Is Coldplay’s song “Yellow” about cocaine?

If the cocaine you’ve been taking is yellow, it’s safe to say that it’s not the finest possible grade of Colombian. Originally, “Yellow” had no lyrics at all, except for the word “stars”—singer Chris Martin came up with the melody one night while the band was at a studio in Wales, gazing at the night sky, and then sang it for the rest of the band, mimicking the vocal stylings of Neil Young.

When the band returned inside, the word “yellow” caught Martin’s eye and the lyrics flowed out of him. “That song is about devotion,” Martin has said. “That’s just about somebody throwing themselves in a front of a car for somebody else.” And lyrics about Martin bleeding himself dry, or like “Look at the stars / Look how they shine for you”? Martin explained, “You’ve gotta have overstatement in your songs, haven’t you?”

(Excerpted from the 2006 book Is Tiny Dancer Really Elton’s Little John?: Music’s Most Enduring Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors Revealed, published by Three Rivers Press, written by Gavin Edwards.)