It's the bane of any celebrity couple's public existence: The near-constant barrage of tabloid stories proclaiming that one or both of the famous duo are cheating, about to file for divorce, have a wandering eye, are pregnant or refuse to have children.
In the case of Coldplay singer Chris Martin and actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who have two children together and have been married for seven years, allegations of marital strife have dogged them for years. And while neither have deemed it necessary to respond to the persistent drumbeat of break-up rumors, their silence and the rarity of paparazzi spotting them together has helped stoke the tabloid press speculation.
On Wednesday (September 1), Martin may have inadvertently (or perhaps not) done more than anyone to throw fuel on the fire by performing a new, unreleased Coldplay song called "Wedding Bells" at an Apple computers event announcing new iPods and a social networking site called Ping. Martin suggested he was playing the somber lament-for-love-lost tune for the first, and possibly last, time ever. One listen to the lyrics and anyone inclined to believe the rumors might take them as proof positive of an imminent split, or, perhaps as a wry comment on their absurdity. Or both. Or neither.
The urgent piano ballad opens with the ominous lines, "Those wedding bells are ringing up upon that hill/ And I don't want to swallow such a bitter pill/ You keep on moving, but I stay still/ But I always loved you and I always will," before diving into even deeper territory. "Days of no sleeping caked in mud/ All kinds of poison in my blood/ I lost the only thing I ever loved/ oh oh oh oh/ I heard them ringing procession by/ Umbrellas in their clear blue sky/ And saw you swimming in that sea of white/ Oh oh oh oh/ If everything that went before didn’t matter … I always loved you and I always will."
Martin described it as the beginning of a story "that starts sadly, but that's the way these things [inaudible]."
Is Martin telling us something? Is he goofing on the press? Or is this meant to be a lament on the current state of his marriage?
What do you thing "Wedding Bells" is about? Let us know in comments below!