Song Craft by Chris Cruz ILR ILB

I LIKE THE RED I LIKE THE BLUE
Digital Single Release Oct. 23, 2020

Since this is one of my most popular songs, I thought I would take you through my “songwriting process” for this tune.

The inspiration for the song came from a couple different places…I had just paid the cable bill again.  I’ve been contemplating cancelling cable for a few years.  The problem I have is my love for sports…especially College Basketball and specifically LB State.

For 3 years, I hosted a weekly OPEN MIC at Angelo’s Drive-In Burgers in E Anaheim.  It’s a very local spot that became popular for their Waitresses on Skates, Large Cold Beers, Burgers & Onion Rings, Classic Cars and Cruising State College Blvd. past the big Neon sign back in the 80’s.  Due to the configuration, you play in the parking lot facing into the back patio.  It’s a fun spot to watch sports and one evening the Dodgers were playing the Angels.  One side of the patio Angel Fans, One side of the patio Dodger Fans and the interaction was spirited.

Let’s talk about the Lyrics…While I attended college in the early 80’s, I worked as a Room Service Waiter at the Anaheim Marriott.  I was on duty during a huge cable convention where ESPN & MTV were debuted.  I was delighted to witness the dawn of Music Television and the first line is a tribute to the Buggles song “Video Killed the Radio Star”…the first video played on MTV.  And now in addition to MTV & ESPN we’ve got CNN, FOX and MSN.  The second half of the verse is about the relief you get from watching sports and pure competition.

Verse 1
VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO

AND NOW THERE’S CABLE NEWS

I JUST WANT TO WATCH THE GAME

AND I DON’T WANT TO CHOOSE

I was raised in Long Beach and later attended Cerritos High School.  Cerritos is located just North of the LA/Orange County line and just a few miles from Anaheim where I would later work.  I grew up a Dodger fan, but I also liked the Angels and everybody knew it was easier to get in and out of Angel Stadium.  Many of my close friends and co-workers were Angel fans…

Chorus 1

I LIKE THE RED, I LIKE THE BLUE

I LIKE THE DODGERS AND THE ANGELS TOO

I LIKE THE RED, I LIKE THE BLUE

So the second Verse points to cable news and the different viewpoints you get on different channels while the second Chorus touts the US tradition of accepting immigrants.

Verse 2

THE MAN ON TV TELLS ME

THAT HE’S TAKING US TO HELL

SO I JUST CHANGE THE CHANNEL

AND THEY SAY HE’S DOIN’ SWELL

Chorus 2

I LIKE THE RED, AND I LIKE THE BLUE

I LIKE THE DODGERS AND THE ANGELS TOO

AND THE GREEN STATUE IN THE BAY

SHE SAYS WELCOME TO THE UNITED STATES

I LIKE THE RED, I LIKE THE BLUE

Back when we were told we were going to have to pay for Cable, the original pitch was “less commercials”.  As a working musician, I watch TV late night/early morning…and programming is…
to the Bridge!

Bridge

HUNDRED MILLION CHANNELS

BUT THERE’S NOTHING GOOD TO WATCH

INFOMERCIALS ADVERTISING

IT GOES ON AND ON AND ON AND ON…..Kazoo Solo!  Yes, More Kazoo please.

SEE I LIKE THE RED, AND I LIKE THE BLUE

I LIKE THE DODGERS AND THE ANGELS TOO

I LIKE THE RED, I LIKE THE BLUE

I usually try to bring the message in the 3rd Verse…I almost changed the “Demographics Engineered” line as I thought it might just go over people’s heads.  When the OC Weekly(thanks Nate Jackson) wrote a feature on this tune, he quoted that line in large print!

Verse 3

OH TIMES ARE JUST THE FASHION

BUT THE CLOTHES DON’T SEEM TO HIDE

DEMOGRAPHICS ENGINEERED

TO PROFIT AND DIVIDE

The second half of the last chorus refers to that patriotic feeling you get when US Hockey wins the Olympics and we’re all cheering for the same thing….LET’S GO UNITED STATES!

CH3

BUT I LIKE THE RED, AND I LIKE THE BLUE

I LIKE THE DODGERS AND THE ANGELS TOO

AND THE FEELING THAT RUNS THROUGH MY VEINS

WHEN I SAY LETS GO UNITED STATES

I LIKE THE RED, I LIKE THE BLUE

 

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