February 23, 2015

"Viva la Vida" (Coldplay) - Song Review

Hello again, Lyriticites! (Yeah, that's you. The fans. Yep.) In today's short and sweet little review, I'll take a look at Britpop band Coldplay's signature song, Viva la Vida, and give you the down-low and the far-wide on it's quality and content...

...Punk! ;)

Reviewed By: Kyle van Rensburg (Head Writer)

Album: Viva la Vida or Death and All of His Friends

Artist: Coldplay

Release Date: May 2008

Genre: Baroque Pop

Lyrical Verdict: Rated 12+ for Mature Themes


--Some lyrics refer to pending violence and war ("Revolutionaries wait for my head on a silver plate"), going with the "revolution" theme of the entire album. 

-A fallen king reminisces about how he used to induce fear in his "enemies' eyes." 

-A passing reference to a sword.

Spiritual Elements:

-References to Saint Peter turning away the main character from Heaven (a reference to eternal damnation), Pillars of Sand/Salt which are references to a parable spoken by Jesus and the latter being the fate of Lot's wife, the "head on a silver plate" refers to the death of John the Baptist, and finally, we hear a reference to missionaries in a "foreign field."

Mood: Emotionally Upbeat 

The song is a very cheerful and instantly uplifting dance song, in spite of the melancholy nature and "lonely" ending, which refer to losing your kingdom (literally and figuratively) and being alone in the world, which anybody can relate to in some way or another.

Mature 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...

-Revolutionaries wait for my head on a silver plate/Just a puppet on a lonely string/Oh, who would ever wanna be king?

The Lyritical Analysis:

The song contains references to a fallen king and a passing reference to a mirror. This song doesn't really contain any mind control references, although the music video has a "brooding insanity" feel to it going by the way the singer acts in the video.

The music video is also covered in a cracked texture, but that's only intended to evoke a feeling of "age", giving the song a texture like an old painting. The song ends with the band starting to dissolve into rose petals and vines. 

According to an obscure site known as Wikipedia, "Roses are ancient symbols of love and beauty." The song opens with a rose opening and falling apart, symbolising how all things eventually fall apart, like the kingdom referenced in the song, and even romance.

Review of Song:

The song opens with bright, enthusiastic violin chords, to make for an unforgettable opening. Even if you don't know the rest of the song, the first few chords are instantly recognisable from just about anywhere.

The triumphant nature of the song never fails to amaze, delivering an ironically uplifting tune about the fall of a kingdom, and the ruler thereof. Chris Martin's lyrics beam with passion, delivering one of his best vocal performances in Coldplay's history.

Almost six years on, Viva la Vida remains a classic song, and will remain one for years to come. (If you want to enjoy the song to it's fullest, watch the live concert versions. The energy of the crowd and the band are unbelievable.)

Age Restriction: 12+
For Mature Themes


Album review? Heh, that won't happen for a while. I still have several other bands, songs, and movies I need to get to. But I hope you enjoyed this short review of the classic song. I will see you peoplez againz soonz yoz!

(Ugh, I'm never typing such a grammatically offensive sentence ever again. Ever!)

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