I'm Clifford Stumme, and I use literary analysis and research to explain the deeper meanings of pop songs. Feel free to leave a comment or to email me at with questions or ideas!

What does "Everyday Life" by Coldplay mean?

What does "Everyday Life" by Coldplay mean?

“Everyday Life” Lyrics Meaning

Life is often draining and difficult for people. This song doesn’t deny that. But it paints the struggles of life in a different light. Our struggles unite us. Because every human being has felt some form of pain, or failure or has cried, we already have so much in common. Our shared experiences are an indicator of our shared value and our commonality. There is a beauty in the good and bad of everyday life. Coldplay assures us that there is so much good in the everyday as well, and that it’s worth waiting for.

“Hold tight for everyday life” 

Coldplay’s newest song, “Everyday Life,”shares the name of their upcoming album, indicating its significance. The theme expressed here is similar to the one explored in “Arabesque,” another recent single. With the song’s comforting and hopeful perspective on life, in spite of all its imperfections, it’s likely that the album to come will focus on the human experience and the hope that can be found in it.

Verse 1

What in the world are we going to do?
Look at what everybody's going through
What kind of world do you want it to be?
Am I the future or the history?

The narrator begins by asking what we as people are going to do about the state of the world. There’s so much pain. There’s so much that can be fixed. He asks us to “look at what everybody’s going through” and help make the world more like what we know it should be. In asking if he is “the future or the history” he’s really asking if he has the ability to help change the world or if it will only get worse. 

Chorus 1

'Cause everyone hurts
Everyone cries
Everyone tells each other all kinds of lies
Everyone falls
Everybody dreams and doubts
Got to keep dancing when the lights go out

This is where the narrator explains why we should care about making the world better. It’s filled with people who hurt, who cry, who fall, and who may lie and doubt, but who dream as well. Humanity is united in our shared experiences. And he tells us that through whatever we go through, whatever we may face, we need to hold fast to hope and “keep dancing when the lights go out.”

Verse 2

How in the world am I going to see
You as my brother
Not my enemy?

The second verse is the only place where the lyrics are less broad and conceptual. Here, he is not addressing humanity, but a specific person or group of people. The narrator understands that in order to make the world a better place, he will need to change things in his own life. The change needs to start with him, and on a small scale. He doesn’t want to view people who have hurt him, or who scare him, or who make him angry as his enemies. He wants to see them as his brothers, because in simply being human they have so much in common.

Chorus 2

'Cause everyone hurts
Everyone cries
Everyone sees the colour in each other's eyes
Everyone loves
Everybody gets their hearts ripped out
Got to keep dancing when the lights go out
Gonna keep dancing when the lights go out
Hold tight for everyday life
Hold tight for everyday life

The second chorus finishes the thought of the first. Rather than pointing out that people sometimes lie, he says that “everyone sees the colour in each other’s lies,” and rather than saying that “everyone falls”, he says that “everyone loves.” This highlighting of the beauty in humanity adds onto the thought that while we share in one another’s pain, we also share in the same joys. It also projects a more hopeful tone about the state of humanity and the trajectory of the world. He implores us to “hold tight” when things seem hopeless, because it might not seem like it, but there is an intrinsic beauty in “everyday life.” 


At first light
Throw my arms out open wide

Here, the narrator tells us that hope is worth holding on to. He is seeing the world getting better. The beauty in the “first light” makes him throw his arms “open wide” and sing “hallelujah.” He is finding joy in “everyday life.” The sunrise isn’t just a sunrise anymore. It’s hope and assurance that if there are still daily magnificent beauties somewhere in the world, life is still worth breathing in.

Deeper Meaning of “Everyday Life” by Coldplay

In “Everyday Life,” Coldplay tells us that while life is difficult, it is also beautiful. We can have hope for the future, because good does exist, and your life is worth living. You aren’t alone. And while things may be difficult now, the beauty of everyday life will come back, and it’s worth the wait. This world does need change. You can help it to change. You can be the one who starts it, who joins in the movement, by having hope and by focusing on what unites us, rather than what divides us. 

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