In the music world, songs about blue eyes are pretty common. The beauty of the pigment most resonates with people through the admiration of the eyes. It highlights that a lot of romantic relationships begin with “love at first sight.”
Songs about “blue eyes” usually reference the arguably most famous blue-eyed Hollywood actor, James Dean. On the other hand, the music of other acts uses the “expressions” blue eyes have to amplify their emotions, thoughts, and memories. Some of the tracks just admire blue eyes, simply as that.
The list contains 30 songs about blue eyes from the past 100 years (or anything related).
1. “Style” by Taylor Swift
When pop music talks about dreamy, beautiful blue eyes, the most common reference is James Dean. For those who didn’t know, he is a cultural icon of teenage disillusionment and social estrangement. One of the current generation’s most remarkable songwriters, Taylor Swift, referenced him to describe “perfect” by his appearance.
Mind the emphasis on “personal preference,” not to be objective on the focus on appearance, shedding light on appearance marketing and body inclusivity issues. The song takes her and her lover in a troubled relationship on an unexpectedly long drive after being apart for a long time, complementing each other’s “style” and looking good and well together.
2. “Speechless” by Lady Gaga
James Dean has been a staple reference in popular culture due to his charming, blue eyes, from the daydream look in his eye to how he looked at you with those glossy peepers. Written by Gaga to convince his father to undergo open-heart surgery, the song reminds her younger audience to appreciate their parents more.
Inspired by 1970s rock music, references to the blue-eyed actor indicate that the song was written from the perspective of the older generations, particularly her mother’s point of view. The piece was labeled her “Fear of Death Monster,” wherein she expresses her phobia of losing someone.
3. “Blue Jeans” by Lana Del Rey
Queen of modern alternative Lana Del Rey has been known for referencing older-generation symbols in her discographies, such as Norman Rockwell and James Dean. Lyrically, it talks about her strange ride with a lover, who is a look-alike of the blue-jeaned Dean.
The relationship falls apart unexpectedly due to the lack of personal issues that can potentially hinder them, with living together as the catalyst of having trouble. Del Rey labels the whole romantic journey to be “strange,” with the cowgirl anthem being claimed to be autobiographical.
4. “Moonlight” by Ariana Grande
Referencing James Dean in another romantic relationship is Ariana Grande’s “Moonlight,” which is about her past endeavors with her then-boyfriend Ricky Alvarez. Inspired mainly by the 50s music, the Dangerous Woman opener incorporates violins, and dainty string plucks to mirror the romantic positivism she wants to express.
However, as the song progresses, it reveals the romance’s sultry side. Just think of a lovely lullaby fitting for wearing black leggings. However, the delivery of the message seemed to be “incomprehensible” due to the complex use of metaphors, as the fluffy-like track can also mean a lot of things about their relationship.
5. “New Americana” by Halsey
What’s fantastic with pop music is that referencing James Dean can come in all messages and genres. While Halsey’s Badlands track talks about getting high and getting married to a young James Dean, the song sheds light on the generational characteristic of being confident about diversity.
They have described the song as a “social commentary” on popular culture, narrowed down to the American youth population. However, the resonance of its message is universal, wherein it talks about the importance of music in forwarding, and evolving, from a lot of morals and beliefs.
6. “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel
Unlike the previous songs, the James Dean reference in Billy Joel’s historical classic acts as a time machine, covering the events of the early 1940s to late 1980s. The three-minute song enumerates prominent images, significant events, and notable personalities within a half-century.
Some think it is a significant information overload, similar to lengthy History readings, but jam-packed within a short period. Aside from Dean’s death in a car accident in 1955, several bite sizes were also mentioned. This includes the beginning of the Korean War in 1950 and the 1989 Martial Law in China.
7. “I Still Miss Someone” by Johnny Cash
We all miss someone; it may be a friend, a family member, a significant other, or any random person you resonated with. In Johnny Cash’s case, he never got over the blue eyes of his first great love.
He expresses jealousy over the other couples showing public displays of affection, something we singles can relate to! However, the chorus highlights his agony of being left by his significant lover and the sadness over missing someone.
8. “Hey Blue Eyes” by Bruce Springsteen
One of American icon Bruce Springsteen’s most recent works, “Hey Blue Eyes” seems to be the odd one on this list regarding its approach to the topic. Labeled as a heavy political song, the American Beauty cut was written almost a decade before, during the administration of George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States of America.
He mirrors the cries for social justice by using the house of horrors to reference the U.S government’s actions upon invading Iraq. He claims that the abuse of power over the conflict is the “shadow” the country failed to overcome for years.
9. “Gorgeous” by Taylor Swift
“Ocean blue eyes” is still “blue eyes,” right? The third single from Swift’s pop comeback album Reputation has fans thinking that she’s referencing her blue-eyed boyfriend, actor Joe Alwyn, who she has had a relationship with for almost six years now.
However, the lyrics have fans thinking that it addresses the infatuation she had with an ex-lover during the making process of the album. These play on the rumors that she cheated back then, cohesive with the social revenge theme of the whole record. The narrative is about most other songs about blue eyes: complementing your significant other.
10.“Vogue” by Madonna
Fans of the New York Ballroom culture wouldn’t forget the significant impact of this song in the 1990s (by the way, watch the New York ballroom culture series, POSE). The once-popular dance of the same name inspired the creation of this track. It also cemented the icon status of the Queen of Pop within the LGBTQIA+ community. Madonna’s popularization of the term brought performance art to the mainstream.
Blue-eyed James Dean was coined in the song as “Jimmy,” along with other personalities that served to be role models of the general public during the time, such as Marilyn Monroe. The relevance of mentioning them is attributed to hand gestures in the dance, emulating poses reminiscent of the cover models and Hollywood personalities.
11. “Again Again” by Lady Gaga
If the music chameleon Lady Gaga tells you that your eyes can change from green to blue, you might believe her, right? Her power! Inspired by one of The Beatles’ member John Lennon’s final interviews, she sees The Fame bonus track as a tribute to the band’s song “Oh Darlin.”
Lyrically, it describes herself and her wish to reunite with her brown-eyed lover. This is one of the few songs in her discography where she directly talks about love.
12.“Blue Eyes” by Elton John
Since this is a list of songs about blue eyes, let’s include this song by Sir Elton John. Obviously, the song will talk about “blue eyes” a lot due to the title; but to be played by decades-long crooner Elton John makes it a million times better. The Grammy-nominated piano ballad talks about eventual love and pain with someone who has blue eyes.
What puts the soul in the song is its accompanying music video, which is cinematically shot ocean-side along the coastal walks in Sydney. It completes the holistic experience of Elton John’s message!
13.“Complexion (A Zulu Love)” by Kendrick Love
Mentioning “blue eyes” on a song doesn’t mean it has to be all about romance, right? Pulitzer Prize awardee Kendrick Lamar used the piece to dismiss the racial barriers about different complexions by telling the stories of colorism and racism that he has observed in his community.
The album cut from the Grammy-winning To Pimp a Butterfly educates the public about damage to beauty standards by skin complexion, resonating with the history of slavery in America, which victimized the people of color. He said to love people regardless of the color of their skin!
14.“Hazey” by Glass Animals
Of course, people with blue eyes do not represent the greatest love at all times. The song by the British indie rock band talks about the difficulty of escaping a toxic relationship.
The lyrics scream frustration about an alcoholic lover, who inflicts abuse in their romance, but is unable to leave the person. Instead, the person chooses not to leave their troubled significant other, giving the “I can fix them” treatment.
15. “Ronan” by Taylor Swift
“Ronan” is one of the songs written specifically for someone with blue eyes, in memory of their life. For a bit of context about the titular character, Swift composed the track out of a blog she had read about Ronan Thompson.
According to the story, Ronan died at four years old due to cancer. Another vital piece of information is Swift writing it with Ronan’s mother, Maya Thompson. Lyrically, the ballad brings awareness about childhood cancer, hence raising proceeds for the Stand Up 2 Cancer Foundation. She has included the re-recorded version of her eleventh studio effort, Red (Taylor’s Version). Not even a dry eye in the room when this song plays!
16. “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses
Now, who wouldn’t know about this timeless classic? While people mistakenly think that it is a love song, it actually came from a poem created by band member Axl Rose. He sheds light on his then-successful romance, with the music speaking about a rough childhood and some sweet episodes in it as well.
Referencing his lover’s eyes, like the “bluest skies,” he remembers his childhood memories “as fresh as the bright blue sky.” He remembers the scenery to be one of his earliest childhood memories, where the beauty and serenity it gives amaze him.
17.“No Light, No Light” by Florence and the Machine
Using religious and racial references, the “blue eyes” were used once again in a song! However, it centers on the grief over the lost love of a partner, referred to by the lack of “light in your bright blue eyes.”
One can imagine singing the song while requesting salvation over the heavens. The track gives a gospel-type sound to the mainstream, complete with tribal drum patterns and harp loops.
18.“I Love You Always Forever” by Donna Lewis
Another love song in the history books! “I Love You Always Forever” is most likely to be Lewis’ most important song in her career, evidenced by first explaining the song in the bionote of her website.
Her signature serenade claims that her lover has the “most unbelievable blue eyes” she has ever seen. She incorporates surrealism in her lyrics and expresses unconditional, unequivocal, and optimal love for her significant other. Pretty sure everybody wants that kind of love.
19.“Souvenir” by Selena Gomez
“Souvenir” seemed to garner the most attention on Gomez’s three additional tracks on the deluxe edition of her second studio album under Interscope Records, Rare.
She swoons over her lover, whom she has characterized as having “Egyptian blue” eyes, referencing a long-distance romance—long enough that both are separated by the coast(s)! The undisclosed reference sparked rumors that the song might be one of her rumored exes, One Direction member Niall Horan, who has blue eyes!
20.“Blue As Your Eyes” by Scouting for Girls
Love in clarity and assurance is a rare find nowadays. The band Scouting for Girls assured the public that the said type of romance still exists nowadays through their song. Highlighting the lyrical narrative is similar to the love at first sight phenomenon.
Metaphorically comparing the hue of the character’s lover’s eyes to the subject theme of the track, it mirrors the unequivocal feelings that they deem 200% certain.
21.“Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” by Willie Nelson
Imagining the scenery the song shares with its listeners, “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” suggests it may be about two particular things. One is that this song is for someone who has lost their love or grieving the death of a lifetime love.
However, the interesting part is its inclusion in Nelson’s 1975 album Red Headed Stranger. Its general concept narrates a former preacher on the run after murdering his wife and her lover. Its cohesion with the album adds meaning to the song, transforming the message into a cry of sorrow and contemplation upon past actions while hiding from the authorities as a fugitive.
22.“Blue Eyes Blue” by Eric Clapton
At first glance, one would think that the title refers to a particular redundancy, maybe due to a stylistic choice or a part of the direction taken by the recording artist. However, upon reading the song’s lyrics, it describes a lover’s betrayal by making their blue eyes “blue,” with the said color denoting sadness.
Clapton describes his solitude after a heartbreak and broken trust that rendered him helpless both in love and life. The outro echoed, “I should have never trusted you,” which radiates sadness and disappointment.
23.“Always Remember Us This Way” by Lady Gaga
Who says “the Arizona skies burning in your eye” more perfectly than Lady Gaga’s subtle character, Ally, in the 2018 remake of A Star Is Born? Ally resonates about her simplistic love for Jackson Maine (played by the blue-eyed actor Bradley Cooper) in the story’s context, highlighting the best times in their relationship.
Like their romance, the track fills the room with raw emotion that embodies falling in love to be perfect and great. In real life, the ballad becomes one of Gaga’s signature songs, showing her vocal and instrumental prowess in her dominantly avant-garde discography.
24.“China Girl” by David Bowie
How many songs about blue eyes went on to become controversial? An odd take on using elements of racism to fight over racism, “China Girl” may seem to have stirred up controversy due to the song’s nature. However, this was released during a time when racism was not globally denounced. Bowie, instead, took a step toward doing it.
Warning the character “China Girl” about colonialism, he uses the “blue eyes” as a value of Western materialism, which can potentially destroy the culture of the female character. Other perspectives of the song include heroin addiction, in which “China White” is popular slang for the popular drug.
25.“In Your Eyes” by The Weeknd and Doja Cat
While the collaboration doesn’t specifically talk about “blue eyes,” the Doja Cat remix of the The Weeknd track has fans associating it with their lover who has them. The saxophone dominating the song makes it a highlight of the Canadian singer’s streaming giant After Hours, which is a departure from the hedonistic approach with most of his songs.
The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, describes the song from a sultry perspective, stating that the single is perfect for “making love,” referencing how people mistakenly think Police’s “Every Breath You Take” is a wholesome love song. Feisty!
26.“American Pie” by Don McLean
Going back to borrowing a coat from the blue-eyed James Dean, the song talks about the evolution of rock and roll during the 1960s decade. The song talks about the events that took place during the time, such as the 1959 plane crash that killed Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly, and The Big Bopper.
Other significant events of the decade included in the song are the moon landings by the Apollo program and the dominance of The Beatles in popular culture. Many critics and fans alike consider the song to be his magnum opus, primarily due to its cryptic composition.
27.“Hilary Duff by “Mr. James Dean” by Hilary Duff
The last song in this list about James Dean is about James Dean himself, by none other than the legend Hillary Duff. I guess we can say that James Dean will always be a prominent figure in most songs about blue eyes. With Dean setting the bar high ever since his period of prominence, Duff emphasizes in the song that no one will ever be like him. She even went on to stress that anyone who tries hard to mimic him should stop. This scenario further cements the legacy and impact of the blue-eyed legend on the global community. We couldn’t agree more, Hillary!
28.“Ocean Eyes” by Billie Eilish
While the 7-time Grammy winner uses the color of the ocean to describe the eyes, we’re pretty sure that oceans are commonly blue. The song’s message is direct, with Eilish comparing her attraction to a person to the complexities of the ocean.
In the track, she talks about the depth she has fallen for the individual, emphasizing how her significant other’s eyes deepen her attraction. Its accompanying musical production is based mainly on contemporary lyrical dance.
29.“Music to My Eyes” by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
Also included in 2018’s A Star Is Born original soundtrack, “Music to My Eyes” is another direct reference to Ally’s admiration for the blue-eyed rockstar, Jackson Maine. Lyrically, the track references music, through a metaphor, for searching far and wide for great love and wanting to fall deep with them.
This is greatly important in enriching the film’s narrative for their love for music, with performing as the characters’ common ground together. Unlike the solo cut “Always,” “Music” is a collaboration between the two actors, with opposite voices complementing together.
30.“Behind Blue Eyes” by The Who
As the final entry in this list of songs about blue eyes, let’s have this song about Jumbo. “But who is Jumbo?” you ask. Well, Jumbo is a character created by The Who for their aborted project Lifehouse. Singing from the first-person view of Jumbo, who was characterized by being full of angst most of the time due to the social and environmental pressure and temptation he receives.
The protagonist feels that he was being forced into a perception of being a villain, while he thinks that he was always a good guy. Praises for the song, particularly for its rock opera production, fitting to the narrative!
While the full list of songs about blue eyes, James Dean, or anything in between goes on and on, it’s refreshing to see a diverse discography under the theme. It shows that music can be expressed beyond love for many different reasons. Music can also communicate betrayal, grief, celebrations, and even one’s political stand.
It’s more astonishing that the concept of “blue eyes” has been used to demonstrate these messages to the people, a fraction of a million reasons that prove that music is indeed universal.