Viva La Vida lyrics by Coldplay, 300 meanings. Viva La Vida explained, official 2019 song lyrics | LyricsMode.com
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Coldplay – 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 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

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't explain
Once you go there was never
Never an honest word
And that was
when I ruled the world

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

Revolutionaries wait
For my head
on a silver plate
Just a puppet on a
lonely string
Oh who would ever want
to be king?

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't explain

I know Saint Peter won't call my name
Never an honest word
But that
was when I ruled the world

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't explain
I know Saint Peter won't call my name

Never an honest word
But that
was when I ruled the world
×



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Corrected by nathan7276

Viva La Vida meanings Post my meaning

  • e
    + 21
    ExtravagantUnion
    It sounds like it's sung from the point of view of a deposed ruler, possibly a French king after the Revolution.
    He's remembering a time where he was in power, and now that his reign has been overthrown, his focus is on the afterlife - St. Peter calling his name, and hearing the Roman choirs could be references to what sort of welcome he expects in heaven.
    I checked the link above - some people have also picked up on the Biblical references, and in that sense, it could be about someone like Jesus or John the Baptist (whose head was delivered on a silver plate), or any prophet who might have run into trouble with their government, and might be awaiting execution.
    That's if you take it all literally - it could be a metaphor for any situation where someone is reflecting on their life - someone who used to have a better job, or a better relationship, and is dreaming of a better life in the future.
    "Viva la Vida" could mean "Long live life" in addition to "Live the life". Revolutionary armies have been known to chant "Viva la Revolution", or "Long live the revolution!"
    That phrase is what makes me favor the French Revolution aspect over the Biblical prophet angle.
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  • l
    + 11
    LouMoe
    I don't think anyone's wrong on this. Great personal perspectives. For me, the song is reflective of the frailty of men that dates back to Adam. Adam ruled the world. Adam lost that power and authority when he took heed to the voice of satan (wicked wind). As a result, Adam was kicked out of the Garden of Eden. Where he once ruled the Garden and only required to dress and keep it, he then was reduced to till the ground with sweat and tears (now sweeping streets he once ruled). Yet, despite Adam's fall, for some reason we can't explain, the hope of redemption through Christ Jesus made grace available so that our names will still be called on that day of judgment.
    Adam's fall is indicative of what we see today. The forbidden fruit of contemporary society is wrapped in the skins of mortgage fraud, voter fraud, banking fraud, political fraud, and all sorts of fraud that amount to nothing more than the same old lies that have culminated into what we have today- a fallen and bankrupt system that once ruled the world. Who would want to be king? Who would want to be president at a time when the lies of men created such a mess?!? There are folk waiting for Obama to fail and place his head on a platter should this economy not recover just so they can prove the fraud was not theirs but someone else's. Whether your republican or democrat, christian or not, we can all agree a corrupt and fraudulent government, a corrupt and fraudulent group of citizens and special interests created the problems we have today.
    In my world, I have experienced that fall and everyone is gunning for you when it happens. But there's hope, and my name is still on the roster as one of His own. Salvation is mine. And yours.
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  • p
    + 11
    PrincessValium
    The reason you think this song is g* is because you have never experienced a loss so deep it eats away at your very soul. I identify with this song I have gone through a divorce after 23 years of marriage and I lost my home, my husband and the life I once knew. I lost my mother two weeks ago and that added to the feeling of having everything I have known for years come crashing down. This song is symbolic of life and the changes that can turn your world around. Everytime I hear it I cry.
    Some of you are too young to know what this song is about, one day you will know.
    1 reply
  • deathmyfriend
    + 9
    deathmyfriend
    Omg. This song rules so damm hard! He let all the power go to his head and he got into the wrong crowds. His people started to hate him and wanted him out of power. Then he finally realized what he did and felt really horrible about what he did and wondered if this happened to all royalty. Idk, I just interpreted this song from what I thought. This is the best song I have ever heard from coldplay. This song is sooo beautiful. Viva la Vida Coldplay!
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  • b
    + 9
    bettyliu611
    Why This Song Can Be Seen as Christian:
    1. If you look at the rest of the songs they wrote, they all have something to do with God in one context or word.
    2. Castles "upon pillars of song (salt [?])" and "pillars of sand" are parts of a parable told by christ.
    3. This song is overall about a king at the end of his life that acknowledges God, Christ, and the saints aka Saint Peter and he thinks that he's not going to heaven for what he did. "but that was when [he] ruled the world" states he hopes that all those actions are forgiven.
    1 reply
  • l
    + 5
    Lyrxxtee
    A mind and soul buggling piece. Coldplay is trying to illustrate what vanity means whether you are a powerful ruler, nation or priest, a celebrated hero or artiste, a rich and world renowned indrustrialist or successful artiste, no matter how you came to be what you are, there is always a possibility of a twist that can teleport you to where you started from, a song trying to warn us to be conscious of whatever step we take, do or how we see ourselves.
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  • j
    + 5
    jkl4286
    I can't fathom someone rejecting that this song has some religious meaning. But that doesn't mean it's the only layer of interpretation. Sure, it can have a deeper meaning about leaders, fame, power, relationships, etc. All of that can still stand at one level while it works on other levels at the same time.
    I haven't spent too much time developing the thought yet, but most of the line scream "THE CRUSADES!" at me. Jerusalem bells, Roman Calvary choirs (as in from the pope in Rome), ruling in that area is difficult, constantly shifting power built on weak foundations, some people loving one king, others of another faith loving another, revolutionaries, plotting, doing things in the name of good that one later realizes are wrong.
    While I might be over-reaching on some of these things, I don't think it's a stretch to attach an overt reaction to Christian history to this. Not necessarily Jesus Christ, but the way the church and kings of Jerusalem or the Pope behaved in the Middle Ages, etc. Something worth thinking about. The religious symbolism is there for a reason. Middle Age Christian history seems the best fit to me.
    But, to each their own interpretation, hence the beauty of music.
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  • j
    + 4
    JosephAli
    This is the only Coldplay song I know and my oh my, is it a good one. It is another song of prophecy about a day coming when the tables are turned and he who is first will be last and vice versa. It is about people of wealth who will lose everything if they don't change their ways. Not only will they lose their wealth in this life and become street sweepers, but they won't be entering heaven and the alternative to that is not good.
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  • LedaTokyo
    + 4
    LedaTokyo
    I'm sitting in the dark castle. He left me in here. My father, he rules the world. He is strong and intelligent. But I'm beautiful. I was more famous than him. He got very jealous and sent me to this empty castle. He decided to free me when the world got old and most eldest person will ever remember me. Therefore I've been here millions of year. Perhaps everone have forgetten me. But now, unfortunately everyone died and my father great king too. I'm here. Days last like an aternity. I draw pictures on the wall. Picture about my life. May be they think that they imprsoned me. In the real matter they locked up theirself. I am freedom. May be they think they are living outside of the castle and free. No they're living in the outside without freedom. Because I'm the freedom.
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  • r
    + 4
    Rogerramjet
    Well this is my fourth and final comment. Please read them from the bottom up of course (oh and please forgive all my mistakes, I'm just writing).
    When in the song it's said "be my mirror", I think means that when one of faith looks into a mirror they should see their faith looking back, or they should see that they have faith, and that Jesus is with them. All those of faith aspire to be as good as Jesus.
    The lines I seem to be having most difficulty with are "Never an honest word but that was when I ruled the world."
    If someone could tell me how this ties into my analysis I'd be delighted.
    Thanks.
    Add your reply
  • r
    + 4
    Rogerramjet
    You know the more I think about it the more the song becomes. It's not just Jesus that' dead or dying but God as well. And in particular the Christian God (I refer to my note about God the Fatther, Son, and Holy Spirit).
    I especialy like the line "Now in the morning I sleep alone Sweep the streets I use to own." My interpretation is that no one thinks of God or Jesus anymore--He sleeps alone. And hardly anyone goes to church anymore, they all sleep in, so why should God/Jesus awake? God is nothing anymore, relinguished to sweeping the streets.
    The more I listen the more I like this song.
    "I used to roll the dice" is an interesting line. Albert Einstein once said that "God does not play dice" to which Neils Bohr replied "quit telling God what to do". Perhaps that line has some reference to Bohr: God will do what he wants to do, period (yes, I'm sure there's a better interpretation here than mine).
    The line "Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes" could be something along the line of "Putting the fear of God in him".
    And one minute God/Jesus was on top, King of kings, and the next minute people were comming at him from all sides. Trying to bring him down.
    My heart goes out to all those of strong Christian faith.
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  • b
    + 4
    bryboy
    Isn't it wonderful that a song can be so multi-dimensional? This discussion reminds me of one of my college poetry classes. It is fascinating to hear so many different takes on the meaning of this song. In my mind, this shows that unlike so much music in this world, that there are still artists that can appeal to a cerebral audience which can appreciate the Escheresque complexity of this work of musical art.
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  • d
    + 3
    DY123
    Its from the stand-point of a mix between Louis xvi and Napolean and it is describing the french revolution "Revolutionaries wait for my head on a silver plate" would be Louis xvi and "That was when i ruled the world" is Napolean, the reason its not just Louis xvi is because he did not rule the world, under his reign france was in economic crisis. After Louis Napolean came in and conquered most of europe hence ruleing the world.
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  • l
    + 3
    Luck4
    I enjoy the song. To me it was more of an impression of how life can quickly turn the tables. One time, he was a big shot. Luck was on his side, people were in awe and wanted to be his friend or more. Then, in a blink of an eye, life handed him a bad hand. His world crashed. He is left sweeping up the mess and reminiscing on the days of the past. He was once a great man but life has a way of changing that.
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  • m
    + 3
    m2cnts
    The album cover of Cold Play's Viva la Vida is an adaptation of "Liberty leading the people" by Dela Croix. The painting and it seems the lyrics of this song describe the French revolution of 1830. The ruling King Charles X was overthrown by Louis-Philipe who was his cousin. Eighteen years later King Louis-Philipe was himself overthrown. The years he ruled were said to be precarious. It seems the song is based on straight history and not the regrets of a fictional dying king. All that aside I love the song!
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  • f
    + 3
    FoundGiven
    I agree in part with the last interpretation. I do find the individual as a person who was on top of worldly possessions and then finding himself empty-but I find his transformation to be from finding salvation from Christ. :)
    As in my own personal experience, He totally changed his life. How people couldn't believe the 180 he/she made. 2Cor 5: 17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have disappeared, and - look! - all things have become new!" Such instances of his changes are how he's now in bed alone (abstinence), Rolling the dice (as those who crucified Christ did- oblivious to the truth of life before them, focused upon only worldly gain- his robe) Never an honest word (lying), but that was when he ruled the world. He has made God king over his life. Luk 9: 24 "If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life." -- I could dissect them all!
    House of sand is from Matthew 7: 24-27 (those who do not build their lives on Christ are like those who build their house on sand- once troubles come they collapse) , and the wild wind is obviously the holy Spirit. As wind is a constant reference to His Spirit all throughout scripture. The part of Saint Peter is how the wonder of Grace floods us. How God could give us favor without merit. Yet while we were sinners He died for us Romans 8: 1. :) The silver plate is a contrast to John the Baptist and how those in power (revolutionaries being those who were like he was) find him absurd and foolish. He sees it as a puppet on a string. And questions why he would ever want to live that way, or anyone would for that matter. 1 Cor 1: 18 "For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."
    It's a masterpiece. This song is amazing!
    The Jerusalem bells are Roman Calvary are God's joy over his decision. The mirror is from James 1: 24 and is reference to God being our mirror. The sword is the Word of God. The shield is faith. Taken from the armor of God: Ephes 6: 13- 17.
    I had no clue what this song really was about. I have been hearing a snip it of it in the commercial for I-tunes, and was curious as to who sang it, and what it actually says. Googled it up, and ended on here. I have fallen in love with the song. It reminds me of just how rich I am to know God. How all things I count as worthless compared to knowing Him. And how amazing it is to find that despite my says, that God knows my name on that day.
    This is offered to all. No matter how deep your sins, or where you're at. What you're doing. There is Hope and a God who loves you and wants to give you the amazing rush of living in the truth- that there is in deed a God, there is indeed a debt of sin that needs paid. That all the world has to offer- s*, money, possessions- are all worthless when we take our last breath. How we can be counted free and forgiven in God's sight by realizing that there is sooo much more worth living for. That real- unconditional love is beyond the most amazing thing you'll ever experience and obtain in this life. And how that comes from knowing God thru His son Jesus.
    It's like the rush and high you feel when this song hits the Jerusalem bells chorus. It's the sheer joy and knowledge of just what you've lost and how what you've found is much better in comparison. It's everyone's to be had. How wonderful God is. :)
    I'm open for questions. And for prayer if you want it. :) Kate.
    Add your reply
  • c
    + 3
    chancejd
    They did it again. The lyrics to this song are artfully composed and take a wonderful detour into imagery and metaphors.
    In my limited opinion and interpretation, the song is about an individual who lived the fast lane on a set of values--of which substance was lacking. At one point in time, these goals and mores suited his lifestyle, but he now finds that world he once "ruled" empty and void of anything that truly fulfills him.
    His request for a "mirror, sword and shield" seem to be a cry for help--to keep him always aware of who he is (mirror), but to be his strength and solace (sword and shield, respectively). He is, arguably, referring to his soul, conscience, his sense of self, or all three.
    "People could not believe what I'd become" suggests that he started out at the top of his game, but then eventually took it too far. He's a fallen god so to speak (Which seemingly ties in the historical references in the refrain.)
    It is truly a beautiful song, and follows Coldplay's trend in writing songs that find a common thread of pain/love/joy/disappointments, etc., and then to create a sanctuary by letting us all know that we have all experienced that in our lives.
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  • U
    + 2
    Unregistered
    This song is about the french king louis xvi. Think about. He was the ultimate ruler of france, he lived in one of the most opulent estates in the world, the palace of versailles, and was one of the most powerful men in western europe. Then the french revolution began, partly because of his failure to alleviate hunger and poverty, and he had to go on the run. He found himself the most hated man in france, powerless. Then of course his, as well as his wife's, life ended in an execution. It makes perfect sense, especially considering the album cover is a painting depicting the french revolution.
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  • l
    + 2
    listening21
    I think you're all over thinking the meaning of this song. To many metaphors the way most people are taking the song. I think it's pretty basic. Yes, there are some metaphors, but they're small ones. I think it's a guy who used to be a big shot. Lots of people trusted him, and he was a leader. Then he did something that kind of self-destructed himself. When he says "I use to rule the world, seas would rise when I gav the word" I think he means that he could have about anything he wanted at the tips of his fingers. When he goes "I used to roll the dice, feel the fear in my enemy's eyes" he's saying that he'd always take a risk and wasn't scared to lose. Other people, of course, were scared of him. The whole Jerusalem bells and Roman choirs stuff is probably him thinking back to the good times, when he had all the power. Did I mention that I think he's on his death bed? I just think he was a regular guy that hit the jackpot once and lost everything when he went back the second time.
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  • EmOcHiCa
    + 2
    EmOcHiCa
    I remember last summer I was sitten with my boyfriend making out in hiz car when this song came on and I absolutly loved it I mainly remember that day because when I told my boyfriend I lked that song he bought me the album the next day and then bought concert tickits to C coldplay I also remember that day cuz that was the day I got my tonge pierced.
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  • kk_pac
    + 2
    kk_pac
    I love the way he expresses himself. He had d world at his feet, people who loved him, sang his praises. N then its all taken away from him, n those that claimed to love him have all turned against him. He realises that their affections were false, their praises empty, they loved him when he was up, but hates him now that hes down. Realises it was all lies and deceptions. Great lyrics,.
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  • r
    + 2
    Rick61
    I think it's about a deposed dictator signing the blues while the world rejoices in his demise. I am struck though how much I think of Obama when I hear this song. Especially the line, "Seas would rise when I gave the word." I remember how he said if he was elected the seas would recede. That coupled with Obama's nationalization of everything in the usa. "People couldn't believe, what I'd become..."
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  • a
    + 2
    Abhluz82
    I guess is more like he is regreting of being some one he used to. Now sthg happens and he sees life with other eyes so he feels hapier and values life as never before. That's why he sings viva la vida --> saying a message for everyone who thinks material belongings are everything (that's why he referes himself as a king. He though he had everything.)
    Well, this is why I understand. And my personal opinion.
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  • a
    + 2
    apsigma
    I think it is about a person that had everything at one time and just knew he 'held the key' to life (or that which many believe is the key, I. E.: money, power, fame) it was abruptly stripped away (shattered windows and sound of drums, wicked and wild wind). That is when reality set in. What he thought were his 'pillars' of strength (his supposed allies, friends and/or fans), he now knows never were true companions. He now feels alone and also guilty for not being an upstanding or moralistic human being while everyone was watching (I know Saint Peter won't call my name) Now. He realizes what he has become. (be my mirror my sword and shield). He knows he must look within himself to make a change and prove himself as an individual rather then 'a king'. He believes only he can protect himself from himself. Once that change is made, he will hold the key to life and earn true friends and companions with which to continue through this life and thereafter happily (I know St Peter "will" call my name).
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  • c
    + 2
    captainhowdy
    The song is an extended metaphor. It is referring to the general theme of Jesus, leaders and empires throughout history but that is not what it's about; they are just a symbol of a concept. It's the universal theme of everyone's life changing from times when you're younger and feel like you're on top of the world and are invincible. Like the world is there for you to conquer and achieve greatness in without the consideration of what you do to get there or how you affect and connect with everyone else. Then aging and feeling like you got it all wrong because you realize your mistakes and ignorance and that you really know nothing and are just another lost soul in a big world. Just like everyone else.
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  • s
    + 2
    sukeylu
    I am on the same page as mustofa. Power and idolatry are of this world and don't mean a thing once you hit the afterlife. These people who try to reference it to Bush/Cheney crack me up. It could just as easily refer to Obama also who is king of the world right now but we'll see how his power plays out. It could apply to anyone in a position of power. In the end, what does it all give you? That's what this song is about.
    Add your reply
  • q
    + 2
    Queen4ADay
    When I heard the song, I thought of the many who have lost meaningful work, social status, our homes. Whatever the loss, be it material or spiritual. We were successful in some way and have faced (and are now facing!) the dreadful realities of no longer being "kings" and "queens" of our destiny. We come to terms with the reality that there is no such thing as control over one's life, that there is an inherent risk in every, every choice we make. Great success goes hand in hand with the risk of an even greater fall from grace.
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  • e
    + 2
    eshopper
    "For over a thousand years Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of triumph, a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeteers, musicians and strange animals from conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conquerors rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. Sometimes his children robed in white stood with him in the chariot or rode the trace horses. A slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting."
    - Gen. George C. Patton.
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  • s
    + 2
    Spinderella
    Power and a hunger for power. It doesn't last forever. Then you're left with the inevitable. Death. And what happens from there. Regret for what you do in your life, and when you think it's too late to turn back. The people you hurt along the way, the ones you turned away and refused to look at, maybe because you didn't think they were good enough to be in your presence. It's all one meaning. Live your life to the fullest. Be kind. Love. Laugh. Because in the blink of an eye, it's over. And who will you answer to? Coldplay is one of the best bands in the world. Their music always has such great meaning. Long Live Life!
    Add your reply
  • a
    + 2
    Axel417
    I've actually gotten some expert information about this, but the song is actually about one of the kings of france. "thelyricman" was really close here. You see France underwent a few republican revolutions, (The number eludes me) but in any terms they tended to be bloody. I am not exactly sure which king and subsequent revolution this song refers to but I've heard possibly Louis xiv (unconfirmed) The phrase, "Revolutionaries wait; for my head on a silver plate" actually (this is agreed on by my sources) refers literally to the revolutionaries of france who beheaded the king and all who were close to him. Literally they were waiting for his head to by chopped off and presented to them. I got this from someone extremely educated in world history (he's actually a history teacher) so you could trust this answer quite well. Other lyrics of the song, as already said such as "I know saint peter won't call my name" does refer to his tyrranical acts. You can take all of the words literally and they do actually fit this interpretation. It doesn't require a lot of extra thought to figure out how "Oh, who would ever wanna be king" fits into that category. I would like to give good credit to some of the other meanings and I do admit many seem fitting, but in any case there are contradictions and opinions involved and also many far-fetched interpretations on the meaning. But this I guarantee fits the words without fail. Thanks!
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  • r
    + 2
    Rogerramjet
    Please, please, please folks. There is one line in the song that gives it all away, "For some reason I can't explain, I know Saint Peter won't call my name." If you remember your Bible studies Peter three times denied Jesus--he didn't know him (Mark 14: 66-72). Also God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In that sense the opening lines read that ". . . Seas would rise when I gave the word. . ." I. E. He could part the seas.
    Also Jesus is the King of Kings and sadly like all kings before him he Jesus relizes that his reign on earth is comming to an end. He discovers that his castles--churches--are after all built upon nothing but salt and sand.
    And yes the song does get political. Who after all is trying to tear him down? Sorry, lefties, but it is the Marxist, socialist crowd that is bringing him down. It is the "revolutionaries" that want his head on a silver plate, much like John the Babtist. In Marx's own words "religion is the opium [poison] of the masses" (italics mine).
    Sadly Jesus probably is dead or certainly dying. Years and years of attacks from the left has brought Christianity to its death throws.
    Now there are many out there who would say that's just fine after all they continue more wars were fought over religion than anything else. Bulloks! Men have rarely gone to war over religion, they have gone to war over land, wealth, power and cultural differences; examine the facts. Those who would have us believe otherwise, do so only to obtain land, wealth and power for themselves, or to create a world where everyone behaves and acts the same as they do.
    If fact more good has come out of Christianity and more people have found purpose in their lives because of it then we can comprehend. Although I'm not particularly religious myself, I for one will take a world of tumultuous differences, then a bland, socialistic world where people idly stair out the kitchen window tapping their fingers for all eternity.
    Look all aroud Christianity has ispired millions upon millions: Leonardo Da Vinci, Michael Angelo, Rembrandt, J. S. Bach, my god the list is endless.
    Think about that the next time you want to be a boring socialist.
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  • 2
    + 2
    261219957761
    I really liked this song, it is one of my favorite. It took me a few times to read the lyrics, but when I did, it all made sense. It is talking about God and his mighty powers he has on us. The person is saying he knows St. Peter won't call his nam because he has disobeyed God. It is a very true song. It also talks about heaven and other things. Very awesome.
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  • j
    + 2
    janusdouble
    In the chorus he is also implying that not uttering an honest word, wasn't only what he used to be like but was also what made him 'rule the world'. His 'dishonesty' was the source of his power and the source of his downfall. That's why later he wonders 'who would ever want to be king? '. Cause to 'rule' he would have to 'lie' and by lying he would eventually lose everything. The bells, cavalry and saint peter, are just there to show that he's facing judgement (maybe as his life near it's end) of what he was and he hopes, although he believes he doesn't deserve it, to be saved. And it seems for some unexplainable reason he will be. Even for realizing what he did wrong.
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  • j
    + 2
    janusdouble
    It's about a person who used to have everything, people loved him, he was rich and influential, but because of his arrogance the foundations crumbled and he lost it all. In the chorus he makes a plea to someone to 'be mirror, my sword, my shield', to show him his true self, to fight for him and protect him. He knows he wasted his life, that's why he doesn't hope for 'entry to heaven', but concludes by saying that when he 'ruled the world' he was never truthful but now he is, he was humbled and he wants to change. And that's why by the end of the song, which is mostly a confession and asking to be forgiven, for some reason he can't explain saint peter will call his name. This is all symbolic of course it's about loss, it's about asking for forgiveness for past mistakes and hoping for a better future. It certainly isn't about the crusades, the french revolution and monarchy in general.
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  • j
    + 2
    JSchuler
    I think it's a mistake to try to draw references to specific rulers for this song, as it winds up being a mishmash of unrelated themes/people. For instance, if the second line really did refer to Canute, there's the problem that Canute was never overthrown. So, there is no relation between that line and the line immediately following. Similarly, if we are going to look for a parallel for "head on a silver plate," the only figure available is John the Baptist, who could hardly be called a worldly leader. And would be more in line with the revolutionaries. (Which would not include the American revolution, as the American "revolutionaries" never threatened the existence of the British crown) But if you want to play, "I used to roll the dice" could refer either to Julius Caesar as he crossed the Rubicon ("iacta alea est"), or the legendary gambler John Montagu, Earl of Sandwhich ;)
    However, listening to the song multiple times, it is Roman Cavalry, not Calvary (in which case, the adjective Roman would create a rather odd construction). The typo, I believe, is that there should be a comma after Cavalry, as again "Roman Cavalry choirs" doesn't make much sense. Yet, if you see them as three different elements: Jerusalem bells ringing, Roman Cavalry, choirs singing, it sounds like a celebration for a victorious army, something you'd expect the singer to relate as he describes "when I ruled the world."
    In the end, I see this as a general tale of a man who gained power/fame/wealth through forces beyond his control (wicked and wild wind), grew arrogant in his good fortune (seas would rise when I gave the world), and so had it all collapse around him (pillars of salt, pillars of sand). The theme could have been ripped right out of Machiavelli's The Prince.
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  • a
    + 2
    alice1106
    This is obviously about Louis the xvi and the french revolution aka the reign of terror. Long live the king is famous for when Louis the xvi was beheaded. The jacobians and the Girondins were fighting about executing the king. The fall of robespierre and the people fighting too. The relations of church and state in which at this time people lost their faith and thus there was christian and hebrew movements where most of the churches had lost their bishops by death or exile, when Gregory convoked at Paris a number of Bishops to regain their habit of worship. And the church of St. Peter was crowded with people the same people who had witnessed scenes of Jerusalem when the Jews returning from exile were able to regain their worship. Religion and the Reign of terror by Edmond de Pressense 1869. Look it up.
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  • g
    + 2
    guineemom
    I think its about the rise to fame and the myths about power but the reality is that when you are king you can trust no-one, you are merely a puppet and subject to the whims of the fickle mob. There is a kind of biblical theme here too - it could be about Jesus Christ. I suppose it applies to all great leaders who experienced the highs and lows.
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  • w
    + 2
    wallsofjericho
    Truuule this is defenitly not about the united states. It has nothing to do with bush or the economy. And just cause you don't like bush don't asume its about him. Its most likely about a king lyk king henry. Like he had it all and basically he lost it all. So this has nothing to do with bush. If you wanna go hate on bush stick with my fav band green day. I have nothing against bush because he is a smart man but I like green day. And our government doesn't always lie.
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  • c
    + 2
    celticwriter
    As a British band, the song is about the fall of the British Empire. The French influence is just used to throw people off. He is talking about the fall of power in the Western World. The puppet on a string is the British government acting as a puppet for the you. S. Remember, the sun never set on the British Empire at one time. Dishonesty resulted. Revolution came. He's reflecting on the generational legacy of the Britain's global colonial expansion and it's gradual decline.
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  • n
    + 2
    neomodo
    This ong is political and about religion.
    Pontius Pilate ordered the death of Jesus - it is said that as a result he was damned to walk the earth for eternity. Never getting the chance to step into heaven but not doomed to eternity in hell because he was an upright man living within the boundaries of what was prudent in his lifetime. So he used to rule the world but after Jesus was crucified he never heard a true word again.
    In essence, It is a subtle observation that religion is a lie. Religions always follow the one man or prophet. But all the renditions are really subjective interpretations by others that claim to have some access to the word.
    I hear Jerusalem bellsringing - Jerusalem is a hot spot for at least 3 distinct religions - Chritianity, Juadaism and Islam - and the relationship between Jerusalem and Rome was very interesting around that time.
    I find this song to be very sad because it points out, in a subtle way, that god is dead. Every god. And we are all just lost souls looking for some way to nail down the meaning in our lives. . Before we die.
    This song is epic.
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  • s
    + 2
    Singit2Me
    Wow, there are some interesting perspectives regarding the lyrics of this song.
    From my point of view it's not really about one particular person but the characteristics persons begining at a point in European history that had power, became corrupt and lost it. It is also being told collectively in hind sight.
    Lastly, I believe it hints that history repeats it's self with the line "Oh, who would ever want to be King?" You would think that most people would not. But take a look around.
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  • s
    + 2
    shoreline
    I think one of the themes of this song is: Tony Blair. Maybe parallels between Blair and other historical figures like Napoleon. The evidence: Tony Blair was the darling of the British left when he got elected, but one event - the alleged lies over the invasion of Iraq - destroyed his image with people of this political view almost overnight. Tony Blair got the keys to Downing Street and this gave him the power to raise seas (like with Polaris missiles) but in the end "People couldn't believe what I'd become" as many thought his drive to push the Iraq invasion through parliament betrayed all of the left's principals. The jerusalem bells line makes me think of the fact that Blair's new job is Middle-East Envoy, and the Roman Cavalry that he recently converted to Catholicism in Rome. I know there are other details in the lyrics that don't fit so well, but this song just really makes me think of Blair and his tarnished reputation (as many on the British left would see it).
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  • g
    + 2
    GMNK
    I think the song taps in to the anti war sentiment around the world. Leaders at the top think they are in a powerful position but, along with their downfall comes the bleakness of a pittiful life, sweeping streets etc. To me the song refers to Blair and Bush with references of superiority in ruling the world and then having to come to terms with what they have done. Either way the song is brilliant, genius!
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  • s
    + 2
    steve200
    I believe it is a song about the fall of empire and the cyclical nature of power both interpersonal and global. It therefore works on a number of levels being historical - Decline of Roman empire, revolutionary takeover etc; as political commentary - China's supercedence of the us and the fall of that hegemony and yet can also work on a personal level I. E the breakdown of a relationship and the lows one can feel after the supreme high of being in love.
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  • r
    + 2
    RickRodz
    Actually, never mind. Now that I think about it, I think it's a story about Jesus or God or related with Jesus indeed. He used to own the World, seas would rise when he gave the word. This recalls when Moses separated the waters of the Red Sea during the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt. I thought maybe he doesn't own the World anymore considering today's society hasn't seen God as a center of life or important at all since a couple of centuries or the Middle Ages. The fact that his castles stand upon pillars of sand and salt recall that in a parabole of Jesus, he explained how those who don't follow him will be building their houses upon sand and thus will fall from instability. Jesus travelled about 3 or 4 times to Jerusalem in his life, at least his public one. The region of Israel was a Roman province at the times of Jesus. His missionaries in a foreign field make me think of the apostles and his disciples that were called upon to travel the World and spread his teachings, A. K. A. Missionaries. In other lyrics, it's "once you go, there was never, never an honest word", which could mean that after Jesus ascended into Heaven, humanity once again started to deteriorate. People couldn't believe he had become such an important figure, A. K. A. Messiah. So a group of Jews called the Zelots, which were Revolutionaries against the Romans and the fact they had invaded their land, wanted him dead (my head on a silver plate), so they crucified him. A puppet could mean he's God's son and was sent to Earth by him, so he's technically a "puppet" of God. I'm thinking Saint Peter won't call his name since he is Jesus, God's son, he doesn't need Saint Peter's permission to enter Heaven. Either way, I like the song and it can be interpreted different ways and it's a great piece of music!
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  • U
    + 1
    Unregistered
    "I USED to rule the world" so probably the narrator right now or the one singing is in already in poverty or in a moderate living. He's telling this to his kids maybe or some people who is interested in his past so that's maybe why he's singing or narrating this song. First he had all the power he ever needed, conquers everything he wants, respect from his enemies and a strong and sturdy castle(mansions). But for every time you rise to the extent where you already had everything you want, there are people who wants to bring you down or try to steal it from you, so from the phrase "And I discover that my castle stand, upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand." are probably all about betrayal etc.
    From the chorus, he was telling that back from the time when he ruled the world, he was all telling lies so maybe one of the reasons why a lot of people is trying to get back at him.
    So when he already comes clean and felt sorry for his mistakes, there are some people who supports him to get back his power he once owned. And all those "Revolutionaries"(haters) is once again trying to get back at him.
    At that moment, he don't want his power to waste. So a lot of killings were probably made on that time so that's whay St. Peter won't call his name.

    And that's the end of his narration or song about what he was before.
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  • U
    + 1
    Unregistered
    It's about king David, the greatest kig of all, who ordered to build an enormous palace and a mayor strong a big wall sorrounding Jerusalen. A powerful human creation, but set up on the weakness of a king that played to be God. As King David did, we pretend to be a new king, whilst we believe we are at the top.
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  • U
    + 1
    Unregistered
    I think loumoe is wrong, adam (supposedly) didn't listen to satan, he listened to eve, who was tempted by the serpent, whoisnt satan, but instead represents temptation and curiousity (i know no priest would say the second part, but that's clearly part of it), second, adam and eve never had power, they just had a perfect life in which they would have lived forever, had it not been for eve's weaker faith.
    Note: I don't believe this, its just what the bible says.
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  • U
    + 1
    Unregistered
    I don't particularly know what this song means. When I first really listened to the words, I was hit by how confusing the song was which made me love it even more immediately. It's a puzzle that can't be sorted unless you were the one who created it. There are too many possibilities that come out of it.
    In conclusion, this song has reminded me of "the wheel of time" series, for those of you who have heard of it. It reminded me of two of the main characters, rand al'thor and matrim cauthon. Rand, because in the books, he ruled the world. He held a power called saidin that would allow him to lift the seas at his command. He was in love with three women so, I guess the line, 'in the morning I sleep alone' would fit that part of the book. :) and, that's as far as my theory with rand goes. I haven't finished the series so I don't know what happens to him.
    Finally, mat, because he's really good with any kind of chance. So, in the case of dice, he always wins, and his enemies, or his opponent, are always fearful of him. With this game of dice, it's basically gambling. He wins the money if he rolls the five crowns. And that's how he becomes rich. Mat is also told that he will marry a woman of the nine moons. But, he does not hold saidin, so the seas rising wouldn't fit. This is just what the song reminded me of, but really, any conclusion you can come up with to the lyrics of the song fits.
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  • U
    + 1
    Unregistered
    Perhaps it is the rise of a man and on reaching the pinnacle of their own success finds that although lauded everywhere it is a very cold and lonely place to be, especially when you find that the indiviuals propogaing your visions and words temper them to there own perceptions and for their own purposes. Then you find that your authority is only based on what others allow again for their interests and not the universal good. Then as time goes on and the distorted messages become the latest fashionable vision you become out of fashion and a target of ridicule, distain or just old hat. I would suggest that the song shows how humanity is quite fickle with its leaders whether religous, political, artistic or other. Or perhaps chris went to chuch after quite a large skinful!
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  • U
    + 1
    Unregistered
    Clearly we all feel that we are/were kings in our little worlds, but it is a world of lies and unfulfilled promise. After the fall, ironically he finds the world of truth and fulfilled promise in god. But, although he has now found the truth through god, he is concerned that it will not lead to eternal life, probably because he has lived a mostly ungodly life.
    The good news is that it is never too late.
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  • U
    + 1
    Unregistered
    It is historical poetry about the life of King Louis xvi of France.
    The very art work of the album is a famous 19th century painting about the french revolution by eugene delacroix. Google it if you don't believe me.
    King louis was a king that got the nation into terrible debt and "ruled the world" but the economy crashed and everyone turned against him. The third estate (made by the people) met together and made thier own constitution against the king and the rest of the nation eventually followed the constitution.
    France was split so people were being killed right and left for not being loyal to the king by the guillotine- while the rest of the people, "revolutionist wanted his head on a silver plate" (cut off by his own tool of destruction).
    Eventually he was removed from office and "forced to sweep the streets and sleep alone..." he was then taken to the guillotine and killed where he "cried out for saint peter"
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  • U
    + 1
    Unregistered
    This song reminds me of the story of King Nebuchadnezzar, in the book of Daniel in the Bible. One moment he owns the world, and the next he is roaming the wilderness, completely mad.
    On a more general level, the song seems to suggest how great kings and rulers of the past eventually lost everything, whether through circumstance or death. 'Greatness' passes. Only when we lose everything do we discover what really matters. The song takes it further - the title suggests that understanding this truth should lead us to question humanity: what does humanity consider important? Why should we fight wars, or compete for power and money? It all passes. Just "live the life".
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  • U
    + 1
    Unregistered
    Its metaphorically speaking of a fallen christian. Who stumbles and use to be at the top of what us christians are on this world to do. But everyone falls and that's why he says (when I ruled the world).
    It could also be reffered to the french revolution, after all the album cover has a french flag with bunch of dead people, smoke, and people alive with guns.
    It could possibly also be talking about a king of which when his people turned against him and revolked(or rebelled if you would have it) against the king. And now he wants to go to God and now one of God's many saints (saimt peter) wont even help him(kind of like a gaurdian angel that stops helping(or gaurding as you will)).
    Theres also many other ways to inturrpritet(btw idk how to spell that lol) this song.
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  • m
    + 1
    MNKYband
    Firstly, I do not believe this is about Christianity. There is nothing wrong with Christianity, but some people see it in everything.
    I think it is just about a man who used to have a very powerful presence, but made a mistake, a large mistake that people hated him for, and when he showed his darker side trying to reclaim the peace that was there before, he lost his position of power, and everyone wants him dead.
    I might be wrong, but that is how I see this.
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  • m
    + 1
    Mwolvesto50
    Why is that when a song makes Biblical references it instantly has to be about something from the "Bible." newsflash: The "Bible" is the most alluded work of all time, but you don't take an allusion at face value. Coldplay has said the song is about revolution. You can do personal interpretations, but the whole "Bible" thing to me is kind of ridiculous-in a sense that you have a to take the lyrics at face value. Let me make one thing clear, I am not saying the "Bible" or what the "Bible" claims is or is not true. I am simply saying you shouldn't take lyrics at face value like that. Look for deeper meanings.
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  • l
    + 1
    Luvrofmusic
    It may be about the historic conquerors of the world. Maybe the colonizers like the British, or other European and Asian conquerors. It speaks on the bad deeds done and that when meeting the maker to get into heaven there will be no admittance. It may be inferring good over evil - the reckoning or consequence to evil actions. I love the song. I am practicing to play the song on my guitar.
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  • b
    + 1
    blingmyguccibag
    Guys it's about Napoleon Bonaparte from the french revolution. It has nothing to do at all with a boy (or girl) falling in love but then they break up and he's pissed blah. Anyway Napoleon was a general in the french revolution and somehow he ended up gaining control of the whole army. After a while he claimed himself to be emperor. I can't really remember how he fell out of power but. . It's definitely about Napoleon Bonaparte, it even says it in the cd case.
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  • -
    + 1
    --songyxlurver--
    It's not really about war as in the physical sense of fighting, but rather, emotional war. He was popular last time and 'ruled the world', ut now he is experiencing rejection. The 'mirror, sword and shield' are actually referring to the help that he needs. The 'mirror' is his reflection on what he had done wrong, the 'sword and shield' is for him to 'fight and defend' himself when he seeks forgiveness from his friends. There are still people out there who are jealous of him and wants to see him defeated. This song is more about rejection and depression, not war and fighting, in my opinion. :)
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  • b
    + 1
    backwardspumpkinsong
    This song is about the reformation with the catholic church. 7th graders learn about when learning bout europe in the middle ages. This is in like the pope or the churches point of view I'm not sure. When he says "key" he means the key to heaven. "never an honest word. but that was when i ruled the world" he is saying the church scammed the people cause they couldn't read. For example the indulgences they use to sell. When he says "wicked and wild wind" hes referring to martin luther. "saint peter wont call my name" it is said that saint peter is at the gate of heaven or somthing and he wont be going there cause hes been bad. "just a puppet on a lonely string. oh who would ever want to be king" basically the pope had total control over the king. Cuz like he could excommunicate them and that was bad back the cuz there werent many churches.
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  • x
    + 1
    XxKARINAxX
    This song -i think- means that the first three verses are where he recounts his former glory "Old king is dead, long live the king" when he was going to rule the world, and how he held such power over his enemy. "I used to rule the world/ Roll the dice" And then he tells of his downfall, when he sees that he cannot rule the world, and how he has become the lowest. "Now in the morning/ sweep the streets I used to own/ the walls were closed on me" Sweeping is a nobody job, so He is saying that he is now a nobody.
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  • z
    + 1
    zeusboy
    I relate to this song because when it came out it was at the end of a 14 year relationship. It was built on pillars of salt and sand. I felt like I was on top of the world and took everything for granted. Now I wake up alone. When there were many lies in that relationship St. Peter wouldn't call my name and now that I'm honest St. Peter will call my name even if I'm not a king and have everything I thought I needed. I have what's important. This is what it means to me anyway.
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  • l
    + 1
    Lalita9
    To begin with I agreed with Thomaslgibson and thought that this song was talking about the French Revolution. However, when I started really thinking about it, it sounded a lot more like it was speaking of Jesus Christ. There are a lot of biblical references ('pillars of salt and pillars of sand', 'jerusalem bells'), and when it says 'King' I assume it's also a reference to Jesus - 'King of the Jews'. Again, it's a reference to Jesus when it says 'seas would rise when I gave the word' and the fact that Jesus was killed by the Romans explains the line, 'Roman cavalry choir'. Lastly, the line 'For some reason I can't explain, I know Saint Peter will call my name, ' is pretty sefl-explanatory when understood in terms of Jesus. That's just my opinion. (:
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  • luvinGirlsAloud
    + 1
    luvinGirlsAloud
    Love this its really nice and gets in your head way to easy. Not really sure what it means. At first I thought maybe somat to do with religion round da world but doubt it! Its one f thise songs that you just don't really know what was going on in the songwriters head ya know! Sometimes that's the best way to feel a song! Make it what you want it to mean ya know!
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  • t
    + 1
    ThomasLGibson
    The whole point of the song is the French Revolution. When it said "The old King is dead, long live the king," it means the king that was executed during the revolution, for he overthrew the former king. Jerusalem was also freed of some opression because of The speaker in the lyrics overthrew the former king. In the stanza where it says, "They could'nt believe what I'd become, it tells of him becoming power hungry and the people hating him for it. "Waitingg for my head on a silver plate, " refers to the crowds of revolutionists who gathered to watch the king and queen get beheaded by the guillotine, and their heads were placed on silver platters and paraded through the city. If you need any more proof, the woman on the cover art is holding a french flag in front of rioting frenchmen, and coldplays outfitting for the videos and tour is centeed around french styling.
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  • s
    + 1
    soli41193
    The song talks about a king who had everything, ruled everything but was overthrown, deposed by revolutionaries and after the deposition the king speaks of how he knows he was bad and how he deserves this loss of power such as when he says "I Know Saint Peter won't call my name", he refers to Saint Peter's position of Keeper of the Keys of Heaven in other words how the king wont be called to heaven, castles upon sand and salt refers to his crumbling kingdom, "never an honest word" how the king was not truthful, "Revolutionaries wait for my head on a silver plate" how the people of his kingdom wanted him dead. Eh, that is probably a good definition of the song.
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  • l
    + 1
    leftyg
    This song is about George Bush or at least Bush is the metaphor off of which he works. Power corrupts and absolute power absolutely corrupts. The lines "it was the wicked and wild wind Blew down the door and let me in Shattered windows and the sound of Drums People could not believe what I had become" is about 9/11 and the transformation to king with absolute power and the abeyance to that power that we gave President Bush. And this power changed Bush to a man of great dishonesty. "Never an honest word" is repeated three times, and we know about all his lies getting us into Iraq. Jerusalem bells and Roman calvary choirs refer to the middle east. My missionaries in a foreign field are his soldiers in Iraq. I believe in his heart his intentions were good, but good intention line the road to hell, and the singer says in the saddest verse I have ever hear. "For some reason I can't explain I know St Peter won't call my name." It is to me about George Bush and his brush with power. He knows in his heart that his crimes have forbid him the grace of God. Power is a fleeting illusion that traduces and ultimately vitiates its victim.
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  • a
    + 1
    Axel417
    This song is about the french revolution. Perhaps the meaning is different but the words are about Louis xvi. Viva la Vida is a corruption of French. And the picture on the album cover is of the french revolution. My proof of that is the french flag is in the background. Whether there is a hidden meaning is up for debate but the words are 100% for sure about Louis xvi. (revolutionaries wait for my head on a silver plate is because the new government attempted to behead the former king for example) But I would believe that the reason the words reflect the latter life of Louis xvi would be metaphorical for what happens to people who get too much power. (which is why saint peter won't call his name).
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  • thelyricman
    + 1
    thelyricman
    I think this song talks about Napoleon, how he used to be the king, the he was sent to a lonely island, and then he thinks all he have done, I think that's why he says "I know St. Peter won't call my name", because St. Peter is the one who holds the keys to heaven, and won't let him in, because of all the things he have done during his life.
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  • d
    + 1
    dfilcek
    I think this song is about everyone and that is what makes it so powerful. We all think we are in control and seas rise when we give the word, but this person in the song is reflecting back on life and now recognizes that he/she has stepped on people to get power and so now they walk the streets alone. Someone once said absolute power corrupts absolutely and that is what this song is about. You can live life for yourself and be a tyrant, but in the end you will be left alone with the fear that St. Peter will not call your name!
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  • Volcomavecmoi
    + 1
    Volcomavecmoi
    It sounds like a king or ruler remebering his past. He speaks of power and control. But also of how corrupt and out of order things were. Its almost like a story. He speaks as if its a flashback. And forshadows the rest by saying "(And I discovered that my castles stand Upon pillars of salt, pillars of sand) " which could also be called the climax. Then everything got bad and he says how people wanted him dead "head on a silver plate". The real point of this story is mentioned when he says "Oh who would ever want to be king?" it shows that the power overtook him and that it is way worse than we think it is. Not everything is how it appears, even the rich have troubles.
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  • r
    + 1
    Rogerramjet
    Geez, after this last comment that's the last I'm going to say. I got things to do.
    The last French revolution was in 1848. And that was also the year that Karl Marx published his Communist Manifesto. The years just prior to its publication Marx had lived in France. And many of the ideas of Marx had no doubt been swirling around during the Revolution of 1830.
    Also you might be interested to know that France, after many beheadings, has burned through about ten constitutions. The United State still lives with its first. Be careful what you mess with.
    Good bye.
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  • g
    + 1
    glow
    I agree with axe322. It reminds me a lot of what would be sung to you upon entering the gates of heaven. Coldplay may have different reasons for writing it though. You know how songs can be. They mean one thing to one person and a completely different thing to somebody else. I looked up Chris Martin's religion on wikipedia and it said he didn't know much about God and that he was open to different ideas. So I don't know if he's talking about God in this song or not. That's just what it means to me.
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  • a
    + 1
    axe322
    I never knew the meaning to this song. When I downloaded it from * and played it repeatedly, it reminded me of what they would play for you when you entered the gates of Heaven! Each individual would be praised and reminded how important they were here on earth and the many lives they touched. Sadly, I read the lyrics and yes, it still is something Heaven might play you, assuming St Peter shake his fist at you behind your back lol It pretty much shows you how one can let that much power go to their head, if they're not careful.
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  • q
    + 1
    Quickie
    This song is about how everything can be taken away from you in the blink of an eye and how religion can open up your eyes to see the world for what it really is and having nothing makes you appriciate everything you have or don't now there is many meaning to this song and everyone will take it for what they will you may argue about it and fight for the meaning but the song is good and it will touch people regardless.
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  • r
    + 1
    rose_lady1984
    I think all of this song is about the mortality of power and its effects on every individual member of society and the immortality of love. Be my mirror and complete me, every thing is built on an unreliable entity on sand, on salt.
    Be the person who will remain at the time of my death and who is true to me, not for my wealth, be beside me in my bed. Your presence will be regarded as a shield. This is a purely love song……….
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  • m
    + 1
    Morna
    I think I have to agree with Janus Double. The song certainly isn't about "some Roman king" (the way my colleague suggested). It's about someone who had it all, enjoyed his power and popularity, but enjoyed it just too much and let himself do things so that he lost everybody near him ("Now in the morning I sleep alone"). And he says it just wasn't worth it, it wasn't about the power. I really love the biblical comparisons, even though I'm not christian myself.
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  • g
    + 1
    glahoiten
    I think its about a man who first discovered god, and accepted it with all his heart, (when he ruled the world), but temptations came along and he fell away, and his wild desire brought him back, and lead him to become a missionary (head on a plate), which brought him back to god. Say this due to christian references, and things such as "long live the king" and "puppet on a long, long stiing.
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  • k
    + 1
    krose
    I was also thinking about the song, as it is great as few.
    I think the answer is quite simple, it just reminds me my past years.
    People so often these days are so confident, almost arogant, caring for their social position and reputation for all cost, thinking 'only me', I am the best, the one and the only, loosing from sight what is important (the others), being so focused on ourselves, becoming egoistic for things/people around us. We are happy, we are the kings of the streets, but this excitement based on 'the only me - the king' is like piles from sand, sooner or later the castle will collapse, the others will stop worship the king and become the revolutionarries who want your head.
    And his refering to christianity maybe is because the religion teach the others are more important than ourselves, the path to become the king, I mean, someone valuable is through caring after others.
    He didn't know about this, St. Peter would not call his name, but he understood and in the last line St. Peter will call his name.
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  • d
    + 1
    dreadly
    I think the song is a commentary of saddam hussane's rule and the wars currently being fought. The head on a sliver plate the puppet on a lonely string the singing of jeruselem and rome is the unity of ideology in the west (where the wind blows) and clearly according to what we belief St Peter will not be calling that name.
    I think the idea of him sad and confused epitomizes the way he was found. Reduced to a man in a whole. I think its guttsy.
    And well written, the rhyming tetrameters make it (abab) child-like and ominous which I think adds to that tinge of sorrow.
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  • x
    + 1
    x-kerry---x
    I think many of you are going into too much depth into who this song is actually about that you are missing the point of the lyrics. I mean for heavens sakes who writes a song about Richard I's control over Europe? I personally believe the song is simply about the grip Jesus and Christianity had on Europe, with so much reference to cliches of christianity who could miss that? I think we should all stop going into so much depth about who the song is about and rather look at what the song is trying to tell us.
    :) x
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  • d
    + 1
    dchappy
    I think this song is about Napoleon Bonapartes rule over much of Europe. He was one of the only Rulers who was at the top of the known world at one point and then it all came crashing down and was put on the island of Elba for work and exhile. He never regained his power.
    If it is not about him it could be about Alexander the Great since he was the other main world power and came from Persia but ruled the roman empire at one time too.
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  • w
    + 1
    wahetever45
    I think that its not necessarily about a specific incident in history, but an experience in the writers life about the end of a meaningful part in their life after the did something to end the "era" the references to "be my mirror..." mean to help them discover who they are after what they've done, and the st peter wo't call y name is because of what ever it is they did to cause all of this.
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  • m
    + 1
    Marino4436
    I do believe it is in reference to the french, because it refrences the roman cavalery, Before italy became an official country the french were in control of most of italy. So when the french lost there strangle hold on the capital they became free. Refering to Jersulam france was on the quest to conquer them. And take all that land. Its odd to sing about this, but its really a beautiful song.
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  • m
    + 1
    MoniLaCalena
    Perhaps it's about how sometimes someone falls into the great lust of lifes pleasures.
    The excess of any one of those is not good so perhaps, it's about someone who believed they were at the top of the world and that they had concoured everything they wanted - money, popularity, power, etc. Just to later, realize the truth.
    That it all fake, the people around them were fake and that although they were at the top - they really didn't have what really is important and matters in life. As they realized this, everything they had came tumbling down.
    This person came to realize that it was all sureal, superficial and not fullfilling at all. It was their vanity and pride that made them think it was great.
    But now, at this point, although down in every aspect, they look back at all of it as a learning experience. They have learned, healed and ready to move forward but this time, in a humble and wiser state.
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  • a
    + 1
    alwill
    Someone mentioned that it might be about the fall of the Catholic church. I'd have to agree. The Catholic Church had a major role in medieval politics, which could explain the line "I used to rule the world". "I used to role the dice" may refer to the risks the church took in politics, which "Listen as the crowd would sing 'The old king is dead, long live the king!'" could refer to the church standing by as new kings came to power and then died. "I know Saint Peter won't call my name" might be a hint that the practices of the church were never completely saintly. "It was the wicked and wild wind, blew down the doors and let me in" could be something about the turmoil in the middle ages. The religious imagery throughout the song would also lend credence to this explanation.
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  • a
    + 1
    avidjon
    Could it be a more modern, more direct allegory for the Bush's administration's taking an evil act like 9-11 (It was the wicked and wild wind, Blew down the doors to let me in. Shattered windows and the sound of drums.) and using it as an excuse to attempt to democratize the Middle East? I see it as a post-Bush era reflection on what these past 8 years have done to our global reputation.
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  • w
    + 1
    Wesker_Doom
    Well Coldplay is good No s*t but just because it may have Biblical references does not mean it is a religious song it talks about some dude that was powerful and lost it all then found god but that's about it but did he only lie When he was Powerful? That's the only Question I have, oh and no Coldplay is not telling us to Find god just be happy!
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  • 90sCanuck
    0
    90sCanuck
    Interesting biblical comparisons. I always personally felt this song was about growing up. The storyteller once imagined himself as a great king, living in his very own castle, ruling his very own kingdom. He felt he was greatly loved by his subjects, and greatly feared by his enemies. However, as he grew older, reality slowly began to set in; he eventually came to learn that life tends to suck, and that the castle he owned was nothing more than the kind a kid builds out of sand and saltwater. The wicked and wild wind would have been the moment when he hit puberty, as that is a time when most are torn between childhood and maturity. Everything is telling him to leave, right down to his subjects, who are now revolutionaries out for his blood. Now that he's a grown man, he's been hit by real life so many times he wishes to return to his fantasy kingdom, but is all too aware that he cannot, instead choosing to reminisce of the time he ruled the world.
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    I have done some research and I believe that viva la vida is a story about a king that rose to power, and took his power for granted, perhaps killing innocent people and being cruel. One of his men that he trusted turned against him and created a roman army to take over the kingdom. So the army killed all his men and the king is waiting to be executed to have his head on a silver plate. He then regrets everything that he took for granted and knows that for what he did, no-one will help him now. No-one had faith in him, and he was killed and the new king took over the kingdom. The old king is dead, long live the king.
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    I see it as the way you feel when you gain material things, everyone praises you and treats you good, and you think they ther e because of who you are. But then you lose your material things and you realise that people don't treat you the same. And the relationships were not true that the good times you felt were all pretend. That's when the holy spirit reaches you. It only has the chance toreach you when you at your most humble. It opens your eyes and you realise that is better to have nothing and have love in your heart than to possess material things but have doubts constantly making you think twice about peoples honesty.
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    Lots of layers, could even just interpret it as the way the music industry churns out new 'stars' who think they own the world and the party will never end, but then come crashing down, their popularity or their sanity or their drug use or whatever crashing with them, dropped by the 'star makers' who created their image, dropped by the fans who find a new favorite. And so it goes. Reduced to ordinary lives, ordinary jobs, or worse, if their minds are too torn up and destroyed by drugs, alcohol, stress.
    This song always makes me cry. And think about my own life. What I've achieved, what I haven't, what I've kidded myself about and wish I'd done differently. Excellent song.
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    I think it's about a king who was very powerful and respected, if not also feared. He was proud to be king. Now, being king, he had access to everything, but this showed him that there was serious corruption in his kingdom. Due to this, he prayed that everything would be okay, because his missionaries weren't there to support him. Eventually, I think that the corruption got to him and he increasingly became a tyrant. He began invading homes and building a large army. This caused revolutionaries to arise and rebel against him. He also began realizing the horrible burden of being king. Eventually, the rebels defeated him and his kingdom was thrown into anarchy and he lost all of his glory.
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    About a young king who's reign of power had gone to his head like when it said "people could'nt believe what i'd become" I really don't know how to explain this song. I love it I have loved it since it first came out. I eman I'm not a huge fan of coldplay. But this is still my favorite song. I'm always humming it no matter where I am. Which can sometimes get you dirty looks like "the shut up!!! " look or the "oh god, the poor childs mental. " lol. But, I still love this song. And it will play at my funeral. I shall make sure of it ;)
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    I think that this song is about hubris.
    He is not just a king, he is beyond mortals entirely (seas rise at his very command, he ruled the whole world), in his opinion. He sees himself as perhaps a god in his own right. He was salvation (the old king is dead, long live the king).
    In this vastly oversized ego, he became distant and perhaps cruel (wicked wind blew down the doors to let me in/people couldn't believe what I'd become), and likely maintained himself through deception (never an honest word) but never even realized how he had changed until too late (one minute I held the key [the answer to life, etc.? ]/next the walls were closed on me).
    However, the people, used to him as ruler, have lost the ability to live on their own (revolutionaries "wait" for my head, not "come"), and he has to go into hiding (now I sleep alone, sweep the streets I used to own), and he realizes just how wrong he was about everything (my castles stood on pillars of salt and sand), and that he is truly beyond redemption (i know saint peter won't call my name) and in the end, being a god is not for humans (who would ever want to be king [of the world? ]).
    I don't believe that this particularly references one person or event (though the french revolution is pretty close), but instead is perhaps a song about a theme, or even a precautionary tale.
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    Doctor who. The tenth, in particular. For example;.
    'the sound of drums, ' is liek the end of time.
    'feel the fear in my enemies eyes', how the daleks go still when they hear his name.
    'my missionaries in a foreign field', all his companions all over the place.
    'just a puppet on a lonely string', because he is lonely.
    'people couldn't believe what I'd become', sort of like at the end of 'the waters of mars'.
    'never an honest word, ' no 1 rule; the doctor lies.
    Don't criticize me because I like doctor who!
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    Simply put, power corrupts.
    A literal interpretation"
    A man dethrones the old king, apparently a tyrant to the eyes of his people and takes his place. As king he had so much power and it tainted him, becoming just like the old king. Just like the king before him, people rose against him and dethroned him.
    It also shows the cruel abruptness that fates can change. The new king speaks as if the revolution was rather sudden thing.
    "one minute I held the key.
    Next the walls were closed on me. ".
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    I think it's about corporations, and how we are all mislead by it. I mean, so what we have presidents, and prime ministers. It's not like they do anything. It's just the corporations and people running them. I mean how does the lyrics: "revolutionaries wait, for my head on a silver plate. Just a puppet on a lonely string... Oh who would ever want to be kind? "
    think about it.
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    The cover art and the music suggests french renaissance and it sounds to me like napolean bonaparte reflecting on his rule and fall. And then his deciet and lies. Like when he says "i know saint peter won't call my name" meaning he wont get into heaven. And then as he mentions revolutionaries waiting for his head on a plate, for there were those in his short and chaotic reins.
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    This song to me has a few meanings, as a student of history I believe it is a play (coldplay?) on the events of the french revolution and the reign of king louis xvi ("revolutionaries wait for my head on a silver plate"), but from an emotional level it is about a man who had everything (ruled the world) then lost it and is reflecting on his dishonesty and how he held onto power ("never an honest word")
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    I love this song and the drama of the music. To me it's about a person striving to get to the top of their profession so as they can improve the world. However, they use their power in a selfish way and look for excitement through their desires for fun and happiness outside themselves. Eventually, they have to leave due to mismanagement. They feel ashamed of their untruthfulness and moral decay. They hear the jerusalem bells ringing and the roman cavalery choirs singing and cry for help.
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    He use to be a really happy person in a fanasty world living in his dream. He was living in confidence and then he discovered his real life. The one that he is actually living in and now he is some who is looking for faith.
    This song is reflecting his feelings through the music hence the change in pace and rhythm as the story goes wrong.
    To me this is a sad song.
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    I was once in charge of making our own future, however now am left maintaining it. I used to take risks with fear listening to the crowd on a new king. One minute I was me then felt pressured out. And discovered it was the same as before. Let me be as bells ringing, choirs, singing and be my strength, my defense, my helper in a foreign place. I don't hear of salvation even though I don't expect it, but that was in the old.
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    A man who once was high up in the infulstructure of a political establishment is lamenting the loss of his power to a group of revolutionaries who wanted him dead, due to his lack of succeeding work throughout his reign, or term. He ended up being controled by said revolutionaries, and decided that a life on the streets was better than one suffering under the thumb of the new government.
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    I could be very wrong but I think it's about childhood @_@. He could be talking about his childhood imagination. (seas would rise when I gave the word). And when he said "never an honest word" this never happened it just happened in his imagination. And "next the walls were closed on me and i discovered that my castles stand upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand" once he grew up he knew that soon he wouldn't have his "kingdom" anymore. And as he is growing up relizes he is losing his inocents.
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    It's obviously about a man who used to "rule the world", lost his power due tok a corruptness in his throne, and now his subjects have been driven to wanting "his head on a silver plate". It could mean anything. History wise, for all we know, this could practically be about king george iii, or about the french revoloution ("head on a silver plate" referring to the many exacutions of powerful figurs during the french rev). It could be anything politically speaking, in america, but this could be unlikely due to the fact that we do not have a king or a "ruler of the world". However, this could be some kind of analogy to someone with great power. But, of course, this could be a direct approach to anything with a personal meaning. Maybe someone had a great social status, and lost it all, and now he is reflecting on his "great reign".
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  • U
    0
    Unregistered
    Viva la vida draws from history as well as modern day. Specifically, it references rome, jeruselum, and any other time of kings. Another reference is to the story of moses when it says: "... Seas would rise when i gave the word... ". The modern day paralel that you can make is that of a powerful work position, mabye the ceo of a company, losing that kind of power is approximate to losing the power of a king. Or at least as close as one could get without actually being a king.
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  • U
    0
    Unregistered
    I think this song speaks on so many levels, but I always think of the typical greek tragedy. And I know people don't wanna hear this, and I don't think the song was written with this on mind, but it really does reflect michael jackson's life in a way, because his was the textbook greek tradegy. Same with napoleon. But I honestly think chris martin had a moment of enlightenment, where everything made sense, and that is probably a gift from something much higher than any human. As you can tell, this song means so much to me.
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    Ah, finally, a deep song. This is so simple. There was someone who once thought they were so great, then realized that it wasn't true. The lies and decievings("never an honest word") were the pillars of salt and sand. Ruling the world is the fame and power they had. Now they are worthless. The singer is asking the listener to help them--"be my mirror, my sword and sheild"--because they realize that dictating with their cruelty was wrong and now they believe they know how to rule with justice and fairness instead if rubbing their arrogance in all their underlings' faces. The bells and singing could be a sign of hope, that maybe there is a chance for the speaker to gain it all back and give the land a better life. However, maybe there is no hope, everyone hates the speaker, wants his head on a silver plate, so how would (s)he manage that? The wicked wild wind was the evil power that let him/her believe they could be a ruler like that. "saint peter won't call my name" means that the guy realizes how evil he'd been and wonders whether he's repented enough to be considered good enough to go to heaven, or even to not be considered cruel and evil.
    That is the whole song's meaning and someone better read this!
    -the deviant panther.
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    I think it shows how one can have everything he could want, for the good of others. He fought a war for his people and came them hope when they needed it. But when its over, when the good of the people has been completed, he would look towards himself. And they turned on him. He realized that the rules of the game had changed. He thought he was doing the right thing, but he was just being used as a pawn for others. And it was those who changed his public apperence and made him look bad. He was just trying to help others, be the good samaritian. He knows he'll go to a better place because of it. It can also be saying that there are people out there who will take advantage over others. That you should be carefull of those people. And it can say to not let anyone impend on your ability to do something. Nobody can tell you what you can and can't do. You should try to do the right thing and what you love doing most. And that is how you will make it in life.
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    Before this world as we know it was, there was another world, a word where its people were part human and part animals. Remember star wars? Well, satan who was also called lucifer was the ruler of the world at the time. His held three offices: he worshipped god and announced his presence, he was responsible for giving god's word to the people on the earth, and he was a king. In the nutshell, a worshipper, a king, and a messenger. But then, he refused to give the people god's word but kept it for himself and that brought him down. He wanted to invade heaven and overthrow god but he was defeated badly. Read the lyrics and review the scripture below. Read the whole chapter and you will see what I am talking about. Satan is a liar and the enemy of your soul. Coldplay serves satan and these lyrics were given directly to them by him be careful what you listen to!
    Read ezekiel 28: 11. I'll post verse 18-19 here:.
    “ you defiled your sanctuaries.
    By the multitude of your iniquities,.
    By the iniquity of your trading;.
    Therefore I brought fire from your midst;.
    It devoured you,.
    And I turned you to ashes upon the earth.
    In the sight of all who saw you.
    19 all who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you;.
    You have become a horror,.
    And shall be no more forever. ”’”.
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    I believe it is about the story of jesus christ I mean he used to real maybe its before he came to earth and when he says "never an honest word" means no one said the truth about him everyone was blaspheming and "i know saint peter wont call my name" saint peter denied jesus 3 times, "be my mirror my sword and shield, my missionaries in a foreign field" I believe it means we must defend him and represent his teachings. That's what I believe :)
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    It's about a young boy who was kidnapped by his uncle's pet caribou, the young boy is a s** slave to the witch from hansel and gretel and is forced to make pancakes on a regular basis. Later in the story we find out that not only was the young boy captured by a caribou, but also that he is part manatee himself and is forced to live a lonely life wandering through the streets of detroit.
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    I think this song is about geting given everything you wanted but then realixing that it wasnt your choice and you were forced into it 'next the walls were closed on me' and then also it talks about when you do have all that, nothing it true anymore 'never an honest word' its saying that he was always contolled and lonley 'just a puppet on a lonley string' so I think this song is about wanting something but realizing that it wasnt all it turned out to be, it was a lie and scam. That's what I think :)
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    I think they mean seeds rise, which is a well-known expression meaning start to grow, rather than seas rise. The song seems to me to be about loss in general, whether it be a wife, home, job, good health or anything else important. It would be a mistake to be too specific and intellectualise about it too much. In case you don't know, peter was christ's chief apostle and in effect the first pope. St. Peter is his soul in heaven. Some christians believe that st. Peter stands at the gates of heaven and call the souls of those whom god has decided to allow in. Therefore "i'm sure st. Peter won't call my name" means I'm sure I am never going to get to heaven.
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    I don't think it has a religious meaning at all. I've always taken it to mean about the song being about someone (fictional or not) that was once rich and powerful (perhaps a king or a high ranking warrior) -- and then in the blink of an eye became basically nothing and a pauper and noone wants to know him (hence the first verse about used to ruling the world and now sleeping in the streets he used to roam/own) -- basically thinking back on the glory days.
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    This song sounds sort of like a king that was cruel and costed the lives of many people. He would realize what he had done but he had done too little, too late. It was like a "power hungry" person that killed to have power. People would turn against him but were afraid to do something about it because he was so powerful. He had enemies (and workers) wanting him dead, and he could sense it, so he raised his head in defeat and stepped down. I think the meaning is like, "do something quick before it is too little, too late. "
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    It is about the life of jesus.
    He used to rule the world. He had to endure many things alone, then died on the cross. The 'castles on pillars of salt/sand' bit is referring to his sermon on the mount, where he gave a parable of the wise man and foolish man.
    'saint peter will call my name' is a reference to how peter denied jesus when he was on trial. 'roman calvary choirs singing' is a reference that the romans (and his own people) wanted him dead, then rejoiced when he did die. It has really deep meanings if you take the time to look between the lines.
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    A good life that happened in the past compared to a sorrowful life that is occuring in the present. It shows the saddness this person is going through, having been the king before and "next the walls were closed on me". The song is a story about how life can change when you least expect it to. It decribes the sounds and sights he is seeing in his life, the good and the bad.
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    My meaning…
    A man has learned that his successes as a teenager did nothing to help him in his adult life. That his past did nothing for him, and he experienced a rude awakening. He looked back on his past life that his castles were built on nothing, there was no foundation. He was the king/jesus. He had people who hated him, and metaphorically speaking, they wanted him dead. It is a sad song, but it is my favorite.
    I am that man. I was an incredible high school football and baseball player. I didn't realize the talent I really had, and threw away. People couldn't believe how good I had become. One minute I was on top of the world, and then I hit the real world and nearly lost everything.
    I used to rule the world = mr. Popularity/most athletic.
    Seas would rise when I gave the word = having everyone pay attention to you.
    Now in the morning I sleep alone = those years after college living with parents, no job, nobody to share the mornings with, being alone.
    Sweep the streets I used to own = falling from owner of the streets to cleaner of the streets…a nobody.
    I used to roll the dice, feel the fear in my enemies eyes = playing football and baseball and excelling to the level I did.
    Listen as the crowd would sing = the crowd cheering.
    Now the old king is dead long live the king = being the one everyone looks up to. Being a leader, becoming the man, becoming a better man than my father. Proving that I could accomplish something special, and something nobody else had done.
    One minute I held the key = mr. Popularity/most athletic.
    Next the walls were closed on me = I nearly lost everything, a nobody.
    And I discovered that my castles stand upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand = realizing that all of that notoriety, and attention meant nothing. I did nothing to help myself be successful. After college I had worked hard at becoming a nobody.
    I hear jerusalem bells are ringing, roman calvary choirs are singing = basically relating that feeling to being someone special.
    Be my mirror, my sword and shield, my missionaries in a foreign field = looking for someone to help me as I have nobody to protect me, defend me and guide me.
    For some reason I can't explain, once you go there was never, never an honest word = all the haters and conspirers being deceitful, and saying untrue things.
    And that was when I ruled the world = when I ruled the world, there were a lot of haters.
    It was the wicked and wild wind, blew down the doors to let me in = something wild created me, something out of pure luck, very unpredictable.
    Shattered windows and the sound of drums, people couldn't believe what I'd become = something crazy, along with the sounds of music, and the disbelief of my family and friends at how great I had become at sports.
    Revolutionaries wait, for my head on a silver plate = haters.
    Just a puppet on a lonely string = seeing how out of control I was, and not looking for anyone to reach out to. I was only performing for my parents, to win their approval.
    Oh who would ever want to be king = having to deal with all the notoriety, and attention from everyone, but not being able to cope with and handle it.
    I hear jerusalem…
    For some reason I can't explain, I know st. Peter won't call my name. Never an honest word, but that was when I ruled the world = being special, and again not having a lot of people that really had your back. Not having a lot of guidance.
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    This song talks about how he use to be a king who gambled his way to power. He then got re gambled out when the public hated him and he was hung for it. (revolutionaries wait/for my head on a silver plate)the first verse talks about him being a ghost roaming around what he use to own. (now in the morning I sleep alone/sweep the streets I used to own)
    when it talks about how st peter won't call his name it means he's stuck as a ghost/going to hell for what he did to the people/his kingdom. Its a beautiful song in view of king louis xvi and his problems with the revolution against king charles x.
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    I think although the song is about a king (specifically which one, I do not know). That it posesses a much deeper meaning, that someone can go from being a somebody to a nobody in seconds, that their amazing life can crash down so brutally and quickly that you're left in a pit. I don't know if this is because I'm a generally negative person, but I've gone through that. Becoming nothing within the course of a few months. So you fools arguing over which king it was, who cares. O_o.
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    I think there is actually a stronger case for tiberius, the second roman emperor. He reigned during the life of christ and peter, which would explain the references to goings-on in jerusalem. The roman emperor was viewed as a living god, virtually omnipotent, which would explain the references to controlling the sun. Tiberius was also a ruthless and successful roman general, which would explain the comments about "roll the dice" (as in, in battle) and seeing the "fear in my enemy's eyes. "
    I believe the "old king" could easily be interpreted as augustus (the first emperor), upon whose death in ad 14 tiberius was declared the new king.
    But, what I find most intriguing is the following passage:.
    Revolutionaries wait.
    For my head on a silver plate.
    Just a puppet on a lonely string.
    Oh who would ever want to be king?
    In 31 ad, the praetorian prefect lucius aelius sejanus attempted to organize a coup to overthrow tiberius and install himself as the new emperor. In the end, the plot was discovered and the conspirators were tried for treason (and punished. Severely). The trial also paved the way for a reign of terror of sorts, where tiberius purged a number of potential threats to his power, leading to many deaths (including many of the senatorial ranks).
    However, the trials and the fear aroused by the conspiracy had an exhausting effect on tiberius. Eventually, and in an almost unheard of step, he voluntarily went into exile on the island of capri, leaving the administration of rome to his bureaucrats. The conventional historical wisdom is tiberius grew paranoid of the plots and came to loathe the position of ruler; essentially, becoming an unwilling ruler. Now, I think the whole episode of sejanus is reflected in that telling passage:.
    Revolutionaries wait.
    For my head on a silver plate.
    Just a puppet on a lonely string.
    Oh who would ever want to be king?
    And finally, we have the reference of saint peter I think is also telling. Tiberius was the emperor during the life and crucifixion of jesus christ; in fact, his representative (the governor, pontius pilate) actually condemned jesus christ to that fate. As such, it would not be implausible for tiberius, in exile, having seeing the rise of christianity, to fear he would not be allowed into heaven (by saint peter, the gatekeeper of heaven) for what he had allowed to happen.
    Now, there is one issue with the above interpretation. Scholars tend to believe peter only died (by crucifixion) around 64 ad, whereas tiberius died in 37 ad. So, how would tiberius know to call him "saint peter" as that process of beatification and sainthood must have occurred after tiberius was already deceased? I would argue that it is simply poetic license on the part of chris martin. If he had simply said "i know peter won't call my name," beyond noticeably missing the extra syllable, no one would easily be able to understand who "peter" was, and the religious impact would be lost.
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    This song is not about the french revolution. It is about a king who tells about his rise to the throne and the revolution that brought him down. At first, he is bitter, but then he realizes that being king was not a good period in his life, and that just as he ousted the previous king, and he was ousted, this king will be dethroned or worse. This song is about appreciating the simple things in life and how life is cyclical.
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    I think the song lyrics can be interpreted to speak from the roman catholic church's perspective. During the middle ages of europe, the predominant religion was roman catholicism, though there were jews and there were muslims (black moors) here and there. The "my missionaries" part really caught my eye and added to my roman catholic church interpretation.
    Another interpretation of this song would be speaking in marie antoinette's perspective, but that's only because I watched a YouTube video that featured her with this song in the background. Nowadays, every time I read this song or hear this song, I think of marie antoinette.
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    It has something to do with france. Like french toast or french fries because somebody dies. Like they're toast. I like frenches mustard on my toast, I mean french bread. Yeah. I like to have french bread with my french maid for breakfast. Did I tell you she has a french poodle.? Yep. I have french maid and a butler. His name is mr. French. When they kiss it is pure magic when they start to french.
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    Its definitley about the french revolution. Even the picture on the album is a painting from the french revolution. When he says the people wanted his head on a sliver platter its because the french king louis xvi had his head cut off at the guittine during the french revolution. The french used to be very powerful with thier direct monarchy but the french revolted and kicked louis xvii to the curb and then killed him. That's why in the morning he slept alone and swept the streets he used to own.
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    This isn't a meaning, just like to say a few things. One: saint peter does not mean it's about jesus. St. Peter is supposed to be the doorkeeper of heaven, he's talking about how he won't go to heaven (because of his actions?). Two, in the video an encore tricolore flag can be seen. Possible connection to the french revolution. Finally, "people couldn't believe what i'd become" does not mean he hurt them. He might have, though. Also, there is a narrative somewhere, so check that out for some more info.
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    It's about someone who used to be on top of the world--he was in control of his destiny, glorified, popular. Then it all came crashing down. He lost everything, and now he is reflecting on the fragility of fame, power, and success. He also reflects that he used to have really hateful enemies, and he thinks his past wasn't as great as people might have expected it to be--"just a puppet on a lonely string/oh who would ever want to be king. "
    Pretty much, a hero falls from a high place. Elizabethan much? I like this song. It's got class. And you can totally tell chris martin was like a greek or classics major or something--it's oozing western civ.
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    A lot of people have interpreted the song as a portrait of king louis xvi, etc. But I feel that the song's purpose is a lot more general than that.
    King louis xvi was found guilty of treason, and ultimately beheaded. However, the song clearly states a transition from ruling to not ruling. He is still alive, and he is reflecting on his past. (now in the morning I sleep alone, sweep the streets I used to own.)
    So I will try to generally analyze this song as best as I can:.
    "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".
    He was a ruler with immense command. Seas of people would rise at his command.
    This is contrasted with the fact that he has been displaced from ruling. (it's interesting that he sleeps in the morning.) now he is a servant, or a beggar. "sweeping the streets. "
    From riches to rags, from kingship to poverty.
    "i used to roll the dice.
    Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes.
    Listened as the crowd would sing.
    Now the old king is dead long live the king".
    Rolling the dice means that he gambled with his power.
    He took risks. He became close to a tyrant, a crusader, and took over other kingdoms. He would replace other rulers, as a kind of expansionist/imperialist. "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".
    Everything happened so fast, from one minute to another. When you are in power, you get caught up with your success, and time flies. In one instant he held the key. In fact, he held the key to many castles, many kingdoms, all these countries that he conquered, were under his power and domain.
    And in the next instant he lost everything. The castles symbolize his power. Symbolically speaking, his power had a weak foundation, a weak base. What did he base his power upon? Himself. His castles stood upon pillars of salt and sand. They stood on weak foundation, just as he stood on a weak foundation.
    "i hear jerusalem bells a-ringing.
    Roman cavalry choirs are singing.
    Be my mirror my sword and shield.
    Missionaries in a foreign field".
    It seems that he used religion as an excuse for conquest, as can be seen in these words:.
    "jerusalem bells, roman cavalry choirs. "
    Be my mirror, sword, and shield: means basically:.
    Represent my image, my power, and my strength.
    Missionaries, or crusaders, in the end they are conquering foreign countries.
    "for some reason I can't explain.
    Once you'd gone there was never.
    Never an honest word.
    And that was when I ruled the world".
    Drunk with power, he lied. He never gave an honest word. He manipulated and used people for the sole end of increasing his territory and power.
    "it was a 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".
    He transitions from ruler to tyrant. And the people realize what he has become. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
    "revolutionaries wait.
    For my head on a silver plate.
    Just a puppet on a lonely string.
    Oh who would ever want to be king? "
    In the end he laments being king. Sure he had power, but the truth is, he is at the mercy of the people. There is a price on his head, and he realizes he is a puppet, on a string controlled by others.
    (repeats stanza).
    "for some reason I can't explain.
    I know st peter won't call my name".
    He fought in the name of christianity, but he knows that he will not be able to enter into the promised land. His intentions were deceptive. Remember, never an honest word.
    "never an honest word.
    But that was when I ruled the world".
    Reiterating that he has lost his power.
    Hear jerusalem bells a-ringing.
    Roman cavalry choirs are singing.
    Be my mirror my sword and shield.
    My missionaries in a foreign field.
    For some reason I can't explain.
    I know st peter won't call my name.
    Never an honest word.
    But that was when I ruled the world.
    Theme: absolute power corrupts absolutely.
    Chris martin has explained the song lyric "i know saint peter won't call my name" in an interview with q magazine: "it's about. You're not on the list. I was a naughty boy.
    (wikipedia).
    When asked about the song, bass guitarist guy berryman said, "it's a story about a king who's lost his kingdom, and all the album's artwork is based on the idea of revolutionaries and guerrillas. "
    (wikipedia).
    Viva la vida, in spanish translates to "long live life. "
    This song has many important implications, and very relevant to our times.
    We should always be suspicious of people in power, who seem to fight under the banner of religion, freedom, etc. Because in the end they are just merely people, and are subject to corruption, just like anybody else.
    Ultimately, people in power will become corrupted. It is human nature.
    This is relevant in terms of history. Think about the crusades. The holy war. The american revolution. The french revolution. Spanish conquistadores. Rulers at first, come with good intentions, but over the course of time, they seek power.
    Right now, the you. S. Is involved in the middle east. What did we first come for? Weapons of mass destruction. We toppled saddam, but we still haven't found any wmd's.
    What about 9/11? Remember, al qaeda in afghanistan attacked us in 9/11. So why are we now in iraq, and not afghanistan?
    We still haven't captured osama bin laden, and we are stuck with iraq, and we are in power, and people are such a burden. We think we are in power, but the truth is that in the end we have to appease the iraqi people. They were a sovereign nation, and in a way, right now, they are "the white man's burden. "
    History is an endless waltz.
    Fated to repeat itself.
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    There are so many iterpretations in this song. There is a lot of reference to jesus the christ. Who told the seas to be still and they listened? The jews yelled to crucify "the king of the jews"? He once felt sure about his followers who later turned on him becuase they had no foundation. Peter was refered to as "the rock upon which he would build his church", but peter denied him 3 times before the c*** crowed the day of christ's crucifixion. We are supposed to be a reflection of christ and carry with us the " sword of the spirit" and the "sheild of faith". I think this song also references the apostle paul from the new testament who once tortured and persecuted the messianic jewish population. But he was converted to christianity. Jesus gave he and the disciples the power to preach and heal. He was eventually improsoned for his beliefs. It is also a reflection of those of us who were raised as believers but left the faith as soon as the wicked and wild wind, satan made a way out for us. We have become his puppets.
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    Perhaps it's an anecdote about how possession of power is only a temporary thing. On a literal level it's about a king that had slain a former (possibly corrupt) king only to become corrupt himself. He mentions revolutionaries that want him dead, so his own corruption had sparked a revolution similar to the one that had put him into power in the first place. It may be a ruthless cycle of corruption replaced by good intentions that transform into more corruption.
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    This song is about the french revolution, told from napoleon's point of view. However, I think the song relates that loss of an empire to the loss of a lover. This mostly because of the first refrain's, "once you go there was never/never an honest word/but that was when i ruled the world. " to me, that one line is the only thing that gives any hint at it being about a lover, but because its there it does.
    I hope that makes sense.
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    It is about the roman god jupiter and how when he betrayed his wife juno she left him, it eventually caused him to lose control of rome eventually leading to the fall of the great empire of rome. Therefore causing catholicism to start reining over all replacing the many deities that used to rule aka jupiter and juno. For me this song represents the end of the belief in roman/greek gods and transfer into the far more dull monotheistic catholic beliefs that has essentially reined since that day.
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    I believe the meaning of viva la vida is "long live life" or more literally, "the life lives. " the first verse is talking about a decline from wealth and fame to a nobody. I've been trying to figure out what the relevance of this is, but no ideas yet. In the second verse, his mindset seems to have changed and he's accepted his lower status and now is questioning, "who would ever wanna be king? " well, he used to be the king and now that he sees what it looks like from an outsider's perspective, he realizes that he's glad to have left it behind.
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    I think this song is a great metaphor, and chronicle of human history at the same time. To me it speaks of how in the modern world we take things for granted and live the high life, yet when we look back we realize how empty the lives we have led are as a result of our choices. It tells of how throughout time power has corrupted honest souls, adam was given the power of freedom of choice and it was his downfall. I think that for the most part it is a lament and a warning, make what you do worth something, so that when your done doing it you aren't left with nothing and nobody.
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    I think that most of the son relies on christian reference. For example, " i used to rule the world" that may be referring to jesus. Also, " the old king is dead, long live the king" may be also referring to jesus. (as he died and everyone was shouting that as insults. Also, " jerusalem" is mentioned in this song and that is particularly where a lot of the bible is taken place. He also mentions "missionaries". Also, " seas would rise when i gave the word. In the bible jesus would calm the seas, and rise them. When moses was running from the egyptians, the sea parted, giving a reference to," the seas would rise when he gave the word.
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    Its about war and about how people go to war in gods name saying god is on our side, when really he isn't and he would be against it. Saying st peter will not call out your name as he would not be with you. It says about the bad sides of war how people have used others to win wars they say they fought by using others as their sword and shield, when really they did nothing but sit and watch. Its a protest against the leaders of war.
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    It's about a fallen angel, looking back after he has lost the final battle. At one time he ruled the world when he never spoke an honest word, he was a liar. His name will not be called to enter heaven on judgement day. He realized that his kingdom was built on sand and would not last. The king that died was jesus, long live the king. People could not believe that this angel had it all and became the enemy of the king.
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    I think the singer is pompey the great who was overthrown by his close friend julius ceasar. He ruled the eastern empire, invaded jerusalem from a hill nicknamed "pompey's calvary" later called "calvary" and "golgatha" - which is the christian reference to st. Peter (70 years later). The bell reference was to archane history when cities would blow horns or ring bells to alert for defence during attack. He was essentially the dictator / king of the eastern empire until ceasar turned on him, won, and took over the roman empire. When he fled to egypt, ptolmy had him killed. Cassar gave him a roman funeral (on a pyre alone, burned to ash in a main plaza of the city (hence sweep the streets)).
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    He used to be the king, he probably was a dictator or something, so the words of the people were what he wanted them to say, but not how they honestly felt. He would always win the battles and was sure enough that he was going to win this time too. But he lost, and as soon as he was about to die his spirit came out and he began to observe everything and felt the guilt. He saw his men announce his death. He heard the roman cavalry on the other side praying for their missionaries to win against him. He recalled his days of ruling and realized how his mind was full of brutality and vanity. He realized he has no place in heaven and doesn't deserve it either. After his death, his spirit would still come and walk all around his kingdom, not with pride but rue and remorse.
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    The song seems to relay a message that in a world of materialistic gains, rumours and multiple vibes and all forms of negatives influences, we are easily twirl into them without realising that such influences are merely passing-by us. It is the religious belief in our innerself that protects us and keeps us strong and helps us to see through the final days of our lives when these influences are gone.
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    This song certainly has some kind of deeper but for each person it will be different to me it is about fame and power and how it will get you know where if you never tell the truth and will eventually get you down anyways not one person could rule the world, fears is the only way to make someone a slave find there fear and you have them at ur hands but it will backfire everything does.
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    It is, perhaps, about the overconfidence of youth, borne of inexperience, being crushed as we grow into maturity by the realization that we do not 'rule the world'. Also, the idealism that marks our younger years is destroyed by life experience; we come to know the truth about life and suspect that what we'd been told as children were fantasies. We now understand, sadly so, that 'never an honest word' was employed with good intentions, but with the result of losing our innocent overconfidence.
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    Words based on the bands relationship with one of the rothschild's offsprings. Time is up for the family riches. Visions of losing the family's influence on the banking system and their domination of the planet. Game over. Rewind. Me. I send much love to them, they're not responsible for their evil predecessors' acts. Now is the time for the offspring to actualise and be what they were supposed to be.
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    I believe that at one time he was "feeling" high on life and ready to overcome anything because the rich and famous life got to his head. Then when he got used to it. He realized that there was more to life then money and fame. Then when he said " i know saint peter won't call my name" he is probably feeling guilty and obviously looking for a deeper meaning, referring to god. Who does carry all meaning to life.
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    Pretty simple if you ask me. A guy had a great life at one time. Felt like he owned the world. Everything was his that he wanted and then it all crumbled for some reason and it seemed like everyone and everything had died and gone wrong. Revolutionaries, etc are just symbolism. Sad situation, especially if you've lived it like I have. If you have, then the song makes perfect and very simplistic sense. I owned the streets and now I've sunk so low I have to sweep them to get by. Anyone using common sense should see it.
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    Its about napoleon. How he was really famous and people tried to get valuables, money from him acting nice by his side. So eventually he didn't know who his real love was for. Same as the band coldplay. They are now really famous world-wide and have many fans that are trying to be on their side setting an image that would try to get their attention. So they might not have know who, what their real fans are is what I think.
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    In my honest opinion I believe this is about the fall of greece, probably when sparta was conquered. They indeed felt the fear in their enemies eyes, for sparta was one of the most strong (in a military sense) of the ancient greek city-states. When sparta was sacked, their fortresses and palaces were brought to the ground. Many revolutionaries at the time wanted to overthrow sparta's oligarchy. (an oligarchy was sparta's government. It consisted of three elders completely in charge.) in the oligarchy, there was a constant power struggle between the elders. Usually, one of them was looked at as the sole ruler of sparta, like the king mentioned in the song. Many later christian civilizations such as byzantium looked on many of sparta's traditions as sinful, thus saint peter never calling their name. The song references civilizations that rose to power after greece, namely rome and jerusalem. One more quick fact, many greeks (including spartans) left their homeland to live in the mighty roman empire. Since many romans looked down on the greeks, mostly because they were living on land rome had taken from them, most had to perform less desirable manuel jobs like sweeping streets.
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    I had power, then lost it all. Quite a lot of biblical references in this song. They are talking about a king. This song is in the point of view of king henry x and during the time where he have been succeded by his people: french revolution. "key" refers to the key of heaven. Heaven meaning the ultimate fate. He had what he wanted, but now it is gone. He found his castles on sand and salt. This refers to the fool whom build a house on a sand. He is calling himself a fool. Revolutionaries wait for my head on a silver plate. The revolutionaries want king henry x dead. This refers back to the ancient story where a king have beheaded a man and placed it on a platter, then the talking severed head told the king to open a book, which was contaminated of poison. In the latter the king died.
    By james kim.
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    This song at first almost seems to be a history lesson, but there's a line in the beginning referencing someone leaving; this whole song could be a metaphor for a lost love. He was "on top of the world" when he was in love, and when she left, things went south for him. There also is an odd line referencing revolutionaries wanting his head on a silver plate, but what song nowadays doesn't have a line or two that don't make sense? I find it odd that the song title is in spanish and the cover of the album is a picture from the french revolution. Oh, well. Maybe this guy's history isn't as complete as he would like to think.
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    I think it hits on the highs and lows of fame & power, and the reality that most of us feel immortal, powerful (some for maybe 15 minutes), make some mistakes during that time because of our power-tripping egos but at some point realize that kind of life is not all as wonderful as it's cracked up to be; and most people have some kind of reality check & do realize eventually they are not really all that, they are only humans, and therefore imperfect - this knowledge & wisdom only comes thru living life "viva la vida"
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    This is so deep into my life it's incredible. But to keep it in general terms I think it is an amazing way of viewing your past. How when you're an adolescent and your life was amazing. Then you enter the real world and find out that your adolescent life really did nothing for you and it's kind of a rude awakening. At least that's how I relate to it. I get chills every time I hear this song and have been moved to tears.
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    When he was king he acted as the "mirror, sword and shield" for his subjects. " sword and shield "means he was their protector; "mirror "means they saw in him a reflection of themselves as being as exalted and as powerful as the king appeared to be. But in the end the king is only a mortal with all the flaws and weaknesses of a mortal. Those who trusted in him find out, as the kingdom crumbles, that it was all an illusion.
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    To resume my feelings of this song, I think of the frase "at the end of the game, the king and the pawn go in the same box" it's about conquering the world and accomplishing nothing. He names various important kingdoms, such as jerusalem and rome, but then knows that "saint peter wont call (his) name". But he learns his lesson as an old man, by saying "but that was when i ruled the world", and he starts the song with this frase as well. Now, as an old man, he has learned the meaning of all of this and knows that he must say "long live life" or simply "viva la vida"
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    When king's ruled the world, they felt as if they had the power to do anything. Everybody worked for them and nobody could tell them what to do. And even after they have all that, they still want more and will do anything to get it. Ambition takes over and you turn into a monster. Coldplay is trying to convey that even if you start out with good intentions, you can become corrupt and go mad with power.
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    He keeps mentioning romans, jerusalem, missionaries, and so on. I'm a poet my self in my own way and have a tendency to write poems with riddles more confusing than most. But the more I read this song while listening to it I keep finding myself thinking of the early and late roman empire. How it expanded all over the old world and oppressed those that it conquered, especially jerusalem. The cesars of that time came to rule by both vote and by lineage. The cesar who ruled during christ's time was wicked and cruel. After christ died, peter and paul set out to pass his prophecy. Christianity began to explode and the current cesar of the time didn't like it. So he had early christians and jews related to them hunted down, killed and or executed. Eventually, the cesar dies, I don't quite remember how, and because of it rome slowly falls to ruin. Many countries celebrated their freedom in their own way. Later, christianity spreads all through out europe and soon becomes known as catholicism. The early vatican is formed in rome with a new pope at it's head. This religion believes that it's st. Peter who waits at heavens gate to see who's allowed in and who isn't. In the11th-13th century the war for god's kingdom is waged and in a way, still continues today. This is the war for jerusalem. I don't mean to imply that this is the meaning. But it's what I keep thinking about.
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    I think the meaning of this song is that he had a woman in his life, he did something bad and she left him and now he's no one and lonely and he's deco sorely reminiscing about the past wealth and happiness he had when he had an amazing woman who he just messed up. That's my take on it. *Everyone has their own* whatever the meaning, this song still rules the world! Lol!
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    I think this song is about pontius pilatus, who was the king that washed his hands about jesus and once jesus died he realised that he (jesus) was indeed the real king. So pilatus world came crashing down after that realisation. It also applies to all of us when, at some stage in life, we realise that we are not the rulers of our own world as we like to think. ;)
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    I love this song, it makes me want to cry. I think it does have a religious connotation in which the subject does not believe he is worth, as it claims it won't be "called by stpeter". I think it is about the big lies that we all live in, until one day we realise how little and insignificant we are and that we are a the mercy of a much bigger power. We all think we can rule the world better than anyone else, but in fact all we can do is sweep the lies, dreams and dirty at the end (if we are lucky enough!).
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    I think it means at a time in his life he had everything at his feet. He was at the apex of his life living in a vast society of the purest things, holding immense power in his hands. Then at a time came where he was thrown from all the power and treasures living the rest of his life in a depressing state enduring the things a common beggar would do, things that seemed as nightmares became his reality in the end.
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    I hear the lament of a revolutionary who regrets that he has become what he was revolting against. Only now when its too late he realizes that his followers have turned on him and he wishes he could go back to the days when he ruled the world. In many ways his story is an extreme example of what happens to a lot of public figures who stray from their origins. A cautionary tale to everybody to be self aware and not become somebody you wouldn't recognize.
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    I think it is telling everyone to make the most of what they have and live life to the full. Be a good person and believe in yourself. One example of someone this song could relate to is ayrton senna. He had everything, but things started to go downhill and then he died in a car crash. It could be him reflecting on his life and wishing he was still here.
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    'viva la vida' can have different meanings, and is translated into various phrases, depending on the language and culture. The first meaning that comes to mind of any spanish speaker when hearing "viva la vida" is 'live life' or 'live the life'. A reverse translation of 'long live life' would be 'la vida vive', or 'the life lives on'.
    But for those born and raised in mexico (which is where the phrase eminates from) 'long live life' translates correctly into 'viva la vida', and is used to celebrate life. The local mexican meaning of 'viva. ' is to exclaim and celebrate.
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    Nothing last forever, throughout history everything that men or women have gain through power, money, and politics comes to an end, and all the corruption, betrayal that you do on to ours is against what god wants therefore when you are old and dying and you have live an evil life st peter will not call your name, and others can't believe what you have become or end up being. Many people especially from hollywood should heed to the advice.
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    Never an honest word
    but that was when I ruled the world. It's about kings getting obsessed with power, I think. Like, they hunger for power and don't care about citezens. It's better to be a powerless, good person than be a powerful jerk that takes everything for granted. Like, "i've been a bad person, i was a monster of a king, and i lost all my power. I realized how awful i was, and how greedy i was, and now i know that was all meaningless. " great song! Viva la vida means "long live life"
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    This is obviously has to do with the most interesting man in the world. This is how he lived his life. He had once ruled the world through entrepreneurial success via selling the dos equis beer, and living a rule most dear in his life: "safety third. " both of these things have led to his rise and downfall. Safety third can only get you so far. & selling beer can only get you so much money. So here he is, left doing commercials of the beer he once owned, and his safety third statement has changed to safety second.
    Such a beautiful story portrayed through one man. Now he sweeps the streets he used to own. More or less bars.
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    Clearly biblical references. Very difficult to interpret the poetic brain child of a brilliant poet but there are a lot of references that make me think that this song is about jesus himself. Fyi, this is an unbiased opinion as I am not in anyway religious (atheist, fully in fact), but I did grow up in a catholic home and attend catholic school (okay, so maybe there is a little bias) but the entire song is filled with references to what is my understanding of the bible. In any case, brilliant song, instant classic, sends chills down my spine. That's the beauty of music, it doesn't matter who you are or how you interpret it, if you're enjoying it and I am enjoying it then our experiences are one in the same.
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  • b
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    Bridget8
    In ways this song makes me happy. :) but in some ways it can make me amotional. :( but in a good way tho coldplay's songs always make me amotional because they are so great and meaningful and strong it nearly makes me cry espiclayy the chourus cos it always has such an amotional words in it in a good way. What songs I enjoy mostly out of coldplay's music is this song paradise. The tune is amotional too and sometimes soothing. Just the way I like it. I'm normaly a party song kind of person but when this song was popular I was atracked. Anyone else agree with my points?
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    Its the fall story/separation from love story. Momentarily he gains power for himself (becomes like god)and rules over others selfishly. And that process of duality. Ruler/ruled. Backfires. Who would want to be king? They all get toppled either by revolution or death.
    He knows that this way of seeing the world is false. And st. Peter wont be calling this mistaken view of life.
    Just when he had the key in his hand and thought he was king. A false kingdom arose around him. Built on salt and sand. Unsolid shifting ground.
    This kingdom is ruled by military power. Not love. There is no honesty in this kind of rule. Honesty would see its end. He knows that this kind of selfish rule will end. The ego self knows it will die.
    Its about misidentity/ego. This egotistical manner of living will have its day. And identity/love will remain.
    The egotiscal inner voice that knows it can't last and wont be called by st. Peter. Is being recognised as an illusion that caused all the trouble and suffered it too.
    Self delusion is recognised and sings its downfall.
    When I ruled the world. Talks of it in a past light. The old self.
    Replaced by a reborn self in the author mayhaps?
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    I think this song was based upon the events of the french revolution. This is most clearly illustrated when it says "revoltionaries wait for my head on a silver plate". The downfall of king louis and his absolute government was because of people starting to think differently and reject their lifes of poverty while one man and woman owned the entire wealth of france. Quite an intresting song, one of my all time favorites :)
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    It obviously references the loss of a love that clearly the better part of him. The only one who told him the truth, she was" his mirror,"who showed him his real face. She was "his sword and shield", for a king the necessary tools to fight his battles. She was his" missionaries in a foreign field,"being perhaps the only one he could trust, she was the buffer to a potentially hostile world and a valued piont of view.
    He was clearly a man who had it all, youth, fame, love, and he blew it all in hubaristic bid for more power and lost the one person that made all his success possible. It's the classic "power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely".
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    All these french revolution references are bunk. People see the words, king, revolution and beheading and think of king louis xvi and the beheading of the jacobins and robespierre and his friends.
    The references are biblical. The head on a silver plate is john the baptist. The story is about someone who held a lofty position (king of his world) and lost it,. And was subsequently visited by the holy spirit (the wild wind that let me in).
    He realized his former life of fame and power was built on a foundation of sand. The only true foundation is god, it suggests.
    However at the end, he confesses that his faith is not yet sufficient because he is still worried about being granted eternal life.
    It is a song we can all relate to. We are all kings in our own little worlds, or aspire to be. But life has a way of knocking us off our high perches. We realize that our ambitions were built on lies and false promises. He learns that god is "the way, the truth and the life. " he hungers for life eternal because in this life, we all struggle and eventually die.
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    I call it 'the rise and fall of a dictator', which could be hussein or either of the two that were killed just this year within months of one another. (bin laden and gaddafi). Nearly every word of the song speaks to the lives of these three men and their downfalls, but somewhere in the distant future lies another who will rise up and have this song to be sung of him. Oh yeah, there was amin too. Yeah, with endings like those men, who would ever want to be king indeed?
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    It means that basically he used to live a care free life where he lived in the present with out any cares and never really realized the true importance o life and all it has to offer. Than one day it came to him, he realized the way he was living wasn't ideal and exactly right. He changed and is now looking at his past and reviewing all that happened to him and how he used to live.
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  • U
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    Unregistered
    It's really about the French Revolution and the reign of King Louis xvi. The old king died, with him next in line for the throne (now the old king is dead, long live the king). At the beginning of his rule, he lead a lavish life, with people tending to his every whim, until the revolutionists raided the Palace at Versailles (shattered windows and the sound of drums). They took him back to Paris as a sort of prisoner king (sweep the streets I used to own). Finally, the "revolutionaries" eventually sent him to the guillotine for his "head on a silver plate". So there you have it:)
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  • j
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    jjacksonRIAB
    This song is not about Jesus. It's about a man who came to power and everyone sang his praises after he ascended the throne. Then the power corrupted him and he tried to conquer the world under the banner of war - like a Hitler, Napoleon, or Caesar.
    At some point later in life when he retired to obscurity, his plans all failed, he realized he was going to go to hell for what he did and he was commenting on how lonely, empty, and meaningless his life was as king.
    You can have the world, but you can't take it with you.
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  • j
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    Johnnasmith
    To me this song is simply about living a life, hello that's what viva la vida means live the life? Spiritual? Haha right whatever! This is a song about someone who felt on top of the world and he simply thought he had friends that weren't his true friends, he made a few wrong turns and blam he doesn't know how he got there he doesn't know y but he's there and willing to make things right, I do however see how this could b a napoleon reference, maybe the band just wrote it bc the lyrics sounded good? Whatever happened to that theory, sure we'd like to believe they thoughr this through, but maybe they wrote it bc of a little thing called money!
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  • g
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    grace789
    I love this song, and I am Christian. I don't believe the song is about Jesus.
    While the lyrics are rich with Biblical allusions, there are a few lines that really can't be about Jesus:.
    - 'i used to rule the world': Christ never ruled the world. Satan offered him the world, and he turned it down.
    - 'Now in the morning I sleep alone': This implies the singer didn't used to sleep alone, and was in the habit of having s**. Christians believe Jesus never had s**.
    - 'Sweep the streets I used to own': Christ was poor. He never owned any streets.
    - 'i used to roll the dice / Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes': Where in the Bible would this have happened? On the contrary, Christ rebuked his disciples for attempting to defend him when soldiers came to take him to be tried by Pontius Pilate.
    - 'And I discovered that my castles stand / On pillars of salt and pillars of sand': Jesus never owned castles. If, on the other hand, these are metaphorical castles, Jesus's faith was perfect, and his 'castles' would have been built on rock.
    - 'Never an honest word': If you're Christian, you believe all of Christ's words were honest.
    There are other lines that prevent this song from being about Christ. It is a wonderful song. But whatever its interpretation, it's not about Christ.
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  • s
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    somstar
    I think the song is about a person who used to live in his wild ways, but now has changed himself. He just reflects his feelings in the catholic ways of being pure now, and that some time back he used to be evil. Hence he specifies that even after going good, he cannot go to heaven because of the wrong deeds he has done in his life ("I know St. Peter won't call my name"). I think in this song the person is just thinking about his yester years and thinking what he used to be. And what he is now.
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  • s
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    simonsays
    Teresaxxoo - the truth about what its about can only come from the writer, but it does seem that the writer had what he or she thought was a kingdom and then, for whatever reason, lost it. Willingly or unwillingly. There seems to be a strong message of "what you see and have isn't necessarily truth" in the lyrics. The writer lacks confidence that he or she is going to be able to redeem the lack of honesty from their "rule the world" phase. Listened to this song forever before I looked up the lyrics - I always thought he sang "St Peter will call my name" and thought it to be positive; change one word and it becomes a much darker lyric. Good for you for pushing for the meaning.
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  • o
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    oldgrayhair
    Maybe these lyrics are about Bonaparte, but there is an allegory here about modern times. Why write a song about a historic person and/or event if it has nothing to do with what is going on now? To me the lyrics represent the present economic situation we are in and that so many economic "castles" were built on salt & sand, ie, the credit crisis so many people find themselves in. Also, "not an honest word was said," think about the banks and the mortgage crisis. Maybe I'm so old to think about a love affair gone wrong, but you have to admit there are alot of parallels.
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  • x
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    xxKhoaxx
    Ok, I am gonna save people a lot of time This song is not about one person, it is about people. The people this song talks of are any rulers in the world at anytime. These are the problems and troubles all must face. Look at it and you will see it has no reference to one person, but many people. This song has nothing to do with the singer, people who were closer were people who suggested Louis xvi and Bonaparte. This however is only part of the answer. My credentials? 9th grade English and having to paraphrase this song.
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  • t
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    thegoodoledays
    Listening21 got it pretty close. It's a metaphor, a metaphor about being young and on top of the world and invinceable. One minute you hold the key - key to life and the key to the world. As you grow older what happens? When you thought you were on top, and when you are young you are, you were only standing on pillars of salt and sand that eventually crumbled. When you are young you have hundreds of friends, friends who are the equivalent to the Roman Calvery choirs singing, who will be there for you when you need them. In the end you thought you rulled the world but you only sweep the streets you once owned.
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  • s
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    sonnyd522000
    I see you did not take the words from the sheet music, The biggest misconception by the mass majority is that the words are "Now in the mornings, I sleep alone, sweep the streets I used to own." The word "sleep" is the culprit. The correct word is "sweep". I have scanned the sheet music in pdf format if you wish to verify for the public. Contact me and I will give you my website link to see it for yourself.
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  • y
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    yellowbumblebee
    I just got done listening to this on my itunes. Right now its Scream. Yes from the hsm3 soundtrack. Its the best! I'm sorry, but this song (Viva La Vida) is so good that I have to listen to it again. Hey, and what I said a long time ago about the 'Christmas bells being annoying', ignore that completely! My song tastebuds have changed. Go coldplay! Eh, aren't they an English band? That's what I thought. He sounds English. Oh well. Oh now the song is I do not hook up by kelly clarkson-In that case! Go kelly!
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  • Forever_And_Always
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    Forever_And_Always
    My family was rich and used to own everything. And as I swept the streets I here things coming from many directions. And all I know is that there is never an honest word anywhere. Nowhere. Next thing I knew was I heard shattering windows and drums. Doors and a wild wind. Why did I not own anything anymore? Why is my life so complicated? Am I hallucinating? Maybe imagining things……….
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  • h
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    heffster52
    Ironic to hear someone's Obama reference when Coldplay was clearly referencing the secretive, near-autocratic rule of Bush-Cheney and their assumption that they could impose our system on the rest of the world by any means, including force. Look where that type of arrogance got Napoleon. And now the modern emperors have no clothes, exposed as liars and buffoons, and fortunately we had elections to throw their sycophants out. Coldplay captured that era succinctly in 4 minutes. Amazing stuff.
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  • a
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    ariellee
    It can be about Napolean. But I believe it's even bigger than that. It's about power, and anyone who strives for power. Be it a king, a politician, and even, so apt in this day & time, a ceo of a big corporation.
    It's about selling ones soul for power. And in the end, what do you really have? Only the very same thing that the most ordinary man has: the fact that everyone, in the end, must face their own mortality.
    I think this song is beautiful. I think it is the perfect song for the time. It captures this era of corrupt politicians (Bush, Cheney), false religious 'leaders' who are only interested in enriching themselves, and those crooked ceos who squandered the futures of the common people for their own disgusting greed.
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  • k
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    kunenelaban
    Well. I suppose if the singer implicates himself as the persona in the song, then he is an antichrist. Most probably a devil worhipper who's now at the verge of death. Most devil worshippers know the knitty grittys of hell. While alive, he 'used to rule the world because probably he had so much power that he could do anything. For instance, with the power, he could kill anyone, or do whatever he wanted to anyone and get anything he wanted. 'seas would rise when I gave the word. Feel the fear in my enemies eyes. ' is an example of how mighty his power was.
    But a mortal is not held in respect in the eyes of satan, (nor of God anyway). Now that he's dead he knows that saint peter wont call his name. I. E he wont go to heaven. So in hell, he is not respected at all, he sweeps the streets he used to own and he is lonely there. With all the power he had while on earth, people can't believe he is a slave in the satan's kingdom. 'people couldn't believe what I become'.
    His head being waited in a silver plate shows his ultimate downfall from an earthly emperor to a slave in the satan's kingdom at his death where he has no chance to change his life. (you can do anything to a head on a plate).
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  • c
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    Collpepper
    That is an interesting interpretation lftyg. Thank you.
    "For some reason I can't explain I know St Peter won't call my name." It is to me about George Bush and his brush with power. He knows in his heart that his crimes have forbid him the grace of God. "
    We don't know what God's decision will be and it's not up to us to decide what Bushes' fate will be. That's between God and Bush.
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  • g
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    Grand_Marquis
    24601, leftyg - as interesting as those interpretations are, this song was obviously written prior to the album's release, which itself was only just on the cusp of the economic downturn that we're only now deciding is a recession. I seriously doubt they had economics or politics in mind when they wrote this, though, as I said, the coincidences are interesting.
    Literally, the song is clearly about a newly-deposed leader. Someone who believed he was doing good, until his oppressed subjects knocked down his castle doors and threw him in a cell, to await execution. As Historybuff says, history is littered with rulers who had this happen to them (or should have had this happen to them).
    Figuratively, I haven't looked into it. I suspect the song is more personal than we think, though.
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  • 2
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    24601
    Maybe this song is about the death of capitalism. Prosperity of an unprecedented nature has been seen in America due to capitalism, and, now, the standard of living is going down, down, down. The economic collapse is taking a tumble starting at the top and those on the bottom are feeling the effect as well. America/capitalism - "I use to rule the world" "Now I sweep the streets I use to own" - foreign investment is such that America has been sold and is being sold piece by piece. Those in power (Congress/politicians) are grabbing all they can get before the ship goes down. Loyalty to a country built on Judeo-Christians values has been replaced by greedy, parasites who are intent on America's destruction. Jealousy of America's prosperity by American's enemies wants it's "head on a silver plate." "Jerusalem bells are ringing" and "Roman calvary choirs are singing" suggests a New World Order - a coming Messiah. Sadly, the world is looking for a political Messiah just like they did in the days of Jesus. They wanted a worldly ruler, and crucified the One Who was the True Messiah. Warning: Don't be deceived by the one who promises 'peace, peace' when there is no peace. Don't be deceived by the false messiah. Jesus is coming - look for the true Messiah.
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  • h
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    HistoryBuff
    Well I think it could refer to all the rulers above: Louis xvi, Napoleon, Julius Caesar, Augustus Caesar or other great rulers from the history books who came to power or ruled in times of turmoil. Some of whom were greedy, indulgent and just thought it their right.(like Louis xvi). Some had the best of intentions but Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The history books are littered with such stories. Yes, I think it does reference the church, too because the Church generally supported the monarchs. At least in Europe for they claimed to be ruled by divine right. Note however that at Napoleons coronation he took the crown from the Bishops hands and put it on himself as it to suggest the church had no power over him. He saw himself as a reincarnation of Charlemagne who united Europe for the first time since the Romans and was called the "Holy Roman Emperor". However Napoleon pretty much destroyed France and his ambitions weren't quite as noble.
    I don't believe it applies to Jesus Christ because he came to us in the form of a humble carpenter, really just a poor man who talked of love and forgiveness and denounced the greed of the money lenders at the Temple.
    Maybe that's why the line says "People couldn't believe what I've become".
    The reference to sword, shield and mirror: I think he is perhaps asking for forgiveness. He looks at himself in the mirror and sees what he became and is looking for forgiveness or perhaps redemption through his menial work. Maybe he thinks he may have found it and that's why St. Peter won't call his name on the list of the damned.
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  • s
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    SecondBestLoser
    I think this song is about (if the writer meant it to be about anything specific at all) society's general rejection of religion and faith and the "new" role of the church or religion in modern Western society. Remember, the French Revolution (where the picuture viva la vida on the cover of this album is inspired by) was as much about a revolt against the Roman Catholic Church and religious athourity in general as it was a revolt against a political system (although the rcc was very much a part of the political system as well).
    I have more points to back up my idea but I don't have time to write them all now, but suffice it say, if you think about the singer as the Christian church (maybe not even specificaly the rcc) and view it in both a historical or morden context, the song does make sense.
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  • e
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    ERRATIC
    This song is sooo great! I love it for several reasons, but mostly because it reminds me of a friend I used to have. She was made leader of our group, not by the group, but by a supervisor. And although it was obvious she was a puppet, many tried to "dethrone" her. She'd manipulated her way to the top, and once there she did everything she could to remain there. Her few friends within the group could only be her "missionaries in foreign fields" for so long. As I said, "a friend I USED to have".
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  • a
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    Axel417
    I have actually found the proper name, umm it was supposed to be Louis xiv (the 16th not the 14th. My bad) And I have found someone who can be a little more specific than I so I will quote an old post here.
    "by baldy54 on Dec 12, 2008 at 01: 55 pmshow +1
    King Louis 16th would have liked this song. The song would be his heart's cry before being guillotined along with his wife Marie Antoinette during the French Revolution 1789. It is said that King Louis' Cabinet of Advisors were losers/self serving creeps ("never an honest word"). Notice the cd cover is a famous depiction of the French Revolution. "
    I think his last line kinda makes it obvious, but baldy54 does hit the nail right on the head here. I can actually understand those of you who imply biblical reference (I'm a christian I totally understand what you might mean) But I think they are a bit over-read-into. This is the most direct literal interpretation I can think of. (That is if the cover doesn't give it away) And also the words "Viva la Vida" are french (or a corruption thereof). Sorry for separating the posts, I came across the information just too late.
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  • l
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    londonirish
    I think it is about a man from Neasden who sells cabbages in Portobello Market on saturday mornings.
    Think about it, its obvious. "Never an honest word" clearly referrs to the evil manipulative techniques cabbage-hawkers use to dull the otherwise sharp minds of Northwest London housewives.
    "It was the wicked and wild wind
    Blew down the doors to let me in" referrs to his blowing the doors off the Vegetable Storage Facility at New Covent Garden wholesale market inorder to steal the cabbages, which enabled him to sell them so cheaply.
    Coroborrated by;.
    "Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes" as he revells in the despair in the other market traders' eyes as they realise they cannot compete with his bargain cabbage prices.
    "my head on a silver plate" is a clear reference to him loosing his market stall, as his huge glut of stolen cabbages start to rot, as the people of Notting Hill (the "revoloutionaries waiting") grow tired of eating cabbage, albeit at knowck-down prices.
    Mrs Peters (Saint Peter) makes a complaint (calls his name) to the Market Manager, a Jewish gentleman called Mr Jerusalem, who rings the bell, ie, calls time on this cavalier trading "cavalry singing", ie someone has "sung" or sneaked on him.
    "Now in the morning I sweep alone
    Sweep the streets I used to own". This implies the despair he fears after Mr Jerusalem, having closed his stall, takes pity on him, and gives him a job sweeping the market after it has shut down for the day, and all the honest traders have gone home.
    The fact that none if you had spotted the obvious meaning of this song is beyond me.
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  • o
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    ObbieDoobieEgghead
    I think that it is a song about America looking back at it former self after it has been dethroned at the de-facto world superpower. Just like a king would is overthrown by revolutionaries. The you. S. Is following the same path. Our leaders are simply puppets of a larger force that rules the events of history.
    The chorus refers to Jerusalem bells ringing and Roman cavalry choirs singing and links them with sword and shield and missionaries in a foreign field makes me think of new world order with the political center in Jerusalem and religious center in Rome respectively.
    All this has been ushered in with the chaos created by 911 and will end with Obama taking the final steps of handing the you. S over to the world.
    I'm feeling rather conspiratorial and apocalyptic recently after I heard that the Maya predicted the end of the world to be 2012. Obama becomes president in Jan 2009, add 3. 5 years for midway through the 7 year end times tribulation and you have June 2012 for the Obamanation of Desolation. That will be the time to run for the hills. However, if Obama is not the Anti-Christ, I hope he's a good president.
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  • o
    0
    oluseyi
    Furthermore, when they say 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 Revolutionaries Wait For my head on a silver plate Just a puppet on a lonely string Oh who would ever want to be king? This speaks of the french peoples discontent with Louis. The french women stormed his palace at Versailles looking for Marie Antoinette so that they could have her head on a stick and the line who would want to be king is just another reference to Louis xvi belief that he was not ready to be king and that he never wanted to be king for he was so young.;
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  • crazybeautiful_empress
    0
    crazybeautiful_empress
    Umm he sings about history mostly british history: he's talking about kings, castles "Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!"
    . Everything what it very specific for tht time, british time like 16, 17, 18 century and there are some religious things: Seas would rise when I gave the word like tht guy I don't know maybe Abraham who splitted the tht sea to save jews(?) tht's wht his taking about in my opinion
    but why thinking about it so har, I will just ask him myself: P
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  • a
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    Ann-Ch
    I believe it is an allegorical song. On the surface it's about Napoleon - hence the cover a painting by Delacroix, who was contemporary W. Napoleon, who crowned himself as emperor. The French revolutionists' cry was " Viva la republique" - the republic W. The seperation of church/faith and state -(" Viva la vida"). I believe it's a comment on the way the us has been lead by politicians who claim to have God on their side, as an argument for dictating the right kind of democracy around the world - very clever and political song if you look closer.
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  • a
    0
    atomicat
    Furthermore, "know Saint peter will call my name" followed by "never an honest word". Could speak to the discouragement the singer/knight feels when he's ultimately betrayed by the church/state that he served in the name of "God". Knights in the Crusades served the church and wore a cross on their chest. When the Templars fell, they were tried for heresy and burned at the stake or tortured, to admit their guilt. This for those who marched and gave their lives for the Church, "to get to heaven". It was thought that to partake of the Crusades was a "holy war" which is a way to do works to get to heaven. So "knowing he would call your name" followed by "never an honest word" might refer to the feeling the "judged knights" would feel against the church that condemned them to imprisonment and in some cases death.
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  • h
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    Halfbaked
    The word is "won't". And I think that if Coldplay was talking about some silly French king. Then the lyrics of the song and the picture on the album and the music video are all prety base. And quite frankly I think that Coldplay didn't mean anything by the lyrics. Because if it's not about God then not of the song makes sense. How does Jerusalum fit into all of this? Or mirror, sword and shield? The music is nice the lyrics I think don't mean a thing.
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  • h
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    HoB
    To Rogerramjet, "never an honest word, but that was when I ruled a world" if I had to interpretate this phrase by using your previous post, it would go like this:
    As you said everyone betrayed Jesus, and God himself, so he sings about that everyone lied to him, nobody was honest with him.
    P. S. I think you tried to look into it from a bad side, tried to interpretate that Jesus wasn't honest, am I right?
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  • s
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    sharker
    I think it's a King's lament, it says when I was young and powerful, the world was my oyster but now its coming to an end I am fearful that Saint Peter won't be calling my name to enter the gates of heaven. It certainly could be Louis xiv of France or any other monster with lots of power. Never an honest word conjers up "politician" and leads the question; who is or was touted to be the most powerful man in the world?
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  • s
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    soccerchickadee
    This song has meaning. I guess. He is describing how life could have been like when it went your way, then it fell when some hard reality hit. Or I agree with aware123. (S)he has a point. But there's more about ego. It seems like the people that could see this through there eyes have had way too big of an ego and they see things that they thought were reality come crashing down and uncovering the hard truths about whats really out there in the world.
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  • l
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    LauraNormandin
    Just love this song! Maybe it will part of the movie King Lear his wife Gwyneth Paltrow has coming out in 2010! Although, the song seams to be more about the rain of king Louis the xvi of France during the revolutionary war of 1792. It really does not matter I love the mood of the song. I also love the effect of video and the way it looks like a painting from that time.
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  • l
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    lifeisgood
    Thanks jilionheart for the history and jooliaoogoolia four your thoughts. I was actually just wondering about that because the entire song seems to point in the direction that you are going with it. I was thinking the same way as your friends but thought that couldn't be right because of the title which I think means "live the life." I completely agree with what you said about him not dying yet because it meshes with the title and the song talks about the realization that he had that his life was pointless when he wanted power but now he doesn't rule the world (his world) anymore and so he has a higher purpose, so he knows his life is better even though he "sweeps the streets that he used to own." I think that is part of the beauty of it. The song has sort of a positive spin on the loss of personal power to discover what life is about and to be free.
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  • s
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    schappertk1
    Much tanx to jlionheart for the historical references. I'm not well-schooled on English history and didn't know all that. I believe the song is about freedom and the death of monarchy-the album cover would support that. The reliogous references add a grandiosity and element of fate to the "cause"-Mr. Martin probably isn't proselytizing-in fact, the St. Peter reference is inaccurate-nowhere in the Bible does it say he has a key or is the gatekeeeper to heaven.
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  • b
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    blackXrose
    Ha, if you've ever read Breaking Dawn isn't this totally the romanian dudes' theme song?!
    Anyway. I love this song so much. Not entirely sure what it means. I am pretty sure, however, that the song isn't about religion, it just uses religious references as analogies, kind of like some Evanescence songs. Anyway, I'm not an altogether Coldplay fan-- don't like, don't dislike-- but this song is at the top of my 'most played' list. Love it.
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  • v
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    vinz94
    These lyrics are defenitely about french revolution and the fall of louis xvi. Period.
    It relates pretty exactly his life:.
    - "i usde to rule the world ... Sweep the streets I used to own": Synopsis of his life: he was all and suddenly became nothing. Same goes with "One minute I held the key
    Next the walls were closed on me".
    - "Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!": death of louis xv, louis xvi becomes king.
    - "And I discovered that my castles stand
    Upon pillars of salt, and pillars of sand" : clearly refers to the fall of "La Bastille", which was the strongest fortress in Paris. It's the most important turn in the french revolution. Once the Bastille was down, monarchy's destiny in the next days was sealed. (Versailles was far more vulnerable, much less fortified).
    - "Revolutionaries Wait
    For my head on a silver plate": Louis xvi was condemned to guillotine. At this period, death penalty nearly always meant guillotine in France.
    - "Just a puppet on a lonely string": Louis xvi was indeed. A puppet on a lonely string. He had a strong lack of authority upon everything. The true decision-makers were his ministers. For example they managed to convince him to send more and more help to us revolution while french people were starving.
    References to religion are logical. In France, like in lots of other countries during this period, religion had a heavy weight in political decisions.
    And the cover of the album is the most famous revolutionary paint in France ("la liberté guidant le peuple" by eugène delacroix).
    While lots of other meanings can be interpreted (and this is what makes these lyrics so deep and interesting), the core meaning is clearly about the fall of louis xvi.
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  • g
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    grgry
    "I used to rule the world": God rules the world, he uses 'used to' because in the bible God told Adam and Eve not to eat the apple on the tree. God lost control, when humans started to rely on them selves.
    "Now the old King is dead": He is talking about Jesus Christ now.
    "One minute I held the key": When Jesus died, God finally opened Heaven.
    "People could not believe what I've become" (My favorite line): Now he is trying to say, Jesus said he will come again, and when he came peace would spread across the world and end life as we know it. But now people are questioning that.
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  • j
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    jokerfan13
    I believe the meaning of this song is that any person can be corupted when they obtain even a small amount of power like when the singer sang (I know saint peter won't call my name) possibly stateing the person has been corrupted it also seems they say someone can be saved by being forgiven as stated when the singer sang (i know saint peter will call my name) I believe the song simbly states anybody can be saved from their own corruptioun.
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  • c
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    CloFelix
    I strongly believe that Coldplay dedicated this song to everyone who once stayed at the power and had to do bad things. They also reminded us that nothing is forever and you could fall as much as you would up. The point is how you up and if you keep your values and don't be corrupted. The hopefulness is that you can always repent and choose another way. The guy in the song is repentant and hopes to be forgiver.
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  • c
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    Carlarebel
    Maybe the lyrics are just a metaphor and not a description of an specific person. The story can be about anyone who has achieved a powerful position in life, but he got it trought unfair ways. While on the top, he feels secure sorrounded by people who, in fact, want to take advantage of being close to someone powerful. But sooner or later, the truth comes out. As a result, he ends up alone and loosing everything he had conquered.
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  • r
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    remembernikki1
    I believe it is Hadrian the Roman Emperor they are refering to because they talk of Jerusalem and a battle there. Also the song obviously has something to do with a Roman leader. Hadrian was very sympathetic to the people of Jerusalem at first, and people adored him for it, but eventually he became angry with them because the revolted when he tried to make Jerusalem a Roman metropolis city. He did started an unnecessary war that Roman citizens despized him for. The song is a perfect depiction of this.
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  • b
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    bonobo
    J3tski33 - I like your analysis - it's a great metaphor - monarchy/power/youth. But what are the real lyrics - on this page it says "I know Saint Peter won't call my name. But when I listen to it I can't tell if it's won't or will. Only mention that cause if it is "won't" then the 'older wiser' thing doesn't mesh as well with your read on the song. I Don't know which are the right lyrics. Either way I think you're right on with the meaning. It's nice to wake up and see a dynamic and compelling interpretation.
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  • f
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    froody_jello
    This might be totally weird, but I can't hear this song without thinking of King Henry the Eighth, the one who had six wives.
    He was a hugely popular, powerful young king who seemed to have the world at his fingertips, but, unsatisfied by how his first wife (Catherine of Aragon) couldn't give him a son, he cast her off for another, Anne Boleyn. In the process, which took years, he broke from the Catholic Church, lost much of his popularity and face and took the first steps towards becoming the montser that would later directly cause the deaths of at least two of his six wives.
    All of the Roman Catholic imagery, especially, makes me think of this reference.*crazy person*.
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  • b
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    briner009
    This song shows the irony of how at first, when he kills the old king, everyone loves him, and then, throughout the song, through events that he could not control at all, everyone hates him. Hes a puppet to his duties, duties which, no matter how well he deals with them, inevitably turn him into an enemy in the eyes of his subjects.
    I disagree. This can make a clear metaphor about how so many people hate president bush. He really hasn't done anything terrible. When his country demanded war, he gave them war. Now, at point of no return, when everyone turns around and says "maybe that wasnt such a good idea", he turns into public enemy number one, and media eats him up for breakfast.
    His duties as president demanded he either started a war, and looked good then, and looked bad later, or not started a war and looked bad then. He just chose the path that would keep him in good standing longer.
    A puppet on a lonely string.
    Revolutionaries waiting for his head on a silver plate.
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  • t
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    truuuule
    This song is about the United States. How it was always looked upto, now nobody trusts us, we stand divided and our economy is fucked up thanks to the morons that voted for Bush. It's about all the abuse we have comited in Latin America and the rest of the world in the past and present, and how our government has always lied. The Revolutionaries: Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Hugo Chavez. These artists are reflecting our present times.
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  • s
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    starboy
    Thx sporty_chick28 but reading some of the other comments. There is a deeper meanin to the lyrics (if yu need to go there) being a songwriter myself I know that alot of times a 'simple' songs' lyrics can be interpreted in many ways! John lennon used to git really upset for folks lookin fer a deep meaning in his words when he was just 'writin a tune' lol. But I heard this song when coldplay played it on the mtv movie awards show & it just grabbed me & I've loved it since then. I'm 'trying' to arrange it fer guitar (accoustic) but I don't think it would hold up! Lots of synths & those tympanis! Wowzers! Thx agin. I did send in some lyric corrections tho! Lol.
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  • crazy_munkey20
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    crazy_munkey20
    Please read this
    the thing that people have been writing about 5 lyrics in 134 minutes doesn't work! I promise it doesn't cuz I am the one who got it started, just to see if it would work and it doesn't! If you don't beleive me go ahead and do it but don't get mad at me cuz I no that it doesn't work! And also if you don't trust me when I say that I am the one who got it started you can go back to a diff page and look for urself! Just don't do it cuz it don't work! = ]
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  • a
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    ambergoo
    Theomg_95 seems to have it right. Sometimes people are blinded by the credit they get when they really aren't living up to what the people giving them credit believe. Eventually the truth comes out and the person receiving credit loses their denial and sees their true self, but more importantly the people behind them also see this; they lose their resources and love from these people. And perceive they have nothing. The last verse, "I know Saint Peter will call my name..." seems to mean that this person sees their true destiny after repenting for their deceitful life. I would say this allegory is true to real life for many people. In various ways. Coldplay members who wrote this song (or someone else?) may have these feelings of their own or have seen this concept within people they know or observations of life in general.
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  • ChrisFishA-CrossRiff
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    ChrisFishA-CrossRiff
    Napoleon,.
    This song can be, and, to an extend, is a metaphor. However, the singer for Coldplay does have some Christian background and they've been known to use Christian imagery in many of their songs.
    Although the Bible isn't the only bit of literature that is history, it is very reliable and when so many Biblical terms are mentioned in a song-metaphor or not-the first thing you think of is it's alleged source. The Bible.
    I would assume (Biblically) that it's about a man who "ruled the world" or had everything the way he wanted it and he later found out that he had a hole in his life (I sleep alone) and that not everyone loved him (want my head on a silver plate). He knew he wasn't living his life the way it was supposed to be lived. Biblically, I'd say he turned to God. Humanly, he turned his life around and gave up everything he had so he can finally live life right.
    Have you ever heard "If you stick your head above the crowd, they'll always try to shoot it off"? Well he realized that. (read Alexander the Not So Great lyrics by The American Tragedy.)
    Q magazine asked Chris Martin about the line "I know Saint Peter won't call my name" sung in "Viva la Vida". Martin replied: "It's about… You're not on the list. I was a naughty boy. It's always fascinated me that idea of finishing your life and then being analyzed on it. And it's that runs through most religions. That's why people blow up buildings. Because they think they're going to get lots of virgins. I always feel like saying, Just join a band (laughs). That is the most frightening thing you could possibly say to somebody. Eternal damnation. I know about this stuff because I studied it. I was into it all. I know it. It's still mildly terrifying to me. And this is serious."[4].
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  • n
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    napoleon
    Viva la Vida means live life in spanish ofcourse and for all those thing who think the song is about Christianity its obvious you had never listened or learned history, don't just read the bible there is a whole lot of history out there not just Christianity. Just because Jerusalem is mentioned you don; t have to immediately associate Christianity, ever heard of metaphors? Read some more books rather then just the bible.
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  • h
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    hemsby
    I believe the song is about how christianity has evolved from a peacful ideology into an excuse for many of the ills in the world. In the 1st chorus the songwriter takes the form of spokesperson for the religion, sees it's virtuos side (Jerusalam bells, choirs singing) requests us to continue in this vein(Be my mirror/sword/shield& missionary) and then bemoans that it has evolved wrongly (never an honest word). The 2nd chorus complains "St Peter won't call my name" (because of this evolution) and the 3rd chorus is a plea to hear the virtuos side, assuring us that if we do St Peter will "call my name". The verses illustrate some of the wrongs done in the name of christianity. Eg the treatment of french people under the reign of Louis xvi where the aristocracy and wealthy clergy abandoned the needs of their people. There are also references to the acknowledgement of how the foundations of christianity have been poluted ("my castles stand upon pillars of salt/sand"). In conclusion I feel it is a cry for christianity to return to it's original form of peace and love for everyone or face the consequences! Vida La Vida or Death and all his friends may translate as (spanish?) Live the (virtuos) Life or accept the dark alternative.
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  • l
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    laphngravy
    Most rock songs are about one of three things: Love, Drugs or, Love of Drugs. I think this song is a metphor for recovering from drug addiction.
    At the beginning of the song he is reflecting on how he felt when he was high and how he percieved that he was in control. "I useed to rule the world"
    The reference to pillars of salt pillars of sand is referring to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. The singer is walking away from sin and even a brief look back will cause his complete downfall.
    He also talks about his friends not recognizing him. He is asking for his friends to reach out of their comfort zone to support him "be my mirror, my sword and shield..."
    The reference to St. Peter calling/not calling is the addict realizing that he must answer to a higher power.
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  • b
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    buzzgrl88
    In this song I see Satan reflecting on his reign on the earth at the end of time. Biblical ref's to "people couldn't believe what I'd become" as he was the most beautiful angel in Heaven and it was a surpise when he fell from grace. St. Peter guards the Heavenly gates and he will finally call his name at judgement, but he will not be granted entrance. And there will be rejoicing when his reign is over. Just my interpretation - does anyone else feel this too?
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  • p
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    POLVOKILLER
    It was in time of revolution. The revolutionaries cut his head: "REVOLUTIONARIES WAIT FOR MY HEAD ON A SILVER PLATE". And before that he had to go in exile "NOW IN THE MORNING I SLEEP ALONE, SWEEP THE STREETS I USE TO OWN..". He really held the key in his kingdom. He died guilty of treason that's why: "PEOPLE COULDN'T BELIEVE WHAT I BECOME".
    Why they name the roman cavalry? Easy.: he tried to scape to belgium. That time was called holy roman empire. And he was recognized with A coin with his face, so the people who recognized him sent the roman cavalry for bust him. If you want to know more read his biography. Louis xvi of france. Nothing more to say.
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  • b
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    bryboy
    "I used to rule the world" = George W. Bush reflecting on his Presidency and subsequent lack of approval.
    "Seas would rise when I gave the word" = Commander-in-Chief executing naval strikes.
    "Now the old king is dead, long live the king" = George H. W. Bush no longer in power, son George W. Bush to return to "strike fear in (his) enemy's eyes".
    "Castles stand on pillars of salt / pillars of sand" = Twin pillars, World Trade Center, also referred to as the doors that were blown down to let him in, I. E. Doors representing World Trade blowing down with "shattered windows and the sound of drums" and giving him the incentive to start the war on terror, with revolutionaries waiting for his "head on a silver plate".
    "Jerusalem (Israel / Judaism) bells are ringing"
    "Roman (Christian Church) cavalry choirs are singing" =
    It has become aligned to be a holy war against Islamic jihad.
    "Be my mirror, my sword and shield, Missionaries in a foreign field" = Seeking allies in the "war against terror".
    "I know St. Peter (Pope) won't / will call my name" = Pope initially won't, then will condone the "war against terror".
    "Never an honest word" = Bad intel and misleading information to initiate and perpetuate the "war against terror".
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  • a
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    alliegale
    This song can be interpreted effectively by two lines: "For some reason I can not explain Once you know there was never, never an honest word" and "People could not believe what I'd become." The entire song is a metaphor for fame. The lyricist is comparing the power, influence and ultimate corruption of power and royalty or politics to becoming famous and losing one's right mind.
    Obviously one can compare the rise and inevitable fall of countless rulers, presidents, kings and emperors to the lyrics without thinking very much. There are also strong biblical tones--its their obvious presence that makes the song not about Christianity or literally 'ruling the world'. Coldplay would be pretty stupid to release a mainstream 'christian' single--as a large part of America would not only be annoyed but mildly offended. The depth of the lyrics are clever, songs and poems are almost never literal. Coldplay wrote a song about the hazards of fame and power.
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  • b
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    boston588
    I absolutely see this song being written from the eyes of jesus. Maybe I'm being repetitive of what other people have already said but I'm going to say it anyway. The church used to rule everything people did, so much so that government had to create a separation between church and state. Now the church is falling apart and churches are closing because they can't afford to stay open. This is also apparent in the third stanza which states at one point he held the key but now everything is falling apart and its like his empire was built on sand as it collapses before him. I believe the chorus is about his crucifixion and that its not the roman "cavalry" but the Roman "Calvary". Calvary or Golgotha are the English language/Western Christian names given to the site, outside of ancient Jerusalem’ s early 1st century walls, ascribed to Jesus's crucifixion. In other words, the roman calvary is where jesus was crucified. The lyrics then say be my mirror. I believe this is jesus asking people to tell others about him and defend his purpose by being his sword and shield. The next stanza when it talks about the wicked and wild wind, when jesus finally died on the cross a horrible storm came over the land, windows and doors were broken and the curtain inside the church tore itself in half. When he was resurrected no one would believe it until they saw him for themselves, hence the "people couldn't believe what i'd become." Being a puppet on a string represents how he was there acting for god and was in a way god's puppet. When it says " for some reason i can't explain I know saint peter wont call my name" its referring to when saint peter denied jesus three times just as jesus said he would. This is the most logical explanation from my point of view. Let me know what you tihnk.
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  • j
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    JamezD
    Gypsie's interpretation rings true. The song's mood is clearly celebratory, perhaps celebrating an insight that fame and popularity are illusory and can be given and taken away. This song is a send-up of the very fame that producing and promoting the song can create. So, then, the idea behind this most catchy tune is either a profound insight or major pretense, maybe both. It's actually hard to separate the two.
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  • s
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    Shiboo
    I'm not sure what Coldplay's intentions were when they wrote this song, as far as the message they were conveying, but I do know a beautifully written song when I hear one. The way he describes one in power crashing down from his throne is enough to give me chills. Yeah, sure, you can apply it to anyone if you are looking at it from a metaphorical stand-point. But I am simply taking it as I hear it: Someone in a position of power being consumed by it and then being knocked down from that position. The pictures he paints with his words and his voice are breath-taking.
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  • k
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    kingofharts
    Whether or not viva la vida is an alegory or not, no one will know except for coldplay. I don't believe it is about christ. Throughout his life, he was glorified by some and refused by others. He never had a trend from power to no power, and vice versa. I believe the most important line of this song is "who would ever want to be king?" the man in this song is generally prideful of his power. Before its too late, the man realizes what hes depending on to remain in power. Eventually, his pride leads to revolution until almost everyone despised him.
    Notice in the chorus it switches from past tense to present tense. This shows that this is when he has no power. The words such as Saint Peter could represent that he is hoping from some compassion to redeem himself from the prideful things he has done. Although he has no idea why anyone would ever forgive him, he hopes for it to occur.
    More or less, it is a lesson on both pride and forgiveness, depending on who you are in a situation like this.
    Crticize it all you want, but this is how I feel about this song.
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  • m
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    MatthewWatson
    Although "seas would rise when I gave the word" supports Chord x's reading, I don't see this as being about Christ.
    It's about a king who came to power violently ("the old king is dead," "a wicked and wild wind blew down the doors to let me in"), ruled the world, the crowds, and his enemies, and then was overthrown ("revolutionaries wait for my head") and swept streets as a common man. After his fall he was converted ("Saint Peter will call my name") and now waits for death ("Jerusalem bells" and "Roman cavalry choirs"). He asks us in the land of the living to be the mirror, sword, shield, and missionaries that he failed to employ when he had life and power. The mirror and the sword are images of the word of God, contrasting to his lack of an honest word.
    In a wider sense, the song is about lost opportunity and fall from power. Lost love could fall under that, but to say that this whole song is about a romantic relationship would cheapen it (who wants another song about that?).
    Maybe the song is called "Viva la Vida" to extol the vision he lacked.
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  • m
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    MatthewWatson
    Although "seas would rise when I gave the word" supports Chord x's reading, I don't see this as being about Christ.
    It's about a king who came to power violently ("the old king is dead," "a wicked and wild wind blew down the doors to let me in"), ruled the world, the crowds, and his enemies, and then was overthrown ("revolutionaries wait for my head") and swept streets as a common man. After his fall he was converted ("Saint Peter will call my name") and now waits for death ("Jerusalem bells" and "Roman cavalry choirs"). He asks us in the land of the living to be the mirror, sword, shield, and missionaries that he failed to employ when he had life and power. The mirror and the sword are images of the word of God, contrasting to his lack of an honest word.
    In a wider sense, the song is about lost opportunity and fall from power. Lost love could fall under that, but to say that this whole song is about a romantic relationship would cheapen it (who wants another song about that?).
    Maybe the song is called "viva la vida" to extol the vision he lacked.
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  • s
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    SarahBerra
    The song lyrics are basically talking about history and how so many kings ruled during time. During times in Europe, when kings still existed, sometimes they did not just dethrone them etc. The lyrics- "Revolutionaries Wait
    For my head on a silver plate"
    That means they are just waiting for the next king to be executed. This song is also told through the eyes of a ruler who was removed of his position as king. This is a great song that also has history placed into it.
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  • j
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    jttothehi
    Ok I think it doesn't have to refer to just one part because obviously as most of you have mentioned it talks about many differnet nations or historical periods. My own opinion onnthis song is that it mostly connects to the diffrent governments and not so much a specific time, but gov't of all times. Now I'm sure if I was a history buff I could tell you how all this ties into older governments but I'm not and I can't do that cuz I'm just 14. And also like absinthe said it talks about all the change there is in the world and how things can turn on you so fast.
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  • r
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    rdyaim
    Who cares what means! Isn't there that feeling something that which is essence music, the harmony, that which is glorious, and impetus to make us react. There is a joy and feeling that emanates and resonates, for me, that gives praises above and should make one humble and extend our hand to others, as well as make one feel that, 'i/We are worthy. So, no matter the title, no matter the language, no matter the words, just enjoy and smile and let that help you dance to & through life, and top the beat of our own drum. Your dreams are on 'pillars of sand', and your decisions affect those 'pillars of sands' are as strong as you make them. When they crumble, then you no longer 'rule the world'!
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  • w
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    whowantsrice
    Ok people one big flow for the people against the french revoltuion, the cover for this song is A fat lady holding A french flag. Unless jesus was a fat lady in the 1700s most likely it is not about him/her but you never know. Oh and unless there was another king other than Louisxiv in the french revolution please let me know because I can't think of any other than Robesipirre Maximilian who led the revolutionaries but got executed him self by them, but he wasnt a king =P suck that jesus lovers. Ps I love jesus but the song just isn't about him. I know it hurts but the truth usually hurts.
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  • a
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    absinthe
    Viva is spanish not french the french verb to live is vivre. I think the song is simply about turning a corner in one's life. How when we were young there was a time when "we used to rule the world" so to speak. As age sets in and friends leave or go their own way those "streets" have all changed. A changing of the guard. I'm in my mid 30's now and have seen the streets I used to own completely changed. Theres new kings and such and that time period I remember has long since passed. The song really resonates with me and the nostalgia of a time long passed by. I know there are some religious undertones but I really don't think the song is Coldplay preaching to us about the loss of God and I highly doubt its about King Louis? Nope to me its just reminiscence of a time that has long gone by and being a spectator on the outside of it now. I do like rickrodz description though!
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  • w
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    whowantsrice
    Wow every one is retarded. Its about the frech revolution and the fall of Louisvi. "old king is dead, long live the king" old king is charlesx and the new king is Louisvi. Whole bunch of angry women went to his castle and captured Louisvi and his family and took him prisoner to be executed. Revolutionaries wanted his head because they wanted to make a democratic gov. Like the us and for that to happen they needed the king dead. As for the Saint Peter part, saint peter is the one that decides if you get into heaven at the gate and he wont be called to get in.
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  • Jazzvannet
    0
    Jazzvannet
    Set in the middle ages. He was a Prince of Jerusalem until the Roman Empire attacked their kingdom on Sunday. His father, the king, was captured and dead from the Roman Empire cutting his head off. The prince runs into a church and sits with his shield and sword. The prince can hear from a distance that villagers chant "The King is dead. Long live the king!" While they defend the kingdom. But unfornately, they do not have a chance. So the prince sits and prays until Saint Peter calls his name.
    (Saint Peter could his god)
    So when Saint Peter calls his name. It's like Jesus telling you -you are no longer alive-.
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  • k
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    Kelsc12
    I believe that this song is about the fall of Charles X of France. From looking at the cover of this cd it is clear. Charles X was a strong believer in the Roman Catholic Church. This whole song points to the fall of his reign. The cover portrait for this cd is called "Liberty Leading the People" a painting by Delacroix. Go check it out. That's just what I think from listening to Viva La Vida & staring at the cd cover for more than 30 mintues.
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  • c
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    chidino
    Coldplay being Brits, the analysis above may be accurate. But I can't help but wonder if the band envisions the song being the thoughts of the soon-to-be-unlamented George W. Bush? The band has a liberal bent, and heaven knows that, for better or worse, he's been the single most dominant figure of the last 7 years.
    Btw: the lyric is indisputably "I know St. Peter WON'T call my name." Some Grado headphones, a lossless recording, and quality equipment. Well, the sound he makes (he doesn't pronounce the 't' hard) is unquestionably an 'o' sound, as in "won't".
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  • c
    0
    Carlosaro
    I don't really care much either way for Coldplay since I'm 39 yrs. Old and enjoy older bands like Sabbath, Yes, Queen, etc. But my goodness this is a very special tune! I mean it's just awesome the way it's so different with strings and that pulsing bass drum. It almost feels like their album cover. Sooo different from anything I've ever heard from any band! Should win song of the year but it won't cuz people have to "understand the lyrics." Who really cares about the lyrics? It's a great melody and way to good for the masses to dig.
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  • s
    0
    Samsquatch
    You people are reading to much into this song sure it has biblical refrences and it talks about the french revolution but that doesn't mean its a religous song. I think coldplay is just saying that total power can ruin even the best people and you should find happyness not in worldly poccesions whether that's by god or loved ones or what not. But I don't know that's just my opinion.
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  • s
    0
    sman
    The song and album name was chosen by Singer Chris Martin, he chose it after seeing the phrase, which means “ long live life,” on a painting by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, who endured polio, a broken spine, and chronic pain for decades. “ She went through a lot of s*t, of course, and then she started a big painting in her house that said ‘ Viva la Vida,’” says Martin. “ I just loved the boldness of it.”- Rolling Stone Magazine.
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  • U
    - 1
    Unregistered
    I think they tell us about the great king of Jerusalen, King David, whose enormous power among Jerusalem Kingdom was worlwide known. He was powerful, he ordered to build a giant palace, sorrounded by the strongest wall till then. He played to be God, but, finally, God's power demolished all the human and artificial creations that seemed to be everlasting throughout so many years. So, I may have been strong and powerful then while now I admit that all that I had or I possessed was always set up on weakness.
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  • U
    - 1
    Unregistered
    This is about how power or a throne makes you become an awful person who does evil things for themself and how some can't handle the tempt of changing the balance at the choice as he begins to fall into himself and soon regret of letting greed ever even begin to affect him.
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  • U
    - 1
    Unregistered
    Viva la vida was a reflection of coldplay's great life they led and their own reflection on when they looked back what was going to occur. They would realize that 'one minute I held the key, next the walls were closed on me'. There then is a quick reference to saint peter, referring to death and how unworthy they thought they were of heaven. This whole thing is a confession of their faith as christians and how unworthy they are of what they have, as well as a confession of their undeserving stardom.
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  • s
    - 1
    Silvose
    Honestly, To me this song has spiritual meaning. That does not mean that it was written to have spiritual meaning. To me this song basically means: Striving for worldly things will leave you empty. In this song "I", whomever that may be, finds himself with everything the world has to offer. (Money and earthly power) He has no worries. Until he realizes that money and power don't really matter in the end. All this money and power that he once had have failed him and left him even more empty than he was in the beginning. So to sum this all up, here is my advice - Don't let money or power take over your life. They may bring you happiness for a short while, but it's only temporary. Invest your time in relationships - Most importantly your relationship with God.
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  • a
    - 1
    Artant
    I think this song explains the fact of the Revolution of Jesus Christ in his age, a man who changed the way of thinking for many people, love instead of hatred. The expression Viva, in french as in spanish mean long live in english, so Viva la vida means long live the life, let's make a revolution not for political ideas, not for power, but only for life itself. I believe that is the meaning of this great hit: Jesus caused a Revolution.
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  • t
    - 1
    tallgirl
    I definitely think that there is a certain link too Christianity, like Christ's crucification-"the old king is dead,long live the king" and things like John's beheading('head on a silver platter'). The setting(the Roman occupied city of Jerusalem)and various biblical allusions to pillars of salt and pillars of sand suggest a deeper meaning than what is just seen on the surface.
    This said, I also realize that the idea of the song carrying references to the French revolution also makes much sense.
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  • v
    - 1
    Vepormas7
    It is obvious to me that the meaning of the song is about the story of Lucifer, human nature, and all type of dark power which is ephemoron, untrue, leads to isolation and humilition. This is a very inspired song, probably a masterpice of our times, only compared to "Hotel California". It is full of metaphors like the human ego "castles stand upon pillars of sand", and of course has a religious meaning of redemption in the last verse: "I know Saint Peter will call my name" Great song!
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  • l
    - 1
    leftyg
    Thanx cullpepper, but you wrote:
    "We don't know what God's decision will be and it's not up to us to decide what Bushes' fate will be ...that's between God and Bush."
    Actually this is a very personal song, so I think we have to grant the artist the license to speak as George Bush.
    Katemarie I believe it is about a modern day crusade. That was exactly what the Iraq War was. Bush originally wanted to call it the Crusade I believe until his middle east advisors cautioned against it. A great song like this one--and I think this is a great song--have lyrics that are both timely and timeless. It is about today, but it is also about all the other times that "men," mostly men, have sought a power so vast that the quest consumed them.
    The most compelling line in the song among so many deep and compelling lyrics is the phrase "Once you go there was never never an honest word." "The first casualty of war is truth" is a tried and true axiom of all war. We know of Bush's infinite lies. Giving the song a persona makes it more vital than just being a general assessment of the human condition.
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  • k
    - 1
    katemarie
    Sounds a bit like the crusades to me. "Be my mirror, my sword and shield
    My missionaries in a foreign field" may mean that he is using weapons to teach his religion and he thinks it will make him know more about himself. But then it states "I know Saint Peter won't call my name" meaning that he truly knows that what he is doing isn't right. Just like forcing a faith on someone isn't right. "I hear Jerusalem bells a ringing" may be referring to the crusades as well, since Jerusalem was in conflict during that time.
    The song could also be about the modern crusade-like time we are in as well. Or it all could be a metaphor suggesting that a power was lost and someone was ashamed of past actions.
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  • s
    - 1
    saintsadness
    I think all of you are right, the song does mean all of these things and much more, the main aim of this song is twofold a)get you to talk about life, how you perceive it accod to your views, and the hidden aim 2)to make you listen more to this song and get more people to buy their albums. At least this song deserves the money it is earning, unlike some crap I know floating around out there.
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  • a
    - 1
    arcticsprite07
    To mike's comment, Jesus was not born in Jerusalem he was born Bethlehem.
    This not really religious song. He share that he believes in God. But believes that he's sins are too great to be forgiven. Which he shares a common belief among a lot of people. The question is who is sing for, himself, President Bush, ceos, former leaders or current leaders. History has a tendency to repeat itself. I am still puzzled who he voice he is trying portray. My gut tells me he sing about President Bush.
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  • o
    - 1
    oluseyi
    For all of us who have studied European history, the song Viva la vida is a direct reference to the French revolution. That is why the cover of the album is lady liberty and the revolutionaries. Before the french revolution monarch louis xvi had everything going for him. That is why the song says that people would say "Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!." People viewed the reign of the new french monarch as a sign of the end of the economic troubles France had faced under the previous monarch but Louis xvi was only 19 years of age when he inherited the thrown. Thus, he had no clue in regards to domestic policy. To add on, because of the economic situation, lack of break and inflation, and the installation of a non-habsburg queen(Marie Antoinette), the ruling dynasty, the people soon turned against him. The people were all starving while Louis and his wife lived decadently in their palace; Versailles. When they say For some reason I can not explaini know Saint Peter will call my name, that is a direct reference to Louis belief that he would be killed and later on, he was beheaded. That is the definite meaning of the song!
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  • a
    - 1
    atomicat
    I think this song refers to the ascent to power by a person who has followed a call to be a righteous warrior king. Kind of like the Knights Templars. They ruled the world, in the sense of a "holy Crusade" the bells ringing refers to the Roman Empire ways of those who followed organized religion. And following God, is looking in the mirror. But his delusion was thinking he could as a man rule the world and power corrupted, or he fell. Now that he's returned from his lofty position of power, he's just left and despised as a failed warrior, ready for death. Knowing Peter will call his name speaks of the former and possible state of mind that he's on his way to heaven, but now humbled, because he's no longer a king, just a janitor sweeping the streets. If you read about the Crusaders and the Knights Templars who were the Popes private army this kind of makes sense. It's an allegory of sorts, toward any "warrior or King for God" who thinks they are the man. Used to rule the world, is the key.
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  • d
    - 1
    doublewing
    This is the idea that academic analysis must fail in the face of a Christian interpretation is ridiculous. Indeed, the song contains biblical allusions. Indeed, biblical allusions have been drawn without affirming the glory of Christ, or even the existence of God. Moreover, what's the fuss about? Lots of Christians make good music; so do lots of atheists. Let's enjoy the melody, honor our common heritage and respect each other's beliefs as fundamentally private.
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  • a
    - 1
    aware123
    This song is about awakening to the wisdom that absolute power not only is a fantasy played out by our ego based on fear but is also destroys us and the world around us. Nevertheless this destruction on all fronts is important to awaken us to an all-inclusive, more elevated vibration of love. It uses figurative wording that talks of Christian crusaders, impossing their beliefs in a violent way to a world foreign to them. How the illusion is not only isolating but it can also be hypnotizing, acknowledging the "dark" within all of us is primordial to this process of awakening. The best part of this song is the title "VIVA LA VIDA" which in Spanish means "BRAVO TO LIFE" and in my opinion it's there to let us know that at the end of the day it all will be fine, that we will awaken to this truth. Celebrating life as the classroom that it is for our souls and conciousness.
    The word Missionaries is placed instead of Crusaders for obvious reasons. Missionaries don't carry swords and shields like the song says.
    When he says Roman Cavalry choirs are singing, I think the word Cavalry is placed instead of Catholic to avoid controversy, since it's obviously speaking of a militaristic approach to faith. It makes more sense to say Roman Catholic choirs, doesn't it?
    It uncovers the marriage of the powerful and organized religion that was the norm during the middle ages between the European nations and the Vatican.
    If there's an actual channeling from a past life, It will have to be the king of either England, France or Spain during the middle ages crusades. These were the nations champions of Christianity, puppets of the Vatican. They brought Sheer terror over the arab world particularly Jerusalem during the crusades.
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  • p
    - 1
    Pedrosantos
    It's for sure an awesome song. I think the metaphor of this song is about someone who lives in a lie, everybody around him making this to be true, so he feels like a king. He can do whatever he wants to. The idea of Jesus makes sense, the line "I know Saint Peter won't call my name" can be refered to someone who was chasing Jesus at that time, so he is not 'welcome' in heaven.
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  • ic3princ3ss
    - 1
    ic3princ3ss
    I don't think this song is about Bush:| he isn't even American, so it'd be non-sense to a British person write a song about an American president!
    In my opinion, he sings about a prepotent person that used to imagine he ruled the world. Now he sees himself lonely, like nobody liked him anymore.
    After thinking about it, the line "The old king is dead, long live the king" could be a reference to Jesus being on the cross. All of the people mocking him, and King of Jews above his head.
    It's an awesome song! :)
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  • j
    - 1
    johnrainwater
    This is a song about Lucifer - you know, the Prince of Darkness. Satan. The Devil. In the Bilical passages, Lucifer was an angel who was set to rule the world, but he tried to gain too much power too quickly and in inappropriate ways, so as punishment he was smitten by God to be fallen to rule the Underworld and seek the souls of mankind through temptation and the allure of sin. This song reflects the biblical story but also alludes that ruling Hell isn't all it's quite cracked up to be. Begging the question, is it better to rule in Hell or serve in Heaven? Coldplay suggests it's better to serve in Heaven. The Evil Empire isn't for the faint of heart, or the pure souls among us. If you believ as I do, I think that Satan speaks to us through music, as does God, and that we have the option of interpreting music either way, the choice of which you will listen to, and which songs you will be gently persuaded by, and which you will take to your heart and soul, make love during a cd or particpiate in a drive by killing during one of your favorites, smoke meth while listening or get dressed for church as it plays.
    The message is that God ules the world, Satan is God's b*h.
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  • p
    - 1
    pauld62704
    I think peanutbutter had it right. This is about someone who had it all and lost it because getting there was worth whatever you had to do. You can lose an empire. Either a nation or in business. I know because I am that man. The business empire is gone, I did whatever I had to in order acheive my goal. (The lies, watching your enemy express fear and the people behind the scenes that wanted your head). The missionaries are those that worked for you and trusted you and you left them unsupported.
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  • w
    - 1
    Werewolfchick89123
    This is about back when Jesus walked the world. Peter disowned Jesus when the soldiers of the roman army asked if he knew Jesus. Like in th elyrics the three times of "I know Saint Peter won't call my name." Is the same way as in bible days when Peter denied Jesus he denied him three times. When Jesus comes back Peter will call his name because then Jesus will rule the world.
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  • p
    - 1
    project1981
    In this life we experience so much. Sometimes we're on top with the world at our feet but what is that really worth when our castle our place in life is built upon sand. Most of us seek to be powerful rulers seeking money great jobs careers lots of women popularity but what is it really worth. We need to go deeper to fund our place our reason for life. But no matter, for we are all forgiven by the grace and love of our creator. (not thinking in a Christian sense beacuse I feel that creed has a jargon which is empty because of, well those that profess to be "kings " of the creed. But I speak of the creator which knows not religion but our hearts. He is there for us through every walk of life. And this has been a bit of how I feel and what this song bring to my heart.
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  • t
    - 1
    tplam
    First of all, this is a fantastic piece. Awesome strings, and, as usual, drop-dead vocals by Chris Martin. I think I can agree with Foundgiven the most. I've studied King Louis and have found it doesn't relate to him as much as people think. I think the only way in which Coldplay is going for the French history is in the new album cover. I believe this song has to do more with faith and a non-specific being's fall from dominance. The "pillars of salt, pillars of sand" refer to the fragility of a man's kingdom. He was once loved and respected and powerful, but the tables turned on him quickly, his kingdom falling. The lyrics leave it up to us to consider how exactly this happened. This man believing that "Saint Peter won't call my name" covers the religious side of the lyrics. Saint Peter not calling his name suggests that he thinks he won't go to Heaven. He appears to be taken over by the peoples' cruelty in turning on him, making him out to be a "sinful" person. Whatever your interpretation is, just remember to try not to get too caught up in analyzing it. You can get lost in the powerfulness of the music itself.
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  • n
    - 1
    notblue
    Wow, these interpretations are so interesting!
    It probaby is referencing the religious themes from above, but personally as an american--what I relate to the song is the western world's reign as a world power. And especially how our country (you. S.) has fallen from grace and fallen from its pedastal in many ways.
    I'm sure the song has nothing to do with the you. S. But that's what I think of when I hear it.
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  • c
    - 1
    cherter
    These lyrics are actually a little off (pillars of salt and pillars of sand, bells a'ringing, once you go, saint peter won't).
    As for who is singing, Louis is close, but I think you're off by a couple of years. I think that the song is sung by Napoleon Bonaparte. Louis never really ruled the world, nor indeed did he aspire to. Napoleon came alot closer. Napoleon did indeed hear the bells ring in Jerusalem during the Egyptian Campaign. He sent out "missionaries to foreign lands" in the form of putting his family and friends onto the thrones of his various conquests. He certainly came to power in a less than gentle way. He heard "long live the king (well, emperor...), and at the end, did indeed "sweep the streets he used to own" in exile. By the end of his rule, he was feeling misunderstood, attacked from all sides both within and without, and had revolutionaries calling for his head. It is a common misconception that Napoleon led the Revolution. In point of fact, his rise to power replaced the Revolutionary government with, in effect, a new king.
    Regardless of all of that, it is one hell of a good song!
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  • j
    - 1
    JohnnyAtWork
    The words do not fit any one head of state.
    Yes the cover does depict the French Revolution. But, Viva la Vida, Long Live Life, is Spanish. And, Louis xvi never ruled the world. Seas or naval fleets did not rise upon his word.
    Louis xvi inherited a France heavily in debt from the Seven Years War, a non existant army, and a decimated Navy. Nearly all French Colonial territories ceded to Great Britain and Spain before Louis xvi was coronated.
    Louis xvi had the unenviable task of rebuilding a war battered empire, and although well liked, intellegent, and well educated, he lacked the means and confidence to do so.
    He, and the queen became easy targets of rumors and "libelles". "Never an honest word" fit the period of Louis xvi, but the deceit was not from the throne, but against it.
    In the context of the French Revolution, the song more closely resembles Maximilien Robespierre, who rose to power from the revolution. In one rear of terror 40, 000 French men and women were executed under Robespierre.
    Although he commanded no Navy, seas of spies rose up upon Robespierre's word. But, there were no crowds singing "Long Live the King" under Maximilien Robespierre. That transgression would get them executed.
    Maximilien Robespierre and the Revolution paved a road to hell with good intentions. Ultimately Robespierre himself was guillotined.
    Louis xvi may have felt "For some reason I cannot explain, I know Saint Peter won't call my name". But, that would more likely be due to his clinical depression than to any mortal sins.
    On the other hand, Robespierre did not comprehend his guilt for complicity in the genocide of 40, 000. For him, the end of the monarchy was a rationalization for his brutality and terrorism. He would not have been able to explain why Saint Peter would not call his name.
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  • j
    - 1
    JohnnyAtWork
    The song seems more specific to Great Britain, but applies to all superpowers that use their strength with doses of tyranny around the world, only to be overthrown by revolutionaries.
    Superpowers wield their might with the best intentions at first, but get intoxicated with power, and are led astray with deceit. "never an honest word". Ultimately, The means does not justify the ends.
    That is why the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I am not sure if Coldplay says "I know Saint Peter will call my name" or "won't call" my name. I've seen both on different lyric sites, and the first verse sounds like "won't" while the second sounds like "will".
    "will" call my name makes more sense in the context of the entire song. In the end, it is realized where things went astray, and a plea for forgiveness is implied.
    The road to hell can be paved with good intentions, but good intentions, good deeds, and contrition can get you off the hook, and earn a nod from Saint Peter.
    Viva la Vida is references superpowers, "Long live the King", but ultimately the song is a metaphor for how we apply the power given to our own lives. Are we tyrants with good intentions? Do we acknowledge our errors?
    It's just too simple, but if we, everyone in the world, could all treat each other better in our own lives, the problems of the world would not exist. But, God knows it ain't that simple, and I am as guilty as anyone.
    But, "For some reason I cannot explain, I know Saint Peter will call my name".
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  • d
    - 1
    darthsakurachan
    Did anyone else think of that French king married to Marie Antoinette when they heard the song? (I don't pay enough attention in history to know his name, but I remember hers) I thought of it mostly because of the "Head on a silver plate" part. About revolutionaries and how it's not so good to be the king. I really don't think it's anywhere near a correct interpretation, but. It's what I thought of before I read the lyrics. I have to say that the previous post is what came to mind after reading them, so I feel I must agree.
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  • j
    - 2
    Jasperintyler
    I thought the song referred to Satan and what happened to him after the second coming of Jesus. "I used to rule the world, seas would rise when I gave the word", "I used to role the dice, see the fear in my enemy's eyes, one minute I held the key...castles stand on pillars of salt and sand, never an honest word when he ruled". After 2nd coming Satan "in the morning alone, sweeps the streets he used to own, walls were closed on me" Jerusalem bells and Roman calvary choirs refers to heaven on earth. Satan still wants us to reflect him, be his missionaries, but no more.
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  • happy333
    - 2
    happy333
    I love this song!
    It can be about so many people. It is probably not about Michael Jackson because this song was written way before he passed away. It does fit though because mj was the King Of Pop, but his power did wear out too soon.
    It also could be about to Elvis (Elvis Presley), who was The King. Not of Pop, just The King. "long live The King" might be reffering to how fans scoured the streets after Presley passed away. Elvis always had almighty power when it came to music, and he was missed quite a lot.
    It could be about President of America, Barack Obama, because he is now thought to be the leader of the world (a. K. A. "the king"), but nobody knows if he can handle this much power or if his power will slip away.
    It also might be Napoleon. He was very strong and won nearly all of his wars, except of course the Battle of Waterloo when he was finally defeated and put on an island all by himself where he eventually died at the age of 52 of stomach cancer.
    But what I reallly think is that the song is about The Crusades, because of "Roman Cavalry".
    P. S. Please vote up not down thanks =]
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  • m
    - 2
    Mjbasso
    I believe it is about a man who is stricken with so much power, due to inheritance, and at first he was a good leader much like the Roman emperors/kings but was tainted by the power he had, Because at first they respect him by chearing Long live the king, that now he has gone powercrazy and slays anyone in his way. Much like the story of arthas from world of warcraft, yea I'm a nerd: D
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  • l
    - 2
    leftyg
    Dtack68 you wrote "In no way does this deal with crusades, or George Bush... seriously think." yes seriously thyink/ Wy would this song be a mere relic about the French Revolution? That makes little sense. The French Revolution as metaphor? The Crusades as metaphor? Absolutely. I believe the song is deeper than any onr interpretation. I believe that the most timely current use is about the failings of Bush in Iraq and how power isolates and vitiates the source--the metaphorical king.
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  • l
    - 2
    lewzcool
    This song is about the crucifiction of Jesus for the following reasons:.
    Saint Peter wont call my name- Refers to the disciple that would not admit to knowing Jesus.
    Jeruselam bells and Roman cavelry: Jesus was crucified in Jeruselam by the romans.
    Seas would rise.: Refers to the parting of the storm, parting of the red sea, walking on water etc.
    Castles on Pillers of salt/sand: Refers to a parable told by Jesus where two houses were built one on rocks and one on sand.
    All the king talk: Jesus was the king of the jews.
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  • d
    - 2
    Doctress
    This song could be about the French Revolution, it could be about Obama or even Kevin Rudd. Or prehaps Coldplay is referring to the issues in Tibet, however it is clearly about a revolution of some sort and how changes sweep over a civilization and leave old rulers behind inspite of when they have or haven't done.
    I think it's definately a song for the current times given the present political climate, as the old leaders die thinking that they have achieved so much for the people, the new Kings, Presidents and Prime Ministers of 2009 and onwards will really be the ones working for the good of all. They will be the missionaries in the foreign fields.
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  • m
    - 2
    Meechi
    I change my idea about this song. I do agree with londonirish about him being of a Neasden decent & him being a cabbage sellsmen, but he was a partime gigilo who got to old and couldn't get it up and he used to rock Mrs. Peter's World for a price of course. Then one day Mrs. Peters was "calling his name"{ if you know what I mean } and he snapped that's when he realized & he realized that "his castles stand
    Upon pillars of salt, pillars of sand". Try to argue with that.
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  • t
    - 2
    tibstar
    I think he talks bout usa. The rise and fall of it. The way he describes the rest of the world closing on it. The way the financial crisis is made its leadership weaken and its sweeping the ground of finance wht it used to leader. The way its missionaries were spread in rest of world. "Be my mirron, my sword, my shield", he means us's demand frm rest of the world to be at their side and protect and defend them at any time. "Never an honest word". Us has well be reckoned as for Hypocrisy and lies about the reasons for war they wage.
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  • p
    - 2
    patnjoe
    It is the religious, the self-perceived "righteous" that have destroyed what has been built. When you use religion as a weapon, it is attacked. Weapons are always attacked first during a war. Anyone who uses Jesus or God as a weapon to harm others, has put Jesus & God front and center for attack. Call it Liberal if you'd like. It's not a Liberal thing. Who'd attack someone for wanting to feed the poor? The Liberals? It's the hate in the name of God that causes religion to crumble. Hate on and pay the consequences. God hates gays, God hates liberals, God hates Jews, God hates the rich, God hates people that are non-Christian. On and on and on. And Christians expect everyone to embrace that nonsense. Give me a break.
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  • k
    - 2
    kayrenhin
    It has nothing to do with real kings. It's about youth. When you are young, you rule the world. No one can help but love the optimism and strength of youth, but then, you realize that it isn't honest and it isn't going to last. You become jaded and aged like all those before. "Oh and who would ever want to be king?" As in, who would ever want to remain young once you realize how unstable and full of dreams not reality youth is. And in the end, he knows St. Peter will call his name--he feels older, wiser, and justified. That's how I see it.
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  • d
    - 2
    drpepper
    The person who says this song is about recovering from drug addiction is an idiot.
    It's about King Louis xvi and the French Revolution. It starts when he first became king, and he in essence "ruled the world". Then, all of a sudden, the third (commoners) estate decided to rebel against the First (clergy) and Second (Monarchy/aristocracy) estates. Things were then not so good for King Louis, hence the "revolutionaries wait for my head on a silver plate" (the guillotine was used to behead the enemies of the revolution).
    Just look at the album cover, and the flag that the woman in the painting is holding: It's France's flag, and the title (which is in French) of this song is the same as the album. This is not a coincidence.
    Ultimately, the song is about how you can feel like you rule the world one minute, but the next feel that everything and everyone around you has turned on you. Power is fleeting and fickle.
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  • b
    - 2
    butterfly_kid
    I think that it could be set in the times when there was one king in tribal britain before the romans conquered. This means that this king is now a roman slave, as were many of the tribal leaders after the romans had defeated them. In the chorus "Here Jerusalem bells are ringing, Roman Cavalry Choirs are singing," this represents the Christians who were basically the romans who took over britain and forced their beliefs onto the britons, Just what first came into my head when I saw it - does anyone else agree with me?
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  • t
    - 2
    The_First_Black_Goth
    This song sounds an awful like hmm dare I say the Anti Christ hmmm. Now that is interesting how it does play upon almost all the sayings in the bible!. Now you will ask. How is it the The_first_black_goth. Would know sayings in the bible. Well I happen to have a holy mother lol. As for the ignorant sob from earlier. F*k off. It takes a realy stupid person to compare a played out song like solja boy (or how ever you spell it) to a musical masterpiece like this one. Now go back to grade school (if you're even out) and learn some grammer.
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  • c
    - 2
    cherishalicia
    I think that adding religion to the meaning to this song is wrong. Nothing about this song has an attention to god nor any religion. Its about life and how people get caught up in popularity and envy, but then come to relize the word isn't about that. Like in the fraze "never an honest word, but that was when i ruled the word" shows that when he was caught up in the popularity and stuff he wasnt living in an honest way and not being true to his self and others, because that what ends up happening. Theres alot of frazes in these lyrics to Viva La Vida that may be missed understood to a person according to the word "king" and some others. The song has a very deep meaning to it that reflects upon people in genaral. The song has no religion relation to it. So, if you thought the song was about anything about that kind its not. & that's all I wanted to say. Thank you. By the way, I'm only 12 years old, and its pretty sad that most of these people are wrong.
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  • b
    - 2
    Borglesnarf
    I would interpret the song less literally. The singer is Death. Death and the fear of death rules the world. The rising of seas has always meant catastrophic deaths.
    "I sweep the streets that I used to own..." referring to the brutality of being homeless, living and dying on the streets. The past tense acknowledging the advances that medical science has made in postponing or delaying death for the rich.
    There are references to the random chance of life and death and a number of references to war, Death's playground.
    Also, a reference to the christian church. An organisation that has walked hand in hand with Death for centuries. With rewards in a heavenly afterlife, and the brutality of suppression and holy war.
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  • k
    - 3
    Kathy21
    Without getting too technical about the lyrics, this is how I interpret the song. I think it speaks to most people in the autumn of their lives. It's looking back on our lives and realizing that we fell short of what we wish we could have been. It's a human condition to fall short because we are all limited beings on this earth. It's part of that mystery of where we are going in the hereafter based on the lives we have lived. It's coming to that realization that each of us is ultimately responsible for our own life because each person is given free will. We may beg for mercy, but we don't feel like anyone is listening. We believe that we don't deserve Heaven based upon the life we lived when we actually felt that "we ruled the world." This is one of my favorite songs. It really speaks to me. I do have faith in the hereafter. God is always present even if we don't feel his presence.
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  • c
    - 3
    clayton684
    This song is not about Jesus and the Cross. Jesus and his works have impacted my life more than any other person ever, but this song is just not about him. My first thoughts are about France during the Revolution under the Louis rules. I also think it could be about Napoleon Bonaparte, another prominent historical figure. More of the song makes since with a French ruler being brought down mercilessly than with Christ.
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  • d
    - 3
    dtack68
    This entire album, like lovely24 said, is about revolutions and all of their reasons. The cover of Viva la Vida was of the French Revolution. "Old king is dead, long live the king" people say after a king dies, and long live the heir. "Head on a silver plate", french revolutionaries cut the heads of aristocrats and nobility during the reign of terror. In no way does this deal with crusades, or George Bush. Seriously think.
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  • c
    - 3
    chenley
    This is obviously about Bush and the end of his regime. You can easily trace the neoconservative agenda behind his "missionaries on a foriegn field," and the fact that he was their "puppet on a string," the whole verse about the "wicked and wild wind" obviously refers to 9/11, the lies about wmds (and the justification for war and the patriot act) reflected in "never an honest word," There's not a country that doesn't want his "head on a plate," there are rumors his wife is leaving him, so he'll "sleep alone," etc. It's a brilliant song!
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  • m
    - 3
    mamagurrl
    I think the song has do with the bible I mean come on. The guy had said somthing about the silver plate. In the bible didn't it say that the queen who was evil, I dnt rember her name, had said she wanted peters head on a silver plate beacuase I think he was a prophet and she had presented like a puppet poking at it and stuff I think it said something like that. I don't remeber. That's what I think it means. Idk yall mite think I sound ignorant but this is my opinion.
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  • b
    - 3
    brookecolacoll
    Take the christianity bit a little further; "I" becomes God. At the beginning, followers of God were pure and righteous and as it developed, it became corrupt and stained. And if "I" is God then he is looking at his place in the world today, where morality has ceased to exist and the kingdom he had built crumbled with the progression of thought, science, technology, and the destruction of hope, faithfulness, and love. Further more, if "I" is God, then the final verse implies that human morality will come about again. I believe that this song is about human failure to be as we were intended and through such, God perhaps feels as if He has failed.
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  • GeTaJoB
    - 5
    GeTaJoB
    Ok since you've started reading this its too late to stop. In 2001 a 15 year old girl was killed in a clearing in scotland. Nobody knows who or what killed her but there is scratch marks all over her body and she looks horrific. She is said to roam around the world and can go 2 places at once. If you don't post this comment on 5 other videos or websites in ten minutes she will suddenly attack you and kill you in some gruesome way. This is scary coz it happened to my friend. Please.
    (i love these things!)
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  • s
    - 6
    SD_Martin61
    Listening to this song in context with Michael Jackson's death, it could describe his rise and fall as the King of Pop and his premature death. Michael Jackson, as the King of Pop, surely ruled the world to the point where he could seemingly command the seas to rise. He did replace a King "Elvis Presley", only to lose the crown later in life when scandals brought him down, with plenty of references in the song. The chorus could be foretelling Michael Jackson's premature death, having expired before St. Peter, the gatekeeper of Heaven, could call his name. This song can now be seen as an accurate description of Michael Jackson's last years.
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      ExtravagantUnion
      It sounds like it's sung from the point of view of a deposed ruler, possibly a French king after... Read more →
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      LouMoe
      I don't think anyone's wrong on this. Great personal perspectives. For me, the song is reflective... Read more →

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