Chicago – Colour My World

When I was sixteen I was playing with our band in a bar…no we shouldn’t have been at that age… and the owner paid us one night to learn this song. Not exactly an energetic song to learn but it did go over very well. I didn’t like playing it because it was so slow but I’ve grown to like it and the memories of it. The crowd absolutely loved it.

This was written by Chicago’s trombone player, James Pankow, and sung by Terry Kath. Pankow came up with the melody on the road at a Holiday Inn on a keyboard. He also came up with a melody for flute, he couldn’t wait, so he woke up Walter Parazaider, the saxophone/flute player in the band, and they worked out the song in Pankow’s room.

After Kath’s death in 1978, the band did not play the song for several years, eventually bringing It back with Bill Champlin on vocals when he joined in 1981. Champlin soon got tired of singing it and handed it off to Robert Lamm.  Since 2009, it has been sung by trumpeter Lee Loughnane. It gets handed down like a family recipe.

It was used as the B-side not once…but twice with Make Me Smile in April 1970, and as the B-side of “Beginnings” in June 1971. The song never charted.

James Pankow: “I titled it ‘Colour My World’ because it affected a lyric that again mirrors the emotion of love. In this case, I used the emotion of love and description as a Technicolor movie that takes places in my heart. It colors, it gives color and vivid definition to my life, like bringing this emotion to it.”

James Pankow: Frank Sinatra called our publicist and said, ‘Ask that kid to write another verse for that song.’ I thought about it, I called him back and said I can’t do it it’s like sewing another arm on your kid, I can’t do it.”

Colour My World

As time goes on
I realize
Just what you mean
To me
And now
Now that you’re near
Promise your love
That I’ve waited to share
And dreams
Of our moments together
Colour my world with hope of loving you


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

37 thoughts on “Chicago – Colour My World”

      1. I would have thought this is not one the owner of a bar would wish to get the place rockin’. Or maybe it works- if everyone sits this one out and saunters over to the bar for a trayfull of refills? Whatever, a real laid back song.
        And in a bar (band) at 16, Max? tsk, tsk, what would Mother say?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I would tell my mom…oh I’m going to practice for a while lol. The owner just loved this song and yea it worked. I think because it kicked the slow dancing in…I guess he sold drinks then.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. One Chicago song I don’t like. It was played to death at proms and a guy I was dating was in a band, playing this. He was keyboardist and I remember him practicing this, over & over. In the background was his ex-girlfriend always coming around & harassing us. Whenever I hear this song, I think of him, practicing and me, wanting to punch Janine in the face.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah. She wanted him back and was aggravating. He enlisted in the Air Force and I was with his family when he flew to Colorado. He washed out of boot camp, came home and hooked back up with her stupid ass. I had moved on by then. They wound up having two kids together and a short marriage. Fast forward 30 years and we find each other on FakeBook. As an adult, he turned into a freak…he kept sending me messages, asking for nude photos. Um…BUH-bye…nutjob.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. A good Chicago song but not at the tip-top of their list. I am surprised it wasn’t a chart hit. My sweetie says what Vic suggests – it was always the finale at her school dances and has been played – sometimes several times – at every wedding reception she’s been too, which doesn’t comply to my experiences in Canada. I must say, yeah, in the early-’80s I played a wee bit of keyboards, and this was one I probably could have learned and even played at the right speed!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes many album cuts get played… heck Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds was NOT a hit because the Beatles refused to release anything off that album as a single…it didn’t chart but FM stations picked up on it and started to play it.
        In around 1967-68 FM radio started to play albums instead of just hit singles… like AM did

        Liked by 3 people

      2. You know…I never realized how confusing it is until you asked…I didn’t know how to explain! I hope I explained it right.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This was part of what was called “Ballet for a Girl in Buckcannon” on the second album. “Make Me Smile” was the beginning and end of the “ballet” and there were several other short songs with it. I had a hard time thinking of it as a separate song. That whole thing was kind of like Side 2 of “Abbey Road”…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had no clue of that! I have to say I know them more by their hits but I would like to hear some of the earlier album with Kath.


      1. They were kind of headed in that direction when Terry was still alive. He was talking about leaving the band and starting a power trio called Cook County around the time he accidentally shot himself. There have been some theories that someone else might have done the shooting… Anyway, the first three albums and Chicago VII were all excellent, with a good mix of jazz and rock. That’s where I’d start…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The only stuff I know about him was in that documentary about his daughter finding his guitar…which by the way was excellent. I’ll check those out.


      3. I’ve seen the documentary. The song they played at the end was from the movie “Electra Glide In Blue.” I’m not sure that prints of that one even exist.

        I love how they found the Pignose Telecaster in his mom’s closet….

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes that movie is out there…I have the movie at home. The reason I have the movie was because I got into Petticoat Junction and I looked up Jeannine Riley and she is in this movie. I love the movie and that style of film making back then.
        When she was opening that case and I saw those dots…it was exciting.


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