What does Viva La Vida mean?

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Coldplay: Viva La Vida Meaning

Song Released: 2008


Covered By: Taylor Swift


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Viva La Vida Lyrics

I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own

I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing
Now the old king is...

  1.  

    anonymous
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    Nov 14th, 2014 11:23pm report


    This song is about King Louis XVI during the French Revolution. It talks about he used "to rule the world" but know he sweeps the streets he used to own or other words his kingdom. The French people did not like King Louis XVI and the King is saying how unstable France is and how Enlightment created this revolution. "It was the wicked and wild wind
    Blew down the doors to let me in
    Shattered windows and the sound of drums
    People couldn't believe what I'd become"
    It even talks about his execution when it says "Revolutionaries wait
    For my head on a silver plate
    Just a puppet on a lonely string
    Oh who would ever want to be king?"
    King Louis was a puppet cause the third estate and some of the second (French government branches) controlled everything he did in a constitutional monarchy.



  2.  

    anonymous
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    Oct 2nd, 2014 10:37pm report


    All this King Louis stuff is really interesting, and could be a totally valid interpretation of this song. I just wondered, especially because of the particular line of wanting his head on a silver platter... And playing with the religious themes... Maybe something to do with John the Baptist?



  3.  

    anonymous
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    Jul 24th, 2014 7:38pm report


    Napoleon - I always felt it told Napoleon's story much better than Louis XVI.
    In the early stages of the revolution, the revolutionaries would not have relished an emperor, nor were they happy about the amount of power and support Napoleon garnered with his military might. Napoleon's ultimate goal, until forced to give it up was always the empire of Alexander. He invaded Egypt and thanks to him we found the Rosetta Stone, but was not able to hold his victory so far from home and was forced to come back. The wicked and wild winds are the revolution itself, which allowed him to rise to power, the drums are the cannon that he fired upon citizens in the street. A king is just a lonely puppet - Napoleon was aiming much higher than that, and at one point he ruled almost half of Europe before becoming an exile on a tiny island.
    It is, of course, a treatise on nostalgia, lost dreams, power, strength and arrogance of youth. But, I've always assumed it used Napoleon as it's basis. I could just be biased as a History major and a huge Napoleon fan....



  4.  

    anonymous
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    May 27th, 2014 5:41pm report


    I look at it as the House of Medici, from Giovanni di Bicci to Piero lo Sfortunato.
    Each paragraph!is for a stanza

    In the beginning, everything was so great. They were loved since the 1450s. But around 1490, everything started to go downhill. Eventually, Savonarola gained power and Piero lo Sfortunato was drowned by the French.
    People feared them. Nonetheless, once Piero il Gotosso died, everyone was so happy because Lorenzo il Magnifico was now Lord of the city.
    One minute, you have the key, the next your locked in the sacristy by a poet while your brother is getting stabbed to death by your sisters husband.
    In Florence, rining bells meant either time for church of a crisis. Missionaries = Savonarola
    Florence was known for lies. People often lied to/about the Medici.
    As I mentioned before, Piero lo Sfortunato brought hell upon the city because he left and Savonarola took control.
    I totally should
    Cosimo locked up by Condottieri, Giuliano dead by Pazzi, Lorenzo excommunicated by pope and called heretic by Savonarola, Piero II drowned by French... Who would ever want to be king?
    Reprise of chorus
    St. Peter probably won't call their name because they'll be hanging out with Virgil and Plato all the other smart people in Limbo. Either that or they're too cool for the Gates of Heaven.



  5.  

    anonymous
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    Mar 7th, 2014 3:39pm report


    This sums up the whole song: King, to tyrant, to fugitive peasant (The Revolutionaries want his head on a silver plate or something)

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


  6.  

    anonymous
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    Jan 31st, 2014 1:44pm report


    Now most of us have heard the song "Viva La Vida," but what does it mean? I think I have some answers.
    This song is about how you can go from being on top of the world to being a slave to it. The narrator tells his story of how he was deceived by his power, even though his intentions may have been good. One prime example is when he says, "I used to rule the world, seas would rise when I gave the word. Now in the morning I sleep alone, sweep the streets I used to own." In that line, the narrator remembers how powerful he was. When he talks about sleeping alone, he is referencing that no one loved him or paid attention to him. When he says, "I know St. Peter won't call my name," he means that he knows that his power corrupted him, even that he fought in the name of Christ.



  7.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jan 31st, 2014 1:43pm report


    Now most of us have heard the song "Viva La Vida," but what does it mean? I think I have some answers.
    This song is about how you can go from being on top of the world to being a slave to it. The narrator tells his story of how he was deceived by his power, even though his intentions may have been good. One prime example is when he says, "I used to rule the world, seas would rise when I gave the word. Now in the morning I sleep alone, sweep the streets I used to own." In that line, the narrator remembers how powerful he was. When he talks about sleeping alone, he is referencing that no one loved him or paid attention to him. When he says, "I know St. Peter won't call my name," he means that he knows that his power corrupted him, even that he fought in the name of Christ.



  8.  

    anonymous
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    Jun 19th, 2013 6:52am report


    I really belive that this song is about a man who "used to rule the world",but the world he is talking about is a woman he loved/loves,and he thought he had everything,but then he lost her, probably to someone he knows:sweep the "streets" I used to own,that means he now see her maybe everyday with the second guy.



  9.  

    anonymous
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    Jun 11th, 2013 6:14am report


    This reminds me of Annikin Skywalker!
    Hehe
    Because he had Padmè, he felt like he could rule the world. He didn't need anything else.
    Then he mucked up and lost Padmè, all his limbs (XD) and his Jedi mentor.
    So even though he's Darth Vader and rules the galaxy (pretty much) he's still nothing because he hasn't got Padmè.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


  10.  

    anonymous
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    Dec 28th, 2012 12:10am report


    It's about a plumber who tries to rescue damsels from fire breathing dinosaurs, but along the way becomes a villain in the court of public opinion. He then becomes disillusioned from the whole circus and instead decides to chuck the whole thing.



  11.  

    anonymous
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    Dec 19th, 2012 12:59pm report


    This song in my opinion relates to the days of early Christians and the Roman Empire. The two biggest clues are the two lines:

    Roman Cavalry choirs singing.

    I hear Jerusalem Bells Ringing.

    My guess is that it's focused around some revolutionary when the Romans were trying to round up and kill the Christians. The revolutionary thirsted for power, and the Romans offered him kingship if he was to turn. That's where now the OLD king is dead (Jesus or God), long live the king (him).

    "Revolutionaries swarmed for my head on a silver plate." This means that the Christians are against him.

    "Just a puppet on a lonely string." He is none less than a tool for the Romans.

    "I know Saint Peter won't call my name." A little bit of remorse, because of the biblical reference, but he knows what he did was bad.

    Then, "I USED to rule the world." I bet he felt all important, but the Romans made him a slave once his purpose was done.

    Make sense?



  12.  

    xXInsane_SmileXx
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    Nov 30th, 2012 11:46am report


    this song is actually way more general than just kings. it can relate to anyone's life. they can all just be metaphors...but that is just my opinion.


    "I used to rule the world
    Seas would rise when I gave the word
    Now in the morning I sleep alone
    Sweep the streets I used to own
    I used to roll the dice
    Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes
    Listen as the crowd would sing
    Now the old king is dead!
    Long live the king!"
    -this point shows how at first he was successful in life and things used to go his own way, but did one wrong turn and ended up losing everything.

    "One minute I held the key
    Next the walls were closed on me
    And I discovered that my castles stand
    Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand"
    -there's a saying that everything happens for a reason. the narrator is saying that he realized why this may have all happened which is because he was so caught up in his "fame and popularity", he didn't see what was really around him so when everything was gone, he learned his lesson.

    "I hear Jerusalem bells a ringing
    Roman Cavalry choirs are singing"
    -he feels regret and remorse
    "Be my mirror, my sword and shield"
    -he's begging for someone to help him and believe in him again
    "My missionaries in a foreign field"
    -the people who he thought were his friends left him for the popular ones

    "For some reason I can't explain
    Once you go there was never
    Never an honest word
    And that was when I ruled the world"
    -he realizes his mistakes

    "It was the wicked and wild wind
    Blew down the doors to let me in
    Shattered windows and the sound of drums
    People couldn't believe what I'd become"
    -everything happened so fast he could not get caught up in what was happening and it ended up being a little too late.

    "Revolutionaries wait
    For my head on a silver plate
    Just a puppet on a lonely string
    Oh who would ever want to be king?"
    -people now hate him and he is wandering around like a lonely soul. he also states that why would anyone want to be on the peak of success because eventually that peak will come crashing down.

    chorus repeats

    thanks for reading my interpretation....i dont know this is just my opinion. Others think it literally is about a king :\



  13.  

    anonymous
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    Oct 16th, 2012 10:06pm report


    Id say that this song is about the beast in his final moments as he comes to accept that he only ever reached his position by chance and that he has been overthrown



  14.  

    anonymous
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    Oct 2nd, 2012 10:52pm report


    Originally said by UpPastMidnight "King Louis XVI and the French revolution...

    1.The album cover is a famous piece of art depicting the French revolution. I believe it's title is The French Revolution. Google Images: French Revolution Painting

    2. King Louis XVI was beheaded, by a group of people called the Revolutionaries. (..."Revolutionaries wait for my head on a silver plate"...) Google: King Louis XVI Revolutionaries

    3. King LouisXVI called out to God to be his judge and guide in the time of his dethroning and ultimate execution. (..."Be me mirror, my sword and shield"... a biblical reference to God's Word) Google: King Louis XVI Last Address or Last Testament

    4. The French revolution is known for it's attack on Christianity and it's attempt at the de-christianization of France, but many missionaries left France to take Christianity to the world. (...'"my missionaries in a foreign field"...) Google: French Revolution Dechristianization Google: French Missionaries.

    5. Louis XVI claimed in his final address that he was being killed for unjust, untrue reasons, or at best misunderstood reasons. (..."never an honest word, but that was when I ruled the world"...) Google: King Louis XVI Last Address or Last Testament

    6. In the song, the steady heavy drum beat that never changes it's tone or rhythm MIGHT be a brilliant final touch... because as Louis XVI was giving his final word, he was eventually drowned out by the steady heavy drum beat of the executioner, and he was beheaded. Google: Louis XVI death drum beat."

    Now people keep saying that it couldn't be that because the song is about a king that was alive after his reign. BEFORE Louis XVI was beheaded, he lived in his castle outside of Paris, Versailles, the peasants stormed the castle, and killed the guards, they brought Louis to Paris, and said they would kill him if he tried to leave. He no longer had ANY authority whatsoever, he was replaced by the National Assembly. He had no money (it was stolen at Versailles), and no purpose... So what could the king do..? "Sweep the streets I used to own"



  15.  

    anonymous
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    Sep 15th, 2012 9:52pm report


    He's saying "I used to rule the world" and, "sweeping the streets he used to own." I think that means the character had lost his power, but is still managing to live life.






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