Anagrammatic Excellence: Coldplay’s ‘Mylo Xyloto’ Has Us All Mixed Up

Coldplay Mylo XylotoGreat news, logophiles: Coldplay’s new album is called Mylo Xyloto, a title which defies definition and is sure to give writers and copyeditors worldwide headaches for the next 12 months (No lie: when I first filed this blog, I had it spelled as Xylo Myloto.) If our conversation in the morning news meeting was any indication, it will prove a mouthful for even diehard fans.

The album is due October 25, with the official first single, “Paradise,” due September 12 (which apparently makes “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” the street single). Mylo features production work from Markus Dravs, Daniel Green and Rik Simpson, with “enoxification and additional composition by Brian Eno,” and probably includes tracks like “MX/Hurts Like Heaven,” “Major Minus,” “Us Against the World” and “Charlie Brown,” which the band have premiered live in recent months.

And while all of that is certainly noteworthy, today, I’d rather talk about the title itself. Because not only does it sound like a clothing-optional beach in the Greek Isles (or a nasty viral disease,) but, because it is largely inscrutable, it also inspires the inner etymologist within me. What, exactly, is the language of origin (Latin?) Googling it just brings up lots of Coldplay Web sites. How, precisely, is it pronounced? (Oh, just scanning the press release now, and apparently it’s “my-lo zy-letoe.”) And, since we’re on the subject, just how many anagrams can you pull from its 10 letters?

Of course, it bears mention that whenever you’re talking about pronunciation and anagrams, you know you’re in the presence of true titular greatness. So, after spending some serious time with a pen and a piece of paper, here’s every possible anagrammatic combination I can think of. The word “Ox” comes up a lot. For whatever reason, I’d like to think that makes Chris Martin happy.

Presenting to you anagrams from Mylo Xyloto:

Molly Toy Ox


Toll My Ox Yo


Lo Lox My Toy


Lot Lox My Yo


Yo, My Toy Lox


My Toy Lox Lot

Rather see them in animated form? Enjoy: