A blue devil passed by
It is said that when a ship loses her captain, she’d fly blue flags.
Today, when a ship is flying the ‘Blue Peter’ in port, she’s actually calling its crew to embark for departure:
‘All persons should report on board as the vessel is about to proceed to sea’.
Blue was first used for sadness in the 14th century, when Geoffrey Chaucer, inspired by a natural phenomenon* described the affair of Mars with Venus in the poem Complaint of Mars. In order to be with Venus, Mars has to slow down and follow all her instructions: he’s not to despise any other lovers, feel jealousy or be cruel ever again. When he complies and they finally get together, the Sun god, Phebus/Apollo, surprises them in bed. Venus flees, in order to avoid the confrontation with her husband. Mars won’t fight the Sun, so he sadly follows Venus, knowing they’ll never be together again and lamenting “with tears blue, and with a wounded heart.”
It is said that people in the 17th century believed that blue devils were responsible for their sadness.
Everybody knows the blues, the music African Americans gave us from the end of the 19th century.
And I’m sure you know that feeling.
Some part of you went missing. You still remember it so well, but it’s gone.
Now the memory’s haunting you and dwelling in it is bitter sweet.
So you don’t want to get out, not just yet. You’re just feeling blue**.
Blue is lonely. You’d want to sing or howl about it,
but do you really need a public for that?
Blues are for honest introverts.
* conjunction of Mars and Venus, April 12th, 1385
** not to be mistaken for the German ‘blau‘ = drunk.