The Non-Scientific Meaning Behind Coldplay’s “The Scientist”

“The Scientist” is the story of a man who is madly in love, but fails to give the same attention to his relationship that he does to his work.

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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

Told from the perspective of a man of science, the 2002 piano ballad off Coldplay‘s second album, A Rush of Blood to the Head, unravels verse by verse, through his pleads to go back to start and repair his relationship.

Tell me your secrets and ask me your questions
Oh, let’s go back to the start
Running in circles, coming up tails
Heads on a science 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

[RELATED: 8 Songs You Didn’t Know Coldplay’s Chris Martin Wrote for Other Artists]

No Science Behind It

Though there’s no hidden scientific Easter egg hidden meaning within the lyrics, the song centers more on how consuming love can become, particularly when things go awry, according to frontman Chris Martin.

“That’s just about girls,” he said. “It’s weird that whatever else is on your mind, whether it’s the downfall of global economics or terrible environmental troubles, the thing that always gets you most is when you fancy someone.”

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
But tell me you love me, come back and haunt me
Oh and I rush to the start

Nobody said it was easy

By the end, there’s a moment of truth.

Reality sets in that some loves takes more work than others.

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 going back to the start

George Harrison

While working on A Rush of Blood to the Head, Martin wrote “The Scientist” after listening to George Harrison‘s 1970 album All Things Must Pass.

“On the second album I was thinking there was something missing,” said Martin in 2005. “I was in this really dark room in Liverpool, and there was a piano so old and out of tune. I really wanted to try and work out the George Harrison song ‘Isn’t It a Pity,’ but I couldn’t. Then this song came out at once. I said, “Can you turn on the recorder?” The first time I sung it is what’s out there.”

Who is “The Scientist”?

According to the liner notes for A Rush of Blood to the Head: “The Scientist is Dan.” The band jokingly refer to Dan Keeling, the A&R rep who signed Coldplay to Parlophone, as their “scientist.”

‘A Rush of Blood to the Head’

A Rush of Blood to the Head won three Grammy Awards for Best Alternative Album, Best Rock Performance for the song “In My Place,” and  Record of the Year for “Clocks.”

Photo: James Marcus Haney / Atlantic Records

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