Coldplay’s Daddy: What do the lyrics mean?

Coldplay posing at MTV Europe Awards
Coldplay arriving at the MTV Europe Music Awards in Belfast 2011. Pic credit: ©Imagecollect.com /Acepixs

Daddy is the fifth song on Coldplay’s new album, Everyday Life, released November 22. The song is melancholic in the extreme and is clearly meant to tug on the listener’s heartstrings. It is a slow piano-driven tune, that’s about the relationship between a child and their father.

It appears to be about a neglectful relationship between a child and their father. Chris Martin takes on the role of the child.

In the first verse, the child appeals to her daddy to play with her, asking if he cares. It gives the sense that the father is nearby, but is emotionally detached.

This verse is followed by the pre-chorus, where the child acknowledges their dad is feeling in pain but remonstrates with him — “I need you.”

The chorus concentrates on telling the father that he is “far away.” It is obvious they mean emotionally, rather than physically. In the second verse, there is an appeal to the father, “Look, dad, we got the same hair… it’s my birthday.”

The child is perhaps trying to relate to him.

An alternative meaning to the song is that the father is physically removed from the child, perhaps an absentee father. The song finishes with the child asking daddy to come and stay at least for one day.

Whatever the true meaning of the song, it has undoubtedly left people feeling emotional as these folks on Twitter attested.

The song’s video was animated by Aardman Studios (Wallace and Gromit), featuring a girl in a pink hat out at sea in a rowing boat. She appears to fall into the water and spends sometime submerged, but emerged from the deep, riding on a dismembered whale.

She then falls back to earth through the clouds before mercifully landing back in the boat. On drifting ashore, her hand reaches out to touchingly grab that of her father.

When asked about the song and the video he created, director Åsa Lucander said,

“A few minutes into listening to the track ‘Daddy’ — it spoke to me in a way that stories and visual images began to dance in front of me. And when this happens you know that you are on to something very special indeed. I tend to get drawn to emotional stories and this was certainly one I wanted to tell.”

The song is out now as part of Coldplay’s double album, Everday Life.

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