Thursday, 11 December 2014

Fix you. . .

When I taught music in high school, Coldplay featured quite prominently in student choice for solo performances.  I'm not sure if it was because the students felt connected with the way lead singer Chris Martin would sit playing a keyboard on his own.  Fix you is a great track to teach students about the staggered entries of instruments.

When you try your best but you don't succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you just can't sleep
Stuck in reverse. . . 

It can very easy to slip into this.  I get that all the time.  There can sometimes be hollow victories or pieces of the puzzle that don't quite fit.  Remember as a child putting together jigsaw puzzles and you would swear that you had the right piece in place in the puzzle, so you'd try to force it to fit inside the puzzle frame.  But all you needed to do was turn the piece round and round, feel the edges a little more and get a better sense of how it felt in your hand, connecting the shape of it with the empty spaces on the puzzle.  This is sometimes how I feel when I get those pieces together.  It takes a lot longer to process (but hey, you get faster over time with more practice).  The brain seems like it doesn't want to rest, it's over stimulated and too aware of what's going on in the world.

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone, and it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

The introduction of the organ's upper register mirrors the higher melody notes.
It's that breaking point that the lyrics speak about with tears streaming down your face that is also mirrored in the almost breaking of the Martin's vocal.  That vulnerability in the voice is haunting because I feel like the song lyrics can make you weep as you would sing it.  There's something magical about the way emotions can be evoked in a song, particularly when despite the vagueness of the lyrics, the listener can automatically picture moments in their own lives that mirror that pain, that deep-seated agony that one must be forced to experience in order to feel peace.

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Piano and vocal harmony is added.  It almost feels like the lyrics of the chorus offers some respite and refuge from the storm.  The lights and ignition brings to mind the human need for warmth, for illumination (not illuminati) to strengthen us and be the light in our own worlds.  We can fall into that trap of trying to fix others and never focus on our own dreams.  Do you have trouble looking for the lights to guide your home?  How long have you waited for the lights to turn on at home so you could go back there?  Is there somebody waiting there to fix you?

And high up above or down below
When you're too in love to let it go
But if you never try you'll never know
Just what you're worth

The rhythm guitar enters in this verse giving some momentum to the song while the organ continues to play minims in the background.  The instrumental interlude that follows is the result of the building frenzy, the release imminent, but only after the thrashing that needs to be promulgated as a rite of passage.  When you have finished fixing other people's lives, not because you want to, but because it has become your lot in life - there will come a time when you will be able to focus on yourself.  There's a reason why you are the one that people always go to for help.

Have you ever asked yourself - are you the fixer or the fixed?

I hope that after you have finished raging through your personal storm in response to being a fixer for such a long time, that your services will no longer be required. I hope that you will empower others to be able to fix themselves.  A smart lecturer of mine once told me, "Strive to be the solution, not the problem."  If I am the answer - if you are the answer - why do we have so many problems?

Tears stream down your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes. .  .