What does The Scientist mean?

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Coldplay: The Scientist Meaning

Song Released: 2002

Covered By: Willie Nelson

The Scientist Lyrics

Come up to meet you,
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....


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    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?


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    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.


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    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......


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    Dec 15th, 12:35pm report

    It's about someone he loved but never told that he loved her. But she has passed away from an addiction now and his regrets are piling up. He wants to go back and act but it's too late. Very sad song.


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    Nov 26th, 11:24am report

    The narrator of the song is talking to God. The "start" could be his birth, his spiritual home of his soul where God resides, or both at different times in the song. "No one ever said it would be this hard" could refer to life on Earth itself. I also think the song is open for interpretation, but have a strong sense it is about a personal speaking to God.


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    Nov 18th, 11:06pm report

    "Come up to meet you
    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"

    The song talks about a couple that split apart. The man makes the decision to find the woman to meet her and apologize and tell her that he needs her, because she isn't like anybody else. Or perhaps she is just different than any other relationship he's been before.

    "Tell me your secrets
    And ask me your questions
    Oh let's go back to the start... "

    He asks that she opens up to him with her secrets, and for her to ask him questions. Perhaps the reason why they broke up was because he wasn't open enough about his past and he suggests to start again by sharing their past.

    "Running in circles; coming in tails
    Heads on a silence apart"

    He's been trying to figure out where the relationship fell short. He thought or even bet on "tails" as in a coin toss, that the relationship was something, but in reality the relationship was "heads" resulting on a silence and apart from each other.

    "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 says that nobody ever told him that a relationship could ever be as hard as it turned out and wishes to start over again. Perhaps this time knowing where his mistake was he'll do things differently and make things easier. He regrets that because they couldn't make things work a good relationship was lost.

    "I was just guessing at numbers and figures
    Pulling your puzzles apart
    Questions of science; science and progress
    Do not speak as loud as my heart"

    During the relationship he never really knew what he was doing. He just "guessed" at figuring out the girl's enigmas, dissecting her or analyzing her so he could understand her.
    The questions of science are relatively easier to answer than figuring out his feelings for her, while at the same time, his heart can't say it louder and clearer enough than the facts that science and progress provide.

    Tell me you love me
    Come back and haunt me
    Oh and I rush to the start
    Running in circles, chasing our tails
    Coming back as we are

    He wants her to tell him she loves him and seek him. He wants her to be the one who's after him and he won't hesitate this time. Hell rush to start over again. Running in circles, meaning that they will still have no clue of how to work a relationship, chasing their tails, still trying out their luck (as in a coin toss, heads or tails), going back to how they were before, the way they are, assuming he doesn't want her to change anything about her.


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    Nov 14th, 11:30am report

    It's about a man and a woman who met years before and she comes back to tell him that she love him. He doesn't know how to react at the time because she is married and has two children, but shows up out of the blue just to tell him that she loves him. Then she leaves, with her son, for the West, and he sends her this CD of this song to tell her that he wishes they could go back to the start when they first met. This is a true story.


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    Jul 17th, 2016 7:10am report

    He just broke up with his girlfriend and is trying to live a life without her. Lying on a mattress shows he is at peace and learned to live without her.


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    Mar 7th, 2015 3:20am report

    From me another way of interpreting this song:
    I believe, the topic isn't any relationship between a man, a scientist and a woman. The song is about the divorce of religion and science. Since Descartes the human mind is divided by the human body. The scientist in this song apologizes to god for don't believing in him:
    "Come up to meet you,
    Tell you I'm sorry,
    You don't know how lovely you are."
    He wants to meet with god or the values god is described by.
    "I had to find you,
    Tell you I need you,
    Tell you I set you apart."
    Here the scientist realises that he needs god to explain the world as a functional concept.
    "Tell me your secrets,
    Ask me your questions,
    Oh, let's go back to the start."
    He wants to start again and to see the world not in just the way science thinks, but to connect both ways of thinking. Without god science is
    "Runnin' in circles,
    Comin' up tails,
    [...]" and it's a shame for all the years they were apart:
    "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."
    The typical "Oh" can also be seen as a direct pray to god like an "Oh Lord".
    "I was just guessing,
    At numbers and figures,
    Pulling the puzzles apart."
    Without god it's just guessing what science does and that nothing speaks louder than god in his heart:
    "Questions of science,
    Science and progress,
    could not speak as loud as my heart."
    "Tell me you love me,
    Come back and haunt me,
    Oh, and I rush to the start."
    He prays that god will forgive him and that he is going to come back, so that science and religion can be reunited:
    "Runnin' in circles,
    Chasin' tails,
    Comin' back as we are."

    I think only in this way of interpretation, the title makes sense.

    I'm sorry for my english, I am from Germany(not that I would be proud of it :D)


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    Oct 17th, 2014 10:33am report

    Whoa whoa whoa, why is everyone getting all religious here?
    basically its about someone who had a breakup with his girlfriend and he is really sad that she is gone. "come back to haunt me"
    he wants to undo all the mistakes he made so that he can stay with his girlfriend


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    Sep 25th, 2014 9:17pm report

    I think it's definitely what others have said, especially about a guy who has made a huge mistake in breaking up with his partner. The added twist for me is the "scientist" part, which speaks to me more personally. I think the protagonist is literally a scientist, someone who maybe isn't used to the feelings of love, those which can't be put into "numbers and figures." So he's spent the whole relationship trying to examine it scientifically. Either he/his partner ended the relationship because of this. He's only now coming to terms with what he felt/he feels, finally accepting that love isn't something that can be studied or quantified.


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    Sep 24th, 2014 9:28pm report

    This song is about a man who has just broken up with his girlfriend. He feels the pain and regret, and wants to apologize, hence the line"come up to meet you, tell you I'm sorry". The man just wants to go back to the beginning, and start over with the girl. He doesn't care about the real world, all he wants is to be with her, hence the line"questions of science, science and progress, don't speak as loud as my heart". The girl does not agree, and he feels even deeper regret and sadness-"It's such a shame for us to part, nobody said it would be easy, no one ever said it would be this hard". This is a beautiful song.


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    Sep 3rd, 2014 9:23pm report

    I think its all about LSD :-)


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    Aug 9th, 2014 8:17pm report

    Bringing someone back to life. Could also be about a breakup.


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    May 9th, 2014 5:41am report

    It's so easy... He talks about life.


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    Mar 26th, 2014 3:33pm report

    Science is like a snake which swallows it's own tail. That's why it's running like and circle and just disappear. I just read in the Bible. Oh about this song there is a scientist who never give up and he is going back to start again in science. And disappear again. Don't worry he will running like circle until he sees God.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


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    Mar 12th, 2014 3:42pm report

    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.


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    Mar 6th, 2014 3:54am report

    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.

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