42

Album: Viva la Vida (2008)

Songfacts®:

  • This mesmerising epic about death is comprised of three distinct, seemingly unrelated sections. It was considered by the band to be its first single release from the album before they elected for "Violet Hill."
  • In Douglas Adams' comic sci-fi book and TV series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the number 42 is revealed as "the answer to life the universe and everything." Q magazine July 2008 asked Chris Martin if this song is Hitch Hiker's Guide related. The Coldplay frontman replied "It is and it isn't. 42 is my favorite number. 42 is just perfect. We've got two John Lennon songs, this and Violet Hill."
  • Chris Martin explained the lyrics to MTV News: "Well, the whole record is - if it were a Notorious B.I.G. record, it'd be called 'Life and Death.' Maybe because we've had some people close to us who we've lost, but some miracles - we've got kids. So, life has been very extreme recently, and so both death and life pop up quite often. It's called '42' because it's my favorite number. And I think it's probably in Will's top three favorite numbers too."
  • Chris Martin (from The Sun newspaper May 13, 2008): "It's our attempt at a Radiohead song. No, it's our 97th attempt at a Radiohead song, but the first one that's worked."

Comments: 9

  • 1991kira from Neaples, ItalyDo you know how to say 42 in japanese?? 4 is "shi"; 2 is "ni"... "shini" in japanese means "daeth"... Is may be this the meaning of 42???
  • Jason from Ogallala, Neyou didn't get to heaven but you made it close, you didn't get to heaven but you al-al-most- great line!
  • Jack from Detroit, MiA few weeks ago I read the band were hypnotized before they recorded Viva La Vida. I have a hard time not believing that the band channelled the lyrics. 42, could it be related to Orion's Nebula, M42? There's a theory going round that earth will be pulled through this mass of dust and clouds and that will be it. The songs speak of a great shift, a great change. How can we believe and not go bonkers?
  • K from Nowhere, OnWhat's that supposed to mean, 2 Lennon songs, 42, and Violet Hill??
  • Chloe from St. Louis, Mo"christianity reference"? benjamin, if thats true, this song is ruined for me.
  • Mitchell from Adelaide, AustraliaThe musical bridge onwards kind of is reminiscant of Bohemian Rhapsody, but the beginning reminds me of Us and Them by Pink Floyd, kind of like and english music mash.
  • Catherine from Dallas,I think this song is about not being able to deal with a death, and they aren't completely recovered "those who are dead are not dead, they're just living in my head".
  • Benjamin from Birmingham, Al"there must be something more..." - I think that there is a Christianity reference somewhere in that.
  • Andrea from Sønderborg, DenmarkThis reminds me a little of Bohemian Rhapsody, just not as complicated. It's fantastic anyway.
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