"42" as written by Christopher Anthony John Martin, Guy Rupert Berryman, Jonathan Mark Buckland and William Champion....
Those who are dead, are not dead
They're just living in my head
And since I fell for that spell
I am living there as well
Oh,

Time is so short and I'm sure
There must be something more

Those who are dead, are not dead
They're just living in my head, oh
And since I fell for that spell
I am living there as well, oh

Time is so short and I'm sure
There must be something more.

You thought you might be a ghost
You thought you might be a ghost
You didn't get to heaven but you made it close
You didn't get to heaven but you made it close

You thought you might be a ghost
You thought you might be a ghost
You didn't get to heaven but you made it close
You didn't get to heaven but you oh, oh,

Oh, oh,

Those who are dead are not dead
They're just living in my head
Oh


Lyrics submitted by rorow1, edited by FistMountain

"42" as written by Guy Rupert Berryman Christopher Anthony John Martin

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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  • +11
    My InterpretationTo me this song is about falling into depression due to some sort of disappointment or loss in life.

    "Those who are dead, are not dead. They're just living in my head." "The dead" is meant to symbolize lost memories, hopes, loved ones, etc. Even though they seem dead they're still alive inside his mind because he can't let them go.

    "Since I fell for that spell I am living there as well." To me the spell= depression or whatever led to the depression. It's causing him to live in his head because he doesn't want to face reality.

    "Time is so short and I'm sure there must be something more." He knows there's more to life than what he's lost, but he just can't seem to find it.

    "You thought you might be a ghost. You didn't get to heaven but you made it close." The music starts to sounds upbeat and the narration POV seems to change from him talking to someone else to either someone talking to him or him talking to himself. I think this new voice is supposed to be positive.

    "You thought you might be a ghost." He felt dead inside and started to forget he was even actually alive.

    "You didn't get to heaven but you made it close." He didn't quite get where he wanted in life, but he did at least make it close and had the chance to feel happiness because of that which is something to be thankful for.
    neverpanicon August 04, 2012   Link
  • +4
    General CommentColdplay is all about the music in this one... How it starts off so serenely and then just surprises you... Ah, it's f**king incredible.
    lalunacrecienteon June 08, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWhat does 42 mean? from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?
    The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything?
    leafverton June 06, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think the speaker when he says "those who are dead are not dead, they're just living in my head" means people who've died but who he still thinks about. They are all memories. And he is falling for that spell because he isn't living a full life. All he's thinking about is death. Don't understand the ghost part, but maybe this is how he resolves it. He will just be a ghost so he won't have to miss out on anything, but he made it close to heaven because he was good
    legoman163on June 07, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentJust a personal application probably, but I see the song beginning in Hell narrated by the devil who "fell for the spell" of sin. Then it moves to purgatory with the chord progression and tempo change, a place that's not heaven but where the potential to rise there is possible. Finally Chris speaks for God repeating the same line from the beginning but with a hopeful sounding end falsetto, as if he is speaking for Heaven, a mystery. 42 is the number of the meaning of life, meaning this song might have religious undertones. Completely out of left field, but precisely what I see.
    neovinccion June 06, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI personally didn't think Coldplay could surprise me any more on this album after i heard Viva La Vida. This album is sooooo good! This song is just one of the high points on what is a fantastic album.
    RJ10on June 08, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment42 is the answer to life, the universe, and everything (according to Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy) , so that must make this song.......?
    tessasaurusrex7355on June 19, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe title "42" has to be a backward reference to the title "Don't Panic".
    I think the tone is mocking - questioning both those who are certain of heaven after death, and also those who are certain that this life is all there is.
    But what an amazing song! Beautifully written, structured, arranged and presented. The best.
    speedygeoffon October 28, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentDoes anyone else sense a vague connection with Romeo and Juliet? After all, the potion Juliet takes that makes her appear to be dead lasts 42 hours. This might be stretching it, but one who is a deeper thinker than I might be able to support this theory.
    abb9999999on November 17, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIf you add up the value of the letters in the word "Japan" (with a = 1, b = 2, c = 3 ... x = 24, y = 25 x = 26) you get 42.

    And in Japanese, "4 (shi) and 2 (ni) are together pronounced like 'going to death'" according to Wikipedia.

    Could be completely unrelated, but seems like a fascinating coincidence either way, especially given that Japan is already mentioned on the album...
    aparksmusicon November 21, 2008   Link

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