In music, film, art and literature, artists have always been interested in eyes and we’ve gathered the list of best songs about blue eyes. Often called windows to the soul, eyes are a key part of human interaction, and a quick glance at someone’s eyes can reveal a lot of information about them. Whilst these days those eyes might be blue, green or hazel, originally the human race all had brown eyes.
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The existence of blue eyes is put down to a single genetic mutation – in fact, it is thought that all blue-eyed people may share a common ancestor. The gene that causes blue eyes is recessive, meaning that only 8% of the world’s population has blue eyes.
Blue eyes have inspired many wonderful pieces of music, from love songs to laments. We’ve gathered ten of our favorite songs about blue eyes to play for the blue-eyed people in your life.
“Ocean Eyes” – Billie Eilish
Originally written by Finneas O’Connell for his band, the songwriter realised that the track was actually a better fit for his little sister’s vocals. Eilish had been asked by her dance teacher to record a song for choreography and put the recording up on SoundCloud so that her teacher could access it. It went viral overnight, kicking off Eilish’s recording career.
“Ocean Eyes” describes an intense romantic attraction to someone, with a particular focus on the person’s blue, stormy eyes. Eilish expresses being “scared” of the powerful feeling she gets when the object of her affections looks at her in a delicate ode to the innocent enormity of first love.
“Blue Eyes” – Mika
Mika describes a woman who finds it hard to shake her sadness in this surprisingly jaunty track. The whole song was built around an idea that Mika had on the underground – he imagined a woman losing her heart and having to go search for it in the Lost and Found. Armed with that and the rhythm of the train, he created a piece incorporating both.
“Blue Eyes” – Elton John
This Grammy-nominated track sees John describing a pair of beautiful blue eyes in great detail. Cycling through all the emotions the eyes can express – love, pain, humor – he explains that these eyes belong to someone who is a source of great comfort to him.
The song wasn’t actually written about someone personally close to John, though. It’s an ode to the actress Elizabeth Taylor, whose blue eyes were so deep and vibrant that they were sometimes mistaken for violet.
“Bette Davis Eyes” – Kim Carnes
Carnes pays tribute to a beautiful woman who has many wonderful attributes – including her beautiful blue “Bette Davis eyes”. The song was hugely successful, spending nine weeks at No.1 in the U.S. and winning Song of the Year and Record of the Year at the Grammys. Bette Davis herself was seventy-three when the song was released. Touched by the track, she wrote to Carnes and the songwriters, thanking them for making her “a part of modern times”.
“I Still Miss Someone” – Johnny Cash
Cash can’t move on in this melancholy track. He’s especially hung up on one part of the missing person in particular. “I never got over those blue eyes/I see them everywhere” he sings. We never find out who the ‘someone’ is that Cash is missing or where she’s gone, but it seems clear that he won’t forget them anytime soon.
“I Still Miss Someone”, originally written by Cash and his nephew, has been covered many times, including a popular rendition by Stevie Nicks.
“Pale Blue Eyes” – The Velvet Underground
The protagonist of this Velvet Underground track is in a turbulent relationship with someone who puts them through a rollercoaster of emotions. In the most difficult moments, however, he keeps being drawn back to their “pale blue eyes”. Lou Reed has insinuated that the track is autobiographical, however it’s not entirely accurate to real life – he wrote that the song was actually written about someone with hazel eyes.
“Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain” – Willie Nelson
Nelson recalls an emotional final meeting between two lovers in this sweet, sad tune. Despite their parting, the protagonist will always remember the woman’s tearful blue eyes. Nelson’s version of “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain” is the most famous, but the song was originally recorded by Roy Acuff nearly 30 years earlier. It was also the last known song sung by Elvis Presley, at his piano in Graceland.
“Blue Eyed Soul” – Wilco
This steadily-building track from Wilco speaks directly to a mysterious someone who is in danger of losing their “blue-eyed soul”. It’s clear that if they do, everything will fall apart. Jeff Tweedy never specifies exactly what a ‘blue-eyed soul’ means, but there’s a suggestion that it’s a representation of innocence or earnestness that the subject of the song may lose if they let themselves go down a bad path.
“Behind Blue Eyes” – The Who
The protagonist of this Who track is hiding a lot of emotion behind his blue eyes. Unable to fully express himself to the rest of the world, he has to settle for pushing his feelings down – and singing it out. Beginning with a melancholy plucked guitar, the track quickly moves into an angry drum section.
The track was originally meant to be a part of the Lifehouse Chronicle, an unfinished rock opera by the band that was later turned into a concept album. It was conceptualised as a song for a villain who sees himself as the ‘good guy’.
If you’re a blue-eyed person, there’s plenty to love about this playlist. Whether you have deep violet eyes like Elizabeth Taylor or pale blue eyes like Lou Reed’s reimagined love interest, your eyes have the potential to inspire some beautiful music. Isn’t that a lovely thought? Now all you need is a musician to stare into them…