This is probably a dumb question, but I just googled it and I couldn't find an answer. J. Geils band, song Love Stinks, there's a line "I've had the blues, the reds and the pinks".

I've had the blues probably means what it sounds like and the song itself is quite straight forward, just that love isn't always requited and that's not much fun.

But what does it mean "I've had the reds and the pinks", or does it not mean anything.

When I was growing up, I assumed those were code for drugs, but I'm not sure that's right. Sometimes lyrics are just words without meaning too, so that's possible.


  • Unlikely to be a snooker reference, I guess. Jelly beans ?
    – Angst
    Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 18:20

2 Answers 2


Blues, Reds and Pinks were all 60's slang for pills meant to slow the heart rate (aka "Downers"). Specifically;

BLUES - Valium
REDS - Seconal (Barbiturate)
PINKS - Seconal (Barbiturate)

"Having the blues" also has the connotation of being depressed, as in the musical genre "Blues". While I can't state emphatically that this is the correct answer, it is more than likely a combination of the reference to drugs as well as the state of mind of being depressed from a relationship ending badly.

Lyricist - "Man, my girl left me. I've got the blues..."

Wisecracking Friend - "Yeah, well I've got some reds and pinks!" (laughs)

Lyricist - "Genius!"


Maybe multiple meanings. Red is opposite of blue so maybe that means being happy in love, or maybe it means red heads and pink means the pink of a pregnancy test or maybe pinks just rhymes with stinks.

  • Thanks for the answer. Pink rhyming with Stink (not many words do), is likely a factor. I think, and your idea gave me this idea, that "opposite" or ups and downs is what it means, love can be fun or lousy or anything in between. I'm going to assume Reds, Blues and PInks means ups and downs, the roller-coaster of relationship. Giving you the vote cause your answer helped me reach that conclusion.
    – userLTK
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 5:25

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