Coldplay: The Scientist Meaning
Song Released: 2002
The Scientist Lyrics
Tell you I'm sorry,
You don't know how lovely you are.
I had to find you,
Tell you I need you,
Tell you I set you apart.
Tell me your secrets,
Ask me your questions,
Oh, let's go back to the start....
anonymous Apr 23rd 2007, 17:34 report
I personally believe that the song is about a man who has just made a major mistake and therefore caused the breaking up of he and the love of his life. He is still trying to figure out what went wrong, but is over-analyzing the situation and not necessarily relying on his gut instinct. He wants everything to go back to what it once was so that he can undo the mistakes he made and revive the relationship.
The video proves my point. Chris Martin goes backwards...back in time...to save his girlfriend/fiancee/wife/etc. from dying in a car crash.
Everyone has different opinions, and I'm sure that mine is just as worthless to all of you as the next one. Do we really have to define the song?
anonymous Nov 6th 2006, 15:05 report
Everything is open to interpretation-it's personal. For me it has two meanings. The first is the lyrics about love and the breakup of a relationship with a girlfriend. The second meaning for me is very difficult to listen to at times. It has to do with the relationship I had with my mother. The last night when the doctor told my father and I that she would die in an hour maybe five hours (they were keeping her alive with drugs-she had a d.N.R.- her sickly body was so frail that cpr would not be possible anyway). I would walk out to the car and listen to a rush of blood to the head. Then when I felt strong enough I would go back to her room. I was in my late twenties when I had a severe problem with substance abuse. This took it's toll on my mother. Mentally, physically, financially and monetarily."running in cirles." "coming back as we were." my repeated attempts to drink like a normal person(not to mention drugs) "nobody said it was easy." trying to get back the healthy adult relationship we had. And most of all watching her take her last breath and dealing with her death. "i'm going back to the start." wishing things could go back to the way they were before the damage I caused-that she chose to endure due to unconditional love. "tell you I'm sorry." I never got the chance. " come back to haunt me." regret, remorse about what I could not change before she died. "tell me you love me." when I didn't feel I deserved it she randomly said: "I love you." shocking to me but wonderful at the same time-knowing she had forgiven me. Thats a gift that keeps me going during hard times. "you don't know how lovely you are." she was a rare slice. I have not met many people as special as she was. She was an amazing human being. One who will always be greatly missed. I could go on but I think you get the general idea.
Cruelwinter Jan 9th 2006, 08:12 report
He finally understands what has gone wrong. He has deeply examined what the relationship and the girl meen to him. He was running in circles about what he thought was important but was wrong. In the end what is really important is pure honesty. Its sounds chessy, but if you listen close to the song, its full of hurt and he clues into to two simple facts: Love is worth any sacrifice and real love is a puzzle no one can solve completly. He feels like a sicentist trying to figure and sort things out one block at a time.....but no one can take it apart because it just dosent work that way......."Take me back to the start" Why? because Love is not something you can totally understand......
The title of the song tells us that there is a scientist. A scientist is considered smart, someone who knows how to put things together and come up with a solution. Maybe it is him that is the scientist as he is the one who is singing, and refers to himself in the song.
"Come up to meet you,
Tell you I'm sorry,
You don't know how lovely you are."
From him saying he wants to say sorry, that gives us the idea that he has done the wrong and ended the relationship. The next line is a realization of how much he appreciates her.
"I had to find you,
Tell you I need you,
Tell you I set you apart."
He felt like he had to find her, and tell her how much he needs her in his life. He wants to tell her that it was him that set the situation and tore them apart.
"Tell me your secrets,
Ask me your questions,
Oh, let's go back to the start."
He wants her to do all the things they did before. To trust him with her secrets that no one else knows. To go back and have that reminiscent relationship and to go back to the start, to when it was good and strong.
"Runnin' in circles,
Comin' up tails,
It's only science apart."
These lyrics tell us that he's been losing his mind and pacing back and forth from the break up and that they just need to realize that it's science. They have enough chemistry to come together.
"Nobody said it was easy,
It's such a shame for us to part.
Nobody said it was easy,
No one ever said it would be this hard.
Oh, take me back to the start."
He's realizing that nobody ever said it was hard or easy with break ups. Maybe he has nobody to give him advice. He thinks it's a shame, a tragedy for them to move on. The last line he is asking for time to take him back to the past, and to relive the times. Or maybe start all over again, a clean slate.
"I was just guessing,
At numbers and figures,
Pulling the puzzles apart."
This shows that he was being immature, and just messing around with the relationship, not thinking before he made decisions. Forgetting the consequences of his actions.
"Questions of science,
Science and progress,
could not speak as loud as my heart."
The obvious, all the answers and question couldn't describe what he's feeling. He's in pain.
"Tell me you love me,
Come back and haunt me,
Oh, and I rush to the start."
He's imagining her being there with him, wherever he is, and her memory is so alive to him that he is almost hallucinating. Like she's his drug. He may not even want her there but her presence is haunting him. Her image just makes him want to go back to when it first began.
"Runnin' in circles,
Comin' back as we are."
From all his thinking, he's imagining them uniting again.
"Nobody said it was easy,
Oh, it's such a shame for us to part.
Nobody said it was easy,
No one ever said it would be so hard.
I'm goin' back to the start."
The chorus is the same as the last, but notice that it changes in the last line. He's going back to the start now, whether that's imagining it unhealthily, or going to ask her to get back with him. But from the first lines of lyrics to the rest of the song, we get the idea that she didn't take him back.
The way he sings towards the end of the song shows his pain and that he's grieving.
Overall, I think this song is really touching and gives a real feel of regret and desperation to be with someone. Someone who doesn't feel the same as you, and you feel so alone in the situation that you end up living your life "going back to the start." It sends a message, that you should think before you make a decision and not to be a fool and get yourself into a mess that you can't get your self out of. Not to hurt yourself.
anonymous Dec 23rd 2012, 16:30 report
I think, the Song is about someone, maybe a Scientist, who did a terrible mistake, which he just realized, when everything was over. He was focusing on his work and wanted to make progress (Questions of science, science and progress ), so he didn't think about the consequences his acting might have. In the end he realizes, that he did something bad to many human and maybe also killed someone because of his zeal.
You can abstract this to every situation. Maybe he means, that his girlfriend broke up with him, because he was to zealous, or he lost someone of his family, which -he thinks- he could have prevented, or he lost the contact to someone who was very important to him, because he was focusing on other things.
Anyways, it's your opinion, so this is just a suggestion.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
sally.shearing Nov 10th 2012, 19:22 report
I had this song played at my partner's funeral. He died in the Asian Tsunami and I was saved, albeit badly injured by a local person.
My first thoughts were "I had to find you tell you I need you"
"Lets go back to the start"
When realisation set in - I found comfort in these words
"Nobody said it was easy its such a shame for us to part
No one ever said it would be this hard
Take me back to the start"
Trying to understand the scale of the disaster.....
"I was just guessing at numbers pulling the puzzles apart"
Tell me you love me
Come back and haunt me
No one ever said it would be so hard
I'm going back to the start.
This is the first time I've ever written about it x
anonymous Aug 19th 2012, 01:12 report
So theres lots of different opinions about what this song means, of course, what a song really means doesn't matter, it's all about what it means to us. To me it's about a man who has an over-analytic personality (that's why it's called The Scientist). He still doesn't know exactly what went wrong in the relationship, but he knows it was because of his analytic or overly-thinking personality (notice how he says "I WAS just guessing"). While the lyrics take place after the breakup and he is still trying to figure out what exactly went wrong, he is mentioning the fact that he knows it was because he relied on his head and not his heart. He knows that he shouldn't have done that, but notice how in the song itself he's still doing it. Even after he realizes that it was because of his overly-thinking personality, he keeps analyzing. Why? Because he can't help it. That's who he is, that's how he works, that who he is: he's The Scientist. But it's love, not science.
anonymous Jun 28th 2012, 11:07 report
My sister passed away a year ago. She had struggled with a drug addiction for ten years and died as a result of that addiction. Our relationship had deteriorated over that time and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't help her. I heard this song a few months after her death and actually had to stop my car because I was sobbing so hard. It is like someone wrote exactly what was in my heart. I know this was probably written about a failed romantic relationship but it is also a poetic tribute to the love lost when a family member, friend or lover passes away. I wish so much that I could "go back to the start" with my sister. To the songwriters and to Coldplay, thank you for this hauntingly beautiful song. It will always be my love song to my sister.
anonymous May 29th 2012, 08:58 report
this song for me is about how Ive personally messed up and now Ive got to go back home and face the things I was scared of the most like dissapointing my dad or being a failure...yea sometimes I wish I could just go back to the start of everything and not be so immature
anonymous Apr 9th 2012, 12:52 report
My interpretation of The Scientist is bigger than just a relationship. Its your relationship with life and those that walked through it with you. I want this song played at the end of my life to all of those that are to say goodbye. Because this song says I want to go back to the start. Its a thank you for all the ups and downs, but for being there through them all. We all waver. We all crash. We all forgive. We all begin again.
anonymous Mar 27th 2012, 17:52 report
Here's a story that I think fits this song in a lot of ways:
There were two people, a girl and a boy. The boy was a scientific mind. He explained everything through logic. He rarely showed emotion and NEVER acted on it.
The girl was emotional and volatile, but in order to talk to the boy she pretended to be just as cold and analytical and he was.
She grew to like the boy. But every time she got close to him, he reminded her that getting close to people only gets you hurt.
So she gave up. She ran away from him. She needed someone with emotion. Someone who could be human.
The boy also had feelings for her, but stifled them so he could analyze everything. So he wouldn't have to go through the ordeal of loving someone.But when she ran away, the boy realized that he had hurt her, and went after her. He tried to explain that he had never meant to seem so cold, that he was just scared of falling for someone. But it was too late. He had spent so much time pushing the girl away that she couldn't believe that he loved her. She thought it was just another science experiment. That she was just a puzzle to him.
So both of them regretted not playing things differently, but because of the previous damage, their relationship could never be repaired.
I know this isn't the perfect fit, and that some people will dismiss this as petty, but this is what happened to me, and it's what I personally get out of the song.
anonymous Mar 6th 2012, 11:39 report
As I see the video......He wants to protect someone he loves. I would go back in time and change anything for the someone I love. If she died and years later they made a time machine or a thing that reversed time I would do anything for her. She is the star of his heart and would do anything to stop the death of her. He couldn't live without her. He had to find out some way to save her life from this terrible happening.
anonymous Feb 18th 2012, 23:58 report
The scientist is about an intelligent man who is in love, and cant really understand it in the same way he understands lots of other things scientifically because it seems so irrational. So he begins to neglect this love without even realising, then in doing so, his lover begins to fall out of love and the relationship begins to crumble. And as the love starts to fade, the scientist thinks as to what went wrong, what he did or didnt do, and he realises that he actually is madley in love and begins to accept the fact the he and everyone else, no matter how smart, will never be able to understand love, and that "questions of science" will never speak as loud as the heart.
anonymous Jan 30th 2012, 09:25 report
This song, like all songs, is how YOU, the listener interprets it. Noone can put themselves in someone elses shoes and know what they are feeling so you have to take every song and use it for your own situation. I personally use this song to help get me through the loss of my father. I dont need to see the video to know he is talking in general about someone passing away and how he wished he could have spent more time with them. Came up to see you (heaven), come back and haunt me (ghost) is really deep and helps let me know I'm not the only person going through grief, which makes the process a little easier.
anonymous Jan 22nd 2012, 14:52 report
This song is about a scientist who is so caught up in his work that he neglects his girlfriend, but realizes it eventually and wants to "go back to the start" and begin fresh.
anonymous Nov 27th 2011, 05:04 report
the deep dude whats to make ammends after he sees that grass is not greener. He;s right its not easy. amen and koudos to the meaning of the strong.... Music, vocals are excellent
Alot of their songs are proufound enouph (or simple) that they resonate with us (humankind]
Love them and I am maintaining my love in human beings from this class act -music team.
PS. Their ability is amazing!! however the rest of us have insane and awesome talents some more than others Let me know when you ready for an US chick duet(-:
anonymous Nov 12th 2011, 10:33 report
I wish i become a scientist then i would make time to go backwards where you and me were together and every thing was perfect.
anonymous Oct 11th 2011, 21:16 report
Well, as a basement dweller, I tend to abandon my friends and family for the recluse of my favorite space, so I intpreted this song very differently from others.
I think the song is about a scientist who abandons his girlfriend for his work and this song is his way of apologizing to her [Pretty much the while first verse] He was raised to be a great mind, so he never learned how to love [Nobody said it was easy/Nobody said it would be this hard] and he's asking for a do-over [Let's take it back to the start.] He then proceeds in explaining that thier whole relationship was an experiment to him [I was just guessing with numbers and figures/Pulling the puzzles apart] but in the end she taught him how to love [Questions of science/Do not speak as loud as my heart.]
Every time I hear this song it always makes me want to cry and at this rate, I probably will (most likely on a subway.) It also sort of reminded me of Near from Death Note (yes, I'm the same person who did the DN interpretation of Lost!) and what would happen if he found a permanent girlfriend but didn't tell her he was L. I may use this as Songfic fodder now that I'm thinking about it.
anonymous Aug 30th 2011, 08:42 report
They want to show that love and life can't be based on calculus. The protagonist of the song understood it too late... Or, in my opionion, he doesn't understand it yet.
anjero_lavista Aug 26th 2011, 04:34 report
this has been my favorite song since i was a sixth grader. by that time, i knew nothing at all but the immense feeling of Chris, i do feel how he lamented over a relationship; which will make no sense at all since they parted their ways. and he always over think about the facts and chances, thus applying the so called "mind-over-matter principle".
anonymous Aug 4th 2011, 00:09 report
Its a song and therefore open to interpretation but this is how i interpret it . That line ' Questions of science , science and progress , donot speak as loud as my heart ' id the most haunting line ever written. The whole song has just one message that no matter how much we try to reason with ourselves our emotions (about anything or any person) always live. And all we can do is fight it or just let ourselves be free in our feelings..........Somehow i feel this song is about reason vs. emotions......and i feel that everyday.
anonymous Jul 9th 2011, 04:40 report
Having watched the video that accompanies this song I may have taken the meaning too literally - but I think it is about death and bereavement. His girlfriend has died in the car crash and he wants to go back and prevent this happening. Science can explain many things but there is no scientific way to explain how you feel when someone you love dies. Asking her to 'haunt' him is another desperate attempt not to lose the person he loves. If he goes back to the beginning he would stop her removing her seatbelt therefore preventing her death. I appreciate that this may be to literal a meaning for some.
anonymous Jul 7th 2011, 00:36 report
I do believe this song can go many ways, and, as mentioned, it all just depends on your personal experiences and point of view.
For me, I've always loved this song, and I cried the first time- the first FEW times, actually- I heard it. I never understood why. Something about the song just touched me deep, and I found myself breaking out into sobs.
The first time i looked at the lyrics, I thought that it was about a man who deeply loved a woman, but events in the relationship kept repeating themselves and there was no end to the cycle. He wishes he could just go back to the beginning, when it was simple and happy, before the complications and intricate loops woven into their relationship.
As I look at it again, for some reason, it feels like so much more. I've heard songs that had the same moral and such as above before, but none have really hit me as hard as this song.
Now, the song kind of reminds me of myself a bit. At the beginning, when I'll fall for someone, I'll just love them and care for them and I'll feel like they're different from everyone else. And when it progresses, I'll ask myself why it is that I like this person. Why is it that I fell so deep with them? What's so special about them? There are thousands upon thousand of people just like him in this world, so what makes him so great? Eventually, those questions will wear me out, and it won't solve the fact that I still DO really like this person a whole lot. And I just wish I could go back to the times without all this self-questioning and over-thinking. When I could feel those feelings without becoming scared.
Anyway, I actually think that it's best to not think about the lyrics- just let the pure emotion of the song reach you.
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