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Chris Martin Introduces New Song, 'Wedding Bells'

Martin, performing at Apple's music event, says the track 'might not even come out'

September 1, 2010 6:36 PM ET

Apple’s press conference to announce Ping and iPod updates featured another surprise: A new song from Chris Martin, who appeared as a special guest. "It might not even come out," Martin said of the ballad, "Wedding Bells," which he played alone at the piano. "[This] could be the only time it ever appears." (Martin also played "Viva La Vida," a song he admits owes much of its success to its placement in an Apple commercial.)

Some Coldplay fans have known about “Wedding Bells” since last fall, when a video showing Martin play a version on acoustic guitar appeared on YouTube. (The clip originated from British television.) “If I hear a new chord that I haven’t heard — it clicks something and the melody comes out,” he said at the time. “It’s actually better on guitar, I think.” Today’s version sounded tighter and more emotional. Toward the end, though, Martin improvised on a melody that, channeled through roaring guitars, could be the groundwork for an epic new Coldplay hit.

Coldplay have been working on a fifth studio album with Brian Eno, who produced 2008’s Viva La Vida. In February, Eno discussed the sessions, saying, "It's quite different from anything they've done before ... so far, anyway. I don't know how it will end up being, but it's very fresh." Martin previewed "Christmas Lights" on 60 Minutes in 2009, and Coldplay played the Springsteen-style "Don Quixote/Spanish Rain" on tour in South America this year.

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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