Mood Indigo

Did you ever wonder why songs like Duke Ellington’s rendition of Mood Indigo were called the ‘blues’.  No??  Well, me neither.  But now that we are on the subject, I thought I would explore, as I often do, the origins and embark on another foray into the world of useless information.

If you think about it, there seems to be a lot of correlation between mood and color.  If someone says they are feeling blue, we immediately associate that with a feeling of melancholy without need for further explanation.  Or how about feeling ‘in the pink’, or ‘seeing red’.  Every one defines an emotion and applies a color.  Are you still with me?  OK.  Good.

I read an article this morning about a study in the journal Psychological Science (one of my favorite periodicals along with Playboy) that delved into how our mood can dictate our observation of color, or, more specifically, limit it. For the test, they took three groups and showed each one a short clip.  One was from the Lion King when Mufasa was killed and Simba’s eyes widened and shed a tear.  Another was of a stand-up comedy routine, and the third was a neutral screen saver.  After each group was determined to be feeling sufficiently cheerful, gloomy, or unmoved, they were shown a series of washed out color swatches, so muted, they almost looked gray, and asked each group to identify what colors they saw.

The amused and unaffected groups ability to see colors was unaffected, while the Lion King group had trouble seeing colors in the blue yellow hews.  Since our eyes rank light as either from blue to yellow or from red to green, the fact that only the blue/yellow spectrum was effected in the gloomy group seems to support the conclusion that mood does indeed have an impact on what colors we see, or don’t see.

So what does all this mean??  I haven’t got a clue, but I may have stumbled on the reason my wife and I see different things.  Like, for instance, whether the light was yellow or red when I entered the intersection.  It’s all subjective.  Being a happy person, I see the yellow scale  brightly, while my action apparently elevates her red/green scale.  And, as I suspected all along, it’s not my fault.  It is totally out of my control.  Just sayin!!

About oldmainer

I am a retired manager living in Southern Maine and a would be writer of poetry, narratives, short stories, and random opinions, and that's how Oldmainer was born. Recently, I decided to try an experiment. I added photography to the mix, using only a cheap cell phone with a limited camera and the editing software that came with it, and added the blog site Inklings at to showcase the results. So, feel free to use whatever you find interesting or worthy, but please honor the terms of my copyright when and if you do. They may not be much, but they are still a piece of me. I appreciate your checking me out and hope that you find something that will encourage a return visit. Thanks for stopping by.
This entry was posted in Humor, Reflection and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Mood Indigo

  1. quiall says:

    hahah sorry my friend, women rule!


  2. laurie27wsmith says:

    We learn something new everyday Bob. Thanks.


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