"Spies" as written by Guy Rupert Berryman, Jonathan Mark Buckland, William Champion and Christopher Anthony John Martin....
I awake to find no peace of mind
I said how do you live as a fugitive
Down here where I cannot see so clear
I said, what do I know
Show me the right way to go

And the spies came out of the water
But you're feeling so bad 'cause you know
But the spies hide out in every corner
But you can't touch them no, 'cause they're all spies
They're all spies

I awake to see that no one is free
We're all fugitives
Look at the way we live
Down here, I cannot sleep from fear no
I said, which way do I turn
Oh I forget everything I learn

And the spies came out of the water
But you're feeling so bad 'cause you know
The spies hide out in every corner
But you can't touch them no
'Cause they're all spies
They're all spies

And if we all hide here
They're going to find us
And if we don't hide now
They're going to catch us where we sleep
And if we don't hide here
They're going to find us

And spies came out of the water
But you're feeling so good 'cause you know
Though spies hide out in every corner
They can't touch you no
'Cause they're just spies
They're just spies
They're just spies
They're just spies
They're just spies


Lyrics submitted by Ice

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

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Spies song meanings
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83 Comments

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  • +6
    General CommentI think this song is just about all the different things in life that are unescapable. worries, stressors, minor/major troubles of just everyday life and it's complications are always around, and there is no way to ever escape them. even when we think that we have somehow managed to escape them, we will soon find that they are just hiding in the background (like spies...). we always suspect them to present themselves but are always happy with every moment that they keep themselves hidden and allow to enjoy life.
    blue_dissenton May 07, 2002   Link
  • +6
    General CommentWe're all running away from our fears and worries, but we need to realize that they'll always be with us. They can't, however, hurt us, because they're just that--fears.
    ferrariguy90on February 12, 2011   Link
  • +4
    General CommentThis is a brilliant song and allows a lot of different interpretations (as some people have already said.) It's one of my favourites by Coldplay. The "spies" can be a metaphor for any sorts of fears you have that cause you to worry constantly and maybe get a bit paranoid. For me, the spies are actually just other people around you - it can often seem like they're spies that I have to hide my personality from, because I'm scared of their reaction. The bit at the end with the realisation that actually "they can't touch you, cos they're just spies" is so touching, and makes me feel much better about conquering these kinds of fears.
    CaughtYourRainbowson November 09, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentHe talks about the communism thing in one of his concerts, but that's not what this song was wriiten about. Chris Martin was joking about how the Chinese government misinterpretted the lyrics as being anticommunist. I think the meaning falls somewhat in line with what blue dissent was saying. Spies are just an analogy for for whatever worries you or gets you down. You can't live like a fugitive to your worries, cuz there will always be more worries lurking around every corner. Just live your life and remind yourself to not let your worries get the best of you.
    oktedson October 19, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentit seems to be pretty clear that chris is talking about paranoia. The paranoias of everyday life, "spies" are the things that we fear. It's about things that haunt us in dreams, and they can't touch us, because the only escape is waking up.
    mixtapebusrideon July 01, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe great thing about Coldplay and other great artists is that their songs have lyrics that can have multiple interpretations. Almost every Coldplay song can have something to do with love or self vision. As for the drug interpretations do not put it past them. I know for a fact that they at least smoke chronic, if anyone else owns the dvd you can see them getting ripped before one of their shows. And acid I wouldn't count that out at all.
    lukertown22on October 17, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI feel this song is referencing 1984. The fear of being watched, that the spies will come to get you in the night, they will certainly find you. The "spies in the water" might just be saying that the spies are everywhere you go, even in water.
    Marjosaon December 05, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's irrelevant what the so called "spies" specifically represent. They could be anything from drug induced anxiety, to real government spies. The spies represent something different to every person - they are the fears we all have, that we feel are inescapable. The song ends by switching the repeating lyric "you cant touch them", to "they can't touch you". Instead of hiding from your spies, live with them, they can't touch you, they're just spies...
    bustamuson March 17, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTHE most underrated coldplay song of all time. I say it's the best song live of any other on parachutes.

    Even better...it was banned in CHINA!!!COOL!

    Mysterious feel about it...and an incredible guitar riff. I don't think it's a reference to anything in particular...including china. Fankly, I think Chris may have been inspired by a book or story to draw out an abbreviated storyline about a world or place inhabited by many spies that are everywhere, yet are almost never visible. Spies that seek out specific people...or fugitives if you will.

    Early on, the guy the freaked out and anxious because of this...but in the end finds comfort and indifference to the spies...maybe learning that they are harmless after all.

    If this song is a reference to something in the real world...it's a companion to brothers & sisters.
    Tnspieler1012on June 02, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPfft. What's up with people assuming it's about LSD??? C'mon now. It's Coldplay. They don't need drugs to be poetic.

    So, I just have to say first of all, that this song is GORGEOUS!!! So haunting.

    Also, I think this song alludes to Orwell's 1984, or even just the eerie ways of some totalitarian and / or communist governments. You know, not being able to live life without fear and constantly having your actions monitered by 'spies'.

    Again, beautiful beautiful song.
    MissLetoon October 01, 2010   Link

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