SONG MEANING: “Hymn for the Weekend” by Coldplay is about finding the ability to do awesome things together with someone whose impact in your life verges on the “angelic.”
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“Hymn for the Weekend” has got to be one of my favorite songs from A Head Full of Dreams by Coldplay. The song is slow, yet strong, and it features Beyonce’s beautiful voice. The song’s about as pop music-ish as Coldplay can get I think, and Chris Martin the lead singer, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, backs me up on that:
“The original kernel was that I was listening to Flo Rida or something, and I thought, it’s such a shame that Coldplay could never have one of those late-night club songs, like ‘Turn Down for What.'”
“Hymn for the Weekend” grew out of a desire for Coldplay to have a club song that people could dance to, and I think it’s a great. Usually club music doesn’t have a lot of depth, but Coldplay manages to pull off depth as well as “pop hit” in “Hymn for the Weekend.” I think you’re going to like it.
The Meaning of “Hymn for the Weekend” by Coldplay
In the Intro, Beyonce sings, “Drink from me, drink from me / Then we’ll shoot across the sky,” “Symphony,” and “So high, so high.” “Hymn for the Weekend” is about, as Martin puts it, “the idea of having an angelic person in your life.” While the parts are somewhat indistinct, Beyonce does seem to be singing from the perspective of someone who is an angel in Chris Martin’s character’s life. She wants him to “drink from” her and promises that if he does find his sustenance in her, that they’ll “shoot across the sky”–he’ll be amazed by how good things will be as they go “so high.”
In Verse 1, Chris Martin responds to her call in praise of her: “Oh, angels sent from up above / You know you make my world light up.” She’s the kind of person who rescues people–she’s a force for good in others’ lives. Martin continues, “When I was down, when I was hurt / You came to lift me up”; the angel has helped him.
Continuing the imagery of going “so high,” Martin sings, “Life is a drink, and love’s a drug / Oh, now I think I must be miles up.” This new state of ecstasy and joy is a far cry from how he “was hurt, withered, dried up” when she “came to rain a flood” of help and support on him.
The Chorus is an interesting combining and weaving of voices as Martin sings every other line solo and the rest with Beyonce. Together, they sing, “So drink from me, drink from me.” They’re both partaking of who the other is and what he/she has to offer. They also sing, “We’re on a symphony,” and, “Put your wings on me, wings on me.” Music can be a metaphor for being in harmony with someone else, and the wings are references to angels and to that idea of “having an angelic person in your life.” That they’re both singing that line suggests that both the male and female in “Hymn for the Weekend” are being angels for each other.
The other parts of the chorus that just Martin sings are, “When I was so thirsty,” “No I just can’t get enough,” “When I was so heavy,” and “When I’m lower, lower, lower, low.” All of these have to do with feeling like you’re being defeated or in need of help from someone–a theme that the angelic-friend-or-lover theme counters. When Martin is in need, what he really needs is this other person.
In the Post-chorus, Martin sings, “Got me feeling drunk and high.” He’s befuddled and feeling alive at the same time. It’s a mix of emotions, and he’s not sure what to do with it. She’s a positive but also confusing force in his life.
In the Second Verse, Martin (with Beyonce on backup vocals) sings, “Oh, angels sent from up above / I feel it coursing through my blood.” The power she gives him to feel alive is working on him, and he can tell–he can feel it in his body. He sings, “Life is a drink,” because he’s intoxicated by her, and she’s made life look different for him, much the same way too much alcohol can make a person see things differently. Martin finishes the verse, “[Y]our love’s about / To make the stars come out,” in testament to how much power to make his life better she has.
After a Bridge that repeats some of Martin’s words about being “drunk and high,” Beyonce Outro’s the song, singing “Then we’ll shoot across the sky,” several times over. Because the couple is together and can give the “angelic” gifts they may have to each other, they will be able to do extraordinary things.
Clifford Stumme has his master’s in English literature and is a blogger and a college instructor/desk-watcher at Liberty University. He likes juggling and reading/writing, and he is married to the wonderful and beautiful Wife April. He thinks pop music is awesome. Seriously awesome.