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True Colors – (Song Lyric Sunday)

Billy Steinberg originally wrote “True Colors” about his own mother. Tom Kelly altered the first verse and the duo originally submitted the song to Anne Murray, who passed on recording it, and then to Cyndi Lauper. Their demo was in the form of a piano-based gospel ballad like “Bridge over Troubled Water”. Steinberg told Songfacts that “Cyndi completely dismantled that sort of traditional arrangement and came up with something that was breathtaking and stark.”

The single reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on October 25, 1986, beating Tina Turner’s “Typical Male” to the top spot. It also peaked at number three in Australia and New Zealand, and 12 on the UK Singles Chart.

“True Colors” also became a standard in the gay community. In various interviews, Lauper elaborated that the song had resonated with her because of the recent death of her friend, Gregory Natal, from HIV/AIDS. Years later, Lauper co-founded the True Colors Fund, a non-profit dedicated to eradicating LGBT youth homelessness.

You with the sad eyes
Don’t be discouraged, oh I realize
It’s hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
The darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small

Show me a smile then
Don’t be unhappy
Can’t remember when
I last saw you laughing
This world makes you crazy
And you’ve taken all you can bear
Just call me up
‘Cause I will always be there

And I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you

So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
I see your true colors
Shining through (true colors)
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful (they’re beautiful)
Like a rainbow
Oh oh oh oh oh like a rainbow

Ooh can’t remember when
I last saw you laughing
Ooh oh oh oh
This world makes you crazy
And you’ve taken all you can bear
Just call me up
‘Cause I will always be there

And I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid (don’t be afraid)
To let them show your true colors
True colors are beautiful (you’re beautiful, oh)
Like a rainbow
Oh oh oh oh oh like a rainbow
Mmm mmm

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Billy Steinberg / Tom Kelly

True Colors lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

You have several (almost too many) options – lovely harmonies from Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick

Or Cyndi Lauper singing live with an acoustic guitar and violin.

The songwriter Tom Odell

Or this version by Phil Collins 1998 – with a chanter and (guess what?) A drum beat …

Question is … Which gets your vote?

Happy listening. Post inspired by Jim’s Song Lyric Sunday Prompt – This week we have the prompt: Colors – Click through for the rules if you too would like to join in …

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