What does Speed of Sound mean?

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Coldplay: Speed of Sound Meaning

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Song Released: 2005


Speed of Sound Lyrics

How long before I get in?
Before it starts, before I begin?
How long before you decide?
Before I know what it feels like?
Where to, where do I go?
If you never tried, then you'll never know.
How long do I have to climb,
Up on this side of...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    Oct 1st, 2008 10:17am report


    Imagine a person who can only see in Black and White who wants to know how colour looks like. How would you go about describing to him how colour looks like. In my opinion it is impossible to describe. How would you go about describing the colour “Red” to a person who has never seen colour before: “Well, red is red. It is the colour of fire. It’s kind of like orange(also a colour) except darker” – that’s the best I can personally do.
    Colour is something that you must witness or experience or else you will never be able to comprehend it and I think that the lyrics are trying to send a similar message. With this perspective, the lyrics remind me of a line in “Interview with a Vampire” when Brad Pitt first turns into a vampire and says that the world has changed, but it is impossible to describe because you have to experience it to comprehend it.
    Can a regular person ever fully know what it would be like to be a savant genius? I think not. They may be able to describe what is going on inside their head, but a regular person would never be able to fully understand without having experienced it themselves. It is beyond their comprehension because their brain is different.


    Now that I have shared my general perspective I will directly interpret some lines.

    How long before I get in?
    Before it starts, before I begin?
    How long before you decide?
    Before I know what it feels like?
    Where do, where do I go?

    Here I think that the person he is asking is “God” because obviously god would have all the answers to the world. I think when he says “How long before I get in?” he is talking about heaven. According to the T.V series John Doe (perhaps you’ve seen this) when you die and go to heaven you gain all the knowledge of the world (I’m not sure if this is a true belief because I’m not Christian). Even if it is not a reference to heaven I think he is asking about when the person(presumably God) will decide to let him “feel” something.
    Where do, where do I go? – Here he seems to be asking the person (God) what he needs to do before that person will let him “feel” the thing he wants to feel.
    Personally I still find it hard to grasp the idea that the universe and god has always existed (something must have created god!) since the beginning of time (If there ever was a beginning).
    Perhaps the person he is asking is not god. Whoever it is, this person has the power to let him feel something nonetheless.



    If you never tried, then you'll never know.
    How long do I have to climb,
    Up on this side of this mountain of mine?

    The first line here reinforces my idea that you have to experience something to understand it. Or perhaps you’ll never know if you can understand if you never try to understand, but I think it’s the former. I think the other two lines are figuratively describing things he needs to do in order for the person to let him feel this feeling.



    Look up, I look up at night,
    Planets are moving at the speed of light.

    I think that these lines are just pointing out the mysterious nature of the universe which I mentioned earlier and that perhaps we will never truly understand it because it is beyond our comprehension.


    Climb up, up in the trees,
    Every chance that you get,
    Is a chance you seize.

    Basically it’s figuratively saying that you must take every chance you get at understanding something in a different way, right? By climbing up a tree you get a totally different view from when you’re on the ground. You can see many different things and also much further.



    How long am I gonna stand,
    With my head stuck under the sand?
    I’ll start before I can stop,
    Before I see things the right way up.

    First two lines he’s asking for how long will all these “things” (perhaps the meaning of the world or things along those lines) be kept from him.
    I think that perhaps the last two lines he’s talking about being born and dieing, or maybe just his pursuit for further understanding in the world.


    And all that noise, all that sound,
    All these pieces that I have found.

    Personally I think that he says “All those spaces that I have found”. I think the “spaces” (if those are what the lyrics are) refer to all those answers that are unknown to humans.


    And birds go flying at the speed of sound,
    To show you how it all began.
    Birds come flying from the underground,
    If you could see it then you'd understand

    I’m not sure but I don’t think it’s possible for a bird to travel at the speed of sound. 
    Anyway, since birds don’t fly at the speed of sound (supposedly), we humans will never know “how it all began”, which I think refers to the beginning of the universe.
    The last two lines is the same idea that you have to experience something to understand it like the guy who can only understand colour if he sees it.


    Ideas that you'll never find,
    All the inventors could never design.
    There are certain mysteries that man will never discover (Most likely concerning the universe or things that man will never create).

    The buildings that you put up,
    Japan and China all lit up.
    The sign that I couldn't read,
    Or a light that I couldn't see,
    Something¡¯s you have to believe,
    But others are puzzles, puzzling me.

    I think at a stretch, he might be saying that for people who have never seen Japan and China in real life before, can only believe that it exists, hence “Somethings you have to believe,” . There are lights he can’t see (because he’s never been there) and signs that he can’t read (obviously because they are in a different language) which once again reinforces my idea that there are things that people will never witness (the lights in Japan in China) or understand (the signs he can’t read). All figurative of course.

    This Japan and China thing reminds me of 1984 where people were led to believe that there was a war (if I remember correctly) against other continents, but there was never any proof and they just had to believe. In fact, I think the protagonist questioned whether the other continents even existed, but it was a while since I read the book so this may not be correct.

    All those signs, I knew what they meant.
    Somethings you can invent.
    I think he doesn’t understand what the signs read, but he can still extract a meaning from them. Therefore there are things that people can invent(?) Perhaps he’s trying to give us hope? I’m not too sure 

    Some get made, and some get sent,
    Ooh
    I’m not sure what the “some get sent” refers to, but I think here he means that some things will be invented and some things will not.



  2. 2TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    Jan 23rd, 2007 1:56am report


    I've always simply interpreted this song as him singing about the beauties and wonders of the mind. As we go through life, we create our own little world in our heads. Years and years of experience and imagination and knowledge have just weaved through one another to create this impossibly intricate web of mystery. And for the people who love things like, say... reading and writing, and who thrive off of their imagination, have an even MORE colourful mind that just boggles anyone when the individual tries to explain what goes on inside their heads. And even now, as we're living, the web isn't finished. Every second, every millisecond, something is being added to it, a new thread is weaved as we take in a new scene, smell, sound.

    For example:
    "How long before I get in?
    Before it starts, before I begin?
    How long before you decide?
    Before I know what it feels like?"

    I just think he means, 'how long before I can get into your head? Before you decide to show me the world you've created in there? I want to know what it feels like, to be you, to see the world the way YOU do.'

    And then I know there's a whole bunch of stuff about birds in there, but I just think of the birds as the thoughts in the person's head. "If you could see it then you'd understand." I.e. 'If you could see what I see, the way I've imagined this, the way I see the world, then you'd understand.' But the stuff inside a person's head is so hard to explain...

    I suppose the blind thing is all good and well, but I like this interpretation better because it seems more creative and insightful.



  3. 3TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    Aug 7th, 2006 8:33pm report


    I heard that it was written about a friend of one/all of the members of coldplay who is blind. It is about how he has a different outlook on life than those who can see. "all that noise and all that sound... Birds came flying from the underground if you could see it then you'd understand.” “ideas that you'll never find/all the inventors could never design…the sign that I couldn't read, or a light that I couldn't see, some things you have to believe, but others are puzzles, puzzling me.” He sees the world by hearing, which means that he can “see” things that others can’t. And the “puzzles” are things that people have told him about that he has never known or experienced because he’s blind.



  4.  

    anonymous
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    Nov 19th, 2013 11:52am report


    i think it all about love ...person who waitting long time to find love and olso wait love to find him ...



  5.  

    anonymous
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    Sep 14th, 2013 9:15am report


    I think this song is about his experience of a death and rebirth experience catalysed by 5-MEO DMT which is a crystal that is created by the pineal gland when a person dies. The purpose of this very complex crystal is to sever the spirit from the body, releasing perception of the illusion of life as a human and illuminating the true and infinite nature of the Universe, God, and Love.



  6.  

    anonymous
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    Apr 29th, 2013 4:49pm report


    If you've ever read into the ancient alien theories, this song should have already clicked with you. Flying at the "speed of sound". To "show you how it all began". See it "then you'll understand". Birds flying from "the underground". Take it, do some research on these theories. Probably not at all what the song's about, but damn it all goes so well together.



  7.  

    anonymous
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    Feb 15th, 2012 2:07am report


    i think this song is about sexlife about one of the members

    "How long before I get in?
    Before it starts, before I begin?
    How long before you decide?
    Before I know what it feels like?"



  8.  

    dom7624
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    Sep 12th, 2011 9:40am report


    For me i think Chris Martin is explaining the beauty of how the world was created from a religous perspective, and he's explaining it from a believers point of view to a non believer. If you believe in god you see things from Chris's point of view if you dont he explains "if you could see it you WOULD understand" and clearly Chris does. Im writing this as Mylo Xyloto is a few weeks from release, i can guarentee there will be more biblical and religous references in the lyrics. Chris is a religous man FACT, and in every album released his faith is acknowledged perhaps hidden in a few metaphors but still visible to those who share his belief system. He manages to hide much of the religious metaphors perfectly within his lyrics but they are definitely there and i promise that anyone who has become religous and loves Coldplay should listen to the songs all over again because from that point of view Coldplay tracks take on a whole new meaning



  9.  

    anonymous
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    Jul 19th, 2011 7:15pm report


    He is talking about the bird and the bees. Thats why he talks about given in. He is talking about saying no to peer pressure and by saying "birds keep moveing at the speed of sound to show you how it all began" he is singing about how diffult it is in he,s life to say no to peer pressure because of how famous he is. He allso said "birds keep comeing from the underground, when you see it you will understand". By this he means the birds are blind to the problems that shall happing later if theyy fall to peer pressure and they are like this because he is so famous. He allso saying you can not understand peer pressure until it happens to you













  10.  

    anonymous
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    Jun 23rd, 2011 6:58am report


    How long before I get in?
    Before it starts, before I begin?
    How long before you decide?
    Before I know what it feels like?
    Where do, where do I go?
    If you never tried, then you'll never know.
    How long do I have to climb,
    Up on this side of this mountain of mine?
    .......................

    I truthfully feel this song is about a great precipice mankind is standing at before our creations in technology turn the world upside down. The writer is saying how long before it begins. He asks the world how long before they decide not to destroy, before we all feel the aftermath. He says that mankind has never taken the path of peace so how would they know if they have never tried. How long does he have to climb to get his message heard?
    .........................

    Look up, I look up at night,
    Planets are moving at the speed of light.
    Climb up, up in the trees,
    Every chance that you get,
    Is a chance you seize.
    How long am I gonna¡¯ stand,
    With my head stuck under the sand?
    I¡¯ll start before I can stop,
    Before I see things the right way up.
    ................................

    Again he is referencing technology and mankind's need to be closer to nature instead of creating distruction. How long are we all going to stick our heads in the sand and not recognize how we destroy instead of live in peace.

    ...................................

    And all that noise, all that sound,
    All these pieces that I have found.
    And birds go flying at the speed of sound,
    To show you how it all began.
    Birds come flying from the underground,
    If you could see it then you'd understand¡­

    ..........................
    Referencing the destruction, the violent sounds around him. The birds reference missiles sent at the speed of sound. The missiles sent from underground which reference nuclear weapons. He says this is how it all began and if we could see the destruction we caused in the end, perhaps we would understand his message to us and change our ways.

    ................................

    Ideas that you'll never find,
    All the inventors could never design.
    The buildings that you put up,
    Japan and China all lit up.
    The sign that I couldn't read,
    Or a light that I couldn't see,
    Something¡¯s you have to believe,
    But others are puzzles, puzzling me.

    ..........................

    In all our wisdom and intelligence we fail to see the obvious in that we are here to love each other and live together in harmony. Our brightest minds destroy instead of find ways of peace. Japan and China reference how they were lit up with the nuclear blast in August of 1945. He does not understand how we can not read the signs of what we are doing or see the obvious light. They disturb and puzzle him.

    ................................

    And all that noise, all that sound,
    All those pieces that I have found.
    And birds go flying at the speed of sound,
    To show you how it all began.
    Birds come flying from the underground,
    If you could see it then you'd understand,
    Oh when you see it then you'll understand¡­

    All those signs, I knew what they meant.
    Something¡¯s you can invent.
    Some get made, and some get sent,
    Ooh¡­
    Birds go flying at the speed of sound,
    To show you how it all began.
    Birds came flying from the underground,
    If you could see it then you'd understand,
    Oh, when you see it then you'll understand¡­

    ........................
    He is saying we should have seen the signs of what we have done and what we will do in the future. Just because we can invent them does not mean we should. He says that we have invented the very things that will be sent to destroy ourselves. If you could only see this and understand, but he feels we will not understand until when we destroy the world around us.

    .....

    If I had one song to carry with me at the end it would be this one. It truly is one of the greatest songs ever written and performed. It's meaning is genius. It is the Mona Lisa of Music.



  11.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 13th, 2011 6:28pm report


    my interpretation of what the singer was talking about how him with he complex mind (I get this from when the song said"Ideas that you'll never find,All the inventors could never design")and about how being as famous he is he deals with peer pressure and when talks about bird it is talking about the birds and the bees. Part of the reason why I think this is because at the begin he is talking about how he gives in



  12.  

    anonymous
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    May 26th, 2011 5:08am report


    Personally i think it talks of someone who is stoned and sees things in his head so he cant explain and he cant comprehend.



  13.  

    anonymous
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    Apr 19th, 2011 4:54am report


    My own interpretation : ( must read)


    How long before I get in?

    Before it starts, before I begin?

    From my point of view, the song is talking about someone who is trying to understand how life was created, how he was created?

    The song starts with how long before I get in? ” how long” refers to” a period of time”, he is pointing at how many generation passed before he was created or born in this life.



    Before it starts, the” it “refers to life, before life starts; before I begin, before I get born.



    How long before you decide?



    He is now talking about god, it s god who decide when he will be born and how he will be created.



    Before I know what it feels like?



    Get born and start to feel life “start living”



    Where To, where do I go?



    He is lost in this life, he doesn't know where to go, he doesn't have a direction or a destination.



    If you never try, then you'll never know.



    If he will never try to take a road, to decide what directing to go, then he will never know who made this world?



    How long do I have to climb,

    Up on the side of this mountain of mine?

    The mountain are obstacles that the man created in his mind , sometime when we are scared from facing the truth we create a wall or something that blind us or keep us busy from seeing the truth.

    So he s keeping him self busy climbing that mountain that he created in his mind so he wouldn’t have time to see the truth.

    If u r wondering what truth? its the truth about god , it remind me with a saying " that mankind are soo busy generating wealth , getting married , so on…until visiting the grave" .



    Look up, I look up at night,

    Planets are moving at the speed of light.

    Now he talks about the beautiful nature that god created , you look up to the sky at night , the sky is full of stars , the view make you wonder about other planets or galaxies that are in the space how great is that view , planets are moving at the speed of light refers to the Meteor that are moving so fast .



    This is remind me with the following “Verily, the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, and the ships which sail through the sea with that which is of use to mankind, and the water (rain) which Allaah(god) sends down from the sky and makes the earth alive therewith after its death, and the moving (living) creatures of all kinds that He has scattered therein, and in the veering of winds and clouds which are held between the sky and the earth, are indeed aayaat (proofs, evidences, signs) for people of understanding.” [Quran 2:164]





    Climb up, up in the trees,

    every chance that you get,

    is a chance you seize.

    Now again he s talking about the nature, when you climb a tree u get a chance to see the world from another view, and this is a “chance for you seize “here he mean you decide the size of that chance , you decide what you want to believe..

    You can decide to grab this chance to be a” believer” and to see the world through god ,

    Or u seize ur chance and give it another shape” disbelieve “ .



    How long am I gonna stand,

    with my head stuck under the sand?



    I'll start before I can stop,

    before I see things the right way up.

    How long it refers to time , how much time he will stay blind from seeing the truth , standing without making a decision .

    with my head stuck under the sand , which mean he cannot see , breath , hear…

    i will start ( searching for the truth/ get born and start living ) before I can stop (before death ) ,before I see things the right way up ( before he die and he see what was the right thing to do, but it will be too late , so before he die, he will have to know and search for the truth ).



    All that noise, and all that sound,

    All those places I got found.

    Now he s talking about the city where there is noises, sounds.

    All the places that he visited.

    And birds go flying at the speed of sound,

    to show you how it all began.

    A bird cannot fly at speed of sound , this is a metaphor ; the birds are the souls , it is the soul that are flying , he mean when a person die and he ‘s soul get out of his body that shows how life began .



    Birds came flying from the underground,

    if you could see it then you'd understand?



    When a person die they put his body in a grave underground so birds (souls ) came flying from the underground , if we can see the souls than we will understand how life was created !



    Ideas that you'll never find,

    All the inventors could never design.

    As I said in the beginning , this person is searching to know who created the universe , some ideas( about this universe ) are above human understanding , he s talking about the creatures of god , the mother nature , the sea , the sun , the moon …all human (inventors) could never design .



    The buildings that you put up,

    Japan and China all lit up.

    Now his talking about man inventions the high Skyscrapers " buildings that you put up " , as we all know japan and china are well known in manufacturing they are strong in invention & production .

    He s talking about the world that man made (the buildings, man inventions …)

    The idea here is to compare what god creates with what man made.



    The sign that I couldn't read,

    The sign are around him , even he is a sign of god existing , but even though he knew that he exist but didn’t read his existence as a sign .



    or a light that I couldn't see,



    he couldn’t see the light , because he was in darkness .



    some things you have to believe,

    but others are puzzles, puzzling me.



    you have to believe in god existence , but he still don’t know exactly how this world is created so it s a puzzle that he s trying to match .

    All that noise, and all that sound,

    All those places I got found.

    he s talking about the city where there is noises, sounds.

    All the places that he visited



    And birds go flying at the speed of sound,

    to show you how it all began.

    A bird cannot fly at speed of sound , this is a metaphor ; the birds are the souls , it is the soul that are flying , he mean when a person die and he ‘s soul get out of his body that shows how life began .



    Birds came flying from the underground,

    if you could see it then you'd understand,

    ah when you see it then you'll understand?



    When a person die they put his body in a grave underground so birds (souls ) came flying from the underground , if we can see the souls than we will understand how life was created !



    All those signs, I knew what they meant.



    ( this whole world & everything in it ) is a sign of god exiting , he know that god existed but yet he refused to believe .." if u hear the song u will realize that the tune of the song change become glittery ( if i can put it this way ),,,it s like he starting to believe ...



    Some things you can invent.



    the buildings , china and japan invention , the city , the noises ...are things you can invent...the "you " refers to mankind ,you can invent. man can made.



    Some get made, and some get sent,



    some get created ( made by god ) , some get sent ( the souls ) the new born babies that god sent to this earth , the rain that dos sent , the wind ....so on





    Ooh?

    wondering



    Birds go flying at the speed of sound,

    to show you how it all began.

    Birds refers to the souls ,

    Birds came flying from the underground,

    When a person die they put his body underground , he s talking about death , when u die ur body will be underground but ur soul will fly …birds(souls ) came flying from the underground

    if you could see it then you'd understand,

    if u could see the souls , than you will understand the purpose of life .



    ah, when you see it then you'll understand?

    “ when “ refer to the time , when you die and see the souls , the angels the devil then you will understand !


    by sara kahale ...



  14.  

    anonymous
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    Apr 4th, 2011 4:33pm report


    Brainy Brainy you're so bright, you even think for me in the night.
    You've got one hundred billion workers, so you can keep me working all the time.
    Brainy, Brainy you're so bright, you even think for me in the night.

    Brainy Brainy you're so bright, you even think for me in the night.
    You help me do everything, help me now I've got to sing!
    Brainy, Brainy you're so bright, you even think for me in the night.

    Brainy Brainy you're so bright, you even think for me in the night.
    You've got a helmet called the skull that keeps me bright and not so dull.
    Brainy Brainy you're so bright, you even think for me in the night!



  15.  

    anonymous
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    Apr 4th, 2011 4:50am report


    It's totally about acid. I listen to this song when I'm high and I can hear the trip, feel it in my head, and I know it's about acid. Weed doesn't lie, guys.



  16.  

    anonymous
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    Mar 25th, 2011 3:24pm report


    I think they could be talking about how creation began and how humans came to be.How no one has a definitive answer.Possibly speaking about inventions and things made that humans couldnt have done on our own without the help of something or someone else.Maybe its about extraterrestials who lived or are living under ground in the earth?Just a thought.Been reading David Icke recently and kinda saw a connection in the lyrics.Couldnt be any further a reach than dosing on acid I guess!Thats the cool thing about songs everyone gets something different out of the same song.



  17.  

    anonymous
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    Feb 23rd, 2011 2:32pm report


    It is about when u feel too much in a place and u want to go somewhere else like the birds



  18.  

    Amy Wolfman
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    Feb 16th, 2011 2:57pm report


    I have a completely different interpretation. I think the song is a message saying "If you want to overcome the obstacles that are holding you back in your life, then you need to take action. You need to accept responsibility for your own life." I also think they are saying that there are some aspects of life that a person will be able to understand and others that will remain a mystery. I think this song is a message to reach toward the stars and follow your dreams and work to achieve your goals.



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