"Red Like Roses" is Ruby Rose's music theme, featured in the "Red" Trailer and incorporated in the RWBY: Volume 1 Soundtrack.

Composition[edit | edit source]

The music starts off at 70 bpm with an acoustic guitar playing a distinctive, sad-sounding melody over arpeggiated guitar chords, followed by the verse.

After the verse, the music's tempo considerably picks up to 200 bpm (with a time signature of 6/4), in sync with the action of the battle. An extended Spanish-tinged acoustic guitar solo plays over strings and heavy percussion, lending a rather romantic and exciting feel to the piece.

The music then rests momentarily, before continuing with a faster tempo (201bpm), in a reprise of the opening melody in a fast-paced string arrangement.

Musically, the intro and first part of the verse are in B minor, with a key change to D minor occurring halfway through the first verse (at the line "Black the beast..."). The majority of the solo stays in the key of D minor, but the song momentarily returns to its original key at the beginning of the 'reprise' section, before again changing to D minor.

The verse and reprise sections are in 4/4 time (at different tempos), with the solo in 6/4 time.

The opening melody is a leitmotif of sorts for Ruby, and arrangements of it can be found in many places on the RWBY Volume 1 Soundtrack, especially during scenes focusing on the character.

Lyrics[edit | edit source]

Red like roses fills my dreams and brings me to the place you rest.
White is cold and always yearning, burdened by a royal test.
Black the beast descends from shadows.
Yellow beauty burns gold.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The lyrics indirectly describe the four main characters as Red, White, Black and Yellow.
  • "Red Like Roses Part II", another song on the RWBY: Volume 1 Soundtrack, is a thematic follow-up to this song, specifically the Red verse. The song plays as Ruby decapitates the Nevermore in "Players and Pieces".
  • An instrumental version of "Red Like Roses" can be heard throughout RWBY: Grimm Eclipse in the background.
  • Judging from "Red Like Roses Part II" and Jeff Williams' explanation of that song, the first verse of the lyrics may be a reference to Ruby and the death of Summer Rose.[1]
    • "Red like roses" is a reference to blood.
    • "Fills my dreams" means that Ruby dreams about the day that Summer died.
    • "And brings me to the place you rest" means the memory causes her to revisit Summer's grave.
  • The song has been referenced twice so far in RWBY Chibi.
    • First in the episode, "Must Be Nice", where an upbeat instrumental version of it can be heard at the beginning of the credits theme.
    • And again in the episode, "The Mystery Bunch", a pop-up ad for a book club that appeared on Ozpin's computer references the song as it was called "Read Like Roses".
  • The track uses a lot of dynamic music changes to overcome the repetitive nature of the "Red" Trailer.[2]

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

RWBY: Volume 1 SoundtrackRWBY: Volume 2 SoundtrackRWBY: Volume 3 SoundtrackRWBY: Volume 4 SoundtrackRWBY: Volume 5 SoundtrackRWBY: Volume 6 SoundtrackRWBY: Volume 7 SoundtrackRWBY: Best Vocal Album
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