42 is track #4 on Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends.
The fact that the band originally considered this song as the album's first real single underlines how far they're willing to a stray from their formula: It's an elaborate three-part piece, with swirling pianos, strings and beat loops that build to an uptempo climax, with some seriously stoner lyrics: "Those who are dead are not dead/They're just living in my head."
Entertainment Weekly printed an article on Coldplay and the new album with a new song slant on some of the songs - from the band's perspective. Here is the excerpt for 42: "It's a nod to U2's '40' and the Smashing Pumpkins' '1979'," cracks Martin, explaining this winding, three act opus. "I don't think you can try to be the best band in the world without having a song that's a number."
The song title "42" may have something to do with the 42 songs that were trashed during the X&Y sessions, or it may have something to do with the decision to make the record approximately 42 minutes long. It may also be a double reference to the answer to life, the universe and everything that appears in Douglas Adams' science fiction comedy series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, as other references have been made previously: the title of the song Don't Panic and the video to Talk, which showed a robot identical to Marvin the Paranoid Android.
42 was originally titled "Thought You Might Be a Ghost" during early album sessions.
The Oracle on 42
April 28, 2010 - submitted by Kassandra, Canada
Q. Hi there! This has probably been asked a zillion times before but I can't seem to find your answer to it, so what is with the whole 42 thing? Why is that number special to the band? Thanks!
The Oracle replies:
It has been asked a few hundred times that's for sure Kassandra but like many of life's mysteries, this one is also remaining as such! There have been many theories; it's not so much that it's a secret but the band do like to keep a sense of mystique about many things. It makes it open to interpretation by the fans too.
Those who are dead are not dead They're just living in my head And since I fell for that spell I am living there as well Time is so short And I'm sure There must be something more Those who are dead are not dead They're just living in my head And since I fell for that spell I am living there as well Time is so short And I'm sure There must be something more You thought you might be a ghost! You thought you might be a ghost! You didn't get to heaven but you made it close You didn't get to heaven but you made it close You thought you might be a ghost! You thought you might be a ghost! You didn't get to heaven but you made it close You didn't get to heaven but you oh-oh-ooh, oh-oh-ooh Those who are dead are not dead They're just living in my head
|Violet Hill | Viva La Vida | Lost! | Lovers In Japan | Life In Technicolor ii | Strawberry Swing|
|Life In Technicolor | Cemeteries Of London | 42 | Reign Of Love | Yes | Chinese Sleep Chant | Death And All His Friends | The Escapist|
|Postcards From Far Away | Glass Of Water | Rainy Day | Prospekt's March/Poppyfields | Now My Feet Won't Touch The Ground|
|A Spell A Rebel Yell | Death Will Never Conquer | The Goldrush | Lhuna (ft. Kylie Minogue)|
|LeftRightLeftRightLeft | Famous Old Painters | Lukas | School | The Dubliners|