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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 "All I Can Think about Is You" by Coldplay mean?

What does "All I Can Think about Is You" by Coldplay mean?

"All I Can Think about Is You" Lyrics Meaning

"All I Can Think about Is You" by Coldplay is a slow, soft, sweet song with one main message: the same message that the title so clearly lays out. All that Chris Martin's narrator can think about is someone he's romantically interested in. Musically, the song is very impressive, it feels like it travels over several different soundscapes and backgrounds as Martin feels out the different ideas and sentiments that the lyrics are built on. 

"Love is the only thing left that’s true"

There's really not too much to explain in "All I Can Think about Is You." The title does that well enough, but the lyrics are still so beautiful that it'd be a shame not to take a closer look at them and to delve into some finer shades of meaning that Martin infuses into them.

Stanza 1

Fish fell out of water
Bird stuck on the ground
Chaos giving orders
Everything is upside down
The whole world on a flight path
I wonder where they'll go
Trouble's on the outside I know

In the first stanza of this Coldplay song, Martin sings about the world going crazy around him. Fish fall up "out of water" while birds don't seem able to take off. He describes it all as "[c]haos giving orders" and as everything being "upside down." The point here seems to be that despite the world being like this, all he's able to think about is the woman he's interested in. An equally plausible explanation would be that at least for him, his internal world has been driven to chaos because he's so solely focused on this woman. 

He continues the descriptions of this chaos by saying that "[t]he whole world [is] on a flight path." The world is moving somewhere, perhaps leaving him behind, but all he thinks is to wonder "where they'll go." He's a little apprehensive about thinking about too much else because he knows "[t]rouble's on the outside." But for him that really doesn't matter too much because he's just too distracted.

Stanza 2

But now, all I can think about is you
All I can think about is you
If all that I’m on earth to do
Is solo, then what a lone poor shoe
I want to walk in a two

Here, Chris Martin's narrator tells us a couple of times that "all I can think about is you." She's the only thing in the world that matters to him at the moment; he's obsessed. The next line takes a step back to look at a more general problem with loneliness. He tells us, "If all that I'm on earth to do / Is solo," then he's really not excited about it. The exact words are a little garbled, and Genius.com thinks he's calling life "a lone poor shoe," but I think the word "you" may come in at the end. Still it's hard to tell, the best interpretation of the last line of this stanza makes this intended meaning a little clearer: "I want to walk in a two." He very badly wants to be with someone else and to not live life alone.

Stanza 3

It's all I can
It's all I can
It's all I can
It's all I can do
It's all I can do

In this very simple stanza, he reiterates the truth that all he "can do" is to think about her.

Stanza 4

Everything is falling all around you
It’s all I can do
All I can think about is you
It’s all I can
All I can think about is you
Love is the only thing left that’s true

Two new sentiments surface in this last stanza. First, he tells us, "Everything is falling all around you." The world seems to be focused on her as the chaos in his mental state seems to be emanating from her. And then at the end of the stanza, he tells us, "Love is the only thing left that's true." While the world may be chaos and he may not understand why things are the way they are, he decides to believe that he can trust love and seems to decide to pursue it. 

Deeper Meaning of "All I Can Think about Is You": Love Is True

As with so many good Coldplay songs, Chris Martin gives us something raw and sincere in his lyrics. There isn't a lot of lyrical uniqueness to go off of in this song, but that's because the music does play such a large role in communicating the emotion and meaning of this song. What we do get from the lyrics seems to focus on a few particular lines. 

Martin tells us that "[e]verything is upside down" and that "[l]ove is the only thing left that's true." It's simply interesting that when he feels his world is unpredictable, he goes searching for truth, and the truth he searches for is an emotionally satisfying relationship. I'm sure many people try to solve a confusing environment in many different ways, but perhaps we can all learn something from Martin's strategy.

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