Cliff-pop-song-professor.png

Welcome!

My name's Clifford Stumme, and I explain the deeper meanings of popular songs. Let's have a conversation about what you think about the songs and go deeper together. Feel free to email me at clifford@popsongprofessor.com with questions or ideas!

What does "Something Just Like This" by Coldplay and The Chainsmokers mean?

What does "Something Just Like This" by Coldplay and The Chainsmokers mean?

And pssst! If you like something even deeper, check out my podcast about this song!

"Something Just Like This" Lyrics Meaning

Coldplay and The Chainsmokers are probably one of the more unlikely collaborations we'll see this year in music, but "Something Just Like This" may be one of the best collabs we'll see. Musically, it's entrancing. It's everything we love about The Chainsmokers' thoughtful and body-moving approach to EDM music with everything we love about the dry, smooth power of Chris Martin's voice. It's really the best of both worlds, and while the group is an unlooked for collaboration, personally, I'll be looking for more songs from these two groups. 

Of course, a song may sound great, but if it doesn't mean anything, that's all it every is--a good sound. Thankfully for fans of the two bands, "Something Just Like This" does have a deep, emotional meaning, if not a mysterious, "deep" one. The song is sweet, to the point, and I think you'll find what it has to say beautiful. 

Verse 1 

I've been reading books of old
The legends and the myths
Achilles and his gold
Hercules and his gold
Spiderman's control
And Batman with his fists
And clearly I don't see myself up on that list

Starting with verse one of "Something Just Like This," we notice that Coldplay and The Chainsmokers are setting up an idea later in the song. Here, Chris Martin sings about "reading books of old / The legends and the myths." He's comparing himself to the Greek gods and demigods as well as modern "gods," otherwise known as "superheroes." This isn't the place, but there's an interesting discussion to be had about how superheroes are the new "gods" of our era. The Greek gods and heroes were the subjects of epic poems told around campfires, and we read or watch tales about our superheroes all of the time! 

Well, whether they're new or old, The Chainsmokers and Coldplay see these heroes and realize that they aren't like them. They don't have the riches of Achilles, the strength of Hercules, the self-control and stamina of Spiderman, or the power and fury of Batman. They're normal people. And where does that leave them?

Pre-Chorus

But she said, "Where'd you wanna go?
"How much you wanna risk?
"I'm not looking for somebody
"With some superhuman gifts
"Some superhero
"Some fairytale bliss
"Just something I can turn to
"Somebody I can kiss/miss"

We see that The Chainsmokers and Coldplay are making "Something Just Like This" about a woman the narrator is in a relationship with. Chris Martin tells us that she ignores his thoughts on the list of heroes and instead prompts him to be a hero in an average, attainable way. She wants him to be willing to take risks and go on adventures. He doesn't have to be a superhuman or have special abilities or even sweep her off her feet into "fairytale bliss." Instead, she wants something she "can turn to" and "can kiss" or "miss" depending on which iteration of the pre-chorus you're listening to. She wants someone who is reliable, emotionally present, and affectionate.

Bridge & Chorus

I want something just like this
Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo
...
Oh, I want something just like this
Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo
...
Oh, I want something just like this
I want something just like this

It's at this point in the song that both the lyrics and music gain power. The words "I want something just like this" gain power because of the way Christ Martin repeats them, and the music gains power as The Chainsmokers "drop the beat" and bring heavy synth in. This is obviously the point in listening to the song when dancing is supposed to be at its craziest and when emotions are supposed to be at their highest. 

As for who's supposed to be singing these words, it sounds like either the narrator or his love interest could be expressing this sentiment, but I guess that it's both of them--her affirming her description in the pre-chorus and him vehemently agreeing.

Verse 2

I've been reading books of old
The legends and the myths
The testaments they told
The moon and its eclipse
And Superman unrolls
A suit before he lifts
But I'm not the kind of person that it fits

In verse 2 of "Something Just Like This," The Chainsmokers and Coldplay revisit the concept of verse 1 and further describe heroes and epic events that make the narrator feel inferior. "The testaments they told" refers to the books "testifying" to mighty deeds. The "moon and its eclipse" suggests epic events verging on the miraculous. The reference to Superman, of course, makes sense because he's the strongest, ablest superhero of all. And Martin ends the verse by reaffirming that he's "not the kind of person that it fits," making the return to the pre-chorus all the more uplifting and sweet.

The Deeper Meaning of "Something Just Like This"

Like I said earlier, there's not too much deeper in "Something Just Like This" other than what we see on the surface. The narrator doesn't feel up to the job of being in a relationship. He doesn't think he's good enough (and who doesn't feel that way?), but his love interest affirms realistic, healthy expectations for the relationship. 

I like this song because it's simple and sweet. The cover art is a picture of a young boy pretending to be a superhero, and I think this fits well because many people still want to identify with the precociousness and imagination and ambition of the children they once were. The narrator in this relationship feels like a child wanting to be a superhero, but his adulthood reminds him that superheroes aren't real and that he isn't one. The love interest's response, however, shows him how he can be a superhero for her even if he isn't for everyone else. 

It's a sweet and powerful song, certainly one, I think, worth listening to. I hope you enjoy "Something Just Like This" by Coldplay and The Chainsmokers

Podcast: Interview - Youth Pastor Who Teaches Pop Music in Sunday School (ft. Matt and Jennifer)

Podcast: Interview - Youth Pastor Who Teaches Pop Music in Sunday School (ft. Matt and Jennifer)

Podcast: Lady Gaga's "Million Reasons," Sincerity as an Artist & Super Bowl Controversy

Podcast: Lady Gaga's "Million Reasons," Sincerity as an Artist & Super Bowl Controversy