All Kinds of “Fixes”

Standard

In their third album, “X & Y,” songs and lyrics by Coldplay, there

is a lovely song called, “Fix You.” The British rock group was

founded in 1996. Two college friends, Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland,

started together having met at University College, London, England.

Their group, also, includes Guy Berryman and Will Champion.

The breakdown of the musical group, Coldplay’s talents goes like this:

Guy Berryman is on acoustical guitar, Jonny Buckland plays percussion

instruments, Chris Martin is talented on the piano and Will Champion

plays the piano, also. They have contributed to the writing of many

of the group’s songs together.

The song, “Fix You,” has a slow, sweet pace with some sadness in the

lyrics. It is about someone who is broken, who doesn’t ‘know their worth.’

The singer is expressing the desire to fix that person. I find it a song

that ‘haunts’ me.

I almost included this song in my “Homeward Reflections” post. I felt

that my poem, partly inspired by the Simon and Garfunkel song, “Homeward

Bound,” could have been a ‘bookend’ to “Fix You.” (The album, “X & Y,”

came out in June, 2005 in the UK and Europe.)

Only the lyrics held me back. . .

I was a little bit disturbed by the implied arrogance of the title.

Also, the idea that someone felt capable of ‘fixing’ anyone other than

themself.

Probably, I was a little brought ‘down’ by my own personal inner feelings

of having possibly chosen, in past relationships, ‘broken people.’ Some

sense of inadequacy naturally derived from several failed marriages.

Was I saddened because this made me examine these feelings again?

Am I one who likes to play God and “fix” others?

I wanted that post to be positive and upbeat, so I left the Coldplay

song, “Fix You,” out of the post.

While talking to others, since that ‘home’ post, I found they thought

that I may be misinterpreting the words of the song.

I am also intrigued with analyzing the different ways that we use the

words, “fix,” “fixing/fixin’s,” and “fixed.” I have upon reflection,

decided I don’t like the lyrics, but still absolutely adore the song

by Coldplay’s artists, Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland (and others) in the

lyrics’ credits.

My favorite parts are the beginning stanzas and the repeated (3 x)

refrains.

Here are those ‘pieces’ and help me to understand what “fix you,” means

in this song:

“Fix You

“When you try your best,

but you don’t succeed.

When you get what you want,

but not what you need.

When you feel so tired,

but you cannot sleep.

Stuck in reverse…”

(“Tears” stanza)…

(“You’ll never know what you’re worth” stanza)…

Refrain:

“Lights will guide you home

And ignite your bones

And I will try to fix you.”

The definition of “fix” includes the ideas of

Repair,

Mend,

Prepare,

Make whole,

and many more definitions.

In my favorite part of looking at a word, I like to engage in ‘word play.’

It helps me to think in terms of lists of uses of “fix,” “fixing,” “fixin’s”

and “fixed.”

This may be challenging to understand if you are used to another language!

This also may confuse you, but variations of the word, “fix,” can be shown

in both negative and positive connotations.

POSITIVE uses of the words that have a root word of “fix:”

1. “fixer-upper” house- one that someone would purchase, make it better by

putting their hard efforts into. It is usually a first home, but sometimes

fixed up to become a rental or ‘turn around’ home. (Real Estate.)

2. “Fix-o-dent” can be quite helpful to keep elderly (and toothless) persons’

dentures in place. (Personal Hygiene.)

3. “fixin’s”- In the south, sometimes in the ‘hills’ people consider this

the delicious side dishes that go with the main meal. Cracker Barrel had

a section with this label for quite some time.

I especially like the expression, “all the fixin’s.” (Food Preparation.)

4. “fix up”- When you are getting fixed up to go out, your appearance

usually is improved!

Example: “My, you certainly look ‘fixed up’ for the party!”

Other variations can include, fixing one’s hair, makeup, and adjusting

your clothing.

Example: “She ‘fixed’ the length of her dress to cover her knees.”

5. “fix”- To prepare a dish or dinner.

Example: “My friend ‘fixes’ a great lasagna!”

6. “fix”- To set up a date, match-make a friend.

Example: “I ‘fixed’ my brother up with my high school friend.”

7. “fix”- To mend or repair, in the way of making whole.

Examples:

a. “I will do whatever it takes to ‘fix this’ and make you feel

comfortable.”

b. “He told her that he would ‘fix’ their relationship by building

her trust.”

8. “fix” or “fixed”- To have won the lottery or inherit money. Be ‘set.’

Example: “That family if ‘fixed’ for life!”

9. “fix” or “fixed”- To be focused on a goal. (Personal Development.)

Example: “He was ‘fixed’ on the Prize.”

10. “fix” or “fixed”- Body parts replaced or repaired. (Personal

Appearance.)

Examples:

a. “She had her eyes ‘fixed’ by laser surgery.”

b. “The famous actor had his facial structure ‘fixed’ after

the accident, through plastic surgery.”

11. “fixed”- A short term used when an animal is neutered,

spayed or castrated.

Example: “I had my dog ‘fixed.’

12. “fixin'”- When one is planning to be married or do an action,

they may express this as, “I’m fixin’ to get hitched!” (Slang.)

My personal bias, interpreting this definition, is that we should

have animals fixed, if we are to help with preventing over-

population of animals. Breeders are allowed to interpret this

usage as negative, since they may wish to produce champions or

make money selling ‘pure breds.’

NEGATIVE uses of the words derived from the root word, “Fix:”

1. “fix”- A person may use this word when ‘in a jam,'(or bind) or

otherwise need someone to bail himself/herself out of a bad situation.

Example: “I’m in a fix.” (Personal Behavior.)

2. “fix”- To repair something broken, attach two parts together with glue,

other things that “need to be fixed.” (The positive result of fixing,

done well, is its counterpart, the whole item.)

3. “fix”- To comply with a teacher or employer’s request to “Fix this.”

This means a mistake or problems lie in the presentation. (The positive

result of fixing this, may mean a better grade or a raise!)

4. “fix”- Need to have a drug, caffeine, sugar, tobacco or other mood

enhancer.

Example: “I need my caffeine ‘fix’ or I won’t be very productive.”

(Slang term, “I need a fix,” can be very negative…)

5. “fix”- This takes on a sinister meaning, in politics, hidden agendas

and mobster movies.

Example: “You better ‘fix’ this!”

(Interpersonal Relations.)

6. “fix”- In certain situations, meaning to change or ‘throw’

something.

Examples:

a. “The fight was ‘fixed.’

b. “School test scores have been found to be ‘fixed’ and may have to be

retaken.”

c. “The player ‘threw’ the game by fixing the bets based on a losing

score.”

7. “fix”- In slang or colloquial usage, can mean revenge or vengeful

thoughts or behaviors.

Example: “That’ll ‘fix’ her!” (Personal Behavior.)

8. “fix”- To adjust an item of clothing that needs to be.

Examples:

a. “Fix your fly!”

b. “Her bra straps would not stay up, so she had to continually

‘fix’ them.”

Both examples are easily turned into positives, when the person

adjusts their clothing item! (Personal Appearance.)

As far as the song, “Fix You,” goes, I feel that no one should think

they are solely responsible for another person’s decisions. I found

this out, through Al-Anon and also, marriage counseling. Accepting

and adjusting to the choices your partner makes, will help you to

stay together. Only when you feel that you cannot do so, then if

the other person doesn’t want to change and adapt to your ways,

then you may need counseling or separation, to reflect on whether

or not it is worth changing for the other person.

Certain phrasings don’t go over well with me, since I feel that in

most relationships the couple needs to work together to make decisions.

I prefer Kahlil Gibran’s image of two cypress trees, neither in each

other’s shadow. Here is a passage from the 1923 book, “The Prophet.”

This is how to be part of a couple, in marriage:

“Let there be spaces in your togetherness,

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you…”

(Several passages follow)…

“And stand together, yet not too near…”

“The oak and the cypress grow

Not in each other’s shadow.”

When you leave a comment, please let me know if you think the intention of

this song, is positive or negative. Is it just me that worries about an

unspoken sense of negative control of the other’s being?

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31 responses »

  1. i actually see it as a positive, i think we all try to ‘fix’ someone we care about who is hurting or may need help, it’s our natural instinct. the irony is that they need to fix themselves, but we and they are not ready yet, and when they are ,they will. great post )

    • Thank you, I really like this way you expressed your feelings about people we care about, Beth! I do sometimes wish we could ‘fix’ our children’s lives so all things would go smoothly.

  2. Someone once told me it was her job to “fix me”. I let her know that because I was not the way she expected me to be, I was not broken. But I do love this song, which I don’t associate to that moment at all.

    I love this. Thank you.

    • I am so glad you loved this post, Colleen! I appreciate your sharing how you responded to someone who felt they wanted to ‘fix’ you! I am so glad you were honest with her and I am like you, feel that I am not broken. Maybe stretched thin… Smiles! Anyway, I love this song, too. I will keep it on my ‘best loved’ list. These comments help to preserve its place on that list!

      • 🙂 That was a defining moment in my life. When she said it was her job to fix me and I responded with “I’m not broken” I think it was a moment of truth I hadn’t dared believe. 🙂

  3. I think the song is a message of hope, wanting to help, fix what’s ailing, not the negative, fix what I don’t like about you.

    Thanks for a thought-provoking, post, Robin!

    • So far, this is the majority in its positive meaning. I am so glad to know this, since I really do enjoy listening to it. I am glad it got you thinking, Mark! Thanks for this vote of confidence, too!

  4. Oh how I needed to read your post!!!!! I’m a fixer…and some people just can’t be fixed:-) Thank you my friend…we are a lot alike. I also like what Beth said. Sometimes we want to help those we love…but sometimes only they can help themselves❤️

    • Thank you, Tracy for finding this supportive and possibly comforting, too. I know we are a lot alike!! Fixers unite! But we do continue to love those who need to find their own way.
      I am going to keep this as one of my favorite songs! I just wanted to have some opinions on the way it can be interpreted. I prefer to think of it as holding a positive message. Everyone has been so kind about helping me out with this!
      Keep your chin up and looking forward to your time with your son and also, your Artic adventures! We will love the photographs, Tracy and it will ALMOST be as good as being along with you, my friend! (Are you sure I won’t fit in your suitcase? Ha ha!)

      • I wish you could Robin! What fun we would have!!!! It is a perfect song…for us fixers:-) ❤️❤️❤️

  5. one thing is for sure- you are thorough. you know, i really do not know what they meant by “fix you.” hard to say since the whole lyrical bent is too catchy. i am clueless, lass. i will say that there are many songs out there misinterpreted…I heard Bono explain “With or Without You” and it made sense but certainly wasn’t what i thought it was about before seeing the interview. so…ask the artist?

    • Thank you for this suggestion and I may get around to writing Coldplay. Not sure if I will get someone who is in the group or a manager who may not have any idea of the meaning behind the song, “Fix You.” I do find the lyrical ‘bent’ to be ‘catchy,’ too! Thanks for this fun comment and glad you feel I am thorough. I like brain storming and finding out how many ways a word can be interpreted. I would love to hear that interview with Bono. I do like to hear the artist’s ‘take’ on their own popular songs. Take it easy, my friend!

    • Oh, this is another lovely idea behind the words. Finding out that someone considers you “OK” can be very supportive and validating, too! Thanks for this and hugs, too!

  6. I love this song,but I kind of think that the only person who can ‘fix’ you is yourself. No one else can really do that can they, much as you may want them to. It has to come from inside yourself. But I still love the song. Lovely post Robin
    Jane x

    • Thank you, Jane! I do so love this song, wanting to know that it has a positive meaning behind it. I agree with you that only the other person can choose to find their way, make themselves feel whole. It is hard to do, stand by and see someone who needs help, but unable to help them… Been there, done that! So glad you enjoyed the lengthy brain storm on the word, “fix!” Smiles and hugs, Robin

  7. When I checked out the ‘Fix You’ lyrics and song, it struck me as an empathic message of trying to make someone the lyricist loves to feel better after some difficult experience. Nonetheless, I agree with your sentiment that it is not someone else’s place to fix another person. If anything, the idea that another person needs fixing would suggest they are not the right person with whom to be in a meaningful relationship.

    By the way, I loved this song performed a cappella on the season 2 finale of The Sing Off led by Street Corner Symphony. Cold Play wrote a wonderful song, but that performance helped fix me forever as a Sing Off fan. :^) – Mike

    • I would love to check out the Season 2 finale song, need to buy some ear phones or get my friend, Jenny, to play it on our Fridays for lunch. She loves a cappella performances and will probably let me ‘twist her arm!’ Thanks for this suggestion.
      As far as the sense of the song, most feel it is a positive one, supportive and caring in its meaning. I like the word you used, “empathetic,” which is a special word where we want to feel what the other one is going through. We are definitely that kind of person and if we were to wish to ‘fix’ someone it would be to show love and understanding. Thanks, Mike, as always you have figured this out and helped me to keep this song on my ‘cherished’ list!

  8. I’ve never heard this song, Robin, but the way the lyrics are phrased, I don’t interpret “fix you” as negative. I think of it as “help you.”
    I learned a long time ago that people can’t be “fixed,” unless they are ready and want it for themselves.

    • I like the idea of helping you, as its meaning, Jill. It has a sweet and timeless melody, with no real genre. I find it to be calming and the repeated phrase, “Lights will guide you…” makes me want to head home to my parents’ home and be a child again. Where they surely did try to ‘fix’ things to make us happy, but not ourselves! Thanks so much for this and hope you are doing well, my dear friend! Smiles, Robin

  9. Choosing broken people. Is that the same thing as the beauty and the beast syndrome? Beauty wants to fix beast? Ugh. So familiar with that . . . .
    Sorry I wrote from my other blog just to confuse you :).
    xo
    Luanne
    Only now it’s saying I have to use Luanne. I am getting confused!

    • You are right, Beauty and the Beast syndrome! I think that I felt the person I knew in college, dated all four years, my first husband ‘masked’ being an alcoholic. I am not judging him, just being factual. I could not raise my children in the environment where I was supposed to quietly accept his lifestyle. Al-Anon says acceptance is the best route. I honor and respect those who are able to cope with young children and deal with someone who is an alcoholic. I chose to be single and do the whole thing on my own, weekends with their Dad, for the older ones. I am not sure if the next husband would have been easily determined, it was a much more complicated problem. I allowed unfaithfulness more than once, thinking that I was the ‘home base.’ That didn’t last too long, Luanne! I signed papers for “no visitation” with my second husband. I raised all three pretty much on my own, with brothers and parents who showed up for special events, holidays and camping trips together! It was worth it, not saying negative things to my children. I allowed them to come to their own conclusions. We all share grandchildren together at parties and some holidays. My exes seem to have the same problems, but wives who handle it much better. (2 of 3 have their PhD’s and the one who doesn’t; makes the most money!) My children chose to live close to me, hours away from their fathers. That is my ‘reward!’ Smiles and hugs, Robin

  10. I try to see the positive of things. So for me ‘fix’ is when some ‘thing’ is broken. Emotional issues are different and some have holes that will never be filled and others are rent with so many holes that there isn’t enough time, material or energy to repair them. So you live with them as they are or not and hopefully move on.

    Thanks for all of your visits. A tad busy with life, but you know how that is 🙂
    Summer is full of birthdays here. Son of Son is 4 and Little miss will be one. Then there are our sons, brother, his children…

    Cheers, Jules

  11. I have that same reaction about the idea of saying one person can “fix” another, but it’s such a pretty song, and I think the intent is good. I believe it was used as the final credits music in an episode of House, M.D. (which often used some awesome tunes to play out the show — I learned about Lucinda Williams when they used her wonderful song, “Are You Alright?” from her “West” album.)

      • Lucinda Williams will be my next singer I listen to when I come back and buy new ‘ear buds!’ Only $2 a pair, but I didn’t bring cash today… I appreciate this song already, knowing you have excellent taste in music! I wish I had watched that show, it sounds like one I would have enjoyed…
        Hoping you noticed that Cleveland Indians has been doing well against Boston Red Sox! Smiles, Robin

      • Oh, believe me, the Indians are division rivals, so I keep a very close eye on them! 🙂

        They’ve done very well lately, indeed. The AL-Central is the tightest race in baseball right now with only a five-game spread. Any of us might take the pennant!

    • It is a pretty song, which is the important part. I have sometimes sung along to songs, in the past, not really knowing the gist of the lyrics. I liked finding out other’s interpretations. Thanks for this comment and glad to see you here! Smiles, Robin

  12. I really think it’s positive but I know what you mean about thinking you can fix someone. I hadn’t realized how many meanings this word has. It’s amazing and must be a real nightmare for a foreigner learning English. 🙂

  13. As someone mentioned earlier, you are very thorough in your presentation. I had never heard the song, so I have just been listening to it. I think it is a caring song. I have experienced heartbreaks in my life–the last one was the most painful–and it is hard “to let go”–so perhaps, I find the lyrics more poignant at this time. As many of your commentators suggested, no one can fix anyone else…but it is still nice to know someone cares…and so, for me, this is a caring song.

    • I appreciate your taking the time to write this. It is always nice to hear different comments. I think words can be interpreted in many ways, I feel a lot of interest in them! Smiles, Robin

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