Music Monday:Religion and Chris Martin part 2

Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto/Hurts Like Heaven (Live) @ American Airlines Center

Coldplay brought confetti, lights and thousands of fans to the American Airlines Center; see photos from their colorful show



Published on Jun 24, 2012 by

Coldplay Performing Mylo Xyloto/Hurts Like Heaven @ AAC Dallas June 22, 2012

Chris Martin was brought up as an evangelical Christian but he left the faith once he left his childhood home. However, there are been some actions in his life in the last few years that demonstrate that he still is grappling with his childhood Chistian beliefs. This is the second part of a series I am starting on this subject. Today we look at Coldplay’s songs that deal with death and the search for meaning and purpose of life.

On June 23, 2012 my son Wilson and I got to attend a Coldplay Concert in Dallas. It was great.

Coldplay performing “Glass of Water.”

Back in 2008 I wrote a paper on the spiritual themes of Coldplay’s album Viva La Vida and I predicted this spiritual search would continue in the future. Below is the first part of the paper, “Coldplay’s latest musical lyrics indicate a Spiritual Search for the Afterlife.”

Coldplay’s latest musical lyrics indicate a Spiritual Search for the Afterlife

In Coldplay’s latest songs you can see that something has changed about the focus of the band’s song writing. What is going on? The internet has been full of speculation concerning the radical lyrical change in the latest Coldplay work compared to the previous 3 albums.

Russ Briemeier of Christianity Today: “What does it all mean? With so many questions posed, a single interpretation of this album is virtually impossible…

Yet taken collectively, there is no ignoring the fact that spiritual themes are prevalent throughout the album. Viva La Vida seems to be about coping with death in a world corrupted by sin, temptation, and war. Though it never goes deeper than mentioning God or referencing a specific theology, the lyrics often yearn with hope and love for a better world—utopia or heaven, it’s up to your interpretation… Viva La Vida is often provocative, spiritual, and seemingly on the verge of identifying a greater Truth, asking and inspiring many questions without providing the answers.”

The Spiritual Search for the Afterlife

Many of Coldplay’s latest songs mention God and other Biblical themes such as dealing with death, and the afterlife and the shortness of life.  It seems to me that Coldplay has focused on spiritual issues in their lyrics but they are still in the process of working out all the answers and still formulating their religious belief systems. Here is a sample of their latest works:

In the song “Glass of Water”:

Oh he said you could see a future,
inside a glass of water,
With riddles and the rhymes
He asked ‘Will I see heaven in mine’
Ooooh, oooh, ooooh …

Possibly searching for the path to Heaven or hoping after death heaven is the destination. It reminds me also of the song “42” that says, “You thought you might be a ghost, You didn’t get to heaven but you made it close.”

(Coldplay performs “42”)

In the song “Now my feet  won’t touch the ground”:

Now my head won’t stop
You wait a lifetime to be found

Here someone maybe searching for you instead of you searching for someone else? Could it be a way of saying that God is searching for you in a sense? In the context of the rest of the album that may not be such a bad interpretation.

The song “42” states,

Those who are dead are not dead
They’re just living my head
And since I fell for that spell
I am living there as well

Time is so short and I’m sure
There must be something more

This is the same question that Solomon asked 3000 years ago in the Book of Ecclesiastes.  He knew there was something more. The Christian Philosopher Francis Schaeffer noted that Solomon took a look at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “under the sun.” This phrase UNDER THE SUN appears over and over in Ecclesiastes. The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.”

Solomon had all the resources in the world and he found himself searching for meaning in life and trying to come up with answers concerning the afterlife. However, it seems every door he tries to open is locked. Solomon found no lasting satisfaction in riches (Ecclesiastes 2:8-11), pleasure (2:1), education (2:3) and his work (2:4). None of those were able to “fill the God-sized vacuum in his heart” (quote from famous mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal). That reminds of the Coldplay’s words in the song “Lost”: “Every river that I tried to cross, Every door I ever tried was locked.”

Moreover, what looms over Solomon’s search for meaningful answers is his upcoming death. In the song, “The Escapist,” which shares tract 10 with the song  “Death and all his Friends,” Coldplay notes:

And in the end
We lie awake
And we dream
We’ll make an escape

Is this an escape from Death? Since this song follows the song “Death and all his Friends,” it seems that would be the case.

Death and all his friends

This is a tribute to Queen…

Coldplay – Death and all his friends from the album Viva la Vida

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