[SOLVED] Coldplay - The Scientist: Idea for an interpretation of two lines

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magicmulder's picture
Joined: 26/10/2015
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The lines

Coming up tails
Heads on a science apart

have always puzzled me. I think now I have found an interpretation that makes sense:

Heads/tails (as in "coin toss") connects two metaphors.

1. "Coming up tails" means "the coin toss always has the same result" which in turn means "fate leaves us no choice" or "we can't escape destiny".

2. "Head/Heads on a science apart" means "this leads towards a science that stands out on its own" or, more figuratively, "this is pretty much an impossibility" (I haven't heard "a science apart" used in that sense in English yet, but its German translation "eine Wissenschaft für sich" is an idiom meaning "a very complicated matter").

Combined, it means "trying to change fate / escape destiny is next to impossible".

Any comments?

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Ww Ww's picture
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1. 'Chasing our tails' means we are running around in circles without result, without a purpose to find for our efforts. Dogs run around in circles chasing their tails.
2. 'Tails' in 'heads or tails' in a coin toss is often considered to be the less desirable of the two possibilities. If your destiny is tails then you would have a fate that is less desirable than what you want.
3. Heads (the better end of the concept) would be a good fate, a better destiny. Heads - science -progress (logic that he says is not applicable to this).
4. You see toward the end of the song the reference
"Running in circles
Chasing our tails
Coming back as we are"
They are both engaged in actions/words that are not what is desired. The 'tails' end of how a relationship would then be. A destiny that is not 'winning the toss' (coin toss). If you ever notice, the usual first response at a coin toss is 'heads'.

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sandring's picture
Joined: 18/10/2015
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Hello, Magic! I agree with WwWw that heads stand for wins, tails stand for losses
as in the phrase "Heads I win, tails you lose". On a science (=according to a science i.e. Games Theory which is part of Probability Theory) the chance of heads or tails to fall out is the same, so as I see it he says that every up in their relations is followed by a down which brings them nowhere. Besides, coming up apart means that like in tossing the coin there's no alternative, it's either win or loss (head or tail). That's why they're running in circles in their relationship. The title and other words show that he's been trying to figure out how to scientifically resolve their problem and stop this law of equal chances. But the main conclusion is this - he looks on this relationship as a game that can be managed with the help of Games Science. Smile

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magicmulder's picture
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Thanks guys/gals for your feedback. Smile