What does Speed of Sound mean?

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Coldplay: Speed of Sound Meaning

Song Released: 2005

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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...


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    Jul 5th, 2008 7:50pm report

    Maybe its a mix of the blind friend AND an acid trip, I know it kinda sounds ridiculous, but like maybe the acid trip is th eonly way for the blind person to see, "how long before I begin", the beginning of being able to see for the fist time, or again. "how long do I have t climb, thi mountain of mine" or w.e, maybe the mountain, is the trip to baing able to see again, or the struggles in the acid trip just to be able to see, although some times things you see are horrible. "head in the sand"....the troubles of the acid trip. "see it you can understand", the pleasure of being able to see again and how good it feels.

    Well most people will think its ridiculous but its worth a try.


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    Jun 27th, 2008 6:00pm report

    I'm sorry to all who thought it was about his life, but Chris Martin even said it was explaining a blind man.


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    May 26th, 2008 5:36pm report

    I think this song is about how nothing really compares to the power and beauty of the human imagination, and about trying to rise above the madness of the world. And searching for truth.


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    May 14th, 2008 5:26pm report


    The song is about the evolution of language in humans, not just in a "historic" evolutionary sense, but in babies as they grow. "Birds" = "Words", once we transitioned/transition from seeing things to making audible "words" to signfy them we became/become conscious of ourselves.


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    Apr 29th, 2008 4:49pm report

    The only verse that makes sense in terms of blindness is "Birds come flying at the speed of sound".

    First off, Birds don't fly at the speed of sound.
    BUT...Birds may fly at a speed where "sound" is heard.
    Therefore, if someone is blind they would hear sound when birds fly at some rate of speed, therefore..."speed of sound" would have a completely different meaning then originally thought.

    I don't listen to Coldplay btw, I think this band is krap along with all the rest of the bands that are broadcast on radio.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


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    Mar 14th, 2008 3:20pm report

    I think the folks promoting the acid/LSD trip interpretation have something there. I've never done acid and don't want to, but I am willing to accept that a lot of the things people say they've experienced could well explain some of these ideas. I also think it's good to look at the rest of their music for clues, and at their video, which I've never seen. There are some interesting and deep symbolic interpretations above as well. I believe there are probably portions of the song which were driven by the acid trip, and others produced in a reflective period by a deep, philosophical, and creative person.


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    Dec 13th, 2007 12:28am report

    This song is about wanting to go fast on an airplane. "How long before I get in..." is the singer waiting in line at the airport.


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    Dec 11th, 2007 12:03pm report

    I think it has a different value..
    This song has the words "if you can see it then you'd understand" and speaks of sound a lot, and also mentions "puzzles" and asks a lot of questions, not necessarily matches up. It also says: "Birds came flying from the underground" UNDERGROUND!? Is that the same underground we try to stay away of? anything underground is bad, right!? well, I decided to turn the song around, as this whole song is a "puzzle" and not much sense.. Take the last chorus, (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,
    ah, when you see it then you'll understand?) and turn that aaround.. Listen carefully.. In the last chorus, reversed, he sings "slay the beast within' ya"... well, at least.. Thats what I thought..

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


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    Dec 2nd, 2007 12:56pm report

    The song is about the world, the velocity of our movement through it, and the struggle each of has in interpreting what we're experiencing from the moving platform of the present. Coldplay's songs are often coloured by themes of science, consciousness and the complexity of human experience.


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    Dec 1st, 2007 12:39pm report

    This song has many ideas concerning spirituality and enlightenment. The song begins with the singer talking about climbing "a mountain" and "trees" hoping to catch a better gaze of the cosmos. He is intrigued by the beauty of nature, including the "speed of light" and birds. In an attempt to learn something from nature, the singer implies that the heavens have clues to how the world works. These clues piece together to form a "[puzzle] ". In essence, the true meaning of nature is "puzzling [him]". He also wonders when "[he will] get in" and possibly become part of the elite who have reached some form of enlightenment. He is currently wondering when he will understand the purpose of nature and more so the purpose of his own life. Hopefully, this will help him get his "head out of sand", or a sense of persisting confusion. When he says that "some things you can invent", he realizes that some ideas about the meaning of the cosmos can be interpretated and can be very opinionated.


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    Nov 21st, 2007 11:33pm report

    I didn't think this was about acid until the person above pointed this out. I really thought the idea silly, until I looked at the lyrics again. I'm not saying that this is definitely about LSD. But, it has many parallels. I also find his comments about the 1st groups of verses true....

    Nay-sayers who has never done acid or similar, please...."If you could see it then you'd understand"

    Some lyrics that has heavy parallels to LSD experience:

    "Planets are moving at the speed of light" --
    Trails you see, when you are tripping.

    "I'll start before I can stop"
    This is often the way during a lsd trip... You find yourself doing stuff without really thinking about it...

    "Ideas that you'll never find All the inventors could never design"
    You will often think of *GROUND-BREAKING* ideas on a LSD trip. It makes 100% sense at that moment. However, most are lost, when you are straight again...

    "All those signs I knew what they meant, Some things you can invent"
    Similar to above.

    "While others are puzzles, puzzling me"
    You'll see things you can't explain during a trip...

    There are many more. But, again, if you haven't been there, you just wouldn't understand !

    Come on, other people who dropped acid, chime in...



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    Nov 9th, 2007 11:12am report

    This song is about living in exile on the surface of Earth. "How long before I get in? How long before you decide?" means "How long before you allow me back inside the Earth?"

    "Birds came flying from the underground,
    if you could see it then you'd understand?"

    Birds (not only birds but also humans)originated under the crust.


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    Aug 26th, 2007 8:31pm report

    Oh, and from what I gathered by listening to the song, it seemed like they were saying that lights, not birds, were coming from the underground.

    But really, I think think this song is truly in its name. It could have been from the writer's imagination.

    Light. It's truly a song about light.

    And if you've ever seen the video, by the time he grabs his head and begins to see all kinds of photogenic shapes of psychedelic and spectral light, it would overwhelm you. Seriously, overwhelm you. So as a person, you may realize at some point that the world is still spinning around you or, in some really intimate time of your life, the type of power that you're sitting under a meteor shower. And that rush of energy is just so mind-boggling it explodes and all you see is surging light bursts consuming your horizon and zenith entirely. Just looking up.

    And maybe your find your purpose.

    That's what I've gathered. Much credit to Coldplay for synchronizing the feeling of the song to the perfect music video.


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    Jul 23rd, 2007 7:08am report

    I liked the bats interpretation, but the blind makes more sense.


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    May 25th, 2007 5:59am report

    I feel the idea of acid is simply ridiculous. I highly doubt they were on an acid trip as they wrote this song. This song, whether it's about blindness, or pure amazement to the world, or acid, holds more meaning. I have to say that Coldplay brilliantly created this piece and it would be very interesting to hear the truth.

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