What does Warning Sign mean?

Coldplay: Warning Sign Meaning

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Album cover for Warning Sign album cover

Warning Sign Lyrics

A warning sign
I missed the good part then I realised
I started looking and the bubble burst
I started looking for excuses
Come on in, I’ve gotta tell you what a state I’m in
I’ve gotta tell you in my loudest tones
That I started looking...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Jun 9th 2010 !⃝

    To me this song is about someone who threw away someone special because they thought something better came along, and did it by trying to manufacture problems between them. But once they realized that the grass was not greener on the other side, they felt that longing for their true love and remembered all of the wonderful things about them that can sometimes get forgotten when you get too complacent in your relationship.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Jul 11th 2008 !⃝

    Life changes and with it new people and feelings. It seems to me that as you have a lot of experiences, especially with those you feel close to, you build deeper and deeper feelings. Where this song comes in is the point in time where you may have left the more significant people in your lifetime and a sort of "awakening" happens that shows you that you have a void to fill in your heart. Listening to this song for the very first time made everything so clear to me.


    #3 top rated interpretation:
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    Feb 10th 2010 !⃝

    Your in a relationship in which you are just going with the motions. You may have kids, been married for years, whatever. But you are ok with it, until someone comes along, maybe just as a friend at first, who awakens something deep inside of you. They are beautiful, funny, and sexy. They adore you and love all the same things you love. They admire and respect you, basically have all the things you never even realized you were missing till you met this person. This person makes you realize that you have missed out on so much in life. She is your "Warning Sign" You start digging deeper into this thought. You are looking for excuses to leave the boring, loveless, and under appreciated life you are living now. But you are either a coward or a hero one, to stay committed to this life you promised to stay in for ever. You can't decide, and the love of your life slips away hurt and disappointed that you let her go.

  4. anonymous
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    Dec 26th 2019 !⃝

    I think ..well to me it reminds me of a very close childhood friend who recently commited suicide.. this song brings me to tears..

  5. anonymous
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    Oct 7th 2017 !⃝

    don't really want to be that person, but don't you think these lyrics play very well with the situation in 13 reasons why? not that it absolutely has to suit every last detail, but maybe as in the writer missed all of these warning signs. he maybe missed the window of time he had to help this person that he really cared about (not so much to the other person's knowledge)? and well, you guys know the chorus

  6. Lolotara
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    Apr 25th 2016 !⃝

    I am talking with a woman that I was engaged to 17 years ago. We are friends. This is her song, and it is the nightmare that I live daily. I am honored to be her friend, but my life remolves around down complacency and Taki have her for granted. Every time she gets hurt by some Jerk, and every time she says that there are no good meneft who want commitment, I think about the true meaning of this song. In a video, the man walks backwards, trying to take back the moment when left her in bed and ended up drugged in a ditch. I talk to Ashley, and she is the same woman I fell so deeply in love with... the same woman who was great to me and made me feel like somebody. She calls and we talk for hours each day, but she reminds me when I get my hopes up. She tells me that I hurt her and took her for granted, and that song plays on Pandora when I least expect it, and I know what Warning Sign really means. It means that sometimes you have to be brutally honest with yourself and your partner. You have to imagine a life 19 years later where you see her hurting and know that you are the cause because you pushed her away. She was the one, and there will never be another one. You could have told her about your problems. You could have taken a leap. Now I wait for her call and laugh, only a ghost of what she needed long ago. Sometimes they don't welcome you back into their open arms, and sometimes you get to be their friend, but every time you have regret. If you know this sing, you know that you probably hurt the most important person to cross your path. And you looked for it. You looked for excuses. Now I watch her without me.

  7. anonymous
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    Oct 5th 2015 !⃝

    I listen to this song and think about her.she loved me,did things for me without even telling me,never even asked me to love her directly. I was a fool Didn't even look back even when I knew she had been looking at me for a long time. Now she's gone and I can't stop thinking about her,writing about it like right now. And if you're wondering I'm drunk right now

  8. anonymous
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    Nov 7th 2012 !⃝

    I think the June post, in my opinion, nailed it on the head. Once your in a relationship, the excitement that was there initially fades and your partner may seem 'dull' or things are boring, but once they're gone...you realize you truly love that person and need them in your life...

  9. anonymous
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    May 29th 2012 !⃝

    a warning sign, i missed the good part, then i realised, i started looking and the bubble burst, i started looking for excuses--- you like someone, love someone so much, but are too blind to see everything great about them after things have become comfortable, you take them for granted, you look for "excuses"
    come on in, ive gotta tell you what a state im in, ive gotta tell you in my loudest tones, that i started looking for a warning sign--- now that it's over, you want to tell them how bad you feel, that you want them to know you made a mistake of looking past them.
    when the truth is, i miss you--- that's the truth, you really cant live without them, you miss their presence so much.
    a warning sign, would come back to haunt me, and i realised that you were an island and i passed you by, you were an island to discover--- what a gem they were, a diamond in the rough, and you only saw the mishaps of their being.
    ...and im tired, i should not have let you go... so ill crawl back into your opening arms--- you messed up, you shouldve held onto them, and in a world where happy endings exist, perhaps theyll accept you back, because they are just that great. theyll love you like you shouldve loved them always.

  10. annaluvslynx
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    May 28th 2012 !⃝

    I think everyone has a different interpretation of this song. That's what great about Coldplay - You decide the meaning.

    It could be that a relationship is falling apart, but at the end 'I crawl back into your open arms' that sorts everything out. A good hug ... And it's all OK. He's looking for a 'Warning Sign' that the relationship could be coming to an end. But all ends well.

    I interpret most Coldplay songs in my situation, how I'm feeling and what's happening - apart from the ones that have an obvious meaning that you can't really change.

    This is how I think of it:
    Well, basically, I love a guy so so so so much - but I can't have him. And he's on study leave, so I never see him.
    'When the truth is, I miss you' ... It's like the truth, pretty obvious, that [him/her] misses [him/her]. He doesn't know I miss him. So it's 'the truth'.
    And when it says 'I started looking for a Warning Sign' I'm looking for signs of him. His friends maybe, his scent (he smells good!) or anything that could possibly lead to him. I go mad..crazy for him.
    'I gotta tell you what a state I'm in' ... For me, it's like telling him how upset I am. Depressed. 'And I'm tired' I get no sleep, I can't stop thinking and worrying about him.
    'I crawl back into your open arms' ... On the few occasions I do see him, I run and we hug for ages. And I feel so amazing inside, though he doesn't have a clue. And 'I shouldn't have let you go' I shouldn't have let him go off and live his life...Without him knowing everyday and every moment I am thinking of him. And I love him.

  11. anonymous
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    Mar 9th 2012 !⃝

    I really think this song is about being a coward and not telling that person you loved how much you truly cared for them. The whole "you were an Island and I passed you by" pretty much means a missed opportunity... it was right there, and you just passed it by because you were afraid to want something better...Now you're still stuck going through the motions of whatever you have now and are regretting being a coward. That person was you "warning sign" to finally wake up and see how better things can be.

  12. anonymous
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    Jul 14th 2011 !⃝

    this song hit me hard... for me this is about the lack of commitment to any relationship. when you're not sure of something, you look for a warning sign. you look for a problem to end it somehow. then when you get the separation you caused, you realize that you're wrong.

  13. anonymous
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    Apr 28th 2011 !⃝

    to me its explains how i was in a relationship for years going through motions, he decided a career path that took him away for a few months and i met this amazing person at a summer job, we were like a fairy tale but i couldnt help feeling horrible even though i knew i deserved to be where i was happy. i got engaged and my summer romance begged me to stay i got married moved far away and he still continued to wait for me, i tried to explain that he couldnt because i was lost and didnt want to make someone wait for me. i thought about him everyday. the last time i talked to him was christmas eve, he had been calling a friend of mine looking for me, he was out drinking so i called him and told him i didnt want him driving around and to go home but when he answered the phone he was already home in bed which made me feel so much better, i told him i was leaving town and going back to my husband from vacation and he asked me to stay one last time, and i told him i couldnt. so he told me to call him by 3 in the afternoon the next day which was christmas, or he would never talk to me again.. i never called because i wanted him let go of the hurt of waiting, i wanted to be with him but i just couldnt. new years eve he was going to a party late from another party, wrecked and passed away. i had plenty of warning signs that the other road would have been better for me, and i kept rolling through the motions, the truth is he was an island and i passed him by, and i miss him..

  14. Andru7
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    Feb 2nd 2011 !⃝

    To me it's about missing an opportunity to tell someone how much they mean to you. If you could you would have them back in your arms. You saw the negatives, but now that everything is gone, you feel like a part of you is missing.

  15. anonymous
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    Nov 16th 2010 !⃝

    This song is of course mostly about a relationship, for me right now it relates more to a friendship I've had a problem with, but either or, it was a similar meaning. So for me it's about being in this relationship/friendship and you start to find any problems and "warning signs" that the relationship is messing up, and you're so paranoid that something is wrong that you start missing out on the good things about it and one day when you realize nothing might be wrong all of the sudden "the bubble burst" and then there's a problem! But the truth is the only problem is that you were afraid of something, like you felt that that relationship was bound to be over and have problems therefore you wanted to find it before something happened, but since you lost urself in the idea of the problem, so you actually formed one! And after you loose that person cause you let them go uve realized what uve done wrong! So now you want to reach out to that person and explain what happen! "Common in, I got to tell you what state I'm in, I got to tell you in my loudest tones, that I started looking for a warning sign, when the truth is I miss you" basically please hear me out you need to know how I feel and how I'm doing and that I was so paranoid to find the warning sign, that would let me know what was wrong, but nothing was wrong the only truth is that I miss you! "You came to haunt me and I realized you were an island and I passed you by, you were an island to discover" basically I missed the purpose you had in my life, I just passed you by as if nothing but were actually something I had to discover something more than what I seems with more meaning in my life "and I'm tired, I should not have let you go" and that's it I'm done fighting it and I'm tired I realized I made the mistake and shouldn't have let you leave my life so now I'm going back to u, crawling, I'm going back to you for good! I guess the only actual problem is that your use to seeing things fail or end up some point that you thought the same would happen and therefore you wanted to find that sign that it meant it was going to be over

  16. anonymous
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    Aug 9th 2009 !⃝

    To me, this song is about losing someone and then realizing how ironic it was after words.

    For example, When My three year old cousin died last year from lukemia, the day before she was diagnoised I wrote an essay (unknowing she had any problems) about child hood cancer. The last time i saw her i felt like i was saying good bye forever and cried. my friends cousin died the day before, and the night she died was opening night for our school's play called 1000 cranes (a story about a young girl who lives in hiroshima and gets lukemia after the atom bomb drops and dies)

    To me, all these things where the "warning signs" described in the song... things i looked back on after she died and that seemed like they should have been a warining for me (she came back you haunt me and I realized)

    and the truth is, i miss her,

  17. anonymous
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    Oct 24th 2008 !⃝

    Wow, the relationship described from the June post describes my exact past relationship. Nice to know that I'm not the only one with the same problem, but I don't know if it will have a happy ending like yours. Congrats!

  18. anonymous
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    Jun 10th 2008 !⃝

    How about if you were or are in a long term relationship and while you have had the fireworks and sparks and moved into the comfortable and easy, but there is always something you held back of yourself as well as holding yourself back from getting to know something more or deeper about your partner because you need to keep yourself just slightly back from total surrender for fears that you can't really explain or understand, maybe its that you want more or something else or maybe you fear being hurt.

    So you wind up in the relationship where intimacy becomes strained and suddenly the person your with is slowly drifting away, but they haven't gone anywhere and they haven't broken up with you, and when you look closely at what is happening with your relationship you look for something wrong, some kind of "warning sign" that they are the one's hurting you, and because you don't know how to breach that lack of intimacy you use whatever excuse you find to accuse the other of breaking your heart and hold them accountable for the destruction of your relationship and if your really lost you are the one that ends it! You don't realise that the whole time it was you and it was as simple as "I miss you"...you just don't know how to say it until its almost too late or in fact is already too late so you wind up being the one that does all the hurting. How do I know.....I didn't realise it was me until I heard this song.......And let me tell you something amazing...you see the dignity and quality of your partner if you do have those open arms to crawl back into :)

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