A Sky Full of Scars by Coldplay (& Claire)
My Why audio version of this blog available here.
Last year, Chris came to me a couple of months before Christmas Day and asked me a question. Would he be allowed to spend my budget for him and his budget for me, on a Christmas gift for both of us that would be a surprise? Well, I’m a trusting sort of fellow, so I said yes. After all, he rarely goes wrong with spending money and is fairly cautious so I wasn’t too worried. On Christmas Day, having no idea what was coming, I opened two tickets to see Coldplay at Wembley on 20th August 2022. See, he’s usually worth the gamble! Of course, he quickly clarified that I had to take him with me to use the other ticket, and the giant laminated 'tickets' he'd printed weren't the actual tickets to use on the day (I did wonder why there were no details on them!) He said he wanted me to experience a stadium music concert, which I’d never done before, so I’m sure the gift was purely a selfless act on his behalf to help me widen my musical horizons.
As I’m not usually someone that gets excited about things until they happen, it was a lovely surprise but as it was eight months away, it was largely parked in a drawer until then.
As you eagle eyed peeps will have noticed, that date was last weekend, so last week the excitement began to grow, despite the train companies and their strike attempting to dampen it by cancelling our train to get there.
On the way into London I opened up a video on social media of someone interviewing people at the Coldplay Fanpark in BoxPark Wembley. BoxPark is an extroverts heaven-of-a-place near the stadium, loud, busy, lots of amazing different street food vendors, drinks and live music. The guy filming was asking people for their favourite Coldplay song and why. One thing struck me as people answered. So many of their stories were based around loss or grief, with the majority describing a memory attached to someone or something that was no longer here. Whether they’d lost a person, a job, health or various other things, almost all of them listed a song as being pivotal at a bad point in their life, and if it wasn’t a sad memory it was still something very meaningful like a wedding song. It reminded me of one of our guests - Lori Alcorn (Episode 24 - Loss of multiple pregnancies), she said this in her book, The Pregnant Pause:
The song was ‘A Sky Full of Stars’ by Coldplay and God had been bombarding me with it for a full year. Lori Alcorn
I actually got ready to film this one song just for her, and I got a bit of it, but it happened to be the song Chris Martin started, then stopped and asked everyone to put their phones away to be present in the moment for at least one song, so I couldn’t record the rest of it. Well, I could have but I’m not that much of a rebel.
Anyway, it got me thinking. If Coldplay’s songs resonate that much with people going through loss and grief, they must have a lot of lyrics that people connect with in their pain. I was instantly curious to see this, and then thought, what if you just took out those lyrics and put them all together to form another sort of song/poem? So I thought I’d do it, with some trepidation, I took all the relevant lines out of the lyrics from twenty-two Coldplay songs, cut them up and lay them out in front of me (there were hundreds of them! Well, it felt like there were), then I picked out all the lines that spoke to me most about loss, grief, love and hope (you know me, can’t miss hope out). Then I put them back together. I hesitate to say it forms a poem, more of a mashup really, a tuneless-lyric-sort of thing that tells a story of loss, love and hope from a mix of some of their songs.
And I think it worked. You tell me. After all, I did it for you really. I initially really wanted to make it rhyme but I quickly realised that was never going to happen without more than a morning’s work on it, so just a heads up, it doesn’t rhyme, but don’t hit the stop button feeling appalled just yet - there’s the odd accidental rhyme!
So each line is from a Coldplay song and no two lines that run consecutively are from the same song (although there were just a couple of cheat lines I put together). Maybe your favourite line from one of their songs is in there, see how many you recognise. It's really hard to read because I can hear the tune of each line in my head and the part of me that doesn’t know I can’t sing wants to sing it! If I was more musical I'd mock up the music version, but I'd get in trouble with song licensing people and I always imagine them a little scary.
I'm calling it A Sky Full of Scars and it’s for anyone that’s known the pain of losing someone they loved but also feeling they’re still near, cheering you on and helping you reach a place of hope in the loss. And it’s for you, whoever you are.
A Sky Full of Scars
By Coldplay (& Claire on admin)
Oh, they say people come, say people go,
Nobody said it was easy,
One minute I held the key,
You were there when I needed something for the pain,
And we swore on that night, we'd be friends 'til we die,
And so lying underneath those stormy skies,
You are my universe.
Happy I'm alive at the same time as you,
Dreamed of paradise.
I live for this feeling, it's everglow.
And I just want to put you first,
We had a kind of love, I thought that it would never end.
But the changing of winds, and the way waters flow,
Now in the morning, I sleep alone,
Oh, it hurts like so.
No one ever said it would be this hard,
When it feels like the end of my world.
Tell me you love me, come back and haunt me,
I just got broken, broken into two,
The wheel breaks the butterfly,
I don't wanna follow Death and all of his friends,
Oh, take me back to the start.
I'm like a broken record and I'm not playing right,
Or am I part of the disease?
I don't care, go on and tear me apart,
Could it be worse?
Oh my lover, oh my other, oh my friend,
It's such a shame for us to part.
When I called the mathematicians and I asked them to explain
They said, "Love is only equal to the pain".
Closing walls and ticking clocks,
Running in circles,
Searching for the water hoping for the rain,
Confusion that never stops,
Stuck in reverse,
Life goes on, it gets so heavy,
A spider web and I'm caught in the middle.
After all that we've been through,
Oh, you're so far away.
Now turn off all the stars 'cause this I know,
Nothing's really making any sense at all.
This particular diamond was extra special,
And nothing else compares.
You gave everything this golden glow,
Oh, let's go back to the start.
In the night, I lie and look up at you,
For some reason I can't explain,
You'll get me through,
You could turn my sorrow into song,
Look at the stars, look how they shine for you,
And it's so beautiful.
There's a light that you give me, when I'm in shadow,
You know you make my world light up,
'Cause you light up the path,
The moon and its eclipse,
Still I see you, celestial,
You're such a heavenly view.
I know the sun must set to rise,
Life is short as the falling of snow,
And I feel like a river finally arrived at sea,
Am I a part of the cure?
I think I see you,
And I saw sparks,
You're so beautiful.
That bright infinity inside your eyes,
I loved you to the moon and back again,
I'm so happy that I'm alive,
On top of the world,
You're still with me now, I know,
The light that you left me will everglow,
I'm going back to the start.