Ever since I was in about 7th or 8th grade, I have had an avid devotion to Coldplay and pretty much anything Coldplay-related. Coldplay is a British band that is led by the sweet, simple, and falsetto-ing tones of lead vocalist Chris Martin. The lyrical themes in their music often revolve around inner and outer conflict in relation to problems and hopeful resolve. The aforementioned themes addressed are made all the more poignant by Coldplay’s combination of mellow and pondering tones with uplifting and revolutionary ones.
The first Coldplay album that I purchased was A Rush of Blood to the Head (their second album), which, in general, has quite an electric and hyped up sound and attitude to it, and that is what drew me to the album in the first place; whereas Parachutes, their debut album, is an album that is defined primarily by its mellow moodiness and moderately acoustic feel. The words and feelings expressed in Parachutes really spoke to me when I was younger, and they still speak to me to this day. One of my favorite songs from Parachutes is track number nine, titled, “We Never Change.” It is one of my favorite songs because it conveys a sense of vulnerability that we can all respond to, as well as a simplicity that can be refreshing for us in our striving and oftentimes superficial world.
The opening lines of “We Never Change,” begin with the words “I wanna live life…[and] never be cruel, I wanna live life…[and] be good to you.” The words are sung with a humble sincerity that may cause an individual to question their underlying motives in how they treat those around themselves, and especially those that they love. Oftentimes people tend to treat those that they love the most poorly in comparison to others, because they take their love for granted as a result of the mentality that “they will always be there for me…no matter what.” Obviously, this is a detrimental approach to loving those around us, but we do it often nonetheless.
The words “I wanna live life [and] never be cruel, I wanna live life [and] be good to you,” are a wonderful representation of a yearning that we may all have within ourselves to love those around us unconditionally, void of selfishness and insensitivity. Further along in the song, the lyrics shift from internal conflict and wishes to simple, yet idealistic desires.
Midway through the song “We Never Change,” Martin gently sings about a sentiment to “live in a wooden house…[where] making more friends would be easy.” Those few lines are simple yet profound, and speak of the small joys that may be forgotten in the fast pace of our world. To “live in a wooden house” brings to mind a quiet log cabin that is sought out for solitude and peace. A wooden house is symbolic of a simple way of living that is centered more around community and productivity within one’s intimate environment. The following words, “making more friends would be easy,” seem to indicate the importance of getting out of the hustle and bustle of life in order to spend time with the “neighbors” who surround us. In many Western cultures, we are known for our workaholic tendencies and at times may find it difficult to properly prioritize between work (school included) and family or friends. When it comes down to it, the people in our lives are more important than our work and goals, which is a belief that seems to be expressed in “We Never Change.”
The last few lines of the song “We Never Change,” take on an almost defeated tone as Martin desperately whispers, “We never change… do we? We never learned to leave.” Whenever I hear those lines, I hear a pleading guilt that is overridden by an aspiration to change and evolve by pushing toward what is important, however simple “the important” may be. The very last line of the song is: “I wanna live where the sun comes out.” In those few words, Coldplay gives us all that we need to either continue chasing after superficial goals that will not matter much in the end, or to seek a more genuine route down which we will have the time to enjoy those around us as the sun shines on our faces. The song “We Never Change” on Coldplay’s debut album, Parachutes, is one that facilitates our aspiration to not remain stagnant in our individual goals and achievements, but to change and grow with one another.