An eighteen month old child sees the world in black and white, no shades of grey. It’s a fact of life that when this child has conflict before him or her they’ll polarise quite quickly—it’s one extreme or the other. And the same sentiment is demonstrated in Lou Gramm’s 1987 No1 hit, Midnight Blue, albeit a father talking with son about the actualities of life.
It’s an important differentiation. At times, life is either cherry red or midnight blue. And it’s correct that this song is a ballad—a love song, but it’s far more than that with its bold but simple, strident, and twangy guitar work.
Life might be overly simplified by thinking of it in terms of the cherry red or midnight blue, but it’s nevertheless true, many times we’re offered two choices but a myriad of ways in which to enact those two choices.
I think life’s designed simply, yet we’re apt at complicating it. So often we draw out of it complexities dared of in folly. We learn the hard way, if not the easy initial way.
And there’s a sense in this song of one person’s solidarity. They’re not a perfect person by any means, but a person all the same—an authentic person with a character fixed in reality—his or her own reality; one that aligns by-and-large with the world they meet with.
This person follows others no more, but they instead seek to follow through, making good of things committed and promised. Getting back to the ballad, Midnight Blue is about making good on love. It’s about waiting and remaining and being there for that person we’ve committed to...
“I won’t say where,
And I don’t know when,
But soon there’s gonna come a day,
I’ll be back again.”
It’s about a promise. Midnight Blue is about a promise of faith—to be back, to come back. And it’s a pretty black and white situation for us in this way also. We live and die by our choices. Which is it to be? Cherry red or midnight blue?
© S. J. Wickham, 2009.