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patterns of ink

How fruitless to be ever thinking yet never embrace a thought... to have the power to believe and believe it's all for naught. I, too, have reckoned time and truth (content to wonder if not think) in metaphors and meaning and endless patterns of ink. Perhaps a few may find their way to the world where others live, sharing not just thoughts I've gathered but those I wish to give. Tom Kapanka

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Coldplay in My Head

As I’m trying to finish Chapter 15-B, I had 60 Minutes on (which I don't typically watch) and at the end of the story about pilot Chesley Sullenbergert and the Hudson River Miracle, I was equally intrigued by the story about Coldplay that followed. Based on what you know of me from this blog, you're probably wondering why I have any interest in this band.

A year ago my daughter downloaded some songs on my laptop for me to “remember her by” when she was away at college. Her taste is a bit eclectic but there is a common thread in most of her “favorites” (at least in the songs she left there for me). Her choices tend to be lesser- known-but-up-and-coming artists who truly know music and sing intelligible songs. The lyrics are thoughtful new works or tasteful “covers.”
(Sometimes "new" is a generational thing. Having now seen some clips from live Coldplay concerts, "lesser-known" is something only an old gray-haired guy would say.)

Anyway, among the many songs she left me were some from an English band I’d never heard of at the time (though they are currently the #1 band in the world). The titles were “Yellow,” and “Fix You.” [Lyrics here.] It was that last song that especially struck a chord with me last year at this time and again last week. Watch it on the screen below. [The original video clip can be viewed at this site.]
"Fix You" by Coldplay


When you try your best but you don't succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
COULD IT BE WORSE?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

And high up above or down below
When you're too in love to let it go
But if you never try you'll never know
Just what you're worth

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Tears stream down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down your face
And I

Tears stream down your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down your face
And I

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you.

But the Coldplay song that has been in my head this week was not in Kim's collection last year. My youngest daughter and I listened to it on the way home from school Monday, so I googled it to try to figure out what it was talking about. It is called Viva La Vida, which is a RISE AND FALL story much like Shelley's "Ozymandias." Though the song does contain Biblical images, it seems more Napoleonic than ancient.

This catchy tune has become the most "downloaded" in history. (I say that as if the history of downloading stretches far back in time.)

I typically don’t watch “award shows" and don't plan to watch the Grammy's tonight (too much "culture shock" for one sitting, and besides, I'd rather write), but Coldplay is supposed to do very well with the following song. (Update: They did. See picture added at top.) I suspect many of you will likewise spend the evening in more meaningful pursuits... so I thought I’d post these Youtube clips of a band that has a surprisingly "clean" reputation--hope they stay that way. (Just as power currupts kings, Fame has a way or ruining artists.) The first clip looks like a really cheesy, low budget “before they were famous” video of the last video clip. [Hit "refresh" to stop a video.]

"Viva La Vida" by Coldplay (the lost Cheesy Video Version)


Less Cheesy Video of Same Song
(Lead singer Chris Martin is married to Gwyneth Paltrow)


I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own
I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing:
"Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!"
One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt, pillars of sand

I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can not explain
Once you go there was never, never an honest word
That was when I ruled the world

It was the wicked and wild wind
Blew down the doors to let me in.
Shattered windows and the sound of drums
People could not believe what I'd become
Revolutionaries Wait
For my head on a silver plate
Just a puppet on a lonely string
Oh who would ever want to be king?

I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can not explain
I know Saint Peter won't call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world
(Ooooh Oooh Oooh)
Hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can't explain
I know Saint Peter won't call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world


Update: In the comment section, LGS recommends another Coldplay song, "The Scientist," which seems to be an earnest plea to God (Lyrics here). It sort of reminds me of a poem I wrote ten years ago called "Wonder."

Chapter 15-B coming soon: "When Things Become Automatic."

4 Comments:

Blogger Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Hi Tom,
Indeed I was a little surprised to see you posting on Coldplay. Good on you! I recommend the song called "The Scientist".

8/2/09 11:22 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

LGS,
"Surprise! Surprise!" As Gomer Pile used to say. This old man, he plays two. He plays Knick-Knack (and Coldplay, too). =)

I listened to "The Scientist." These guys have some thought-provoking songs. Thanks!

Off to a School Board meeting!

9/2/09 6:18 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

You are so full of surprises. Your comment to LGS had me laughing so hard...it hurt! I'm getting too old for such pain-hold it down POI! Cold Play, who would have thought it?

10/2/09 4:32 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Nancy,
I am the antithesis of "hip." (As my use of the word "hip" proves.)

Remember... if it weren't for my daughters, I wouldn't have a clue. Then I just happened to see them on 60 Minutes and it was a very interesting interview. That song is still in my head two days later! And I do think they have something that clicks with these times. Here's something you'll like about them: they are all children of school teachers! Yep.

But I have been writing on Ch. 15 as time allows so I should be back to normal soon.

10/2/09 7:11 PM  

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