Pink is most girls’ favorite color at some (usually early) period in their lives. Some guys like it, too, despite the feminine connotations western society has saddled it with. While an exhaustive study would take ages, it’s a safe bet that pink is one of the most common colors used in song titles.
The color has associations with love, gentleness, serenity, and romance. Depending on the culture, it can connote trust (South Korea), stand as an architectural element (Central and South American countries), or reduce aggression.
Many jail cells get painted pink regarding that last one, and the University of Iowa’s visiting team locker room has been pink since the last millennium. Coach Hayden Fry’s psychology background led him to choose the color as a way to gain a slight advantage over his team’s opponents.
But in music, its overwhelming associations are with love, romance, and sex.
Here are 22 songs with “pink” in the title.
1. Pink Cadillac by Bruce Springsteen
Perhaps the most popular “pink” song, Springsteen’s ode to the love he has for his girl not because of her but instead for her pink Caddy has been covered by many artists since its first appearance as the B-side for “Dancing in the Dark” in 1984. Remember B-sides?
The song was somewhat racy by 1984 broadcast standards, but its innuendoes are quaint by 21st-century standards. While people were fretting over lyrics about how the narrator’s love was “bigger than a Honda” and a Subaru, everyone seemed to have missed the obvious sexual reference. Look no further than:
“They say Eve tempted Adam with an apple,
But man, I ain’t going for that.
I know it was her pink Cadillac.”
2. Pink Houses by John Cougar Mellencamp
An upbeat tune with darker undertones, Mellencamp’s ode to the difficulty and elusiveness of the so-called American Dream was a big hit in 1983 and has demonstrated staying power since (“Maniac,” “Hot Girls in Love,” “Take Me to Heart,” and “Dead Giveaway” haven’t fared so well).
While a cursory listen might lead one to think of this as a happy song about how great life in America is, a closer look at the lyrics reveals disillusionment with how difficult modern American life can be, especially for people of color:
“There’s a black man, with a black cat
Livin’ in a black neighborhood.
He’s got an interstate runnin’ through his front yard.
You know, he thinks he’s got it so good.”
3. Pink by Aerosmith
1997 gave the world “Nine Lives,” Aerosmith’s 12th studio album. The one big hit from that album was “Pink,” an unsubtle ode to feminine body and sex in general. Despite the song’s racy content, it won Aerosmith their fourth Grammy award.
Lead vocalist Steven Tyler sings about pink “on the lips of your lover,” and isn’t talking about lipstick, then goes on with other sexual references:
“I want to wrap you in rubber
As pink as the sheets that we lay on
‘Cause pink is my favorite crayon.”
Classy, right? But it reached number 27 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, and the band still plays it live to this day.
4. Pretty in Pink by The Psychedelic Furs
Originally released in 1981, “Pretty in Pink” was about a promiscuous woman who mistook sex for love. The title phrase is a euphemism for nudity, so it’s no surprise that Furs’ frontman Richard Butler has said that the 1986 John Hughes film of the same name “missed the mark.”
In Hughes’ film, Molly Ringwald’s character is pretty in the pink prom dress she dons— altogether different from a nude woman who sleeps around.
Still, the film propelled the single to number 18 on the Billboard chart, a marked improvement from the no. 43 chart position it held after its 1981 release.
5. Pink by Julia Michaels
Michaels has penned her share of pensive, introspective songs. “Pink” is not one of them. Like the Aerosmith song of the same name, this tune is not about love, flowers, rainbows, or unicorns. It’s about a sex. Again.
She sings about how her man has “a thing for flowers, but only certain kinds / And by certain kinds, I mean, only if it’s mine.” It doesn’t take a Shakespearean scholar to put together what kind of flower she’s referencing.
To make sure no one mistakes her subject matter, Michaels later sings:
“There’s no innuendos, it’s exactly what you think.
Believe me when I tell you that he loves the color pink.”
Subtle? Not exactly. A fun piece of pop songwriting? Definitely.
6. The Pink Panther Theme Song by Henry Mancini
“The Pink Panther” was originally a 1963 comedy about a bumbling French policeman named Inspector Clouseau. The film, directed by Blake Edwards, spawned a franchise that saw several sequels and a reboot starring Steve Martin.
While most of the films are comedy gold, Henry Mancini’s classic theme song was the real classic from the whole affair. It’s instantly recognizable, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who’s never heard it.
7. Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Pt. 1 by The Flaming Lips
Okay, so Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne is weird. In a good way, but yeah, he’s weird. He’s written songs about Vaseline and Spiderman, and this one is about a kung-fu master fighting robots.
It comes from the band’s 2002 album “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots,” which many consider a concept album, though Coyne has flatly denied that. Still, it tells a science fiction story that many have sought to interpret as a meditation on love and mortality.
“Yoshimi…” is a lovely, laid-back song, lilting and singable, so maybe it doesn’t matter if the pink robots represent breast cancer or premenstrual syndrome (both sincere opinions from fans).
8. Geek in the Pink by Jason Mraz
Jason Mraz has had several hits consisting of his lyrical tenor voice, listenable, catchy hooks, and clever wordplay. “Geek in the Pink” fits right in with the Mraz oeuvre.
Unlike many songs on this list, the color pink represents nothing romantic, anatomical, or sexual. The pink that the geek is in is his pink shirt.
Alternating between a sing-song sort of rapping and some reggae-infused singing, Mraz weaves a tale of a girl who judged him by how he looked. Because he chose not to conform but rather to be himself, she assumed he was a geek, nerd, weirdo, whatever, and she misses out:
“I don’t care what you might think about me.
You’ll get by without me if you want…
Don’t judge it by the color, confuse it for another,
You might regret what you let slip away
Like the geek in the pink.”
This song about being yourself peaked at number 36 on the Billboard charts in 2006.
9. Pink Guitar by Reba McEntire
Similar to McEntire’s megahit “Fancy,” “Pink Guitar” is a rousing tune about a butt-kicking woman. Unlike the protagonist in “Fancy,” this lady uses her guitar to make the world bend to her will.
Since the guitar (especially the electric guitar) has been the perceived territory of men only, we sometimes feel a little tickle of surprise when we see a woman with a Strat slung slow, rocking hard. This song is about a woman who does just that.
It was never released as a single when it came out on 2009’s “Keep On Loving You,” but it remains a fan favorite.
10. Pink Cashmere by Prince
An artist rarely puts a new song on a greatest hits compilation. Billy Joel did it with some success with “You’re Only Human (Second Wind)” in his 1985 collection, but few others have dared.
After all, it’s a greatest hits album, so isn’t it a little presumptuous to put a brand new song in the mix? But this is Prince, and he did what he wanted. And it worked out. “Pink Cashmere” found a peak chart spot at number 10.
It has Prince’s falsetto, a couple of his trademark screams, a mid-tempo R&B beat, and a great groove. Unlike many Prince songs from this time and before (“Pink Cashmere” was released in 1993), it doesn’t have much sexual content but rather seems to be about a man in love who wants to give his girl a coat made of pink cashmere.
11. Four Pink Walls by Alessia Cara
The titular walls were the ones of Cara’s childhood bedroom. The song tells of a kid with big dreams who feels like she’s not going anywhere. The latter half moves to the present day when that now-grown, now-successful kid misses the stability of those four pink walls.
“Everything shifted overnight,
Went from ‘when boredom strikes’ to ‘Ms. Star on the Rise.’
It was all in an instant, man,
But those four pink walls, now I kinda miss them, man.”
12. Pink Champagne by Ariana Grande
Originally intended for inclusion on Grande’s debut album, “Yours Truly,” this track was cut from the lineup at the last minute. It finally saw the light of day when the chanteuse reached 10 million Twitter followers, at which time she released the song online as a thank you to fans.
The song is about working hard and playing hard. No sexual overtones to the color pink, no metaphorical meaning behind champagne. Just some hard-working people drinking champagne to celebrate the fruits of their labors.
13. A White Sport Coat (And a Pink Carnation) by Marty Robbins
Marty Robbins was a big presence in country music in the late 1950s. He released “A White Sport Coat (and a Pink Carnation)” in 1957. Robbins said he wrote it in 20 minutes, and it became his third number-one single.
It tells the story of a high school kid all dolled up for the prom who has just discovered that his date decided to go with someone else instead.
14. Pink Moon by Nick Drake
Nick Drake made three albums in his short life (he died at 26), and few people noticed them while he was alive. However, his fans are ardent, and his popularity and influence have grown steadily over the years since his 1974 death.
“Pink Moon” was featured in a 1999 Volkswagen commercial that touched something deep in many Americans. The song has since become Drake’s biggest hit.
What it means, though, is anyone’s guess. As Drake suffered from depression and may have committed suicide, many have attributed a foreboding meaning to the enigmatic lyrics. Whatever it’s about, it remains popular almost 50 years after the songwriter’s death.
15. Pink Triangle by Weezer
Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo wrote “Pink Triangle” after seeing a girl in a college class of his, developing an infatuation with her, then discovering that she had a pink triangle on her backpack. The symbol led him to believe she was a lesbian and all his pining had been for naught.
The song tells that story. The Nazis forced homosexuals to wear a pink triangle on their clothes to shame and dehumanize them, but in the 1970s, LGBTQIA+ activists appropriated the image as a badge of honor and pride.
16. Sink the Pink by AC/DC
We move from high-brow symbolism back to the bedroom with this rock anthem from AC/DC. Only the most sheltered listeners can miss the sexual imagery, and while the band is known for its cheeky double entendre lyrics, “Sink the Pink” leaves nothing to the imagination. Observe:
“There’s a woman going down.
She said she’ll rough you up, all the way,
And she gonna spit you out, count your days…
Sink the pink, it’s all the fashion.”
I mean, it could be about digging a hole and burying some roses in it, but it probably isn’t.
17. Two Pink Lines by Eric Church
An autobiographical song, “Two Pink Lines” tells the story of two teenagers enjoying a summer fling who have to hit the pause button when a pregnancy scare rears its head.
“Yeah these days the rabbit doesn’t die,
You just sit around waiting on two pink lines.”
The song’s narrator sings about how one line on the pregnancy test means life can go on as usual, but two pink lines mean having a baby and possibly getting married. While that dilemma remains one of the most frightening a teenage boy can face, Church delivers a toe-tapper.
The kicker comes at the end of the song. When only one line appears on the test, the two teens breathe a sigh of relief, and then the girl goes on her merry way with a “see you around.” Ouch.
18. Pink Toenails by The Chicks
When the band was called The Dixie Chicks, the Texas-based band released “Little Ol’ Cowgirl” in 1992 to critical and commercial apathy. However, “Pink Toenails,” the album’s last track, has become a fan favorite.
The song’s jazzy, Gilded Age feel makes it something of a departure from mainstream country music, but the song extolled the virtues of making romantic gestures for a partner. In this case, the pink toenails represent the time the narrator wants to spend making herself pretty to do something nice for her partner.
19. Pink Pussycat by Devo
As with most Devo songs, “Pink Pussycat” is a frenetic New Wave song featuring a weird, robotic delivery. Devo was a weird band.
It takes a weird band to make a song about having sex sound unsexy and odd. It’s a fun song, but a cursory listen reveals only the driving, nearly-too-fast beat and the synthesizers of Devo songs.
But the lyrics are self-explanatory, bordering on graphic:
“Pink pussycat – I see you in the car now.
Pink pussycat – I’ve got you in the backseat.
Pink pussycat – I wanna touch your fur now.”
20. Pink Sunglasses by Miranda Lambert
Miranda Lambert can quickly pivot from sad and soulful to tongue-in-cheek and playful. Songs like “Tin Man” and “The House the Built Me” reveal a vulnerable, longing woman, but then “pink Sunglasses” comes around.
The narrator dons a cheap pair of shades to shield herself from the world and boost her confidence. The song seems to have done something similar for Lambert, who performed the track at the 2017 CMT Music Awards to near-universal acclaim.
21. Pretty Pink Ribbon – Cake
Cake released “Comfort Eagle” in 2001, a collection of solid tunes (not a surprise from a band as tight as Cake) that included “Pretty Pink Ribbon,” a song that admittedly doesn’t immediately stand out as having that distinct Cake sound most of the band’s songs have.
While some Cake songs present puzzling lyrics (“Sheep Go to Heaven,” anyone?), “Pretty Pink Ribbon” straightforwardly tells a woman that she gets away with the things she does because she’s a woman. She uses her beauty and sexuality to get her way, something the male narrator simply can’t do.
22. Pink Lemonade by James Bay
James Bay’s second album, “Electric Light,” dropped in 2018 and marked a departure from his previous stripped-down folk sound. In “Pink Lemonade,” the album’s third track, Bay sings of longing to escape reality and the rigors of day-to-day life by sitting down with a glass of lemonade and letting the world fall away.
It also sounds a bit like The Strokes, which Bay confirmed as an influence on the song and his general musical development.
Not every song with “pink” in the title is about sex. Some are about lesbians or coats or rejection, but most are about sex or the various parts involved. This is just a partial list of songs with pink in the title.
Eduardo Perez is a multi-instrumentalist with over 20 years of experience playing instruments such as piano, guitar, ukulele, and bass. Having arranged songs and produced music in a recording studio, he has a wealth of knowledge to share about analyzing songs, composing, and producing. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Musical Studies at Berklee College School of Music. Featured on Entrepreneur.com. Subscribe to his YouTube channel, or follow him on Instagram.