8 oracle items tagged as the scientist
May 12, 2015 / submitted by William, United States of America
Q.  Why doesn't Chris attend to his apparently dead woman friend and simply walk past her? Also, What was the basketball game and city walking meant to symbolize? A journey with life without her in a sped up summarized way? That still then doesn't explain the ending on a mattress in a BMX park.

For anyone who is confused by this question, William is referring to The Scientist video.
The concept is simply based around the line, "...back to the start", hence the backwards narrative.
Wikipedia doesn't give much more away but back in 2002, Jamie Thraves discussed the video in the band's official Ezine:

"I have to admit I did have a backwards video idea. It was very different but I couldn't believe it when I heard the lyrics, it just amplified the idea. There was an element of a happy ending with bittersweet emotion. It happened with Just*, I just think sometimes that an idea and a song come together like marriage and I couldn't pass up that opportunity.

It was a narrative backwards. I spent a long time thinking about the fact that if you watch it as a story, rewound it makes perfect sense. I had enough time to do it and it was almost shot in sequence. The first shot that was filmed was them in the car at the end.
It was meant to be as if it was forwards, so basically, I had to work in reverse. I had to visualize the camera angles and work out if it was going to show Chris walking from the right to the left. I had to visualize the cameras movements and then reverse it, it was really mind-boggling. As tough as it was and stressful, it was a lot of fun. I'm really pleased with the end result".

*Radiohead video that Jamie also directed.

I think you may just have to suspend your reality, William.
Music videos are (obviously) not real so don't read too much into what happens in any of them - they don't always make sense or relate to the lyrics.

FYI: Elaine Cassidy - the woman in the video - is currently starring in Paul Abbott's comedy drama, No Offence.

June 11, 2009 / submitted by Anggita, Indonesia
Q.  Dear, my lovely Oracle.

I read that it took a month for Chris Martin to learn how to sang backward for The Scientist video.
So here's my question. What does the "backward" means?
Well, my sister and I has been argue about these for a few days and its start to annoying me.
She said that Chris only need to read the syllable backward when I said he need to read the lyric backward for every single letter.
Example: no-bo-dy = dy-bo-no (her opinion)
n-o-b-o-d-y = y-d-o-b-o-n (mine)
Which one of us is right and please give the explanation also cos we both really need to know before we start to kill each other because of this.

Huge thanks and love for you.

You're more right than your friend who didn't actually change the order of letters in the above case. When you say/sing anything backwards it still has to be phonetically the same but broken down into new syllables of sorts. When you play the reversed version backwards it has to sound as the forward version does. That would only work if reversed in the correct sequence: no-bod-y would be y-dob-on (but the no would be pronounced as oan).

May 6, 2009 / submitted by Matt, United States of America
Q.  Did Coldplay really have to learn to play "The Scientist" backward for the music video?

The band didn't have to play any music backwards for the video. However, the reverse video did require Chris to lip synch backwards. It took him around a month to learn it and on the day of the shoot there were boards with the lyrics written on, just in case.

May 4, 2009 / submitted by Meli, Argentina
Q.  Who's the girl in the scientist video? Is she famous in England or something like that?
I'll appreciate an answer :)

I have mentioned her before but she's quite a well known actress called Elaine Cassidy.

April 24, 2009 / submitted by Misha, United States of America
Q.  Hey Oracle
I've got a question.
In The Scientist, there's a lyric that states chasing tails. I'm really interested to know what is supposed to mean because I've never heard that term before.

Thankyouuu C:

You know how cats chase their tails? Well this line means the same. In fact, it's as the previous lyric -running in circles.

April 22, 2009 / submitted by Corey, United Kingdom
Q.  I have been told that The Scientist was written in dedication to one of Chris Martin's girlfriends who died.

Nope, a friend of the band who had broken up with his girlfriend inspired it.

February 16, 2009 / submitted by Jean, Canada
Q.  Respected Oracle,

During the Twisted Logic tour, at the conclusion of "The Scientist", one could hear an added part that was, in fact, a recording of "The Scientist" played backwards. If you take this recording, and play it backwards, it sounds exactly like "The Scientist" from the album. Can you explain how Coldplay pulled this off?

I'm not sure how you mean pulled this off? Basically what you heard was, as you say, the track played backwards, not the band playing live.
As the video (by Jamie Thraves) was a reverse narrative, Chris did actually have to learn the song backwards. There's a version of the video available on The Scientist DVD single that plays it running backwards.

January 12, 2009 / submitted by Durl, Canada
Q.  Hullo, kind Oracle!
I have recently discovered that Coldplay's beautiful video 'Yellow' was shot with Chris alone because Will's mother's funeral was scheduled on the same day of the shooting. But as for one other beautiful Coldplay video, "The Scientist", I am quite unsure as to why Chris is alone in it. What was the reason?
By the way, with or without fellow band members, these videos are extremely stunning.
Thank you, all knowing Oracle.

Jamie Thraves directed The Scientist and he said, "Originally it was just a story with a character not featuring the band, but Chris is a really great performer it made sense to use Chris".