Trouble” is a piano-based ballad that underwent many stages of development. In September 1999, the song was dominated by fast guitar riffs and aggressive vocals reminiscent of Supergrass. This version can be previewed on the Tour Diary of the Live 2003 DVD. By November, live performances of “Trouble” began to incorporate the piano. At the final recording sessions for Parachutes, the song was slowed down to its current form with the new guitar and percussion pieces.

Trouble is the third single from Coldplay’s debut album Parachutes. This was the band’s second Top 10 hit on the UK Singles Chart. Regional singles were released for UK/Europe, Norway (Live EP), and Australia (Double A-side). Promo releases included the UK, USA, and Taiwan.


  1. “Brothers & Sisters (New Version)” – 4:50

  2. “Shiver (Jo Whiley’s Lunchtime Social)” – 4:23

Cover images

UK/European video

“Trouble” music video

The original UK/European version of “Trouble” was directed by Sophie Muller, a frequent collaborator with artists like No Doubt, Eurythmics, and Blur.

In the video, Chris Martin is bound by his hands and feet to a chair in a freezing cold, dark warehouse at night. The other three band members are standing on an upper-floor balcony in dim light, watching Chris struggle with the ropes tying him to the chair. A black BMW and various other cars repeatedly circle Chris, their headlights shining and casting a silouhette of Chris singing.

Eventually another chair on the balcony is revealed when Jon Buckland and Will Champion turn on Guy Berryman and start fighting him. They drag him over to the chair as Chris spins on his seat and sings, while watching Guy getting incarcerated. Guy is tied to the chair in similar fashion to Chris and his head forced by hand to look forward. At this point, Chris’s struggling causes his chair to tip over, and Chris hits the ground on his side. He sings the final line of the song {“They spun a web for me…“), before the darkness suddenly turns to daylight.

A beautiful sunrise is then revealed, but as the camera zooms out, it is revealed to be fake and part of a large theater set, with Chris still lying on his side, tied to the chair.

US video

“Trouble” US Version

In October 2001, a newer version of “Trouble” was created for US audiences and it featured the entire band. The video is directed by Tim Hope and follows the motif of “Don’t Panic” by showing the band as two-dimensional cut-outs. The band are aboard a horse carriage that cruises along a forest. On the top of a mountain we see a woman inside a house, watering the plants. A little crow flies from the carriage up to the house, where it transforms into a more menacing bird. It flies over the house and turns into a black cloud, which pours rain onto the land. The rain burns little holes on the things it falls into, and crow feathers protrude from the holes. Finally a tornado grabs the house and lifts it from its foundations placing it along others in a more suburban setting.

Its lush visuals earned Tim Hope an MTV Video Music Award for Best Art Direction in 2002. It was also nominated for Breakthrough Video.

The Oracle on Trouble

April 11, 2012 – submitted by Ryan, Australia

Q. Hi Oracle,

I was just wondering why are there two music videos for Trouble?

The Oracle replies:

The first Troublevideo was deemed too dark for the U.S audiences so a second one was made. The second bears more than a passing resemblance to their video for Don’t Panic as both were directed by Tim Hope.

September 4, 2009 – submitted by Kevin, United States of America

Q. Hello great and wise Oracle!

I know there’s an alternate Trouble video that was rejected in the States for being “too dark”. Now that Coldplay is as big as they are, do you think this video will see the light of day again??

The Oracle replies:

That video was the original not the alternative so it hasn’t been hidden away; should be easy to find online given that it wasn’t banned or anything.

September 23, 2010 – submitted by Frances, Mexico

Q. Hi Oracle :B


My question is… is the girl from the Trouble video the same of The Scientist video ?

thanks for answer !!

The Oracle replies:

As mentioned before Elaine Cassidy is the actress in the The Scientist video. As I am sure you know there are two video for Trouble; there isn’t a girl in the original video and Elaine didn’t appear in Tim Hope’s alternative U.S version so the short answer is no.

January 23, 2009 – submitted by Mary Anne, United States of America

Q. Dear Oracle,

Coldplay got a major start in the US with Trouble. But out of curiousity, was there a time that Trouble was not the mellow piano ballad that we’re used to hearing now (released on the Parachutes LP)? And if so, is there a way that I can find a copy of the song? Thank you for your time. 😀

The Oracle replies:

I know not of a time that Trouble was not a mellow piano ballad… There has only ever been this version. The only other time I have heard Trouble played another way was a very short clip on their Live 2003 DVD of a sound check but it was never performed.

August 21, 2008 – submitted by Navid, United Kingdom

Q. Dear oracle

Why did the band wanted to make two different videos for Trouble? and I still don’t know which ones the official one!

The Oracle replies:

It wasn’t the band’s decision to have 2 videos for Trouble. The U.S label commissioned the second one because it was thought that the original one (you know, the one featuring Chris tied to a chair) was too dark for the American market, so a lighter, brighter alternative version was made.


Oh no, I see
A spider web is tangled up with me
And I lost my head
And thought of all the stupid things I’d said

Oh no, what’s this?
A spider web and I’m caught in the middle
So I turned to run
And thought of all the stupid things I’d done

I never meant to cause you trouble
I never meant to do you wrong
And I, well if I ever caused you trouble
Oh no, I never meant to do you harm

Oh no, I see
A spider web and it’s me in the middle
So I twist and turn
But here am I in my little bubble

Singing and I never meant to cause you trouble
I never meant to do you wrong
And I, well if I ever caused you trouble
Oh no, I never meant to do you harm

They spun a web for me
They spun a web for me
They spun a web for me…