What I think 42 is about

noonsun

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I have my own personal interpretation of 42 I don't think anyone else has. I think 42 is about religion. (See, I have evidence!)

Exhibit A:

"Those who are dead are not dead, they're just living in my head."
The singer is very sad because people he loves are dying and he doesn't know what's happened to them, only that he remembers them and he misses them very very much etc.

"And since I fell for that spell, I am living it as well/ Time is so short and I'm sure there must be something more."
Converted to the religion, and is really "living" it ie being very devoted for it or whatever. However, the song is still very slow and unsure, he's not sure if those people who are dead are actually in heaven or whatever, or if he's just fooling himself. He gets the feeling (that everyone gets) that there has to be something more than bare existence in human life.

*repeats*
see above

Exhibit B:
In the second part of the song, the tempo is less slow and unsure, and starts speeding up and being very happy. I see this as the singer starting to really beleive in the religion for whatever reasons.

"You thought you might be a ghost, you didn't get to heaven but you made it close,"
"You" (the people who died) thought they wouldn't just die forever, they would sort of be a ghost and hang around. The church/religion the singer now practices says, "Oh, they weren't quite good enough for heaven, but they made it close," as an encouragement to the singer, to make it seem easier. He keeps repeating this like a mantra to cheer himself up (ie to distract himself from the fact that he will eventually die)

Exhibit C:

The song slows down again, and he returns to uncertainty (possibly right before he dies, or something) Very interesting, in my opinion. It's actually what a lot of people who blindly follow religion go through.

Exhibit D:

It's called "42." And what is 42 but the answer to life, the universe, and everything? And what is religion supposed to be about.

Point made. Self win. :D

Anyone agree with me? Or is my idea just kinda out there?
 

MK

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Nice points, but I don't know if I agree, because I never really thought about this song.

I responded just because you said you made an interpretation, otherwise I wouldn't have seen it. :lol:
 

Twizted Logik

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Seems like it could be, and if that's how you want to interpret it, then good on ya. I personally don't think Chris could write that way about religion since he is not religious. I tend to think his lyrics are more universal and more about general thoughts rather than specific things. Then again, great are the lyrics that can mean anything to anyone.
 

dreamt_too_late

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Correction: And since I fell for that spell, I am living there as well.

Interesting interpretation. I somewhat thought it had to do with religion, but not so in depth as you have it.

I thought Chris was religious as well as the other band members, just didn't want the band considered a Christian band?
 

noonsun

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Correction: And since I fell for that spell, I am living there as well.

Interesting interpretation. I somewhat thought it had to do with religion, but not so in depth as you have it.

I thought Chris was religious as well as the other band members, just didn't want the band considered a Christian band?
I thought he said he beleived in Zeus or something, or he didn't know what God was or some such. Like, "I don't know what God is, or if it's Jesus or Mohommad or Zeus. But I'd go with Zeus."

And that correction sort of changes the song a little.... :thinking:

I personally don't think Chris could write that way about religion since he is not religious. I tend to think his lyrics are more universal and more about general thoughts rather than specific things. Then again, great are the lyrics that can mean anything to anyone.
1) Ehh! No, you can definitely write about religion if you aren't religious. He was raised Catholic or something, wasn't he?

2) Also, that's a pretty universal thing -- I mean a lot of people go through that sort of thing that I talked about and stuff. so anyway.
 

dreamt_too_late

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Yeah, that's why I had to point out the mistake because I think it may change how you interpreted the lyrics. And I just thought that Chris and the band may believe in God because of the couple of songs they have where they mention Him. But, I think it is a little hard to discuss what songs are and aren't about religion and if the band is religious because they never seem to talk on that subject much...
 

starfish42

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Thanks for raising this question. I had coincidentally raised it in another forum, never having heard an explanation of the song.

Chris is a student of the esoteric, or mystical side of religion. He said he has studied about these things, and there is one picture of his sitting in a yoga meditative position. For many years, he has been performing a dance during his concerts that is remarkably similar to that of the Whirling Dervishes. I find it uplifting and exciting to see Chris doing this dance: "The mystical spinning dance brings the praying dervishes to a point of ecstatic reconnection with the divine source within and around them and is intended to bring light to the world." (http://www.creedopedia.com/topics/Dervishes)

Another source says it is because the album is approx 42 minutes long, there were 42 songs discarded from the X&Y sessions and because the ultimate answer of the question asked in the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy about the meaning of life is 42, which supposedly takes millions of years to answer.

The digits in 42 add to 6, which is the number of Tipareth, meaning Beauty, Harmony, and Balance in the Kabbalah.

"Those who are dead are not dead, they're just living in my head," means that death only changes the physical aspect. Those who die continue to live in the inner worlds, and in the inner worlds of their acquaintances and loved ones. "And since I fell for that spell, I am living there as well." He has become aware of the inner world. I became of the inner world after some of my loved ones died, and I remember feeling that they had begun living inside me.

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

As people get older, they realize that there must be more to life than living day to day, pursuing the same material goals that seem meaningless in the face of death. What does it all mean, if I'm just going to die?

The prospect of being a ghost means you don't die, but you're stuck between two worlds, unable to move on. The song has an upbeat sound during this part, but it's short lived.

Then he finishes the song by returning to the beginning line, "Those who are dead are not dead, they're just living in my head.... Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" which he held for 12 seconds during the concert I saw!

I like bigfishjuan's observation: I think the fact that "there must be something more" refers to life and not after-life is confirmed by the rest of the album, the main message of which is Live Life. http://www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/3530822107858725023/2/ASC/#comment

I find it moving, how they drop the Viva banner in the concert during the middle of "Death and All His Friends" which is now the last official song of the concert, before the encores. That is the message of the whole album: live life to its fullest no matter the difficulties you are facing.
 

starfish42

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Meaning of 42

After thinking about it some more, this is my feeling about the song:

42 finds a soldier grieving for the loss of his fellow soldiers. It sounds like someone who survived a battle, in which he lost many of his friends. He misses them but realizes that they live on inside his head: they are not dead.

He talks to them, saying, "You might be a ghost..." He is dealing with the loss and futility of war. This is a carryover theme from "Violet Hill," the idea of rebelling against the "idiot" leaders who send others into war for their own purposes. "I don't want to be a soldier for some captain on whose shipwrecked ship is stowed, far below."

42 ties in with the overall theme of the album, to live life to its fullest and to not follow Death and all his friends.

Viva La Vida!
 

nouratan

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i believe this song is basically abt death.the fear every1 has of losing some1 or dying themselves
 
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