What does 42 mean?

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Coldplay: 42 Meaning

Tagged: Suicide [suggest]

Song Released: 2008


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42 Lyrics

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Those who are dead are not dead
They’re just living in my head
And since I fell for that spell
I am living there as well
Oh..

Time is so short and I’m sure
There must be something more

Those who are dead are not dead
They’re just...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 17th, 2009 6:14pm report


    "Those who are dead are not dead
    They're just living in my head
    And since I fell for that spell
    I am living there as well"

    I think this song is about someone who has lost some friends and finds himself unable to deal with the loss, so he spends a lot of time imagining they were still alive. As such, they continue to live in his head. He finds his imagination, where his friends are, more appealing than reality, so he spends less and less time in reality and more and more in his imagination. In the end he spends so much time in his own head that he has completely withdrawn from reality.


    "Time is so short and I'm sure
    There must be something more"

    I think this is an admission of an afterlife and, quite possibly, a higher power. This belief can help the person cope with the loss of his friends a little bit by reminding him that they're in a better place (if he believes them to have gone to heaven) and that he will eventually rejoin them.


    "You thought you might be a ghost
    You didn't get to heaven but you made it close"

    This, I think, can be interpreted two ways: one way if the person he speaks to ("you") is dead, the other if he/she is alive.

    Firstly, if "you" is dead: The person who died is, in an abstract way, still with the living because of how real he/she is in the speaker's mind. This prevents him/her from moving on to the afterlife (again, only in an abstract way). This means that the person feels as if he/she is stuck here as a ghost. The speaker has, at times, almost managed to let go of his friend's memory, but not entirely.

    Secondly, if "you" is alive: The speaker has moved so far away from reality to be with his dead friends in his imagination that he is neglecting his friends that are still alive. These friends, or at least the one he's talking to, feels as if he looks right through them. An extension of this feeling is that they could just as well have been ghosts, as it would make no difference to the speaker at all. The friend tries to have patience with the speaker, tries to be understanding and caring and loving and forgiving, but it just becomes too much for him/her to handle. Before he/she reaches the level of being regarded as saintly in his/her patience with the speaker, he/she fails and gives up.


    In this song the speaker thinks about life in general and becomes somewhat philosophical and existential, therefore I think the title can refer to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, where "42" is the answer to "Life, the Universe, and Everything".



  2.  

    anonymous
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    Sep 27th, 2014 9:12am report


    This is a really short and simple version of it, but I think the first couple lines, "Those who are dead, are not dead, they're just living in my head" and "And since I fell for that spell, I am living there as well" may refer to someone being in the early stages of deep grief - shock, denial and sometimes even dreams or hallucinations of the departed. Some people experience realistic dreams about tragic events or meeting the departed again. Others even see their loved ones in hallucinations or hear them.



  3.  

    anonymous
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    May 15th, 2014 5:03pm report


    42 in Japanese is pronounced 'shini'. Shini in Japanese means death. The answer to it all, to life, is death. The thing is, if the answer of everything is death, we're talking entropy and Tom Aquinas here. I have way too much free time...

    -Alice the shota
    (Sabu, don't judge me,or Nimmy)



  4.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 22nd, 2012 10:21am report


    42 is supposedly the meaning of life, right? I believe this song is about the meaning of death, polar opposite of 42.

    "Those who are dead are not dead, they're just living in my head
    And since I fell for that spell
    I am living there as well"

    Think about it, the singer has expericenced a recent death of a loved one, which gives him a new perprective of life and death.

    "Time is so short and I’m sure
    There must be something more"

    The sing knows that no one can live forever. He wonders is there anything else to life then what everyone does, day in, day out.

    "You thought you might be a ghost"

    This suggests that the loved one who died suffered from depression or something similar. Being a 'ghost' could refer to feeling meaningless and unimportant and living a half-life, stuck in between the thought of living or taking their own life.

    "You didn't get to Heaven but you made it close"

    The singer is wondering where the loved one that died is now, is he\she happy? Are they in Heaven? 'You made it close' could mean that te singer knows he\she will never get the answer.

    It's basically about the results of a suicide or any death.



  5.  

    anonymous
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    Dec 30th, 2011 12:09am report


    "Those who are dead are not dead
    They’re just living in my head"
    And since I fell for that spell
    I am living there as well"
    -> The speaker thinks about 'those who are dead'. He wants to know what will happen to them and what will happen to him when he will die.

    "Time is so short and I’m sure
    There must be something more"
    -> The speaker isn't sure what will happen to them, but he knows that 'there must be something more', that something will happen to them/him after they/he died. He thinks that life on earth is too short, there must be something after the death, another life.

    "You thought you might be a ghost
    You didn’t get to heaven but you made it close"
    -> I'm not really sure about this, but I think it means that he knew someone who now is dead. He was on the way to heaven, but the speaker is sure that he didn't get there. Maybe that's why the speaker is thinking about 'those who are dead'.



  6.  

    jobisalive
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    Jan 31st, 2010 1:22pm report


    I saw the incredible coincidence the day they played in Abu Dhabi, on earth day, march 28, 2009. The universe is in agreement not only with what they are doing but what they are singing. No one believes me but the lyrics to this song are from a spirit, in fact all the songs in the viva la vida cd were channelled. Something is going to happen in 2011 or 2012. May God have mercy on all of us. http://web.mac.com/joneil19/desert_dance/Blog/Entries/2010/1/31_say_it_aint_so.html



  7.  

    schizoid864
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    Aug 30th, 2009 8:33pm report


    The previous interpretation of Coldplay's "42" is "dead" on. If anyone's done any reading on the Schizoid personality, one realizes that the "thought" (never feeling)is the they are dead, invisible, a ghost. Most relationships in a Schizoid's life are experienced as if they are dead. Interesting song. I feel for my friend whom I've just realized is schizoid. Excellet song!




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