“Fix You” is a song by British rock band Coldplay. It was written by all four members of the band for their third studio album, X&Y (2005). It was released on 5 September 2005 as the second single from X&Y and reached number 4 on the UK Singles Chart. The song reached number 18 in the United States Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks. Promo singles were released for the UK and US.
The song was started by Chris Martin to comfort his then-wife, actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who he met in late 2002 after her father died. The track is built around an organ accompanied by piano and guitar in the first half and an alternative rock style in the second half featuring electric guitar, bass and drums. The hopeful message of the song, and its two-part acoustic/anthemic arrangement, were critically acclaimed. The song has been performed at memorials such as by Coldplay at the One Love Manchester benefit concert in 2017. In September 2021, Rolling Stone named the song the 392nd greatest song of all time.
Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin met American actress Gwyneth Paltrow in late October 2002, three weeks after the death of her father, television director Bruce Paltrow. As their relationship grew closer, Martin and Paltrow would listen to Coldplay’s album Parachutes, especially the uplifting song “Everything’s Not Lost,” to help her process the loss of her father. Martin and Paltrow married in December 2003.
“Fix You” was inspired by Martin’s wish to continue helping Paltrow get through her grief. He wanted to base the song on a church organ; instead, he powered up a synthesizer given to Paltrow by her father, the instrument sitting unused in their house, to find “it had these amazing sounds on it.” Martin said that the song’s composition is influenced by English alternative rock band Elbow’s 2003 anthem “Grace Under Pressure”. In 2005, he described “Fix You” as “probably the most important song we’ve ever written”. He wrote four other songs for or about Paltrow: “Moses” (2003), “Swallowed in the Sea” (2005), “Magic” and “Another’s Arms” (2014).
All of Coldplay helped in writing the song. During a track-by-track analysis, bassist Guy Berryman observed that “Fix You” takes “a bit of inspiration” from “Many Rivers to Cross” by Jimmy Cliff (1969). Berryman added, “It becomes its own thing, kind of like points of inspiration that kind of lead you down certain paths. Whenever you want to write a song like someone else, it ultimately ends up sounding like something different anyway.”