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 4:34pm 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 11:05pm 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 1:12am 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......
anonymous Aug 9th, 8:17pm report
Bringing someone back to life. Could also be about a breakup.
anonymous May 9th, 5:41am report
It's so easy... He talks about life.
This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
I honestly think that he did something horribly wrong in the relationship he was in and he's thinking too hard to know what he did wrong. In the video Chris goes back in time, right? I think that he wasn't going back just to save his girlfriend or fiance, but to see what had gone wrong. If you notice, in the video, he's ignoring everything as he walks back but he's actually trying to remember. Just as he was trying to remember what he had done wrong in the relationship. That's my opinion.
To me, The Scientist is a story about a man who at one point lost his relationship with God and in the song is expressing that he wants to re-start it.
As a non-religious person myself but yet having a church upbringing, I believe many people who once were strong believers but at some point begin to question their faith can relate to this song in a very literal sense.
Most people who lose their relationship in God or begin to question religion turn to science to answer the questions about life that most believers attribute to God:
"I was just guessing at numbers and figures
Pulling the puzzles apart
Questions of science, science and progress
Do not speak as loud as my heart"
Instead of being a believer, he has become a "scientist"... but he now sees that (to him) trusting only science and the explainable doesn't truly answer his questions or guide him through life.
* * *
"Tell me your secrets, and ask me your questions
Oh lets go back to the start..."
He is asking God to once again guide him and is willing to prove his faith again ("ask me your questions") in however God asks him to.
* * *
"And tell me you love me, come back and haunt me..."
As many Christians believe that God is a spirit (sometimes even referred to as the Holy Ghost), the words "haunt me" can almost be taken in a literal sense. He is asking God to forgive him and grace his life again.
anonymous Feb 4th, 2014 2:48pm report
I think it's about a guy who messed up and lost someone who he really loved but her keeps messing up and loses her "running in circles" but this time he lost her for real and wants to go back to the start,just wanted know whats he doing wrong or something he doesn't know. "Tell me your secrets ask me your questions" and this break up is really hard because he loves her but he keeps trying to scientifically figure out what when wrong when he should just think with his heart instead.
anonymous Nov 3rd, 2013 11:14am report
This song hits me hard everytime I hear it. When something is coming to an end that means so much to you. You question why. The singing is pouring his heart out you can hear it in his voice. It's tragedy when a relationship has become so complicated you must use science to figure it out. Love isn't supposed to be complicated but so natural. Just my two cents and my favorite coldplay song.
anonymous Oct 4th, 2013 10:09pm report
It's like all music. Musicians are reaching out to someone, to let them know that it is ok to make mistakes, after all we are all human. It is the same with, desperado, American Pie, Your Song, Annies Song.
Is it unusual that when you listen to all music lately, that you feel that the song is about you? And you only?
That is the puzzle for the musicians to solve.
anonymous Aug 25th, 2013 8:21pm report
Best song by coldplay
anonymous Aug 25th, 2013 8:29am report
Best coldplay song
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 12:30pm 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 11:22pm 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 8:12am 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 6:07am 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.
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