coldplay yellow lyrics review song meaning

Coldplay – Yellow (Lyrics Review and Song Meaning)

“Yellow” is one of those simplistic and minimalist songs that have endured through time for well over a decade now. Coldplay released this song in their 2000 album ‘Parachutes’ and it was the second single off the album. The song speaks about love and how devoted he can be towards true love. Since 2000, “Yellow” has been played and replayed and performed in concerts up to date, and the response of the fans has never ceased. The more you listen, the more it grows on you.

In countless interviews, Chris Martin of Coldplay said that “Yellow” was written with no one specific in mind. Where he drew the inspiration for the song, no one will know. However, Chris Martin did mention that the title “Yellow” symbolizes “brightness and hope and devotion” which also can be found in true love.

The music video for “Yellow” is as simple as it gets. The video shows Chris Martin on an empty beach singing the song and he is drenched.

Watch “Yellow” Video by Coldplay

The song is also written by the Coldplay members Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion and Chris Martin.

Download “Yellow” Single on iTunes and Amazon

Although very simple and straightforward, it is worthwhile to take a deeper look into the lyrics of the song.

coldplay yellow cover art
Coldplay “Yellow” single artwork          Credits: Wikimedia

Lyrics Review and Song Meaning of “Yellow”

Verse 1

Look at the stars
Look how they shine for you
And everything you do
Yeah, they were all yellow

First, we have to understand that Yellow in this song is an indirect reference to hope for a bright future. And the context of the song is being in pure love. So the singer says the stars are shining for you, because for him, everything that happens around seems to be a sign for them-their love. Note that in the night sky, stars shine a bright yellow as well, which symbolizes that everything gives him hope now because of her.

Chris Martin says that everything she does gives him hope for a brighter future for them. Her talk, her smile, her touch and her looks gives him hope for the future.

The whole world is yellow for the singer!

I came along
I wrote a song for you
And all the things you do
And it was called “Yellow”

The singer says he fell in love with her and everything she does. He writes a song for her, about how she makes him believe in love again and that song is “Yellow.”

So then I took my turn
Oh, what a thing to have done
And it was all yellow

The singer starts dating the girl and he thinks it’s the best thing he could have ever done. He was hopeful again and his future seems a lot brighter now.

Watch Coldplay Perform “Yellow” Live in Tokyo


Your skin, oh, yeah, your skin and bones
Turn into something beautiful
Do you know, you know I love you so?
You know I love you so

Chris Martin makes a beautiful reference to the humans in these lines. Skin is on the outside of the body and bones are on the inside. The singer is subtly saying us that she is beautiful on the outside and inside alike. I think this is one of the most enchanting lines of the song.

Verse 2

I swam across
I jumped across for you
Oh, what a thing to do
Cause you were all yellow

The singer did not swim or jumped across anything, literally. What these lyrics mean is that he had to overcome his own shackles and insecurities for this girl. And he thinks it was the best thing he has done, because this girl gives him so much hope.

I drew a line
I drew a line for you
Oh, what a thing to do
And it was all yellow

“Drawing a line” usually indicates setting some strong, clear boundaries or limits about something. However, in this instance I believe the idea the singer says is, he made some strong personal adjustments when he started to date this girl. Maybe he had some bad habits he wanted to let go, and with so much of hope for a future with this girl, he gave up on those habits so that he won’t screw up anything with this girl. If you think this means something else, do leave a comment below and we will discuss on it.

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Your skin, oh, yeah, your skin and bones
Turn into something beautiful
And you know
For you I’d bleed myself dry
For you I’d bleed myself dry

The same Hook from before repeats with an additional two lines, which are quite beautiful to say the least.

These two lines say how much he is willing to sacrifice to make this relationship work. This is figurative, of course, but it is one of those situations where it would be better dead than not to have this girl.

Verse 3

It’s true
Look how they shine for you
Look how they shine for you
Look how they shine for
Look how they shine for you
Look how they shine for you
Look how they shine

Again, Chris Martin emphasizes that the things happening around them are happening because of them-even on a cosmic level.

With that we are concluding the lyrics review and song annotation of “Yellow” by Coldplay and it was thoroughly entertaining for us to go through this timeless classic by one of the timeless bands. We hope you all enjoyed the read as well. If you did, make sure to leave a comment on your thoughts and opinions about the song, song meaning or what makes this song your personal favorite.

With that note, we finally give you a live and acoustic performance of “Yellow” by the group. Watch below.

3 thoughts on “Coldplay – Yellow (Lyrics Review and Song Meaning)

  1. I think the song is about a girl he’s in love with that also has a drug problem. “Look at the stars, look how they shine for you, and everything you do, yeah they were all yellow”. It’s night time and she’s up doing things under the light of the stars, probably because she on meth, also known as “ice”. Hielo is Spanish for “ice” and is pronounced like the English word yellow. Then he comes along and writes a song about all the things she does, “and it was called yellow”. Probably because she is doing “Hielo”. Then he says he “takes his turn”, meaning hes hitting the glass bowl with her. “Your skin and bones, turn into something beautiful”. She is nothing but skin and bones from the drug use, but she turns into something beautiful, because he loves her (or perhaps also because he’s high as hell and meth makes you extremely horny). Then he says he swims across, or jumps across for her. I believe this is talking about the waters of drug use/addiction. Like Jesus had to become a man in order to save us from ourselves, likewise, he becomes an addict or drug user, in order to be more relatable and understanding to her. Then he says he “draws a line”, draws a line for her, and it was all yellow. He’s chopping up lines of ice for the both of them now. He says that for her, he would bleed himself dry. So hes saying, weather or not she wants to get sober, he’ll be there with her to help carry her burdens/poisons. Either that, or he’s spending all his money on supplying her/their drug habit. I believe it’s the first one more than the later, because he says he swam “across for you”, and not “swam under for you.” Then he repeats “look how they shine for you”. Stars give off their light by burning themselves up. Likewise, this rock “star” is “shining” or “bleeding” out for her.

  2. I remember the first time hearing this song, in my early twenties and how it made me instantly feel what he was creating through the words he sang. Devotion dedication and unconditional true love. The one that has your heart and how you see the world now because of the light that has been put right in front of you. It’s called true love and this song gets me every time. I hope to feel this genuinely for someone someday. Over the years the song is in my top 5 favorites. Romantic at heart and searching for the one that shines so bright.

  3. firstly, I did not understand the lyrics when I first listened to it but you explained them beautifully… now this song will be on top of my playlist…

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