what or who is viva la vida about?

the coldplay song

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
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    Chris Martin gave some insight on the inspiration for the song in an interview, stating that it was about a king who messed up, realizing that he didn't do such a great job now that he sees the revolutionaries at his doorstep.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sKpCMjH9

    Youtube thumbnail

    ...

    He also says that the artwork from the album was inspired by this song, which is Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix, depicting the French Revolutionary war. He also mentions seeing the play The Scarlet Pimpernel which takes place after the Revolution.

    Therefore, the lyrics can easily be fit to come from the point of view of King Louis XVI who was overthrown by the revolutionaries.

    The lyrics are as follows

    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 enemies eyes

    Listen as the crowd would sing:

    "Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!"

    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

    - This could all refer to the power that the King once held and how although he was beloved at first, his indecisiveness and conservatism led some elements of the people of France to eventually hate him as a symbol of the perceived tyranny and he soon saw his reign slip out from under him, like salt or sand.

    I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing

    Roman Cavalry choirs are singing

    Be my mirror my sword and shield

    My missionaries in a foreign field

    For some reason I can not explain

    Once you know there was never, never an honest word

    That was when I ruled the world

    (Ohhh)

    It was the wicked and wild wind

    Blew down the doors to let me in.

    Shattered windows and the sound of drums

    People could not believe what I'd become

    Revolutionaries Wait

    For my head on a silver plate

    Just a puppet on a lonely string

    Oh who would ever want to be king?

    -The chorus may be refering to Louis' ideological differences with much of Europe, and how he supported the Legislative Assembly who declared war on the Holy Roman Empire.

    The "wind" could be referring to the wind of change that swept threw the people and led to the king's demise. He was found guilty of treason and was executed by a public beheading (head on a silver plate)

    It could also reflects the revolution against King Charles X that accomplished rather little other than bring in a new king to power, Louis-Philippe. The painting “Liberty Leading the People” was purchased by the French Government of the time yet was not displayed until the final Revolution (1848) that dethroned King Louis-Philippe and placed the newly elected President, Louis Napoleon into power.

    (",)

    Source(s): Previous question on Y!A
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