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The Story of Mylo Xyloto. Track by Track.


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I've been seeing a lot of posts from people who aren't quite sure about how the story line ties together, so I figured I'd help some people out.


This isn't anything concrete, it's just my take on the record and the narrative and I think it might help a few people view the record in a different light.


Here is the story of mylo xyloto:


Hurts Like Heaven:


This sets the scene and pace of the record. There is oppression everywhere. Graffiti is the means of the youth to release energy and express creativity.


Hurts like Heaven is about passion. The metaphor of using a heart as a weapon is an expression of love and hate - two sides of the same coin.


We learn straight away that the narrator feels restricted and oppressed and we learn of the importance of the symbolism of the graffiti. "I'll be armed with a spray can soul". It essentially means that in order to fight negativity you need to be full of life, spontaneity and rebellion.




This introduces the female protagonist. It talks of lost dreams, lost potential and a desire to succeed. But overall, I think Paradise is about hope in a bad situation. You get the sense that the hope is slightly fading, but this girl is holding on to everything she has got and trying to stay optimistic.


Charlie Brown:


This introduces the male protagonist. He is rebellious and full of youthful angst and expression. You get the sense the authority is after him and he continues to find peace through the expression of colour and a "luminous" spirit. There are subtle undertones of drug use and it paints the male lead as someone with a sensitive soul that is attempting to break free through unconventional means.


Us Against the World:


The male and the female meet. They find security between one another and they feed off the hopes they share. They feel stronger than they previously did because they have each other. The two realise that they will face immense hardships but band together with hope and more importantly, love.


Every Teardrop is a Waterfall: This is similar in themes to Us Against the World, but you get the sense that they are starting to be tested by the authorities. They are being hurt, they are being strained - but they use that in order to form something beautiful. They turn their tears into waterfalls and use the oppression to elevate their spirits and unify.


Major Minus:


And this is where things start to change. The authorities start to gain more control. This really introduces what exactly the protagonists are up against. It draws connection to the novel 1984 - where an evil government has control. There is no freedom. There is no creativity. There is censorship and there is surveillance. It doesn't matter what you do, they are watching you. The pressure mounts and mounts and the two lovers start to struggle.




The male starts to become worried. He's confused, he's lost and he is scared that they won't make it out together unharmed. His confidence from Every Teardrop has started to fade. However he makes a promise to his partner that they will make it out and "find somewhere the streets a paved with gold". He tells her that whilst bad things are happening, you can still find the good in everything.


But you get the sense he isn't so sure.


Princess of China:


The break up. You get the sense that a bit of time has passed and the two are no longer together. The oppression has got the better of them and their previously burning flames have been doused. The female remarks that they could have made it together, they could have been something - but alas, it never happened and they lost the fight.


Up in Flames:


The adrenaline from the break up has started to wear drown and now they have realised that it truly is over. It's that harrowing realisation of the end. The anger and the heat of the moment has passed, and now all that is left is regret and disappointment. They know no song or no piece of creativity will ever stop the burning they feel now they are apart.


A Hopeful Transmission:


This interlude is very important. It makes a change of mindset. The violins sweep upwards and you start to hear a faint heart beat grow louder and louder.


Don't Let It Break Your Heart:


And then, out of nowhere there is an explosion of energy. Something that we hadn't seen since Every Teardrop. The two realise that it's over, they get over it and they realise that they don't have to feel so terribly upset anymore. Yes, things didn't work out but that doesn't mean life can't move forward. They don't let the break up ruin them and they regain the faith they once had.


Up with the Birds:


The male decides its time to move away. He couldn't make it, and whilst he fought hard he decides to leave and try somewhere else. He moves forward with his new found optimism and starts afresh. Maybe he will see her again? Maybe they will regain their spark? Who knows. But he is certain that no matter what happens,

good things are coming their way.

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Yes, thank you for this :D

It is also my vision of the story of the album.


Though there's something about the outro of CB: to me it could be like the very first meeting of the 2 characters. You know, they're at a party, and suddenly the guy notices the girl and everything changes, the world stops for a second, everything in slow motion (that kind of stuff). Or it could just be the end of the party: the guy goes back to reality after being high all night :lol:

Anyway, I can't decide between those 2 interpretations. :lol:

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I disagree on your view of the ending (the last two songs). They do make up.



And if I lost the map

If I lost it all

Or fell into the trap

Then she'd call


From my shipwreck I heard her call




It's so hard to just walk away


Might have to go where they don't know my name

Float all over the world just to see her again



So he effed up in POC, but she forgave him in DLIBYH.

The intense sound of that song is a reflection of her call that came out of nowhere.

She went away somewhere and he doesn't just move to a random place, he goes there to find her.

They meet and it's a happy ending as indicated by the last line and the last piano notes.


Also, as I said before, MTM fits the story when put in between MM and UFO.

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^ I don't know why you hate A Hopeful Transmission so much. It's the most important interlude.

MX is also great, MMIX is the most useless one, but I wouldn't get rid of it.

I wouldn't change a thing on MX tbh. But I do wish that the next album will be completely different.

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It's so hard to just walk away


He is walking away from the relationship. You wouldn't say "it's so hard to walk away" if you just got back together with some one, would you?


Might have to go where they don't know my name

Float all over the world just to see her again


You also wouldn't go to a place where no one knows you start all over again.


You also wouldn't not believe the sky is blue any more.


the sky is blue

dream that lie till its true


You also wouldn't tell yourself not to feel any pain and acknowledge the fact that you may get badly hurt:


I won't show or feel any pain

even though all my armor might rust in the rain


If they got back together, none of that would make much sense.


In regard to DLIBYH, the phrasing "don't let it break your heart" seems more like reconcile to me than every thing working out perfectly. But that one is more ambiguous.


But to me UWTB is clearly not them ending up together. It's about moving forward with your head high.

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Oh, I love this!

But I agree in that they break up at the end. However, I think he got the short end of the stick and is still in love with her.

(Or still has feelings for her)


"Float all over the world just to see her again."

No scratch that, I think they've broken up and he still feels for her but is moving on.

That's possibly why I listen to UWTB so much. I love when songs tie into real life.

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A very neat interpretation indeed.


I wouldn't say they necessarily get together again. I believe a happy ending can also be just gaining experience, wisdom or just being overall satisfied during the relationship. He sets out on a journey with the aim to find her, but who knows who he might meet all over the world :rolleyes:


And I'm proud to say I love MMIX! Even when it comes on shuffle :D


I noticed that MX really fits after UWTB when you play the CD on replay. It's like MX starts describing his journey that UWTB is about :wideeyed:

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Am I the only one who believes Hurts Like heaven sets the setting and the main male protagonist, then paradise brings in the girls life story. then they meet in charlie brown and then truly fall in love in Us Against the World.


Also the "happy ending" doesn't necessarily mean that they're back together but maybe they have moved on and grown from the experience and relish the memories of there past relationship. Happy endings are all relative.

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(I didn't read the text on the beggining of the thread before making it) It's a quite big text but this is my version to it:


EDIT: don't read it, it eneded up very similar :(




Hurts Like Heaven: Indtroduction of the place and situation the story happens, in this case an opressive environment (don't let them take control) and city (concrete canvas), probably an industrial area (on a factory sign). Also shows that are some people trying to resist.


Paradise: Introduction of the female character, probably wealthy as she always expected to have a happy life (she expected the world), but she could just be naive, she realizes the world she lives in is not good at all (life goes on an gets so heavy) and thinks it could be better (this could be paradise) she also seems ready to make this change (I know the sun must set to rise)


Charlie Brown: Here the girl meets the boy, or runaway with him, it's basically the introduction to the boy, his personality and his gang that fights to make it a better place (all the boys, all the girls, all that matters in the world), he is courageous and is ready to do what is necessary to make his life better (stole a key, took a car downtown....to set me free), he feels oppressed (when THEY smashed my heart), he and his gang are a sign of hope on this world (a bright red rose come bursting the concrete).


Us Against The World: He is feeling lost (Lift off this blindfold), nervous (The tightrope that I'm walking just sways and ties....My drunken hazard Daniel in a lion's den) and tempted to do the wrong thing (The devil as he's talking with those angel's eyes). He's sad because he realizes he has lost many things (Like a river to a raindrop I lost a friend). She helps him on these hard times and they fall in love (it's us against the world). They make plans together and imagine a world in which they could live and be happy together and start a new life (And if we could float away fly up to the surface and just start again). But right now they can't, they need to love each other on this oppressive city (And lift off before trouble just erodes us in the rain).


Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall: this one is hard but it's all about beeing happy on this bad place (I shut the world outside until the lights come on) and by the middle of the song something bad happens, maybe someone on the gang is caught or dies "in action" (as we soar walls every siren is a symphony and every tear's a waterfall). They are determined to stay strong and fight (hurt me bad, still I'll raise the flag).


Major Minus: The gang is chased and they probably split (they've got one eye watching you), the boy and the girl stay together (it's us against the world), I suppose the gang doesn't exist anymore, as it's not mentioned again after this song.


U.F.O.: The boy and the girl are lost, running away from the police (lord I don't know each way I am going), there's a civil war (bullets fly, split the sky), they are still hopeful about the future it's coming (sunlight comes streaming)


Princess Of China: I guess there is a big time gap between UFO and this one, so the relationship started to go bad a while ago (Now all we ever seem to do is fight, on and on, and on and on and on). They fight, each one goes to a different place (somebody ranaway...I got to go....you let me go). The girl imagines the bright and happy life they could have had (I could have been the princess, you'd be the king), both feel hurt by the partner (you stole my star...cause you really hurt me, no you really hurt me).

Up In Flames: The guy is sad, there is an evidence of the time gap between UFO and PoC (we have slowly gone). He realizes he was wrong to let her go (I only know I'm wrong). He seems pessimist (This time I know no song) but at the end the song he shows some hope about it (Can't we pour some water on?)


Don’t Let It Break Your Heart: This one is hard, my guess is that he is still feeling bad (And if I lost the map if I lost it all) he received some sign of her, maybe saw her on TV (A Hopeful Transmission), received a letter or a call (Then she'd call). He uses her words as a tool to move on and find his way (Come on baby, don't let it break your heart).


Up With The Birds: It’s a fresh restart (the birds they sang at break of day, start again), he finally seems to see hope (a spark in a sea of gray). He found out he loves her so he goes after her (Float all over the world just to see her again). We don’t know if he founds her, but that doesn’t matter at the end, the only important thing is that he loves her and will search until they can be together, he seems optimistic about it (good things are coming in our way) but he doesn’t really say what happens.




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Thanx so much for these great interpretations! They really helped me out! And I agree that they don't get back together again in the end, but it does leave off on a hopeful note and I think it's up to you to decide what you want to happen in the end. And in my mind he finds her and they get back together:D

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What makes this album so cool is how the storyline is so vague that it's nearly impossible to describe each part without imposing your own experiences and ideas.


I read one interpretation by a Coldplayer all about the characters getting married, cheating on one another, getting a divorce, and then later reconciling… Surely a bit of their own life was seen through the story of Mylo Xyloto, and I think that's really beautiful.


Coldplay's lyrics are brilliant in that they usually describe a very specific emotional feeling, yet the words themselves remain quite vague and cryptic. By stepping away from having a strict narrative for the album, they've allowed listeners to see a bit of themselves in the story.


I like to think of the quotations in the choruses of DLIBYH as the main character looking back at what his girlfriend used to always say to get him through the tough moments in life, and using that same advice to push him forward after the break up. The whole 'happy ending' is having closure and knowing someone made you a better person, rather than getting back together.

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Y U people no beliv in Hollywood happy ending?!


  • Can't we pour some water on?
  • From my shipwreck I heard her call
  • It's so hard to just walk away (meaning it's so hard to just walk away without giving the relationship one more try)
  • Float all over the world just to see her again

To me, these are clear indications that they got back together (at the end of UWTB).

But art is ambiguous and you can interpret it how you see it, moving on can also be a happy ending, so everybody's right...

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Maybe DLIBYH &UWTB could be about the hero getting some self-motivation and deciding to reconquer her love :wacky:

And yes, "Float all over the world just to see her again" suggests that he wants her back...If he was moving forward, doesn't want to get back with her, what would the "her" mean then ? :uhoh:


Anyway, as Nikola said, everybody's right. We can interpret the songs the way we feel like (and that's why they don't like explaining their songs) :)

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