Tommy James credits the song Crimson and also Clover for allowing the band to pivot indigenous a singles-oriented to be radio band to FM radio steady album-oriented rock. There is no this change, the is sure, the band’s career would have been over, together the single-dominated music market had adjusted almost overnight come one propelled by album sales. Such an essential song need to have critical meaning. What is the meaning of the words crimson and clover? What do they signify?


In addition to being an important catalyst that permitted Tommy James & the Shondells to become an album band, it was the an initial song the Tommy James had actually written there is no his longstanding co-writers, Ritchie Cordell and Bo Gentry. So, how did Tommy James come up with that famed word-combo crimson and clover? here is what he had actually to say about it:

I simply made the up as I acquired out of bed one day. That’s true —just 2 of my favorite words that i glued together. And, to me, it sounded very profound, however I have actually no idea what the meant.

You are watching: Joan jett crimson and clover meaning

Despite the evident lack of an interpretation and the writer’s very own admission that the words were provided just because he chosen them and also they sounded good together, human being will continue to ‘find’ definition in the lyrics. Because that example, finding definition in the shade red, or crimson, and the clover flower.

The non-meaning doesn’t protect against both songwriters native laying case to their origin. If both James and Peter Lucia agree the the location Crimson and also Clover come first, there has been some disagreement over which one of them came up with the words. Lucia claims that Crimson and also Clover was his idea and that that based it on his high institution football team, The Crimson. The team regularly played versus a team native a place dubbed Hopatcong. Hopatcong is a indigenous American surname for a ‘green place.’ I expect we are supposed to think that this make Lucia think the clover leaves, notwithstanding the truth that clover is likewise a flower.

James’s story is less esoteric and much more believable. His favourite color and his favourite flower popped into his head. Although ns really can’t imagine someone whose favorite shade is in reality ‘crimson,’ together I doubt most world could pick out crimson from any kind of other the shade of red. This was not the very first time he had actually chosen words at random. Mony Mony is similarly meaningless. Now that you understand that the words crimson and also clover organize no special significance, ns invite friend to check out the rest of the lyrics with that lens. It’s a song about a guy who look at an attractive girl that ‘he thinks he can love.’ over there is no deep meaning. Tommy James didn’t create songs through deep meanings.

It was an ext than just the profound (sounding) words, though, that made the tune unique. The track utilized studio approaches in put in order ways and was unlike all your previous recordings, sounding like what numerous would call psychedelic. They were able to usage 16 monitor tape, something that did no exist until that year, with countless instruments and also overdubs. They achieved that strange vocal sound by to run the vocals through a etc tremolo.

It was the biggest solitary the group ever before had, selling 5 1/2 million duplicates within eight weeks. It got to no. 1 top top the Billboard warm 100 in February 1969 and spent 16 mainly on the chart. It also reached no. 1 on the Cash Box top 100 and also no. 6 ~ above the Billboard Mainstream rock chart. The did very well in other nations too, consisting of Australia, Canada, Germany, new Zealand, and Switzerland. Another big hit native the album to be Crystal Blue Persuasion, which got to no. 2 in June 1969.

Tommy James and also the Shondells developed a much longer version for the album. A middle section was included by copying the music indigenous the an initial two verses, keeping the elevator vocals but without any kind of lead vocals. Guitar solos were put using steel guitars and fuzz guitars, one after another. A copying error developed a slight pitch drop in the solos, i m sorry was kept in the recording.

The album, that the exact same name, went double platinum. Hubert Humphrey, whom Tommy James had campaigned with before releasing the album, wrote the liner notes.

Cover Versions

Joan Jett and also the Blackhearts spanned Crimson and also Clover on your debut album in 1981. It reached no. 7 on the hot 100 in might 1982, coming to be their 2nd biggest struggle after I Love absent ‘N Roll, which hit no. 1 in march 1982.

See more: What Does The Suffix Hood Mean Ing, What Is The Meaning Of The Suffix Hood

The song has actually been covered plenty of other times, consisting of by Dolly Parton, Prince, and also Cher.