with a Blue Dress" by Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels, "Bullet the Blue Sky" by U2, "Pale Blue Eyes" by the Velvet Underground, "Blue Monday" by New Order


Like "orange," there just aren't a ton of songs with "violet" in the title. We even expanded the category to include "purple," but apparently few musicians played with that side of the color wheel. Normally, we're loathe to crown Courtney Love a leader of anything, but we're OK with her here. Her band Hole brings the heat on this song about a sour relationship (with Billy Corgan, no less!), something people of all attractions and preferences can understand.

Runners-up: "Purple Haze" by Jimi Hendrix, "Start Wearing Purple" by Gogol Bordello

And together, the colors of course form the most appropriate song for the occasion. This weekend, will you join us somewhere over the rainbow?

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