Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall


From WikiColdplay’Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall’ single artwork

Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall (often referred to as ETIAW), was the first track to be announced as part of Coldplay’s fifth album era and is the seventh track on the fifth Coldplay album, Mylo Xyloto, released on 24th October, 2011.


  • 12 Lyrics


Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall was made available digitally and on-air at 12pm (BST) on Friday 3rd June, except in the UK where it was released at midnight on June 4th.


It emerged that Chris Martin collaborated with I Go To Rio tunesmiths Peter Allen and Adrienne Anderson – whose original song was sampled on the dance track. The duo have a writing credit on Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall and Coldplay wrote on their website: “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall contains elements of I Go To Rio written by Peter Allen and Adrienne Anderson.”

Chris was inspired to write the song after watching the film Biutiful by Alejandro Gonzalez. In the film, there is a nightclub scene – during which a track is playing in the background, based on I Go To Rio by Peter Allen and Adrienne Anderson. As a result, Allen and Anderson are also credited as writers on Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall.

A statement[1] on Coldplay’s official site read: Dear friends, we’re about to play a bunch of summer festivals so it’s as good a time as any to put out a new song. ‘Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall’ will be available digitally on Friday 3rd June at 12pm (BST), except in the UK where it’ll come out on the stroke of midnight between Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th June. We’ll also stream it here on Friday and give it a run out at Rock Im Park. Love Will.

The announcement followed a number of teaser clues posted on the band’s Twitter and Facebook pages.

Chart Success

The song debuted at number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, selling 85,000 copies in its first week. It also entered the UK singles chart on Sunday 12th June 2011 at number 6.

Music Video

‘Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall’ video screenshot

Coldplay released the video online on Coldplay.com and via their YouTube videos channel, ColdplayVEVO[2] in the early hours of 29th June 2011. The video shows the band playing across various backdrops sprayed with colourful graffiti. The video was shot between June 14th and 15th June 2011.

It was filmed at Millennium Mills[3], close to London City Airport. Millennium Mills is a derelict turn of the century flour mill in West Silvertown on the south side of the Royal Victoria Dock in London. The mills also appear as the setting for a number of other music videos, including “Ask” by The Smiths (1986) filmed by Derek Jarman on the north side of Royal Victoria Dock, “Fluorescent Adolescent” by the Arctic Monkeys (2007) and “Take Back the City” by Snow Patrol (2008). As of 2011, the building remains derelict and is a destination for Urban Explorers who enter the site at high risk.

See also: Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall – Music Video

First reference

Further to the November 2010 Q article[4] revealing the inspiration behind Coldplay’s fifth album being old school American graffiti and anti-Nazi movements, Chris Martin spoke to The Sun about some of the tracks within said album.

Aside from song titles beginning with the letter U, Chris revealed there are tracks slated for inclusion on the album including Hurts Like Heaven and Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall, which will likely be the album closer. Describing the sound, Chris added that guitarist Jonny Buckland is coming into his own. He said: “‘Hurts Like Heaven’ is all Jonny. It only has two chords. The songs are group-y, its guitar-y. Johnny is coming out of his cocoon. We’re just trying some risky things.”

Chris said: “We’re hungry and very fired up. In five years we’ll be in our late 30s. You have to have your best work done by then. I’m trying to make sure there are three songs that start with the same letter. On the last album it was L. It might be U this time. One of them is Up With The Birds. It might be a duet, but we don’t know who with yet.”

First performance

Coldplay first performed Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall at a friends and family gig at The Forum, Kentish Town, London on 31st May 2011. They then continued to play it at the summer festival dates of 2011, beginning at Rock im Park Festival, Nürnberg, Germany.[5]

Recording at Glastonbury

Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall continued to be played live at subsequent festivals of 2011, and an official recording was captured by the BBC at Glastonbury on 25th June 2011.

Coldplayer’ ratings

Fans’ rating of ETIAW on Coldplaying.com’s front page after 48 hours

Coldplaying received so many comments about the song in the ETIAW subforum[6], both good and bad, that it was almost impossible to keep up with them all. The polls, however, spoke for themselves. Almost 2400 votes were cast in 48 hours.

Coldplayer’ reviews

Below are just a selection of Coldplayer’ reviews:

Since it’s been released, I’ve listened to Live 2003 a couple of times, Rock Am Ring live yesterday evening and ETIAW – in other words, I’ve listened to ETIAW probably more times than would be recommended, but I still love it! I don’t think I’llever set my virtual foot in the negative ETIAW thread! Compared to some of the older songs, I think ETIAW stands proud in the Coldplay catalogue… To me there’s real passion, and happiness for life that inspires this track, which makes it really enjoyable. I think the track could do without the bit that was sampled… But it goes well with the track, it doesn’t remove anything from it. If Chris wrote ETIAW or was inspired to write after hearing the original song, it makes some sense to include the sampling. That said, I’d like to hear an official version without it. I’m watching the Rock am Ring concert again (it took me 6 hours to download!) and I’m definitely looking forward to Every Teardrop is a Waterfall!! [thanks WH25]

As a Coldplay fan, I find this single very disappointing. This is weak, way under Coldplay’s full potential, so is Chris’ singing. It’s as if they only want to please the people who listen to hit radio and be number 1 in the hit lists. I was wrong at first by comparing ETIAW to gorgeous songs they made before, such as Spies, AROBTTH, Trouble and I Ran Away, songs that don’t use (catchy) melody samples that aren’t even their own (something they shouldn’t need at all). I was afraid they would be going this “big band with big hits” way. While I, and many other fans that have been following them for a longer time, am a huge fan mainly because of their moody, stripped down and goosebumps-inducing sound and deep lyrics, and also blowing-away rock, things ETIAW definitely doesn’t have. Now I realise that they can still do it, and ETIAW is just some kind of experiment and it proves that they can do whatever they want, although ETIAW could have been made by any commercial pop band. However that makes me afraid that people who are not fans will know Coldplay as a band that makes stadium-filling big songs, and they are missing out on the real Coldplay. [thanks Tryptophan]

ETIAW is incredible live! There is so much energy in the performance, and they all really seem to love the song. Chris kept smiling and even Guy (who I always find looks very serious on stage!) seemed really into it. It makes it an even better performance when the band is excited about what they are playing! While it may not be a musical masterpiece, it is still far better than half the crap out there. It is an uplifting tune with good lyrics, a catchy melody, and some lovely instrumental bits. It’s going to be fantastic for the festivals this summer as it is fun and easy to dance and sing along to. I think that Coldplay wanted to have some fun with this song, and they have definitely achieved that goal. [thanks Technicolor Sparks]

There is something positive about ETIAW for me. I won’t have to waste $.99 on the song. [thanks the_gloaming09]

My first listen was about a 6-7. Didn’t really know what to think about it. Then I found out about the sampling. Listened a few more times. Kind of grew on me. It sounds like Glass of Water and A Spell A Rebel Yell mixed together. I enjoy the song immensely. Very joyous and well constructed. But I do hope that LP5 will take on a different tone. When I heard the teaser for the chorus bassline, with the Radiohead-esque electronic sound, I was pumped. I’m just hoping for a slightly darker, more serious sound in LP5. A return to form, if you will. [thanks Squish92]

You guys thought Coldplaying’s reaction was intense, did you see what happened when Taiwan’s Parliament heard the song? [thanks matts05]

It is truly a very different and a bit too mainstream sound… I gues there’s nothing wrong with the band wanting to reach a different and bigger crowd. I personally don’t love it, and think is only a very fun summery dancin song, easily forgettable… but I think there’s nothing to be afraid about ’cause all the hard-root fans trully know Coldplay and know that we’ll still have them back…meaning we will hear the regular coldplay sound in the future. So, let them have their moment, it’s O.K. we haven’t lost them. Lyrics, for example, sound tipically deep and meaningful. Kudos for the band, keep up the great work. [thanks starearendil]

“So you can hurt, hurt me bad but still I’ll raise the flag” LOVE this lyric. Also in the beginning it mentions escaping into your favorite song. Who hasn’t done that? I know people have been trashing the lyrics but I think they are beautiful. I think people are stuck on this idea that since it is the new single and it’s been awhile since the last Coldplay release it needs to be a monumental, groundbreaking masterpiece. It’s a good solid song. And whats so wrong with it making people happy? That’s a good thing, the world needs more happiness. [thanks monkeeypantz]

I really dislike the song… First I was like…it’s nothing special but it might work. But now, it’s one of my least favorite Coldplay songs…Probably next to that old song No more keeping my feet on the ground…Which I can’t stand. Anyway… Having heard the other songs on YouTube I really hope that Every Tear won’t be on the album…Or if it is, that it will be a bonus track… Or at least NOT a single. Too lame for the leading single IMO. And yes, it disappoints me that they used the sample very much so! [thanks Strawberry Swinger]

I’m one of the fans who really likes ETIAW. Everyone is definitely allowed his or her opinion, and I can understand why fans who were waiting for the next “Yellow” are disappointed. However, spare some thought for the marketing aspects behind the single’s release. The single is meant to get people – some of whom may never have listened to Coldplay before – interested in the festival shows and in LP5. So the song had to be accessible to the casual listener, and the band went the danceable route to make it so. No, it’s not “Warning Sign” but it’s not crap, either. I have to smile a little and wonder, if media such as this had been around in 1967, we’d have had Beatles fans dissing “Sgt. Pepper” and longing for the times when we had lyrics such as “beep beep and beep beep yeah!” And seeing the videos from last night makes me even more eager for the album! [thanks JillyBlue]

I think the song is the sound of four people playing very tightly together and is actually a magnificent celebration song. If it is indeed the last song on the album, what a great way to end what could still be a rather intimate affair (we have heard only ONE song!). Also, in understanding Chris’ statement about making a final push to be the biggest band in the world, I think they have succeeded in making an organic sounding, yet large, pop song along the lines of U2. Love the energy, and am completely intrigued by their promotion (or lack thereof) for the album. Bands get tired of their tour/record cycle and want to switch up their sound and their strategy. They have redesigned everything, from stage, to clothes, to sound, and haven’t spoken one word about it like in previous campaigns. They dont need to repeat themselves or build hype after months of magazines and reporters living with them at the studio in building to the album release. They will simply let the music speak for itself. When a band the size of Coldplay say they want an album to come out with less fan fair, it’s hard to imagine how, but somehow, in typical Coldplay style, they have achieved just that. A large affair without any fan fair! Kanye tried this promotion style with his last album and in some respects it failed, the gamble didn’t work out with regards to album sales. But Google Coldplay and see how many sites are making the story up for the band. They haven’t had to do interviews with anyone and yet EVERY music source is writing long articles about the new single and forthcoming album. They are already getting all the promotion they need. It will be interesting to see if this works out for Coldplay. I hope it does. Good job boys. Haters gon hate! [thanks joshtimo]

It sounds so forced. they’re trying so hard to make this ridiculous dance epic summer singalong that will make everyone happy, but they tried to hard to do that instead of just making music the natural way it feels like they have the past four albums. this is so much more processed / commercialized sounding. I love the album Viva, along with all their other albums, and the song Viva was my least favorite on that album, it was popppish but at leassst it was original! That song sounds so much better now!!! [thanks Eh Steve!]

I think the reason why I am so disappointed with it is because I was expecting it be something it wasn’t. I first was thinking it could be something along the lines of acoustic, because as you said matts05, Chris has said the new album would be along the lines of intimate, and acoustic. The next thing I was thinking the song might be was a “punkish” song. I just got that kinda feel from the Artwork for the song, and the pictures of the band in the new clothes. But instead we got a dance song.. I guess I was just too hyped from all the little teasers the band put out weeks prior. I applaud the band for going down a new path. I tend to enjoy things that are new, and fresh. Thats why I loved VLV so much. It was a new sound, to a familiar structure of songs the band are well known for. I always loved Coldplay for singing about big things in life. Talking about the good, the bad, and the mysterious. This song talks about dancing the night away.. (Hmmm). I think this song will always be known for one of their biggest mistakes, like it or not. This song is just not my cup of tea. [thanks The Joker]

I am baffled as well. I like it. Is it The Scientist? No. Is it Clocks? No. But it’s really, really catchy, and that’s what Chris is best at, giving us songs to hum and sing along with. No, he doesn’t write Arcade Fire type lyrics. But give him a break. Will it be on the album? We don’t know, but I think Coldplay fans saying they’re going to give up the band completely if it’s on the album is a bit shortsighted. It’s ONE SONG, people. Enjoy it, dance to it, exercise to it, listen while you’re driving (Chris writes great driving songs). It’s really not that bad. We’re still Coldplay fans, after all. [thanks kittybitty]

I don’t totally dislike the song. That said, what a real fan does in my opinion is trusting the guys, that does not mean welcoming whatever they release as if it was gold even when it’s not that good, but thinking that if they wrote that song they had their reasons, be trying sth different, having a festival tune, or whatever, they had sth to express. I really can’t understand those who question their skills in such a dramatic way for ONE song that they don’t like, especially because the other new songs show the guys are still great. [thanks Steph589]

At first I was incredibly skeptical, maybe because I had built up the return to an unimaginable level, so I voted it a 6, maybe a low 7. After repeated listening, each time raising the volume just a tad bit louder, I would give it a solid 9. It’s not a Yellow or CLocks…yet. I disliked Violet Hill when it first came out, but after listening to it in the context of the entire album, I fell in love with it, so maybe that’s how it will become with this song. Also, Coldplay stated a while back that the album would be about Spray Paint Art…and Nazis. I actually listened to this song, picturing war refugees in Germany during WW2, and their expressions toward the war ending, and being able to sing and dance again. Their teardrops were a waterfall, but they were free, and thus joyous and hopeful. It’s not the Coldplay I’m accustomed to, but I do like it, and with each listen I like it more and more. [thanks danmets21]

I’m also no big fan of this song. So happy that the other new songs played at the festivals are way better than this one. I would also agree that it is the most flat song Coldplay ever made….I think Coldplay just did this track to jump onto the dance trend in popular music and as a seller for the new album. It does not even come close to Viva la vida, although I always considered this to be one of their worse songs. ETIAW starts in the beginning with this awful sample which I always associate with Verona Feldbusch (German fans will understand). Afterwards the verses always repeat this “stolen” melody, the vocals are not interesting, it is overproduced etc.. Yeah, live it functions a bit better but that does not change the fact that it will be on the studio album and sound very cheesy. The only things I appreciate about this song are the drums at the end and that it will be the final track on the album so I don’t have to skip! [thanks Sparks22]

Media reviews

“Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall”: B+ (Boston Herald)

Chris Martin does it again. He gives force to wimp music, beauty to base pop and the world another Coldplay anthem. The first bit of new music from Coldplay’s as-yet-untitled fifth album, an expected fall release, continues the band’s journey away from its dark, mopey Radiohead roots and toward the bright, modern universalism of U2. It also, oddly (and apparently intentionally) lifts the hook from Peter Allen’s “I Go to Rio.” Basically, the boys are joyous. And so is this stadium-rock track. “I turn the music up, I got my records on, I shut the world outside until the lights come on,” Martin sings over buoyant synths, ringing guitar and big drums. You can feel the love and hear the band’s next chart-topper all at once. [7]

“Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” is as sappy as its name suggests, and that’s great” (The Atlantic)

Chris Martin has a cold. Just listen to the guy. His vowels are long and thickly exhaled. His consonants are swallowed. That soft, nasal chest voice breaks every few words into an apologetic, crackling falsetto. There is a kind of permanent head cold in Martin’s voice and outlook, which might explain why he writes so much about feeling sorry for himself and finding cures. I was lost, I was lost oh yeah, but everything’s not lost, and I will try to fix you and also, stars. That is every Coldplay song in a sentence. Or, it used to be. Four years ago, the band teamed up with superproducer Brian Eno to make a record, Viva La Vida, that forced Martin and his bandmates to shrug off their mopiness. Sighing syths were replaced by rougher reverb, and symbol-crashing choruses gave way to primal thumps. The critics had a point: You can smear mud on sentimentalist sap, but you’re still dealing with sentimental sap. Even so, Eno convinced the group to drop the in-the-gutter-looking-at-the-stars motif and act like a rock band.

And today, the gang is back. Coldplay’s latest single, the dreadfully named “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall,” begins undreadfully. An angelic synth swell lays the foundation for a jangly electric piano riff that sounds like what you would get if Animal Collective remixed Peter Allen’s 1976 song “I Go to Rio” (thanks to Village Voice for the sharp eyes on the song credit, which lists Allen as a co-writer). Then everything gets very Coldplay. Martin’s voice, throaty and self-assured, kicks off a talk-sing verse. A guitar line takes the bluegrassy twiddle-diddle from the band’s “Strawberry Swing” and adds a few extra diddles. The monosyllabic thump of the kickdrum that dominated Viva La Vida comes back with clubby untz. There is a battle-hymn quality to the melody, a marching insistence that gamely sets up a chorus written to be sung and heard in a rock hall.

Must we talk about the lyrics? It will not surprise you to learn that a song titled “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” does not hold up well to textual analysis. As darkness is to Conrad, light is to Martin: He is pathologically incapable of writing two stanzas without multiple references to lights, stars, skies, or other bright shiny things guiding him, always, “home.” In the first two verses of “Every Teardrop,” we get two lights, one heaven, and one morning (Coldplay bingo!). There are “cathedrals in my heart,” and “every siren is a symphony,” and it’s all pretty horrible if you stop and think about it. But the point is, don’t stop and think about it. Martin’s words are more like percussion than prose, marking time, filling space, distinguishing verses and choruses. Listening to Coldplay for the lyrics is like reading a book for the page numbers. Insist on doing so and you’re missing the real work. Everything that Coldplay does is big. Even the “small” songs are stadium anthems. But the crux of Coldplay’s talent–yes, talent–is subtler than the music sounds. It is, very simply, melody. Or better yet, finding the balance between predictability and surprise that characterizes most successful melodies. Hundreds of bands play wistful choruses over the same four chords and don’t get much further than the garage or local bar. Most of them fail because their melodies are crap.

Chris Martin might be a soggy trunk of sap, but he is genetically incapable of writing abstruse melodies. They draw clear lines. They take a shape. They pose a question, and they give a satisfying answer. They open the chord and resolve the fleeting dissonance, and it’s all done deftly enough that the hook comes into focus just as it’s ending. Is this song any good? It’s a Coldplay song–a carefully orchestrated, melodically solid, hands-to-the-sky, all-around rousing rock anthem about, literally, crying. Does that make any sense? Of course not. Is that description abhorrent to you? Me, too. Which is why I’m carefully monitoring the volume on my earphones to make sure nobody hears me hitting the repeat button again, and again, and again. [8]

Coldplay take inspiration from Australian songwriter on comeback track (NME)

Coldplay’s long awaited comeback single ‘Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall’, which you can hear by scrolling down and clicking at the bottom of the page, takes a sample from Australian 1970s songwriter Peter Allen’s single ‘I Go To Rio’, the band have confirmed.

The track, which you can hear below, was released in 1976 on Allen’s fourth album ‘Taught By Experts’ and has since been covered by a number of high profile artists, including Peggy Lee. Allen, who died in 1992, enjoyed a successful music career in the 1970s and 1980s, releasing over ten solo albums. He has also seen his songs covered by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dusty Springfield and Olivia Newton-John. Coldplay have credited Allen as a songwriter on the list of writers for ‘Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall’ on their official website Coldplay.com, possibly as an extra precaution after they were sued by Joe Satriani in December 2008 over claims they plagiarized his 2004 track ‘If I Could Fly’ for their 2008 single ‘Viva La Vida’. The case was settled out of court. [9]

New Coldplay! And It’s AMAZING!!!!!!!! (Perez Hilton)

Wow. Wow. Wow. Chris and the boys really hit it out of the park! Not just a homerun but a grand slam! After a bit of a break in between albums, their brand new single is such a powerful, instant, undeniable, huge, global hit. It feels sooooo good on the ears! We can’t stop listening!!!! Coldplay at its best!!! [10]

New Song: Coldplay, ‘Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall’ (MTV)

Modern rock behemoths Coldplay just previewed the first single off their upcoming Brian Eno-produced fifth studio album, and it’s every bit as soaring as we’ve come to expect from the band. It begins with an airy riff taken from the 1976 song “I Go To Rio” by Australian singer-songwriter Peter Allen, and spins it into something uniquely inspirational. Eno’s influence shows, as do echoes of U2 and solo-era Sting. The lyrics are intimate, describing the singer’s inner state as he listens to music and contemplates life: “I turn the music up, I’ve got my records on, I shut the world outside until the lights come on,” Chris Martin sings, meditatively. But as the song picks up, with grand orchestration and a recurring, triumphant guitar lick, you get the sense you’re being let in on something much more universal as he croons “every tear is a waterfall.”

We’re not totally sure what Martin could have to cry about (with multiple accolades, beautiful children and a movie star wife, his life seems pretty good), but I guess we all feel bummed sometimes. In any case, “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall” has major summer smash potential, so teary waterfalls, be gone, Coldplay! [11]

Coldplay’s New Single is Streaming, And So Are Chris Martin’s Tears (The L Magazine)

Sometimes things with stupid names are not as bad as they seem. Sometimes things with stupid names are great, despite their stupid names. And one should never judge a book, a song or a person by its stupid name because that would be narrow-minded and callous, right? Wrong. Well, wrong for today. Coldplay’s new single, “Every Tear is a Waterfall” is streaming from their website, and it is precisely as shmaltzy and terrible as it sounds.

The lyrics speak for themselves. From them, and what we can gather, this is how it came about: Chris Martin was sitting in his darkened apartment, listening to his records and crying. Then he decided to write a song about the experience. And that is how “Every Tear is a Waterfall” happened. How did this happen? How can this have passed through the hands of the band, the record label, the industry execs without someone going, “Uh, what?” And who decided this was good? Because if it was wifey and (apparently) now-country-singer Gwyneth Paltrow, that would be cause for real tears.

Coldplay has had some good songs with artistic integrity. They have. And great, transformative, era-making music has come out of musicians’ “blue” periods (i.e. Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake, Elliott Smith, the list goes on). This is not one of those. Words fail. Listen for yourself. [12]

Coldplay in ‘not actually rubbish new song shocker’ (Holy Moly)

It’s all gone a bit rave-tastic. Well, a bit. It’s been a day for musical surprises, first Kaiser Chiefs released an album that you have to build yourself. Then we found out that Christina Aguilera and Adam Lambert were recording a duet* and then Coldplay released a new single, just like that. And we didn’t hate it. It’s not going to change the world, but once you’ve cleared the vomit from your mouth that arose when you read the title: Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall, you have to admit, this is a pomposity free, pleasantly spangly tune. Could do without the bits where he goes “ooh!” though. There’s no need for the bits where he goes “ooh!”. It’s crying out for a banging Tony Lamezma remix, isn’t it? [13]

Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall, Guys: The Wisdom of Coldplay (Riverfront Times)

There’s a strange interview lurking somewhere in the unpopulated regions of the Internet in which Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher calls Coldplay singer Chris Martin a “plant pot.” It’s a weird thing to say for more than one obvious reason: What actually is a plant pot? Should Chris be offended? Would he even care? How many people actually listen to Liam’s insults? Does any of this make sense?

The answers, after considerable deliberation, are as follows: I’m guessing just a pot for a plant, probably not, probably not, few and no. The last answer is the most important because it also applies to pretty much the entirety of the pot plant’s band’s new song, the tongue-out-of-cheek “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall.” Fortune cookie title aside, the song is the current zenith of two years of fans and skeptics waiting to hear what comes after Viva La Vida, which was produced by Brian Eno and significantly altered the band’s aesthetic and its crossover success. The aggressively low-pressure jam was released to Americans — the band’s fellow Brits have to wait another day — early this morning and, let’s be real, it’s groundbreaking. The early rise was worth it for the moments of stunning lyrical clarity, found in pure, Shakespearean lines such as, “I’d rather be a comma than a full stop” (Who wouldn’t?) and, “Maybe I’m the gap between the two trapezes” (Woah).The best part of that last one is that it functions as a rhyme with “knees.”

The single clocks in at exactly four minutes, which means you can listen to it fifteen times per hour, depending upon your speed at clicking “Play” and your knowledge of the Repeat option. At the very least, you have a minimum of fourteen chances an hour, and you probably should be doing that for at least three hours today in order to truly plumb the plant pot’s depth. As you listen to the song, we recommend making predictions for the full album, debating Chris Martin’s expression in the new press photos and considering the literal and figurative implications of every teardrop actually being a freakin’ waterfall. Shit gets deep. [14]

First song off their upcoming album finds the band in full-on uplift mode (MTV)

“You probably didn’t need that second cup of coffee Friday (June 3) morning if you heard Coldplay’s caffeinated new single, “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall.” It premiered while most of us here in the States were just waking up and is certainly the kind of tune that can jump-start a day. Vaguely trance-y, slightly meditative and most definitely sunny, “Teardrop” is basically four minutes of pure, unadulterated uplift. Beginning with shimmering synth stokes, building steam on guitars both strummed and bent skyward and kicking into high gear on a thumping, four-on-the-floor house beat, it is a song in a state of constant build, growing more massive with each passing second. It’s a single more eye-opening than a snoot-full of arabica. Frontman Chris Martin matches the wide-screen sonics with his lilting vocals, hitting the (many) “woah-oh-ohs” with aplomb and delivering refrains (“I turn the music up/ I got my records on”) with a wiry persistence. The latter only adds to the song’s dreamlike feel; the lines almost seem like a contemplative prayer, their repetition like layers in an ever-growing mantra that eventually leads to some sort of higher consciousness. The funny thing is, those lyrics — which are all about finding solace in music and strength in self — are also incredibly insular, and when paired with the unapologetically over-the-top music, they create a rather interesting dichotomy: This is, one can assume, a deeply personal song that Martin wrote for … everybody in the entire world.

Then again, that’s seemingly the only way Coldplay do things, and “Teardrop” is certainly a worthy addition to their inspirational songbook. It also seems to fit the theme of their still-untitled new album, which Martin described as being “about life, the good stuff, the bad stuff, everything.” And really, how can you sum up their brand-new single any better than that? So if I’m being a tad too professorial in my assessment of “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall,” you’ll have to forgive me … I guess I really miss that second cup of coffee.” [15]

Coldplay – Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall (Rolling Stone)

Chris Martin says Coldplay’s upcoming album is influenced by old-school New York graffiti, and in a recent photo the bandmates are dressed in neon chillwear like they just walked off the set of Breakin’ 3: A Brit-Pop Odyssey. But the first single doesn’t go for the sound of early hip-hop so much as its sense of year-zero possibility. Over a rave-tinged keyboard melody, leavened by producer Brian Eno’s rainforest-of-the-soul ambience, Martin sings of kids dancing until morning and heaven inside his headphones. When the drums kick in fully, it moves like “Sunday Bloody Sunday” by way of the Velvets’ “Sunday Morning,” a flag-waving ode to change-as-inspiration: “I’d rather be a comma than a full stop,” Martin sings. Coming from a guy whose critics take him for a human exclamation point, it’s a welcome sentiment. 3.5/5. [16]

Coldplay, ‘Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall’ – Song Review (Popcrush)

Coldplay‘s brand new single ‘Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall’ is as big as its title suggests. It is not a ballad, but an uplifting, room-filling Brit pop song laced with the band’s rock ‘n’ roll edge. While Coldplay have endured plenty of Radiohead comparisons throughout their career, they’ve turned the corner here, going for stadium-sized hooks a la U2 with this bold, bright, guitar-driven new song that is steered by Martin’s inimitable voice. Thanks to its massive size and scope, the four-minute monster more than makes up for all the time fans had to wait for new music from the band.

At about the three-minute mark, ‘Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall’ balloons with layered harmonies and faster guitar work. It’s as though vocalist (and Gwyneth Paltrow baby daddy) Chris Martin wrote the song with the express intent of performing in a stadium or at the Olympics. (Ahem — the 2012 Olympics will be held in London, so…) When Martin sings, “I turn the music / I got my records on / I shut the world outside until the lights come on / Maybe the streets alright / Maybe the trees are gone / I feel my heart start beating to my favorite song,” he pulls us into his world, where everything around you fades into the background while you focus on what you hear in your headphones. Speaking of which, you will pick up all the nuances of sound via a pair of earbuds. The song doesn’t fade out, either. It ends on a percussive note. You’ll want to listen to it over and over again. It’s a gorgeous mix of Coldplay’s knack for pretty melodies mixed with some escalating guitar work, despite not being nearly as polished as the band’s previous pop songs. The song comes in like a lion and goes out like one, too! 4/5 stars. [17]

The Singles Bar: Coldplay, Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall (Popdust)

It’s pretty simple, actually—if you like Coldplay, you’ll like this song. (And if not, what are you doing jumping to listen to a Coldplay song the day it gets released, anyway?) It’s got that big, stadium filling drum-and-guitar sound, a fantastically evocative synth intro (which reminds of Alice Deejay’s “Better Off Alone” to our ears, but then again, so does everything) and a crowd-pleasing, hands-in-the-air lyric about the almighty power of music (“I turn the music up / I got my records on / I shut the world outside / Until the music’s gone”). It gets bigger and more anthemic as it goes for its four-minute running time, and then suddenly it’s over. It’s thrills are far from unpredictable, but after the band’s two-year absence, you might be surprised as to how welcome they are nonetheless. Truth told, the compact swell of “Every Teardrop” doesn’t even sound so much like a comeback single as it does a concert opener, something to announce the band’s presence before delving into the real hits. But if so, we can’t wait for the rest of the gig—over a decade after their mainstream breakthrough, and with endless imitators in their wake, it’s as true now as ever that nobody does Coldplay as well as Coldplay themselves. POPDUST SAYS: 3.5/5 [18]

Music Review: Coldplay – “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” Single

Coldplay has released a new single which will be on their upcoming, as yet untitled fifth studio album. “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” still retains their signature pop-rock sound, but yet is refreshingly new-and old at the same time, with electronic elements and Coldplay-esque production style (Brian Eno and Rik Simpson return as the production team). The song begins with the rave-like synthesizer riff, over a swimming pad. Chris Martin then comes in with rousing lyrics: “I turn the music up, I got my records on/I shut the world outside until the lights come on.” The words certainly make me want to get out under the sun and just party the day away. Cue the electric guitar intro riff, which is not too impressive. But I’ll let that slide. The pounding kick drums give “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” its anthemic quality. Each beat of the drum calls listeners to pump their fists in the air in unison to the rhythm of the song. The lyrics are not poetic or deep in any sense of the word, but yet are able to reach into the very soul of the listener. The repetitive synth lines and guitar strumming and “dance-rock” beat isn’t the most complicated. But it is the simplicity of the song and perhaps Chris Martin’s stretched “oohs” that resonate so much with me. I’m not really a huge fan of Coldplay, but this song makes me excited to hear what it has to offer in their upcoming album.[19]

Stereoboard: Coldplay – Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall (Single Review)

The extent to which you appreciate the vibrant new Coldplay single can perhaps be gauged by objectivity. The band’s latest tunes, showcased at Rock AM Ring this week, have been received in ‘rapturous’ fashion according to one of their roadies. Meanwhile, you won’t have to search too hard on social networks to find the naysayers: “this one is ripping off so-and-so…”; “they want to be U2…” so on, so forth. Somewhat predictably then, the truth is that the ironically named ‘Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall’ is somewhere in the middle. Coldplay are far from bland, and whether you loved or hated Viva la Vida (and it’s needlessly long title), you had to admire their willingness to progress as a group. However, whichever way you look at it, this latest single is further proof that although Martin and co certainly don’t lack fear in regards to experimentation, their song writing can leave something to be desired. Lyrically, there’s some very clumsy stuff here, “Don’t want to see another generation drop/I’d rather be a comma than a full stop” being a particular culprit. The main melodic idea, mainly synth-based, is also a little uninteresting (even grating), but it does give Jonny Buckland a chance to shine with his underrated skills on the guitar. Once Chris Martin’s repetitive vocals disappear into the mix around halfway through, the track begins to pick up momentum, before its frustratingly abrupt finish. Some bands are well suited to this proclaimed role of ‘stadium kings’; just look at where Muse are. Coldplay are arguably even bigger, having played arenas across the world themselves for a good part of a decade, and there is no doubt that the anthemic nature of this track is very deliberate. ‘Every Teardrop…’ is far too linear to be considered alongside pop classics ‘Yellow’ and the Buckley-esque ‘Shiver’ (I still consider the latter to be their best song). Maybe it would be unfair to say that Coldplay have regressed, especially as this is the poorest of the new songs. But hey, let’s be objective: Coldplay are not the new U2, and they’re certainly not the new Radiohead, but they can definitely do better than this. [20]

Coldplay’s “Waterfall” Explores New Rhythmic Territory

Here’s the standard critical take on Coldplay’s new track, their first hint at their upcoming fifth album: Think really hard about every line, every word, every implication of every lyric and note. Prattle on about the transparent silliness of its lyrics, its lightweight, bouncy tune, its needless final measures–is drummer Will Champion just out to show us he can bang sticks on drumheads? And those lyrics–ugh! More clichés, more rhymes thrown carelessly together, more disjointed phrases stacked one on the other, a towering mess of poetic amateurism! Following this method, though, seems to miss the forest of Coldplay’s intent for the trees of their method. Let me explain. “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” is somewhat of a trap for Coldplay’s ever-present critics: the song bears its faults and shallowness so proudly that to bemoan them turns the joke on you. This is breezy, beautiful stuff, from the pulsing opening riff to the obligatory “ohhh ohhhs” of the final chorus. Chris Martin surely knows how to write things more weighty than this, yet he went the summer party route. No doubt his band’s busy festival season partly inspired that, but there’s something else going on here. It’s a thumbing of the nose at snobbery; a gutsy move, a kind of musical Light Brigade. Being a spectator never sounded so lovely. So what actually IS happening on this song? Well, those hoping for another “Speed of Sound” are in for disappointment. I regret to inform you, this is not a masterpiece. There’s plenty of fun to be had here, though, especially in the rhythm section where Mr. Martin has apparently handed over some of the creative
duties to bassist Guy Berryman and Champion. The martial stomp of “Waterfall” continues in the theme of Viva la Vida‘s “Lovers in Japan“, a delightful number quite similar to this newest single. This is a song to power your summer misadventures, particularly those accomplished on the open road. If you’re looking for pearls of sage wisdom, look elsewhere.[21]

The Oracle on Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall

The Official Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall symbol

February 4, 2014 – submitted by Anna, Denmark

Q. Hey there!

I saw the ETIAW question and wondered, if the building from the music video is the same as the one from Fluorescent Adolescent by Arctic Monkeys?

And if so, was the location chosen to make some kind of connection between the two?


The Oracle replies:

Yes it’s the same location but no there is absolutely no connection other than it’s Millennium Mills and frequently used as a location for film, TV and music videos.

One of which was my favourite Snow Patrol song’s video, Take Back the City.

October 10, 2012 – submitted by Lindajarousi, Finland

Q. Hi. My friend seems to think there’s a bagpipe in Every Teardrop is a Waterfall. She claims it’s a bagpipe when Jon plays solo with electric guitar. She was so certain about her being right that I got suspicious, so please tell us whether it’s a bagpipe or a guitar. Thanks a lot.

The Oracle replies:

Bagpipes? Wow, I’ve never been asked that before or heard anyone mistake the guitar for them. Now I listen again, I can sort of see why your friend could think that but no, there are no bagpipes on that track or any other Coldplay song.

August 20, 2012 – submitted by Daniel, United Kingdom

Q. Dear Oracle. I love how you’ve adopted the graffiti art form for the album. I was particularly interested in the music video for Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall which uses large quantities of graffiti. My question is, when you filmed the video at Millennium Mills, London, did you leave the graffiti behind, or was it just CGI? Thanks!

The Oracle replies:

The graffiti was real but no, it wasn’t left behind. The grafitti was removed by a team as each new shot was being set up.

Read more here.

April 10, 2012 – submitted by Ellie, United Kingdom

Q. In the building where ETIAW was filmed, was the graffiti kept on the walls, or did it have to be washed off?

The Oracle replies:

I have never been to the filming location as it’s behind a Private Property sign but a friend of mine who lives close by informs me that evidence of the video is left behind though not all of the graffiti remains.

October 6, 2011 – submitted by Colleen, France

Q. Hello oracle, I just happened to see the ETIAW video on a French TV music channel and the composing was credited to “Berryman” … I thought it was a strange way to put it, without the first name ! And was it only written by Guy ?? Thank you 🙂

The Oracle replies:

Song credits are usually listen by surname in alphabetical order (or full name in surname alphabetical order) which means Guy would be the first writer to be credited followed by Jonny, Will & Chris. I’m not sure why they only listed Guy but assume it’s because he is first in the credit roll but it should actually read Berryman, Buckland, Champion, Martin.

July 11, 2011 – submitted by Will, United States of America

Q. Good afternoon, Oracle!

Where was the music video for ETIAW filmed? I noticed at the beginning of the video one of the buildings looked awfully familiar to the Sears tower in Chicago.


The Oracle replies:

I can’t confirm where the opening shot is exactly, but yeah, it is actually somewhere in America. The rest is London’s Docklands as previously mentioned.

July 4, 2011 – submitted by Elise, France

Q. Dear Oracle,

I heard that ETIAW official’s clip was filming in Paris ? Is it true ? If it is, when the guys were filming and where was it exactly in Paris ?

Thanks a lot for your answer,

Best wishes.

The Oracle replies:

No, I think you may have misunderstood the reference to Paris in Roadie #42’s blog. It was referring to the graffiti artist whose name is Paris. It was filmed in London’s Docklands area.

June 16, 2011 – submitted by Amio, United Kingdom

Q. Would you explain a little about ETIAW video?

What is the sign that Phil has uploaded about the video?

The Oracle replies:

I love the way fans are hungry to know every single solitary last detail about what the band are doing but all I can tell you is the video – featuring the band – was shot at Docklands on Tuesday/Wednesday this week. I promise once you’ve seen it, I will tell you more. The photo that appeared was taken at the shoot so gives a hint of the feel.

June 9, 2011 – submitted by Daniel, Canada

Q. Dear Oracle

I really need to know, have Coldplay lost their touch? I know that they’ve collaborated with Peter Allen and Adrienne Anderson to write Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall, but do they now need to rely on other people writing their music for them? Is this the direction the band is headed?

The Oracle replies:

Er, Peter Allen is dead so that’s impossible! There has been NO collaboration. I don’t think people are quite understanding the song’s composition. To clarify: Chris was inspired to write Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall after hearing some chords in a nightclub scene in Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s film Biutiful (2010).

The chords in the film are part of a track that is based on I Go To Rio written by Peter Allen and Adrienne Anderson, released by Peter Allen in 1976. If you look at a clip on YouTube you’ll hear the chords for yourself.

As for other people asking if Ritmo de la Noche by The Sacados should also be credited the answer is “no”. Firstly, that is a cover of Chocolate’s song by the same name who sampled I Go To Rio. Secondly, they both came later in 1990 so hopefully they should have credited Peter & Adrienne.

June 6, 2011 – submitted by Bowen, United States of America

Q. Hey Oracle!

I watched the live stream of Rock Am Ring on Saturday and loved all of it, the boys reminded me why they’re my favorite band in the world. All the new songs are great.

I know that someone has said that there will be “no video” for ETIAW. So I guess my question is two-fold. First, why not? And second, does this mean that it isn’t the lead single from LP5 (or even will be on it)? Thanks Oracle, you rock!


The Oracle replies:

As you rightly notice there is no video – at the moment. That doesn’t mean that whoever told you there’ll be “no video” is correct. There MAY be a video. There may not. Oooh I’m annoying aren’t I? It must appear that everything is shrouded in secrecy right now but it’s not meant to be.

I just want to clear up that no album track listing has been announced so whether ETIAW appears on the album remains to be seen and is not for me to speculate upon. Until the album is mastered and totally ready it would be pointless.

ETIAW is a single. It’s irrelevant whether it’s a lead single or not as the album is still a while off. A single does not have relate to an album or appear on one, it can stand alone (as Christmas Lights did) but that doesn’t mean that it will or won’t.

Ah sorry for being slightly cryptic guys, you know I couldn’t say even if I knew (which I don’t).

May 31, 2011 – submitted by Lucy, United Kingdom

Q. Can’t wait for the new song on Friday. But I’m baffled as to why it’s not available to the UK first? Were we not the fans that put them on the map in the first place? Do the loyal British fans not matter to the boys anymore?! Sob!

The Oracle replies:

The UK chart week runs from 00:01 Sunday to midnight Saturday so that is the reason behind a slightly later release on our home shores.


I turn the music up, I got my records on
I shut the world outside until the lights come on
Maybe the streets alight, maybe the trees are gone
I feel my heart start beating to my favourite song

And all the kids they dance, all the kids all night
Until Monday morning feels another life
I turn the music up
I’m on a roll this time
And heaven is in sight

I turn the music up, I got my records on
From underneath the rubble sing a rebel song
Don’t want to see another generation drop
I’d rather be a comma than a full stop

Maybe I’m in the black, maybe I’m on my knees
Maybe I’m in the gap between the two trapezes
But my heart is beating and my pulses start
Cathedrals in my heart

And we saw oh this light I swear you, emerge blinking into
To tell me it’s alright
As we soar walls, every siren is a symphony
And every tear’s a waterfall
Is a waterfall
Is a waterfall
Oh oh oh
Is a is a waterfall
Every tear
Is a waterfall
Oh oh oh

So you can hurt, hurt me bad
But still I’ll raise the flag

It was a wa wa wa wa wa-aterfall
A wa wa wa wa wa-aterfall

Every tear
Every tear
Every teardrop is a waterfall

Every tear
Every tear
Every teardrop is a waterfall