Arabesque is a form of artistic decoration that is mostly used in Islamic countries. The art was developed by the Ancient Persians, who made vases and adorned their palaces with brilliantly decorated tiles with intertwined flowing lines. The way these lines link with each other appear to be random, but they come together to form attractive, intricate patterns.
The title is used to illustrate the song's fuzzy mood, which combines Western rock and jazz stylings with Middle Eastern rhythms.
Coldplay are longtime promoters of unity among humankind, advocating peace and connecting cultures through music. They are saying in this song that we do not choose the country we are born in. Therefore, Westerners should not despise Middle Easterners just because they live in a different geographical location.
The song features a verse performed in French by Belgian rapper/singer Stromae. He talks about how drops of water from the same source eventually unite to produce great rivers. This illustrates that even when starting apart, we're all part of the same family.
Femi Kuti and his band contribute horns, while other members of the Nigerian musician's family also contribute to the track. "Arabesque" samples a early 1980s track, "Music is the Weapon" by Kuti's father, Remi, while Femi's son, Omorinmade Anikulapo-Kuti, plays the alto sax. The use of three generations from one family further illustrates the song's message that "we share the same blood."
During the outro, Chris Martin uses the f-word when sings "same f--king blood." This is the first studio release by Coldplay to feature the profanity.
This song and "Orphans
" were released as the first singles off Everyday Life
on October 24, 2019.