Saturday, May 26, 2007

White Shadows

The most listened to track on my iTunes player is White Shadows by Coldplay. Like many of Coldplay’s songs it seems to resonate with an effortless spirituality but until today I’ve been pretty vexed as to what the lyrics are all about. My moment of revelation into this musical mystery happened in the Bothy Gallery at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park which features work by Andy Goldsworthy. Several photographs were displayed with the title Frost Shadows. In his own words Goldsworthy describes how he stands still with his back to the sun early on chilly winter mornings. Slowly but surely the sun rises and its rays begin to melt away the frost from the grass - apart from in the areas obscured by his shadow. The result is, in the words of Chris Martin, white shadows that sparkle and glisten.

Going back to the spirituality of the song, I think that it can be found in its brave exploration of human transience. Rather like some of the Psalms or the book of Ecclesiastes it is centred beyond the self, it reaches towards eternity for perspective. I don’t know why it never made a full release on its own merit – it’s much to good for album fodder.

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