This acoustic-guitar driven instrumental was originally a full song with lyrics. However when a stranger described it as an "obvious single" the words were removed.
Chris Martin in Q magazine July 2008 said: "It's nice to not have a singer on the first song come in and ruin it. This is our milkman song, the most whistleable thing. We took all the lyrics off because this song was our only safety net.
This was co-written by Jon Hopkins. Drummer Will Champion told MTV News: "Jon Hopkins was a friend of (producer) Brian Eno's, and he has this uncanny knack of being able to play any song. You can play him a bit of classical music once, and he'll be able to play it back to you perfectly, from memory. He's an incredibly talented guy, and Brian brought him in because I think he wanted to free up Chris from playing keyboards too much, so he could do other stuff."
Chris Martin explained to MTV News why they decided to open with an instrumental: "The reason we wanted to start this record with an instrumental is to: A) do a good ringtone, which is what that song is, and B) not have to have too much singing everywhere. By your fourth album, people are sort of bored with the singer's voice, you know?"
Electronica singer-songwriter Jon Hopkins started his career playing keyboard for Imogen Heap. His big break came when former Heap guitarist Leo Abrahams introduced Hopkins to Brian Eno, who invited the shy 26-year-old to come by Coldplay's studio. "Brian invited me to come work with Coldplay for a day, and a day of jamming turned into a seven-year ongoing collaborative relationship," Hopkins recalled to Billboard magazine.
During the sessions, Hopkins played singer Chris Martin an original composition called "Light Through the Veins," which would eventually become this song. "It had a really kind of amazing effect. He looked like he was tripping out," he recalled. "A few days later, he said, 'That's got to start our album, we've got to work together on this.' I saw that all happen, just from taking a chance to play it to him in an opportune moment."