True Color – From Lauper to Trolls

Ferris Bueller famously said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” I really hate to say how busy I am. We’re all busy. We’ve all got shit that we’re dealing with. When I’m dealing with… stuff… I turn to the world of music. There’s always something there that speaks to me.

Today, I turned to what I’d consider a classic. I’ve known the words to this one for years, but I’ve never really sat down and read them. Even though I’ve been singing along all these years I’ve never really examined them. I’m talking about True Colors originally recorded by Cindy Lauper. The song had been covered several times over the years famously by Phil Collins and made another resurgence in recent years when it was featured in the film Trolls performed by Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick. It is this version that got me to look at the lyrics today. They’re really breathtaking.

True Colors – (Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake)

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

Justin Timberlake and Anna KendrickAnd 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

For the sake of completeness here’s the original Lauper version. It’s amazing how the difference in performance makes it almost a completely different, and still awesome, song.

True Colors – Cyndi Lauper

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

True Colors - Cindy LauperBut 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
Like a rainbow

Show me a smile then
Don’t be unhappy, can’t remember
When I last saw you laughing
If this world makes you crazy
And you’ve taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I’ll be there

And I’ll 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
Like a rainbow

If this world makes you crazy
And you’ve taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I’ll be there

And I’ll 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
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
Like a rainbow

And just like that I’ve got the direction I was missing. That’s the power of music. The power of a great lyrical song.

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