Beyoncé Joins Coldplay For "Hymn For The Weekend"
Raise your hand if you thought you had some pretty solid plans for the day. Maybe a little work, maybe a little school, maybe a little nothing. Well, too bad, because your actual plans for the day are to hurry up and listen to Coldplay and Beyoncé's "Hymn For The Weekend," a new song off Coldplay's possibly last album that features Beyoncé doing what Beyoncé does best: elevating every song to a whole new level of awesome. The tune is a party anthem-slash-gospel song that, according to Chris Martin, needed Beyoncé in order to get anyone to take it seriously. Considering when you listen to the "Hymn For The Weekend" lyrics, you realize it's essentially a gospel song about drinking, that might have been a good choice.
As he said about the origin of the song, "I thought I’d like to have a song called ‘Drinks on Me’ where you sit on the side of a club and buy everyone drinks because you’re so f*cking cool. I was chuckling about that, when this melody came — ‘drinks on me, drinks on me’ — then the rest of the song came out. I presented it to the rest of the band and they said, ‘We love this song, but there’s no way you can sing “drinks on me.”‘ So that changed into ‘drink from me,’ and the idea of having an angelic person in your life. Then that turned into asking Beyonce to sing on it.” I'm not exactly sure how that turned into Beyoncé singing it, but I'm glad that it did, because she sounds amazing. And the lyrics sound even better with her melodic voice turning a weekend of partying into a religious experience.
The song opens with Beyoncé singing a dream-like intro:
SymphonyOh-ah-oh-ahDrink from me, drink from meOh-ah-oh-ahThen we'll shoot across the skySymphonySo high, so high, so highThen we'll shoot across the sky
At first, you can barely understand what she's saying as her slightly echoey voice sets the scene by fading inward. Then, what she's saying almost sounds like gibberish for all that you can make sense of how these words and phrases fit together. Luckily, Chris Martin jumps in with the first verses to clear some stuff up.
Oh, angels sing from up aboveYou know you make my world light upWhen I was down, when I was hurtYou came to lift me up
Life is a drink and love's a drugOh, now I think I must be miles upWhen I was hurt, withered, dried upYou came to rain a flood
So, now we understand that Martin is singing about angels, or about one person who is his angel, who lifted him up when he was hurt, a thirsty man in a desert in need of a nice, stiff drink. That's really beautiful actually. Even more so when you get around to the chorus, which puts Beyoncé's opening words in perspective.
So drink from me, drink from meWhen I was so thirstyWe're on a symphonyNow I just can't get enough
Put your wings on me, wings on meWhen I was so heavyWe're on a symphonyWhen I'm lower, lower, lower, low
Ah-oh-ah-oh-ahGot me feeling drunk and highSo high, so highAh-oh-ah-oh-ahI'm feeling drunk and highSo high, so high
The chorus reinforces the angel imagery with the mention of wings, of being on a symphony, and being taken high. It also reenforces the drug and alcohol imagery, so you truly understand you are listening to, well, a gospel song about drinking. And, yet, it manages to be even more than that because it's also so clearly a love song, whether you want to apply it to a specific person or to angels in general. You know, like in the next verse.
Oh, angel sent from up aboveI feel you coursing through my bloodLife is a drink, your love's aboutTo make the stars come out
Which is basically the most poetic way to say "your love is my drug" since Twilight made "you're my own personal brand of heroine" famous. The final, repeated lines of the song are very haunting and sweet.
Then we'll shoot across the skyThen we'll shoot across the
While they kind of make me worry if Chris Martin will ever feel as high as he does while singing with Beyoncé, it's cute to think of a couple that's so happy together that they feel like shooting stars. (I'll just try not to think of what ultimately happens to shooting stars.) The song is very different, but in a really cool way, and the way that Martin and Beyoncé's voices blend is truly beautiful.
Check it out below.