Coldplay – Champion of the World (Lyrics Review and Song Meaning)
Coldplay’s upcoming album is shaping up to be exactly what they told us it would be–a reiteration of the human condition. This new single, titled “Champion of the World,” is yet again a reminder of how we humans lay on the bricks of the roads we walk by ourselves.
“Champion of the World” released on November 20, 2019, just two days prior to the premiere of Coldplay’s brand new album ‘Everyday Life.’ Other singles off the album, “Orphans,” “Arabesque,” “Everyday Life,” “Guns” and “Daddy” all narrate stories we see out in the world on a daily basis. This album is a true reflection of life all around us.
“Champion of the World” is a song about trying. Many things in life are going to fail, but that does not mean it is the end of the world. The human condition is that we are built to fail, get back up and re-try. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” right? So, it is our duty to the humankind to keep on trying until we are a champion in someone’s eyes. Most importantly, our own eyes. Listen to the song below.
In the first verse of the song, Chris Martin sings how he tries to do things in life which might fail at times. “Getting it right” in life has no terms and conditions written in stone. You decide what your goal is and work towards it. You will fail the first time. Maybe you will fail the tenth time. But you still have your 11th shot left. So, try again and again. Every mountain you climb in your life is a risk, sometimes even suicidal. Challenges could be so hard that makes you want to end it all. But you will not get your headstone engraved with the golden words ‘A champion of the world’ if you give up.
In the second verse, Coldplay sings of how his dreams never took off. His plans backfired. But he is not about that giving up life. He asks the referee not to stop the fight–the fight for life. Because he still has some breath left in him and he will continue the fight.
Conquistadors from Spanish and Portuguese for “conqueror” were the knights, soldiers and explorers of the Spanish Empire and the Portuguese Empire. They are highly skilled fighters trained especially for combat. The challenges in life often seem like these Conquistadors, unable to defeat. But Coldplay has other plans and he will not stop at the face of unimaginable challenges.
The chorus suggests that destiny is something you create for yourself and nobody else. Chris Martin sings that when he sets sail in the ocean, he will head West. West is not considered an auspicious direction. Usually, captains would set sail heading North or East, which are generally considered auspicious directions. But Coldplay does not heed these superstitions because he has a bigger faith in himself than anything else.
These lyrics also suggest that Coldplay is also talking about a romantic affair. The right one will come along when you work on yourself and she will be the happiest person to be with you. If she is not, she is not the one for you.
The outro lyrics reference one of the most famous movies of this century. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) is a sci-fi movie directed by Steven Spielberg narrating the story of ‘a troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home world.’ The song references to the most famous scene of the movie where this kid carries this alien on his bicycle and rides into the sky with a full moon as the backdrop.
Coldplay further emphasizes that giving up is not even an option for him. You bite through the tough times and you stay humble through the peaks, and then you become a champion of the world.
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Check out the complete lyrics to the song below.