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'Bani Adam': Coldplay's new album features a song title written in Arabic script

In an unusual move, the band has revealed their new album's track list in a Welsh newspaper and one of the song titles is in Arabic

Chris Martin from Coldplay performs on stage during the Sentebale Concert at Kensington Palace on June 28, 2016 in London, England. Sentebale was founded by Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho over ten years ago. It helps the vulnerable and HIV positive children of Lesotho and Botswana. Getty Images 
Chris Martin from Coldplay performs on stage during the Sentebale Concert at Kensington Palace on June 28, 2016 in London, England. Sentebale was founded by Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho over ten years ago. It helps the vulnerable and HIV positive children of Lesotho and Botswana. Getty Images 

The new album by Coldplay will be released on Friday, November 22, and in an unusual move, the band announced their track list in the classifieds section of a North Wales newspaper called Daily Post.

It seems the album will very much be in line with the Year of Tolerance, as the track list features songs such as Church, Arabesque and Bani Adam.

On the track list released officially by Coldplay, Bani Adam is written out in Arabic script, and reads like this:

'Bani Adam'
'Bani Adam'.

So what does 'Bani Adam' mean?

The phrase literally translates to 'the children of Adam', but it can also be used as a rallying cry, similar to yalla. In this context it translates to something like 'let's go, man'.

Coldplay were formed in 1996 and are now Britain's biggest-selling band of the 21st century, having achieved global fame.

Frontman Chris Martin has often spoken about an interest in spirituality, and particularly in Sufism. The new song could be inspired by Bani Adam, the poem by Iranian poet Saadi Shirazi, which reads:

"The children of Adam are the members of one another,

since in their creation they are of one essence.

When the conditions of the time brings a member to pain,

the other members will suffer from discomfort.

You, who are indifferent to the misery of others,

it is not fitting that they should call you a human being."

The man behind these words, Saadi Shirazi, was born at around 1200 in Shiraz, and was known for his musings around social responsibility and morality.

In 2009, then President Barack Obama quoted the first line of the poem when addressing Nowruz, which is the New Year celebration for about 300 million people around the globe.

Chris Martin and spirituality

Of Sufism, Martin told Zane Lowe in 2014 that its teachings help him create music: "I was very lucky to meet a very good sufi teacher who started to introduce the idea of 'if you sit with your experiences and the things you've been through, they alchemise.' At the time he said that, I didn't really know what that meant, but I trusted that it would work, and the more that I was learning about that, the more music just started flowing through."

Martin has definitely been moved and inspired by poetry like this before. After his separation from Gwyneth Paltrow, he spoke about how Rumi's poem The Guest House helped him get through a tough time in his life.

“That one Rumi poem changes everything,” Martin recounted to The Sunday Times in March. “It says that even when you’re unhappy, it’s good for you.”

Here is that poem in full:

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still treat each guest honourably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

More on the new Coldplay album

The band has revealed on Twitter that the new album will be in two halves, with the first half called 'sunrise', and the second 'sunset'.

But back to their marketing methods, why did they release their track list in the classifieds section of the paper? It seems like it was a sentimental move: the band's lead guitarist Jonny Buckland said he "once had a holiday job at the Daily Post, placing photos of houses for sale. I wasn't very good at it".

Updated: October 24, 2019 12:45 PM

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