Coldplay: Viva La Vida Meaning
Song Released: 2008
Covered By: Taylor Swift
Viva La Vida Lyrics
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...
AlyseElaine Jan 10th, 2010 1:14pm report
Although there are many disputes about the theme and actual meaning of this popular song, I believe that Coldplay wrote it to refer to the end of a high point in one's life. Yes, UpPastMidnight does give many agreeable and logical information that the song is exclusively about the French Revolution. However, talking about just an event in history is not exactly Coldplay's "style." The intent of the band's lyrics are to have listeners relate their lives to the song. All people can identify with having heald positions of esteem, power, wealth and/or admiration and then falling or losing everything through their own actions or through no fault of their own. This quote from the song exemplifies this perfectly."One minute I held the key Next the walls were closed on me."
The somber tone depicted by this song should ring a bell for the people in our country feeling the painful effects of the current recession. When Coldplay says "I here Jerusalem bells are ringing Roman cavalry choirs are singing" they mean the speaker is pleading to a higher than Earthly power. Often times when one is at the end of his or her rope, one turns to god.
jaspreetsidhu Jan 10th, 2010 1:25pm report
The song "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay is a song about the reign of Louis XVI during the French Revolution. It is about his hardships and his feelings during that time. Each line in this song has a very deep meaning to it. The line "I used to rule the world" means that Louis XVI used to rule France. "Seas would rise when I gave the word" means that people would always quickly obey his words. "Now in the morning I sleep alone" means that people have revolted against him and he has been isolated into a room. "Sweep the streets I used to own" means that his words are of no use and he is not needed anymore. "I used to roll the dice" means that Louis XVI used to make all of the big and small decisions. He would also take a lot of chances. "Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes" means that people would be too afraid to not obey him. "Listen as the crowd would sing "Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!"" means that people obeyed and respected the king and his power of authority. "One minute I held the key" means that he held the key to his nation, France. "Next the walls were closed on me" means that everything was taken away from him. "And I discovered that castles stand upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand" means that he discovered that the foundation for his kingdom is bad. The chorus, "I hear.....My missionaries in a foreign field," means that he wants god to protect him from his upcoming death. The lines "For some reason.....and that was when I ruled the world" means that he never said anything honestly and he was being killed for unjust reasons. Louis XVI believed that it wasn't his fault and he was not guilty." Revolutionaries wait for my head on a silver plate" means that people are going to behead him. "Just a puppet on a lonely string" means that he is being mistaken for the enemy and he is alone for that reason. The lines "For some reason I can't explain.....that was when I ruled the world" means that he will not be send to heaven and he is fully aware of it. Overall, "Viva La Vida" has a very deep meaning to it.
anonymous Dec 13th, 2009 12:25pm report
Ok, when I looked at the lyrics, I also saw it as the point of view of God and his experience as He/She loses people. Think about it, once He/She was a huge influnce, beloved by all. Then He/She lost power, as the King of France lost his power because of the French Revolution. It could be a despirate cry for help for people to be His "mirror" (for our ideals of life to relfect His/Her's), his "sword and shield" (to protect and defend Him), and "missionary". Just think about how it feels to have all the love of the world and watch it slowly slip away from your hands. I know how crappy it feels to love someone and not be loved back, now imagine the agony of God to not be loved by his own creation. I'm not huge into religion or anything, this is only another way of interpreting the lyrics. I also don't mean to undermine other religions or offend anyone by any means(once again, just another interpretation). please tell me what you think.
anonymous Nov 18th, 2009 11:37am report
I believe that this song is about Rupert Murdock.
The13ThHour Nov 15th, 2009 11:49pm report
In my opinion it is not necessarily about louis XVI, the french revolution,or jesus, but about somebody, whoever it is, that had everything they ever wanted, they had power and wealth, they practically "ruled the world", and then somehow lost it all and is feeling regret, but accepting his fate in the end.
ive also heard that this song is about what louis XVI was thinking about before he died
anonymous Aug 31st, 2009 8:12pm report
I have no doubt the song is about King Louis XVI and concur with everything UpPastMidnight wrote, with one additional interpretation: The protagonist hears the Bells of Jerusalem and the choirs of Roman Calvary, so in his view he will die like Jesus on the cross, mocked, derided, killed on trumped charges, but in his final moment he admits to himself and God that his past sins cannot be forgiven, that even though he dies like a martyr, this is not enough to make up for them and he won't go to Heaven. Chris Martin himself said it was about religion and the crimes people do in God's name, that the preachings "kill the enemies of God and you go straight to Heaven" are not true.
anonymous Aug 11th, 2009 8:16pm report
i agree that the song could be about both the French king and Jesus. However, I think that the phrase "my head on a silver plate" refers to John, who baptized Jesus. He was beheaded and his head put on a silver plate.
anonymous Jul 17th, 2009 7:33pm report
there could be many reasons. french revolution and the saying what comes up most come down. when you are always above people and intimidating, in the end, the wall breas
anonymous Jun 11th, 2009 6:11pm report
Love your explanation UPpastmidnight about Jesus, you are right on.
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