Crimson And Clover

Album: Crimson And Clover (1968)
Charted: 1
  • Ah, now I don't hardly know her
    But I think I could love her
    Crimson and clover

    Ah when she comes walking over
    Now I've been waitin' to show her
    Crimson and clover over and over

    Yeah, my, my such a sweet thing
    I wanna do everything
    What a beautiful feeling
    Crimson and clover over and over

    Crimson and clover over and over
    Crimson and clover over and over
    Crimson and clover over and over
    Crimson and clover over and over Writer/s: PETER LUCIA, TOMMY JAMES
    Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 78

  • Kayla from DallasThis song is actually about a beautiful girl with red hair and green eyes, get it?
  • George from Vancouver, CanadaI saw it as an ode to a crush -- clover -- fresh & lush. . . crimson -- sweet red lips. . .
  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenMy brother and I always laughed at the words after 2:25 into it, because we thought it sounded like he was drowning.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 1st 1969, Tommy James & the Shondells performed "Crimson and Clover" on the ABC-TV Saturday afternoon program 'Happening '68'...
    At the time the song was in its first of two weeks at #1 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart {See next posted}...
    On the same 'Happenin'' show the group also performed "Do Something to Me", it preceded "Crimson & Clover" on the Top 100, and it reached #38 {for 2 weeks} on November 17th, 1968 and spent 9 weeks on the chart.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 26th 1969, Tommy James and the Shondells performed "Crimson and Clover" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'
    And on that very same it day it peaked at #1 (for 2 weeks) on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it had entered the chart on December 8th, 1968 and spent 16 weeks on the Top 100 (and for 11 of those 16 weeks it was on the Top 10)...
    It spent four weeks at #2; one week before hitting #1 and then three weeks after "Everyday People" by Sly and the Family Stone bumped it out of the top spot...
    Between 1966 and 1970 the group had nineteen Top 100 records; with seven making the Top 10 and two reaching #1 (the other #1 was "Hanky Panky" for 2 weeks in 1966).
  • Crimson from Christchurch, New ZealandHuh, in my whole 18 years I have never thought until now to find out the meaning of the song that my twin sister and I are named after. As far as I knew it was the first record she had ever bought. Reading all the comments above makes me wonder if she had a deeper meaning behind calling us these names, seeing as she was very much a hippy herself. Haha thanks mum.
  • Camille from Toronto, OhWhile the ending of this song's 'heavily processed vocals'-- the shaky vibrato of "Criiimmssonn anndd Clllooovaahhh, oover and oover"--is what everyone seems to remember, it's the opening word: "Aahhhhh..." that gets the whole thing going. It is a sigh of satisfaction and contentment, and it makes you want to listen to the whole rest of the song.
  • Laura from El Paso, TxI have to say that when Joan Jett sings this song, for me it is impossible to not feel it takes on a whole new meaning. She is singing about "her" and how she wants crimson and clover over and over................not trying to give the song a perverted meaning but that is how it comes across when Joan Jett performs it.
  • Alan from Hawthorne , NjI was in 8th grade when I first heard crimson and clover. It just resonated with me the same way the song resonated over my transistor radio....Over and over....I had to buy the 45 and I would just listen & stare at the orange and yellow label spinning....hypnotizing....magn

    etizing....NO! It wasn't about drugs for me......... It was about Samantha and being with my friendsThings were changing. I was changing. And I just didn't get it all ....YET!
  • Matthew from Mayville, NyPrince's take on this song brought it back to life. As with all his work... he actually improved the song.. which is hard to do on a classic. But his guitar kicks butt in his version. Check it out on youtube if you haven't heard it. Peace.
  • Rex from Heart Of America, InIt really surprises me that so few people have this right. And I do not not doubt that Tommy James would have (originally and forever) claimed that he did not intend any specific meaning by the words crimson and clover. Just two favorite words. I comletely believe him that he publicly thought that. Especially back then, and really... even now... it's almost a little bit embarrassing to (have to) explain something that is so explicitly sexual. Tommy James is a guy, like every guy who ever loved this song, and only one part of his body becomes crimson - - and is irresistibly drawn to the part of a girl's body that exactly ressembles the delicate pinkish-lavender clover in its respledent bloom - - the female flower. Over and over, over and over. You need not be ashamed if you never consciously realized that this is why you love this song so much. But without a doubt, Crimson and Clover is about the fulfillment of the most basic of human urges, and how awesomely good it makes you feel. Just like this song.
  • Alan from Providence, RiA little quiz for the peanut gallery; Crimson is my color and clover is my taste and aroma. What am I? And there is a reason Joan Jett loves this song.
  • Marcos from Bend, OrTo Delilah. I could feel the compassion in your
    comment about your dad and how you played tapes.
    Your dad sounded like a cool guy.
    I was 21 yrs. old when this song was intro'd and I thought it was about drugs. Where do you get off calling people "idiots" because the song was mis-interpreted by you as well? If you weren't around in those days I can tell you that it was the most interesting era in American history. Pls don't allow your "feelings" to cloud your judgement. I miss my dad too, and I can "feel" you're sentimentality.
  • Rick from Belfast, MeOne of the best songs about dating.....
  • Delilah from Orange Texas, TxThe first time I heard this song I was about 7 I think. Riding with my daddy in his big green chevy truck.He always had a case full of tapes. Yse tapes.Igot to be the dj and put in what he asked me to. As soon as I heard this song I never forgot it. To this day it reminds me of my daddy who has since passed. Now it is bitter sweet to hear.Of course this was one of hisfavorite songs too. For all you idiots who think its about being high in some way. Its NOT. even if the sixties where. It truly is a love song. At least it is for me.
  • Mel from Vershire, VtCrimson is the color of love. The clover is a pinkish-purpleish oval blossom that tastes like honey. If you were a teenager dicovering sex and love back in the 70s you know exactly what the song is about. Let go of all psycho babble bull. Just listen to it.
  • Tony from Eugene, OrIt's just a fun songwith some very gorgeous layered guitar tracks and ambiguous lyrics. The rhythmic feel is like taking a slow motion fall and landing safely, repeatedly--most soothing. The long version rules. Make what you will of the lyrics. It's a real brain massage of a tune, perfect in its simplicity. Tommy James is a very talented dude.
  • Bruce from Charlotte, NcShannon from Maryland and the dude from Ky are right on the money.
  • Jami from Cincinnati, OhMy parents used 2 tell me this was about 2 drugs, well after reading all these comments & wats said above n the facts.Its clear 2 c, hes been waiting to show her crimson & clover/ Love & a green drug, the beautiful feeling is the combination of them in love,making love and the FEELING enhanced by the drugs. love/sex=Red drug=GREEN Which brings you 2 the end of the song & the swirling feeling you get hearing him sing it, u can understand how he was feeling n his bliss.1 of my all time favorites-my husband cant stand it lol!
  • Crimson from Boonville, InMy name is Crimson and my sister's name is Clover. Nobody ever believes us when we tell people so we usually have to get our IDs out and prove it. Needless to say, my parents were hippies!!
  • Eric from Camas, WaWHen I was a kid, this came on the car radio, and when it came to the tremolo vocal part my mom thought there was something wrong with the radio, lol.
    Anyway, the notes and chords to the chorus sound a lot like the chorus to Neil Young's "Like a Hurricane," IMHO.
  • Bugisman from Glasgow, KyShannon from Maryland has it right.
    Forty years ago EVERYBODY knew it.
    Hemoglobin and chlorophyll.

    Anyway, the top forty was full of lyrics that the censors would crack down on, if they knew what was going on.

    By the way, I think Meatloaf should be required listening for all kids going through puberty--"So now I'm praying for the end of time..." (google it if you don't know.)
  • Shannon from Laplata, MdIt's really neat to hear everyone's opinion on what this song is about, and I would like to put my 2 cents in, too. I don't think it's about drugs, murder (that's ridiculous), being gay or any of that. In my opinion people are trying to read too much into it and are getting too complex. I think this song is simply about him taking her innocence (if U know what I mean). We all know the first time for a girl can involve "crimson", and they made love in the grass, hence the reference "clover". As the song says, "Now I'm waiting to show her....." and "I want to do everything, what a beautiful feeling....." Think about it. It's a great little song about something most of us will always treasure, our first time.
    My mother was a teen when this came out and she tells me that it was known by everyone that this song was about the first time. Especially since when the band was interviewed once, Tommy was asked what the song was about and he replied, with a shy smirk, "Innocence.......".
    Tommy James and the Shondells also played at the YMCA in my mother's small upstate New York town in the 60's, and after the show, my mother got a kiss on the cheek from Tommy. It's a legendary story in my family and very true. So I'm gonna listen to someone who was there, my Mom! :o)
  • Stormy from Kokomo, InThis song always reminds me of my friend Danny Fawcett's 1965 white GTO! He drove it our senior year at Kokomo High School in 1968. He doesn't have it anymore, but I still love that car and hope to have one of my own some day! In the summer, he'd put "cheater slicks" on it and we'd "tool around" Kokomo to Frishe's Big Boy and The Frozen Custard!
  • Princessuptown from Houston, TxPrince has made it funky! Period. Drop it P!
  • Shay from Long Beach, WaI seriously think it has to do with the feeling he was having when he was high and he also liked the color crimson and the flower clover just went with it somehow.You know when your high you kind of just release this feeling and go with it.
  • Pinkie from Chicago, IlThe song is delightfully naughty. That equals "obscene" to some. The drug IS sex. I always thought the color "clover" referred to the pinkish/purple flower, not the green leaves. Lots of sweet naughty things are pinkish/purplish and crimson. Or do I just have a dirty mind?
  • Tom from Dozier, AlThe long version of Crimson and Clover makes me cringe--having been used to hearing the radio edit to begin with. Same with The Doors "Light My Fire". Both songs sounded as though the longer versions were made up as they went along.
  • Mixermatt from Bloomington, MnI love the longer cut, and having a good ear for music when the song first came out with the shorter cut I coud tell a peace was missing from the song. And with being a DJ I do my best at giving the fans the loner cut of a song.
  • Don from B G, KyIf you watch the music video on youtube in which TOMMY JAMES was wearing a brown vest and ruffled shirt, the multiple mirror part at the 2:40 mark definitely has a drug feel to it. I would guess it was about drugs involving red and green colors.
  • Sam from Madison, WiI love this song so much. I first heard it working my summer job in 2006. The home improvement store where I worked would play oldies on the radio, but it was often hard to hear the lyrics or much of the melody itself. I usually remember only noticing the song when the guitar solo was playing and the "la (na?) la la la la la" was going. For some reason, I kept thinking it was a little-known Beatles song. A year later (summer of 2007) I was visiting CA to see my friends, and I heard this song in its entirety while we were coming back from the beach. Since then, it has always reminded me of the beach and southern California. I absolutely LOVE this song!!
  • Dale from Santa Fe, NmThis song is referenced in the Journey song "Castles Burning" off Trial by Fire
  • Rob from Lincoln, EnglandAs with many great 60s songs I discovered this through The Wonder Years on TV in the late 80s/early 90s. It was also used in The Big Squeeze - a 1996 film that was undiscovered but was absolute genius.
  • Cody from Tooele, UtI LOVE THIS SONG infact i want to name my kids crimson and clover twins i want that be great and if the wife dont want to im gonna leave her ill adopt some unborn twins namethem crimson and clover the point it would be some rad little hippie names..i think
  • Grace from Reno / Tahoe , Nvthis song is so beautifull. and what ever memories we may all have of it is priceless...babykisses
  • Ekristheh from Halath, United StatesSo many songs on Songfacts have been misinterpreted by my fellow commentors as drug lyrics, so that I would not be surprised to see the classic "Totally a heroin song" affixed to Neil Young's "Impeach the President". However, I'm more inclined to think this is about psychedelic drugs than about sex, Lesbianism, menstruation, or even Christianity. I return to this song (over and over) because of its seductive double rhythms. Because of the way the recording was layered, the downbeat is hard to find. The sensation of falling into a kaleidoscope...
  • Paul from Cincinnati, OhAdrienne from Brooklyn, your interpretation of this song is bizarre and twisted in the same way that Charles Manson's interpretations of Beatles songs were. Now every time that I listen to this song I'll think of the serial killer interpretation. Thanks a lot for partially ruining this song for me.
  • Paul from Cincinnati, OhSorry, not done- you figure that when you frequently take drugs, and when there is a whole counterculture built around drug use, it is likely that everything you write about will take on a druggy feel and will contain similar language and imagery, when the topic has nothing to do with drugs. I'm thinking that this is what happened with "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." Actually, it is even possible that such imagery was so popular that even people who weren't heavy drug users began to incorporate it into their lyrics. For example, colors became an especially popular theme at this time lol. One must also remember that Tommy James was primarily a hit-maker so it's likely that the meaing of the lyrics isn't even that significant. It's just a feel good bubblegum pop song that also happens to have a chill-out stoner feel thrown in as a curveball. Actually, this song would go well with some ambient dub from the early 90's...now I'm done.
  • Paul from Cincinnati, OhLastly, you will note that much of the same imagery can be used for love, sex, and drugs, so many songs featuring these topics could be interpreted any number of ways. For this song, the boyhood crush interpretation definitely makes the most sense though. What makes this song unique is that it is blissed-out without being dark or heavy. It is endlessly happy like all AM pop. There, I'm done...sorry for taking up so much space.
  • Paul from Cincinnati, Ohi.e. the skirt theory proposed by lon from Providence makes the most sense, especially if that's what the writer himself said.
  • Paul from Cincinnati, OhGreen usually means lacking experience, not the other way around...actually I retract my previous comment- although it has a stoner feel like so much from the 60's, and although he very well may have been stoned while writing or recording this, it's probably very simply about a girl. Also, crimson and clover allows for numerous interpretations simply because it can be seen as a representation of two contrasting things- red and green are analogous colors.
  • Paul from Cincinnati, OhWhat a frightening interpretation, Adrienne from Brooklyn. Actually, the scariest thing about it is that if you look at the lyrics it could make some sense when read that way. I still doubt that's what it's about though. The marijuana reference is much more likely though, and it does have a definite stoner feel to it. Anyway, the info about the quick chart fall and the Hubert Humphrey liner notes is interesting. Good, fun chill-out song. This and "Dragging the Line" are their best songs.
  • John from Fort Worth, TxWhen I was about 5 or 6, as my mother was driving me to school, this song was playing on the radio. I had already heard it many times by then. When the memorable bridge stared ("Crimson and Clover, over and over...") I had to ask Mama what the first word meant because I already kind of knew what "clover" was. She, 26 or 27 at the time, told me in her lovingly instructtional way that the words were, "Crimson" and "Clover." She even explained the meaning of "crimson." That was how I first learned the basic meaning of that word. I hold that memory dear to this day. The year was '68 or '69. I'm 45.
  • Ameer from La, CaThis song is about making love...over and over.
  • Russ from Norco, CaWas driving down the freeway listening to oldies and on comes this song. Took me back to 1969. There was this topless dancer named Franca that used to dance to this song. She was gorgeous. One thing led to another and well you know. one of The best 6 month periods I ever had. I'm 65 now and can remember it like it was yesterday If you can remember the 60's, you weren't there
  • Mike from Hueytown , AlThey were ahead of their time with this one. Actually there's really never been any other song quite like it.It's a classic. It's funny reading all these different interpretations of the song from different people trying to fit this song with their lifestyles or tastes. Very funny
  • Lon from Providence, RiDo the math, it is a poetic masterpiece... It's about a plaid skirt, and the a girl he had a crush on in school wore. Maybe it was the teacher!!! hence the colors maroon (crimson) and green (clover), and then the pattern over and over.................. Crimson and Clover, Over and Over... Not to mention I heard him talk about the songs meaning in a radio interview.. He was 15 or 16 when he wrote this one as well
  • Stephen from Frome, EnglandWhat about the Grass Roots version? About the same time as the original.
  • Josie from Funkytown, NcWhat is it about this song? My parents hate it because apparently it was played back-to-back on the radio in winter of ?68. That?s the great thing about oldies, only you can overplay them. This song is definitely one of my guilty pleasures. It?s melancholy but optimistic at the same time.
  • Joe from Bethlahem, PaThis song is featured at a dance in an episode of the Wonder years. One of my all time favorite songs and shows.
  • Mike from Chicago, IaAs mentioned, this was Tommy James' first solo effort. According to James the song is simply about his two favorite words at the time, "Crimson" and "Clover". It's not about drugs, though it definitely has that psychedelic quality about it in the music.

    Kenny Laguna managed Joan Jett and they (the Blackhearts) used this song as a warmup to tease Kenny about all the "oldies" he was into. A bartender at a club persuaded them to use it in a set, and eventually they recorded it.
  • Adrienne from Brooklyn, NyThe dude has been stalking her for some time now... It's about him murdering her. Crimson and clover is the blood all over the grass as he kills her.
  • Nicki from Lincoln, Nek...this is a great song...and I don't think anyone will ever know the real meaning of it..but here's my lesbianistic insight...I think it's about a guy attracted to a lesbian, of course...think about it...crimson and clover describes the girl..while making love to her (over and over)...she'll be "crimson", red, new to the straight game, and technically a virgin....but at the same time "clover", green, a word to discibe something sexual in nature (a joke, conversation, or even a person in this case) the girl, she's experienced. She's an experienced virgin! There's only one way a girl can be an experience virgin....she's got to be gay. *passes the mic* what do you think?
  • Steve from Midland, MiI can't get "Christmas Is Over" too well either. I have the right version too.
    but it is a pretty sweet song
  • Daan from Tegelen, NetherlandsI really can't get 'Christmas is over' from that end part... :S
  • Reg from Kemptville, On, CanadaWell, what a surprise to read the comments about a song that was one of my favourites in the late '60s.
    While at university in the late 70's & early 80's I was shown an article in a Christian publication that said the only way to get Christian music on the air back then was to disguise it, and this was a prime example.
    Clover, with its 3 leaves, was a well known metaphore for the Holy Trinity in some circles. Crimson represented the blood of Christ. I have never studied the lyrics in this light but I thought that it was plausible. Has anyone else heard this interpretation?
    -Reg, Kemptville,ON
  • Craig Hargis from New Orleans, LaA teacher told me the song is about sex during menstruation--clover is an old reference to female genetalia.
  • Ariel from Woodbridge, CtTo my knowledge, Jimmy Eat World never recorded a cover of Crimson and Clover. The Promise Ring did cover it though, and on the Jimmy Eat World song "A Praise Chorus", Davey vonBohlen (from TPR) sings the line "crimson and clover, over and over..."
  • Memphisslim from Streamwood, IlDamn, and here I was thinking it was about sex...looks like I'll have to scratch this one off of my girl's mixed tape list.
  • Pete from Nowra, Australiahere we go, another song referring to drugs
    come on people we can do better then the ole drug angle ..... lets think outside the square....
  • Brenni from Cincinnati, Ohuh, this song has to be the best song, ever.
    my dad plays it consistently on his 8-tracks. it just puts me in a happy mood, sitting down in a dim lighted room with colorful beams of light slowly melting away into the ceiling, spinning colors with missed words floating away, absorbing simple phrases, inevitably spinning down into the deep dark seas of my mind.
  • Sean from Brooklyn, NyI just saw Dolly Parton live at Radio City Music Hall and she did an amazing cover of 'Crimson and Clover'. Unbelievable. I'm pretty sure it will be on her next album coming out in the fall.
  • Johnny from Damascus, Mdi don't thinkn this song has anything to do with marijuana. i think stoners just like to listen to songs and assume they are about smoking 'cause they like it. The same thing happened with "Puff the magic Dragon." Either way, it's a good song.
  • Erik from Fresno, CaOf course this song is about marijuana. Whoever tells you different is lying to you.

    First: The psychedelic vibe is tailor made for just sitting back and getting stoned to. The wah-wah & the trippy vocals at the end form the perfect "get high" atmosphere.

    Second: The title. "Crimson & Clover" is and was a certain type of extra potent marijuana. The crimson was, of course, the redness. And the clover was the greeness & is/was also slang for marijuna.

    Third: The lyrics. "I dont really know her, but I think I can love her...Crimson & clover". Speaks of someone trying marijuana for the first time. "What a beautiful feeling...crimson & clover"

    The reason everyone covers this great song is because of its reference to marijuana & getting stoned.
  • Robert from Puyallup, WaOn the fade out and coda at the end, I usually find myself singing "Put on your yarmulka, it's time for Chanukka", because it fits the music so well. :-)
  • Björn from Gothenburg, SwedenI thought Fleetwood Mac recorded Crimson and Clover. Maybe a cover.
  • Ivan from Toledo, OhThe Jimmy Eat World "Crimson and Clover" is crap and it shouldn't have anything to do with any other version of the song since all it does is mention those three words in it's chorus and nothing more. The Crimson and Clover sung by Joan Jett is the only crimson and clover that matters.
  • Chris from Bluffton, ScThe album version of this track is around 5:30 and has a really trippy guitar solo that gets edited out when played on the radio. It's my favorite part of the song, too :((
  • Deebo from Lynfield, New ZealandElliot Smith also mentions "The radio was playing Crimson and Clover" in his song 'Baby Britain'. It was because of Jimmy Eat World and Elliot Smith that I was moved to find out about this song.
  • Jeff from San Diego, CaNobody has mentioned the cover done by the Velvet Underground.
  • Crimson from Weatherford, TxMy name is Crimson....when my parents heard this song they could not help but to name me Crimson. I LOVE this song!!!!!
  • Theodore Brown from Findlay, OhLiz Phair mentions Crimson and Clover in her song, "Johnny Feelgood" off of her album "whitechocolatespaceegg."
  • Jacquie from Somewhere, CanadaThis was also redone by Deadsy, and featured Cher.
  • Noah from Jacobstown, Njthe line Crimson and Clover is repeated in the Jimmy Eat World song "A Praise Chorus" off of there "Bleed American" which was renamed after 9/11 to be self-titled
  • Tom from Rancho Cucamonga, CaThis is my girl's favorite song! I love you princess!!
  • Nicole from Hays, KsIntsead of Here Comes the Bride, I'm going to walk in to Crimson & Clover instead at my wedding!
  • Rick from Lafayette, NjCrimson and Clover was co-written by Shondells drummer Peter Lucia who went on to form the band Hog Heaven (Roulette Records) with Shondells bass player and song writter Mike Vale.
  • Randy from Beaumont, TxI had a college English Professor who claimed she saw this as an "obscene" song because of the images in the lyrics.. Hmmmmmm Maybe I should have hung out with her more than I did
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