Song of the Day : Cemeteries of London by Coldplay

London. by xMEGALOPOLISx

Cemeteries of London” is a song by English alternative rock band Coldplay. It was written by all members of the band for their fourth album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends. The song is darker than Coldplay’s previous recordings.


At night they would go walking
‘Til the breaking of the day
The morning is for sleeping
Through the dark streets they go searching
To see God in their own way
Save the night time for your weeping
Your weeping
Singing lalalalalalalalaiy
And the night over London lay

So we rode down to the river
Where Victorian ghosts pray
For their curses to be broken
We go wandering ‘neath the arches
Where the witches are and they say
There are ghost towns in the ocean
The ocean
Singing lalalalalalalalaiy
And the night over London lay

God is in the houses
And God is in my head
And all the cemeteries of London
I see God come in my garden
But I don’t know what he said
For my heart it wasn’t open
Not open
Singing lalalalalalalalaiy
And the night over London lay
Singing lalalalalalalalaiy
There’s no light over London today

The song was inspired by ghost stories, the Medieval practice of burning witches, and graphic novels. “Cemeteries of London” was influenced by other styles likefolk and Spanish songs, in an interview for NG-Magazine Will Champion said: “For me it’s a folk song…in its structure.”

Entertainment Weekly printed an article on Coldplay and the new album with a new song slant on some of the songs, on that interview the band’s bassist Guy Berryman said: “When I imagine the song in my head, I see London in 1850, a hell of a lot of rain and men in top hats”.The song is musically darker than most of Coldplay’s work, with a barrage of eerie noises. Martin has described it as a “ghost march”, it has lyrical references of supernatural issues and religious quest.

Chris Martin (from The Sun newspaper May 13, 2008): “It’s our attempt at a Smiths song. It’s about witch drownings. I was interested about that period in London where people were supposedly drowned for being a witch. And that’s where that song came from. About being accused of something you didn’t do.”

Coldplay recorded this song in a Barcelona church, which provided the distinctive echo. Bass player Guy Berryman told Entertainment Weekly: “When I imagine the song in my head, I see London in 1850. A hell of a lot of rain and men in top hats.”

This features some Spanish flamenco clapping. Chris Martin told MTV News that this was their first use of handclaps on any of the band’s albums. Drummer Will Champion added: “The Spanish flamenco clapping is incredible when you hear it done properly, although ours is a very crude and English version of it. It’s like more of a golf clap – ‘Good par!’ – or some seals.”


Origin London, United Kingdom
Genres Alternative rock, post-Britpop
Years active 1996–present
Labels EMI, Parlophone, Capitol, Fierce Panda
Associated acts Apparatjik, Rihanna, Jay-Z
Chris Martin
Jonny Buckland
Guy Berryman
Will Champion

image by xMEGALOPOLISx

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