How to Remember the Order of the Rainbow Colors

Updated on December 8, 2018
What's an easy way to remember the order of the rainbow colors?
What's an easy way to remember the order of the rainbow colors? | Source

When drawing a rainbow, how do you know which colors go where? Luckily, there is an easy way to remember the order in which the colors of the rainbow go.

Light refracts and reflects through a raindrop, creating a rainbow.
Light refracts and reflects through a raindrop, creating a rainbow. | Source

What Causes a Rainbow?

Once you understand what causes a rainbow, you'll understand that the order of the rainbow colors isn't a random jumbling of colors that simply looks good.

A rainbow is created by something called light refraction. The color of light is actually made up of all the colors of the rainbow. As light rays travel through the air, to us they appear as white light. When sunlight hits an object, such as mist or raindrops, the rays are refracted, or bent, and then reflected off the inside of the drops. The angle of bending is different for different wavelengths of light. We observe the different wavelengths as different colors. The color red bends the most and violet the least.

A rainbow will always be in the opposite side of the sky as the sun from the observer. The rainbow colors are reflected to the eye at 42 degrees to the original ray of sunlight. Seeing a rainbow all depends on the angle of the sun in relation to where you are. This means that two people will never see the exact same rainbow!

Who is Roy G. Biv?

I would like to introduce you to someone that will become your best friend when remembering the order of the colors of the rainbow. His name is Roy G. Biv. Roy G. Biv is actually an acronym for the colors of the rainbow.

R = Red

O = Orange

Y = Yellow

G = Green

B = Blue

I = Indigo

V = Violet


A note about the color indigo: Originally, Newton described only five primary colors of the rainbow. He later added orange and indigo. It is said that he added these colors so that there would be seven colors to match the seven notes in a musical scale. Some later color theorists chose to replace indigo and violet with a single hue: purple or violet. Some people are adamant about removing indigo from the rainbow colors. I personally like the look of the seven colors, as pictured above. Some people today choose to call Newton's blue cyan and indigo blue. This is up to your discretion.

A Song to Help Remember the Order of the Rainbow Colors

Here is the first paragraph of the lyrics. These are going to be the most important lines you'll want to remember.

Roy G. Biv by Neel and Patty Shukla

Here's a little song about Roy G. Biv. He makes up all the colors that you see where you live. If you know all the colors, sing them with me: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet all that you see.

If you remember the first three lines of this song, you'll have the order of the rainbow colors down cold. And trust me, this song will get stuck in your head. Good luck, and say hi to our friend Roy G. Biv for me!


Had you heard about Roy G. Biv before reading this hub?

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Questions & Answers


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      • profile image


        9 days ago

        5523 Belinda Se

      • profile image


        4 weeks ago

        were is the pink?

        i thought it was red orange yellow green pink purple and blue i have never heard of the colour Indigo

      • profile image


        6 weeks ago

        It's strange but I never had to memorize the order of colors, it just is naturally there automatically in my brain. Maybe it's due to me being a visual thinker who has more trouble with text.

      • profile image


        2 months ago

        What's wrong with Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain (it helps with history knowledge too).

      • profile image


        4 months ago

        This is a useful website

      • profile image 

        7 months ago

        I wanted to use the rainbow colours on my seascapes paitings. Thank you for the knowledge.

      • profile image


        8 months ago

        Rinse Out Your Greasy Bowl In Vinegar

      • LiteraryMind profile image

        Ellen Gregory 

        10 months ago from Connecticut, USA

        Such a cute yet informative article. I was looking for a resource on colors of the rainbow for a craft I am doing. This fit the bill nicely.

      • profile image


        12 months ago

        I like big boys itty bitty Mississippi boys in the city boys I like the pretty boys with the bow tie get your nails did let em blow dry I like a big beard I like a clean face I don't discriminate come and get a taste

      • profile image


        12 months ago

        Run Of Young Girls Boys In View

        Run - Red

        Of - Orange

        Young - Yellow

        Girls - Green

        Boy - Blue

        In - Indigo

        View - Violet

      • profile image

        M'y name is Guillaume Arpin 

        12 months ago

        For the reel colors order fit..

      • profile image


        13 months ago

        The real question is how fat is Big Chungus?

      • profile image


        14 months ago

        There are other ways I remember them like this hope it helps you :)

        Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain :

        R - Richard

        O - of

        Y - York

        G - gave

        B - battle

        I - in

        V - vain

      • profile image

        suck ur mum 

        20 months ago


      • profile image

        Emily coats 

        2 years ago

        I like the rainbow song it so fun I sang with it very much can you put more rainbow song on it and it so fun because I like it very much thank you From: Emily coats To: author I love the rainbow song it so beautiful thank you to put some more difference music out there thank you very much your welcome thank you author very much ok and I like the video very much thank you author because I like the song very much and the reading the whole reading of paraphs

      • profile image


        2 years ago

        this helps alot. thanks for making this artical

      • profile image

        M. Cesena 

        2 years ago

        Happy Vernal Equinox/First Day of Spring. Wish I could conjure a rainbow today. Thank you for the information

      • profile image


        2 years ago

        im at school and this helped me

      • profile image


        2 years ago

        I vaguely remember a song taught to me at school.

        Richard of york.................. can't for the life of me remember the rest would help me rekindle some youth (also will help me to top my daughter making me use my little little grey cells :P

      • profile image


        3 years ago


        R= Richard

        O= of

        Y= York

        G= gave

        B= battle



      • profile image


        3 years ago

        Really Offensive YouTube Games Built Into Videos

      • profile image


        3 years ago


      • profile image

        Snehalatha Bright 

        3 years ago

        Very good

      • profile image


        3 years ago

        You need more rainbow colors and pictures of them to.

      • profile image

        Rodney Thompson 

        3 years ago

        You say Red bends the most and violet the least. However your diagram indicates otherwise and the sites for 'refraction' all state that red bends the least and violet the most. I think you must be wrong.

        Yours Rodney

      • profile image

        isabirye fredrick busesa 

        5 years ago

        Run Out Your Girl Betty Is Vomitting

      • profile image


        5 years ago

        It's really help me for know the how to remembering the order of rainbow colors. ..

        roy g.biv.

      • profile image


        6 years ago

        Richard Of York Gain Battle In Vain-

      • Green Art profile image

        Green Art 

        7 years ago

        What a fun hub about remembering the colors of the rainbow! I will have fun teaching these ideas and songs to my grandson of five.

        The photographs used here are amazing. Love the one with the rainbow stretched across the sky. Great hub, voted up and useful!


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