Fresh off of a Super Bowl Halftime show, Coldplay is one of today’s most well-known bands. Even though the world was first immersed in the genius of Chris Martin and his fellow band members in 1998, many continue to nevertheless buy their albums and songs 18 years later. This could be attributed to the catchy rhythms omnipresent in their songs. More likely, though, the powerful messages that emerge from the brilliant lyrics of the band’s songs are what keep listeners craving more and more Coldplay. While I have always been a Coldplay aficionado, it was not until I recently saw Coldplay perform in front of 60,000 screaming fans that I realized just how compelling their songs are. Here are the top ten most powerful Coldplay songs in my opinion, songs that with perfect melody and poetry resonate with the ups and downs of our lives. Naturally, this list is subjective, as music can be interpreted by each listener differently.
1. Fix You (Album: X & Y)
My Interpretation: A simple, yet amazingly powerful ballad about doing everything possible to help guide the one(s) you love through hard times. We have all had the heartbreaking misfortune of seeing our friends, peers, or family members suffer through pain, something that is sometimes harder than dealing with our own internal struggles. However, the comfort and support we provide to these broken ones is more powerful than any material gift we could ever give them.
Most Powerful Lyrics: “Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you”
2. Up and Up (Album: A Head Full of Dreams)
My Interpretation: An uplifting conclusion to their newest album, Up and Up fosters optimism and hope among listeners, urging them to never give up and rise above their struggles. Now matter where you are today, you can always improve and achieve the things you never deemed possible if you keep pushing.
Most Powerful Lyrics:
“we’re gonna get it get it together I know
gonna get it get it together and flow
gonna get it get it together and go
up and up and up”
3. Everglow (Album: A Head Full of Dreams)
My Interpretation: A heartbreaking piece about losing someone that you never wanted to see go. While sad, it is also hopeful: even though the person is now departed, he or she left the speaker ( Chris Martin) with an eternal light that will glow throughout the rest of his life. We all face loss in life, whether it be literal death or a broken relationship. Everglow reminds us that the most meaningful souls in our lives will always be with us even after they leave, smiling with us during our triumphs and crying during failures and dark times.
Most Powerful lyrics: "there’s a light that you give me when I’m in shadow
there’s a feeling you give me, an everglow”
4. Paradise (Album: Mylo Xyloto)
My interpretation: This 2011 hit may be confusing at first listen, but refers to a girl who “expected the world” when she was young. She realized quickly, however, that not everything you desire is attainable. The world is a harsh place and in order to get away from it she, just like most others, dreams “of paradise” every time she goes to sleep. This song is both pragmatic and optimistic, claiming that life “gets so heavy,” but also encouraging you to dream big to get away from it all.
Most Powerful lyrics: "In the night, the stormy night,
Away she flied.
And dream of para-para-paradise"
5. Yellow (Album: Yellow)
My Interpretation: A simple love song from Coldplay’s first album, Yellow is about doing anything for someone you love, whether it be a family member, friend, or person you are romantically involved with. We all have people we love and would go out of our way to support. As this song shows, sometimes you love someone so much that every little thing they do is amazing; even the stars appear to shine down on them, highlighting all their perfect quirks.
Most powerful lyrics: "You know,
for you I'd bleed myself dry
For you I'd bleed myself dry”
6. Every Teardrop is a Waterfall (Album: Mylo Xyloto)
My interpretation: This inspirational, upbeat song can be taken many different ways. For me, it primarily gives perspective on how the world around us is beautiful, about how there is beauty even in pain. The title of the song emphasizes this idea: that something seen as negative like a teardrop can create something beautiful like a waterfall.
Most Powerful Lyrics: “As we soar walls, every siren is a symphony
And every tear's a waterfall”
7. The Scientist (Album: A Rush of Blood to The Head)
My interpretation: Classic Coldplay is represented in this ballad: slow and simple, yet immensely meaningful. The Scientist talks about someone who really screwed things up in a relationship or friendship and is truly sorry about what he/she did. We have all done something that has hurt someone else. If you ever feel like you really screwed up and just want to “go back to the start,” listen to The Scientist to take comfort in the fact that everyone else has done the same thing.
Most Powerful Lyrics: “Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be this hard
Oh, take me back to the start”
8. Viva la Vida (Album: Viva La Vida Or Death and All His Friends)
My Interpretation: This mega-hit is a lyrical masterpiece, far more complicated and symbolic than most listeners realize. Chris Martin (lead singer of Coldplay) alludes to European kingship and religion throughout this song to portray a much more general message about success and how it can all be taken away in an instant. The song comes from the perspective of a man who used to be “king” and had everything and now is sweeping “the streets (he) used to own.” With religious allusions like “I know St. Peter won’t call my name ” (St. Peter in Christianity is the main gatekeeper of the gates of Heaven), we realize that the subject has made a mistake that was the root of all his lost power. Coldplay cautions that even the most powerful can lose everything if they lose sight of their morals.
Most powerful lyrics: "And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt, pillars of sand"
9. Violet Hill (Album: Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends)
My interpretation: A glorious protest song that delves into some of the injustices in our present world-- war, corruption, inequality, greed-- Violet Hill’s message is quietly powerful. This song is particularly relevant presently as many of the injustices alluded to are at the core of our election season in the United States.
Most powerful lyrics: “When the future's architectured
By a carnival of idiots on show
You’d better lie low “
10. Speed of Sound (Album: X & Y)
My interpretation: Delving into the arduous journey toward inspiration and self- discovery that we all face, Speed of Sound is a song to which any listener can relate. The title refers to just how quickly life goes by. The “speed of sound” that everything in our world seems to move at can evoke fear, but if you try to make sense of the world you can find inspiration in it. The clash between hope and frustration in this song parallels the ups and downs we all face during our lives: often times we can move from happy to sad in an instant.
Most powerful lyrics: "Some things you have to believe
But others are puzzles, puzzling me “