Coldplay’s “Trouble in Town” Lyrics Meaning
“Trouble in Town” is theorized to encapsulate Coldplay’s empathy for non-White people due to the persecution they face in certain parts of the world. This is made most evident during the interlude. This interlude features an actual recording of innocent African-American pedestrians being harassed by a White police officer. But as with other songs on the band’s “Everyday Life” album, the message of this one is intended to be more macrocosmic in nature.
So for instance, the line stating “my sister can’t wear her crown” is said to reference issues Muslim women who prefer (or are forced) to wear hijabs have to deal with. And the specific “trouble in town” which is mentioned in the title is the fact that the aforementioned types of individuals can’t find adequate “shelter” or “peace” in said areas. What they get in return is instead “more police”. The “more police” basically alludes to official law enforcement who basically devoid them of the aforementioned, as well as other basic rights.
So all in what is the central theme of this song? It can be said to be primarily focused on a specific type of issue minorities face in countries run by White people.
Does “Trouble in Town” reference Michael Brown’s Murder?
Michael Brown was an African-American teenager who was shot dead by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. This incident occurred on the date of 9 August 2014. It contributed to lots of protests in the States. Furthermore, it brought global attention to police brutality against minorities in America.
And yes, it is very much possible that when Chris Martin references his “brother brown” being “hung”, he is memorializing Brown. And in such case, the word “hung” would likely be an allusion to the act of lynching. Lynching was an earlier form of institutionalized murder in America. Many innocent Blacks were subjected to lynching during the Jim Crow era of American history.
Quick Facts about “Trouble in Town”
Chris Martin composed this track along with his Coldplay bandmates. We therefore have the following names as the official writers of “Trouble in Town”:
- C. Martin
- W. Champion
- J. Buckland
- G. Berryman
And the track was produced by a number of the band’s regular collaborators. One such collaborator is Rik Simpsons.
Parlophone Records was the label responsible for the release of “Trouble in Town”. They released it along with the rest of Coldplay’s “Everyday Life” album. And it’s release date fell on the 22nd of November 2019.
The biggest highlight of this song is its interlude. And what’s so special about the interlude? It features a conversation recorded by an innocent African-American pedestrian in Philadelphia. In the tape, the innocent civilian is harassed by a white police officer named Philip Nace.
Was “Trouble in Town” released as a single?
No. But here are the official singles Coldplay released from “Everyday Life”:
Does this Coldplay track use any samples?
Yes. It makes use of the popular African song “Jikelele”.
Meaning of the Music Video of “Trouble in Town”
This music video, which Aoife McCardle directed, is loosely based on a classic piece of English literature called “Animal Farm” (1945). In addition to making a direct reference to the book near the beginning of the video (“All Animals Are Equal”, “But Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others”), the people in the clip actually appear as anthropomorphic animals. In other words, they have human bodies but animal heads. For instance, Coldplay’s lead singer, Chris Martin, appears as a fox. And this is another allusion to the book, as in the novel the animals on the farm have human-like intelligence. Another way it is similar to the “Animal Farm” is that it depicts pigs as being in charge (i.e. politicians) of the animal kingdom, so to speak. Moreover like the actual “Trouble in Town” song, one of the major subthemes of the video is police brutality.
Maybe to some extent, like another piece of classic literature based on human-like animals entitled “Maus” (1991), the different types of creatures depicted in the video are meant to represent different races. For instance, we can definitely presume that the pigs symbolize White politicians. And arguably the foxes are representations of African-Americans. But even if such is the case, the visual doesn’t stick to this motif hardcore. Rather more than anything it just seems to depict prominent politicians as being an unfavorable lot and law enforcement as being biased against minorities and the defenseless.
Meanwhile it concludes by acknowledging that proceeds generated from the clip and the song itself are to be donated to two NGOs. One is the Innocence Project, an organization that fights on the behalf of wrongfully convicted prisoners. And the other is the African Children’s Feeding Scheme, which basically provides aid to poor South African children.