• E.M.G.

Trouble, Coldplay

Listen to Trouble: https://youtu.be/GLnGToqKgq4


Trouble lyrics talk about guilt and regrets that can be felt when doing wrong with someone else.


Oh no, I see A spider web is tangled up with me And I lost my head And thought of all the stupid things I'd said Oh no, what's this? A spider web and I'm caught in the middle So I turned to run The thought of all the stupid things I've done And I, I never meant to cause you trouble And I, I never meant to do you wrong And I, well if I ever caused you trouble Oh no, I never meant to do you harm Oh no, I see A spider web and it's me in the middle So I twist and turn Here am I in my little bubble Singing out, I never meant to cause you trouble And I, I never meant to do you wrong And I, well, if I ever caused you trouble Oh, no, I never meant to do you harm They spun a web for me


This song follows a Rondo form : Introductive motive, Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Verse (intrumental), Closing comment and Verse (instrumental).


Measures 1 to 8 : Introductive motive

This introduction consists in the repetition of the 4 measures chords changes GM, E-, B-, B-. This progression sounds in the B aeolian mode.

A motive is played 3 times over these chords. This one is based on the B- downward arpeggio (FA#, RE, SI). Note the common tone SI which both belongs to GM (3rd), E- (5th) and B- (root).

What can be surprising in this motive on first hearing are the FA# over the GM chord (a major 7th !) and the LA over the E- (11th). Indeed, those tensions are rather unexpected in alternative rock !


Measures 9 to 22 : Verse

This verse can be divided in 4+2+4+4 measures.

Measures 9 to 12 : here begins the vocal melody, still based on the B- arpeggio (RE, SI, FA#) over the same chords changes as in the introduction (GM, E-, B-).

Measures 13 and 14 : here is a modal interchange with the FM and A- chords. It sounds in the F lydian mode. Note that this mode uses a natural FA and DO, instead of the FA# and DO# from the B aeolian mode (one of the mode of the D major key). So the sharp notes have disappeared ! Note that the F lydian mode is related to the C major scale and not to the D major scale.

As a result, remark that the SI which was the tonic of the B aeolian mode becomes the characteristic tone of the F lydian mode ! By the way, in these 2 measures, note that the vocal melody follows a downward stepwise motion RE, DO, SI and that among these 3 notes are the natural DO and the characteristic tone SI.


Measures 23 to 38 : Chorus

This chorus is made up of 8+8 measures. Chords alternate between AM and E-7, and the vocal melody stays around the DO#, characteristic tone of E dorian mode. This mode sounds brighter, and so it fits perfectly with the lyrics « I never meant to cause you trouble ».

Measures 39 to 76 are the repetition of the first 38 measures (introduction, verse and chorus).


Measures 77 to 92 consist in a solo over verse changes. From measure 77 to 80, note that the melody formed by the highest notes of each plated chords turns around RE (the related major key) and uses tensions (the 9th DO# and the 11th MI over B-).


Measures 93 to 102 : Closing comment

« They spun a web for me » In this part, the rhythm is much more slower. Chords changes are E-, F#-, GM7, AM. It sounds in the E dorian mode. The vocal melody still turns around RE, DO#, SI, FA#. Notice the use of the major 7th FA# over the GM chord again.


Measures 103 to 119 : solo over verse changes, with some modifications : chords have been added like the DM/F# passing chord between GM and E-, and the coda AM, GM/A, AM and B-, to end in the B aeolian mode.


What to remember from Trouble ?

In this song, Colplay uses a variety of technics to create a specific impact :


Compared to a usual rondo form, there are some modifications in measures distribution : in the verse (4+2+4+4) and with the closing comment.


The use of common tones in the melody, which become tensions with chords changes.


The use of various modes related or not to the D majord key, but always related to the lyrics : B aeolian, F lydian and E dorian.


The use of repetition.

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