"When I Need a Friend" is a song by Coldplay from their eighth studio album, Everyday Life. It is the eighth and final track of the album's first side, Sunrise.

Background and composition[edit | edit source]

In a track by track interview for Apple Music, Chris Martin said the song was inspired by his interest in listening to church and gospel music as a child. In addition to that, he also said it was inspired by an attempt to make a song that his mother, Alison Martin, might like.[1]

The song features the London Voices choir conducted by Ben Parry, while the strings sessions were arranged by John Metcalfe. As described by British music website NME, it "plays out like a modern hymn" with Martin's "sombre chants".[2]

The song outro includes a sample in Castilian from the 2012 documentary Everything Is Incredible, which tells the story about late Don Agustín López Pacheco, a Honduran man who, despite being disabled by polio, had been building his own helicopter for the past 50 years. The sound of rainfall in the background comes from the same documentary.[3] Agustín's story also inspired another song on the album, "Champion of the World", present on the Sunset side.

Lyrics[edit | edit source]

[Verse]
Holy, Holy
Dove descend
Soft and slowly
When I'm near the end
Holy, Holy
Dark defend
Shield me, show me
When I need a friend

[Chorus]
Slowly, slowly
Violence, end
Love reign o'er me
When I need a friend

[Outro: Don Agustín]
Hombre, mire
Ah, propiamente
Para toda la gente ha sido motivo de burla
Por que todo el mundo piensa que es una cosa imposible
Que es cuestión de locos
El problema es que todo es increíble
Y la gente no lo acepta

Official Audios[edit | edit source]

Critical reception[edit | edit source]

American music webzine Spin said the song "successfully retains the warmth of the best Coldplay songs, even if its sonics are uncharacteristic."[4] In a ranking of the band's entire discography, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the release of Parachutes, NME wrote: "A gorgeous, choir-led dose of brotherly love from ‘Everyday Life’, "When I Need a Friend" is ultimately still little more than a soul-lifting interlude and palette-cleanser."[5]

References[edit | edit source]

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.