"Paradise" as written by Christopher Anthony John Martin, Guy Rupert Berryman, Jonathan Mark Buckland, William Champion and Brian Eno....
When she was just a girl she expected the world
But it flew away from her reach
So she ran away in her sleep and dreamed of
Para-para-paradise, para-para-paradise, para-para-paradise
Every time she closed her eyes

When she was just a girl she expected the world
But it flew away from her reach and the bullets catch in her teeth
Life goes on, it gets so heavy
The wheel breaks the butterfly every tear a waterfall
In the night the stormy night she'll close her eyes
In the night the stormy night away she'd fly

And dream of para-para-paradise

(Oh oh oh oh oh, oh-oh-oh)

She'd dream of para-para-paradise

(Oh oh oh oh oh, oh-oh-oh-oh)

And so lying underneath those stormy skies
She'd say, "oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
I know the sun must set to rise"

This could be para-para-paradise

This could be para-para-paradise
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

This could be para-para-paradise

This could be para-para-paradise
Oh oh oh oh oh oh, oh, oh

This could be para-para-paradise

This could be para-para-paradise
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

Lyrics submitted by vivigm6, edited by achilles890

"Paradise" as written by Christopher Anthony John Martin William Champion

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, THE ROYALTY NETWORK INC.

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Paradise song meanings
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  • +34
    My InterpretationThis song represents the attempts by a girl to maintain a child-like innocence in her life by dreaming.
    The first verse tells of a young girl who had high expectations (When she was a girl/She expected the world); these expectations could be the product of constant attention to fairy tales - expecting the world to be fair and just, where all girls can be princesses, marry their Prince Charming and live happily ever after - or simply being subject to an optimistic upbringing where the philosophy 'the world is your oyster' underpinned every lecture by parent and teacher alike. However, evidently the bar was raised too high and the expectations not reached (But it flew away from her reach) suggesting maybe a life not lived - plans not made, dreams not followed, opportunities missed, feelings not acted upon. At this the girl withdraws into her mind, acting out the life she would have led if Fate allowed her in her dreams (So she ran away in her sleep/And dreamed of para-para-paradise.../Every time she closed her eyes). The line 'The bullets catch in her teeth' indicates that in her dreamed-up paradise nothing can hurt her, nothing can go wrong.
    The second verse details how, as the girl grows up and matures, she faces difficulties and complications (Life goes on, gets so heavy) and some hardships she faces are enough to break her spirit (The wheel breaks the butterfly). In this line, it's assumed that the butterfly is symbolic of the girl - a beautiful and innocent creature - and the 'wheel' can be regarded as the 'Wheel of Fortune'. This was an Elizabethan Era worldview where each individual would pass around a circle from good fortune to bad fortune to good fortune and around again and so on - much like 'what goes around, comes around'. Therefore it's said that the 'wheel of fortune' has turned and the girl has met with misfortune and has had extreme physical or emotional difficulty in moving past it (Every tear a waterfall). But she perseveres and finds comfort and distraction in her dreams (In the night, the stormy night/She closed her eyes.../Away she'd fly/And dream of para-para-paradise).
    In the final verse, the girl is depicted 'lying under stormy skies' which could be a metaphor for her life's struggles or if taken literally, could act as a piece of pathetic fallacy. Her response to the storm - 'I know the sun is set to rise.' - reinforces her sense of optimism in life, allowing herself to believe that though her battle is great at the moment, the wheel will turn full circle, the sun will rise and she'll reach a level of peace in her life - her paradise.
    The last lines of the song - 'This could be para-para-paradise' - could reflect a changed mindset in the girl; for a while she had been languishing over her misfortune and finding solace in her dreams at night however, the words 'This could be' suggest uncertainty - that she's toying with the notion that changing a part of her life, altering some aspect of her existence will produce a positive outcome and maybe turn her unfortunate life into her paradise.
    amykmozeson September 28, 2011   Link
  • +24
    My InterpretationThe first time I heard this song was about 3 weeks after my beautiful daughter died of a drug overdose. Coldplay was on the "Today Show", and I was just going back to work that week, and had the T.V. on in the background. Still overcome with shock and grief, for some reason, when I heard this song, I thought "Oh my God... this is about her..". I started crying uncontrollably, because the words sounded so much as if it was written for my girl. I could not listen to music for the past year and a half because something always reminds me of her. But it's so weird that wherever I go, some store, restaurant, whatever... this song comes on almost ALWAYS. I think it's my daughter's way of telling me "Yes, Mommy, I am in PARADISE". At least that is how I interpret this. God Bless you, Chris Martin, for writing this song for my baby..
    nicmelaon January 22, 2013   Link
  • +11
    General CommentFirst of all, love this song. so much. as a piece of music, it's simply gorgeous and very creative.

    As for the lyrics. There are few. It's a simple message. At first lesson, I went for the idea that it's about a girl who isn't young anymore, but old either. Probably early 20s, and life is more difficult than she thought it would be (when she was just a girl, she expected the world, but it flew away from her reach).

    The line "she ran away in her sleep" is what tears me. At first I assumed it just her going to sleep and dreaming. But... maybe she killed herself? Maybe Paradise is heaven? Coldplay has been known to make religious references in songs. And in the chorus of "para-para-paradise", the background singers seem very angelic.

    BUT... then as the song goes on (life goes on, gets so heavy, the wheel breaks the butterfly) that makes me think that she is still going on with life, but dreaming of a better world (Paradise).

    And the last main lyric "I know the sun's set to rise" makes me think she has hope in her future.
    caitlinrose92on September 15, 2011   Link
  • +9
    General CommentIt says to me that when we grow up, innocence becomes lost, we fight our battles in life but we gotta never give up that hope.
    esacdason September 12, 2011   Link
  • +8
    My InterpretationThe song reflects how life gets harder when we grow up making it difficult to meet the challenges which we though could easily be met before. Despite the tough times however, 'underneath the stormy skies', 'the sun's set to rise', which means there is a dawn after every dusk. We all live on hope and faith in the end.
    freefallingheron September 17, 2011   Link
  • +7
    General CommentRegarding this song's meaning, Chris Martin has stated that it is easier to explain in the context of the album. Martin told MTV News Mylo Xyloto is a story, explaining: "It's supposed to be about two people who grow up separately in a very big oppressive city, and they each are a bit lost in their lives." He added that the pair meet in a gang and fall in and out of love before getting back together at the end. The singer went on to say: "Paradise is about a girl really, the female half of the album, just about being a bit lost in the world and escaping through fantasy."
    FloridaGuyon October 10, 2011   Link
  • +6
    General Commentthis song gives me chills every time i hear it. absolutely beautiful song.
    danaxo26on September 29, 2011   Link
  • +5
    My InterpretationThis song is beautiful. It has a new sound that Coldplay has never done before.

    I think this song is about how when we are little we think the world is a fairytale. When little girls are asked what they want to be when they grow up, they say a princess or ballerina. When she grows up, these thoughts fade away. She matures and realizes that life is not a fairytale. In the back of her mind she wishes she was a little girl still. "It ran away from her reach" meaning that she moved on and she is growing up. "Life goes on, gets so heavy, the wheel breaks the butterfly." The butterfly, I think is the little girl mind. When she grows up, her mind becomes less creative and more realistic. She might still have dreams about being a little girl. Dreams are where she can be whatever she wants. (her paradise)

    That's my interpretation
    music4hearton September 18, 2011   Link
  • +5
    My InterpretationThis song was written about a girl who finds the world isnt how she expected to be. The world is cruel to her. But she can always escape to "paradise" by closing her eyes and letting her imagination go... I think this song was written about me.
    luckygirl7on March 15, 2013   Link
  • +4
    General CommentMy favourite part is:
    So lying underneath the stormy skies.
    She said oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh.
    I know the sun's set to rise.

    She's going through a tough/dark time but she's still optimistic about the future.

    Such a beautiful song, I hope they play it when they come to Cape Town (I'm so psyched for this concert!!!!).
    moonbirdon October 02, 2011   Link

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