The title is unrelated to the lyrics. Chris Martin simply wrote this song while in Amsterdam.
The lyrics describe someone driven to despair, all the while trying to cover up what was happening as "no cause for concern." At the end, much like a friend opening up and spilling to another friend, a faster part of the song begins and the lyrics begin a confession of just how close to ending it all the singer really was... until the person he is singing to helped him out and in essence "cut him loose" from the rope around his neck.
The sound at the start is a simple microphone noise with heavy echo and reverb effects added.
Suggestion credit: Dennis - Toledo, OH, for all above
Barbara from Newie, AustraliaTop 10 countries w/ highest suicide rates and the Netherlands isn't even mentioned http://terrifictop10.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/top-10-countries-with-the-highest-suicide-rates/
Natasha from New York City, NyI think it's just me but I know this doesn't all make sense but didn't Anne Frank live in Amsterdam ? her "star was fading" and "i'd not be stuck here in this hole" and "I'd be dead on the surface" makes a little sense but i think it's just a coincidence.
Bean from New York, NyThe song could also be about a person in a bad marriage (note the lyrics - "this ball and chain") and they can't see a way out or of getting control back of their lives and it keeps bringing them down until a friend or someone special comes along and helps the person find a way out (final lyrics - "you came along and you cut me loose"). I can see where people get suicide from noose, but ball and chain seems more realistic to me and noose would be the metaphor or hyperbole as I think my English teacher might have called it.
Sined from Miami, FlThis songto me is about really releasing yourself... from feeling like there's no hope around you to finally saying the hell with it there's more to live than this... Awesome, definitely one of m faves from coldplay
Benjamin from Birmingham, AlIn about 3:47 into the song, it's as if the pressure inside of him just builds up too much. To me, the rest of the song after that means that he is emptying it all out from him to his friend.
Kilian from The Hague, NetherlandsI think this song is about drugs, and this person is tired of his addiction. For example: His 'star is fading', he doesn't get high enough from this drugs. Not anymore, but he keeps doing it and that's why he's 'dead on the surface'. I think the title song is named Amsterdam because Amsterdam is a place where you still can get lot's of drugs. And if these drugs falls into the wrong hands, you get songs like Amsterdam.
Adrian from Brookings, SdNot Amsterdam, Sweden has one of the highest suicide rates. And this is one of Coldplay's best songs. Just the piano and Chris' voice is enough to get the powerful message across. "I know I'm dead on the surface, but I am screaming underneath," just hits you hard when you first hear it.
Gerhard from Groningen, NetherlandsAmsterdam's suicide rate isn't "one of the highest in the world". It's nonsense. Show me facts.
J from Port Huron, MiI find the suicide Amsterdam/American debate quite amusing. I'm an American. I've been to Amsterdam. And the only reason I can think of for wanting to commit suicide in Amsterdam would be because you had to leave it. Great city. Great song.
D from Richmond, VaAmsterdam rocks
Brandon from Detroit, MiHere is my take on one of my favorite songs ever...this song was written about a guy (possibly Chris) who feels an emptiness that sometimes leads to desperate thoughts because he fears that he will never find love. Then maybe he finds love (possibly with Gwyneth) but they are afraid to show their affection for each other in public due to the press and the media frenzy that would follow. At the same time this guy is sick of just being in love behind closed doors and doesn't want to have to hide the way he feels when he is out in the public. Hence we get "I'm sick of the secrets." If anyone recalls, I remember reading in NME articles about Gwyneth partying in London and hanging out in England and everyone with no life in the states was wondering what she was doing there. Then a few months later Chris and Gwenyth went public with their relationship, or should I say the paparazzi went public with it. So the conclusion of this song is basiaclly about someone who goes through life's motions but with a great hollowness inside. Inside, he feels desperation like he is standing on a cliff looking down and then he found his motivation and drive and she cut him loose. That's my take.
Milou from Rotterdam, Netherlandsthis is so not true. some people here just make their own conclussions but if you do a little research you will find a very other reason for it than some of you guys come up with.
read: AMSTERDAM Chris: You know, certain songs when you're recording get much more attention than others because they're much more troublesome or you're much more excited about them because they're new or whatever. And Amsterdam and Green Eyes they've just quietly gone on the record you know and we didn't spend much time on them. That is, that is pretty much live, and it was just done. And we did it very quickly and then left it for more or less 4 months and then came back and mixed it.
John: We did it really quickly
Chris: It took, we did that in about, that was one of the songs that made it from the first session that made it through and it was just really quick, And it's a nice song. It's the only song that I can think of where the verse and chorus were written 1000+ miles apart and the end another 1000 miles. I think the end was written in Iceland. Iceland is the perfect place to write music I reckon.
Tanya from Rotterdam, NetherlandsHelen, I actually KNOW that a lot of myths that exist about America aren't true. I found that out when I visited America. Actually, that is the reason why I hate myths. They are always caused by prejudices by people that don't look any further then the tip of their nose. I know about the myths that exist in some country's about Holland. We kill our unborn baby's and old people just like *that*. You can get drugs here on every streetcorner. The thing is: it's not true at all. There is a lot going on here (in Holland) that is not right at this time, but it has nothing to do with our suicide rates, nor with abortion or with euthanasia. It has to do with how we treat people with other believes and lifestyles than our own. But I'm afraid that's not a Dutch, but a very global problem.
Charlotte from Palm Bay, FlI think this song is about someone on the verge of suicide, who finds someone that helps him see that life is worth living. Hence the line , Stood on the edge tied to a noose You came along and you cut me loose.
Helene from Horseheads, NyI personally know very little about Amsterdam, but I've never heard anything about it having the highest suicide rate in the world. I'd think that would be the United States, really - that's my opinion from living here, not based on any statistical fact I've seen.
Nearly every country has myths about America, mostly bad ones, according to my French teacher. Most of the "myths" I've heard are true about some, sadly, but a lot of them are only about the percentage of people who stand out by being that way. I'm not sure at all if any of the myths I've heard of are the myths you're talking about, but I'm just stating my opinion, I guess, which may or may not be true. Alright, that statement completely contradicted itself, as opinions are neither true or untrue, but...you see the point, I hope.
I am also aware that many of the ways I used myth in this were incorrect, but...again, you see the point, I hope.
Anyway, back to the song. Or to the song in the first place, as I don't really think I mentioned the song much yet.
This is a wonderful song. I absolutely love it. It's so...touching, sad, hopeful...
A lot of things, I guess. Just an all-around awesome song.
And, also, pertaining to a certain comment: the song is hard to play for some people. It depends on your level of ability. I, for example, would find it near impossible to play the song.
Tanya from Rotterdam, NetherlandsI don't know this myth. It must be an American myth... But then again: we have a few myth's about America ourselves, don't we?
Scott from Glasgow, United StatesAmsterdam having one of the highest suicide rates in the world is a myth, the song was written in Amsterdam and is thus called Amsterdam!
Garret from Indianapolis, InI believe those who insist the song has to do with the prostitution and tragedies in Amsterdam are talking nonsense. Christ Martin likes do write about the end times, death, and depression. Many songs on A Rush Of Blood To The Head can either be related to a romantic relationship or a spiritual one. The best conclusion I have come up with for Amsterdam is that it is simply stating how confused, stressed, tired, etc. he is and he is waitng for his savior. Wether it is a spiritual savior or a romantic relationship.
Martijn from Helmond, NetherlandsI do really wonder where this information about Amsterdam having one of the highest suicide rates in the world comes from? Because it's BS. Probably wishful thinking by people who believe that a liberal attitude toward sex, drugs and prostitution can't be good for a society. As it is the Netherlands has one of the lowest rates of drug addiction and teenage pregnancies in the world. Think about that!
Elmar from Amsterdam, NetherlandsI wonder whether Jo or zak have ever been to Amsterdam. It's the most peaceful city I've ever been and our suicide-rates are not at all among the highest in the world. As far as I've heard in interviews before this song was indeed written during a stay in Amsterdam.
Jo from Melbourne, AustraliaNothing to do with Amsterdam? I find that hard to believe as the lyrics "I'd not be stuck here in this hole" and "my star is fading" seem to me to relate to the prostitution, and to (as mentioned) suicide rates in Amsterdam.
Gabe from Utica, NyThis is another classical slow song. It has a very sad story behind it. And the piano is amazing. I'm proud to say that I can play the piano solo in the beginning. Concert version and studio version. This song puts me to sleep all the time.
Zak from Ganisville, Flthis song is about a guy who is going to kill himself. he has lost all hope "Come on, oh my star is fading And I see no chance of release". it is called amsterdam becouse amsterdam has one of the highest rates of suicide in the world.
In Gary Numan's "Cars," the message is that cars lead to a mechanical society devoid of personal interaction. This didn't stop automakers from using it in commercials. Both Nissan and Oldsmobile have used it in ads.