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The Viva La Vida (song) meaning thread!

the_escapist

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Coldplay gone catholic!?

If we analize the lyrics, the song has obvious biblical references and I think it's a song about Jesus Christ.

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


All catholics should know that Jesus Christ gave the word and he controlled the seas - I think that the line now in the morning I sweep alone clearly means that Jesus Christ was betrayed and had to endure many things alone! The first verse is talking about a decline from wealth and fame to a nobody, just like Jesus Christ experienced on his life! He used to be a king, but he had to die for all human beings..So on a certain way he turned over his kingship (I used to rule the world). Clear reference of someone giving God kingship over his life.

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, pillars of sand



The line upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand, possibly is a reference to the sermon on the mount where Jesus speaks of a wise man building is house on a rock while the foolish man builds his house on the sand, only to be washed away.

Those days, there were different kings! Ones thought the king was Jesus Christ himself, others thought the king was the Roman authority and other thought the king was the Jewish priests.

I 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
Once you know there was never, never an honest word
That was when I ruled the world


Jerusalem bells and Roman Cavalry, it's obvious it's a biblical allusion. I think the line Be my mirror my sword and shield, it's a praying to God for strength. Also, the line my missionaries in a foreign field, has to do with the idea of taking the message of God and Jesus Christ all around the world. Finally, never an honest word, meaning the betrayal to Jesus Christ and his subsequent death.

I know St. Peter will call my name, referring to the fact of being admitted to heaven!

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 wanna be king?


This could be a reference to John the Baptist of the New Testament.
In The Book of Mark, John is noted as the one that comes before Jesus to announce His coming to Earth. A lot of people thought he (John) was going to be their Messiah, however he corrected them and told them that it was the One after him that would fill that role. I, also, argue that point because it is said somewhere that John's head was brought to king Herod on a Silver Platter.

Blew down the doors to let me in, meaning when Jesus Christ got furious because they turned the temple into a market!

What do YOU think?

Cheers!
 

Jenjie

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gone religious very possibly, but catholic, not necessarily. a lot of the allusions could be relevant to most branches of christianity
 

the_escapist

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gone religious very possibly, but catholic, not necessarily. a lot of the allusions could be relevant to most branches of christianity
Maybe you're right! But I think is very very catholic! Anyone knows the religion of the guys?
 

Jenjie

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Wiki doesn't say, but it does say that Chris studied Ancient Worlds, and Will studied Anthropology.
 

Knotty

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Biblical References do not equal being deluded/religious (synonymous).

They are populist ways of getting across a point.

In 'Viva La Vida' the point is that power and control corrupts.
 

Jenjie

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In an old interview, Martin is said to read the Bible regularly, and all four members profess "admiration for Christian beliefs." Martin once told the New York Daily News that he's never "rebelled against his mother's Christian faith," but in another interview he said he "used to be a Christian." In a more recent interview with Entertainment Weekly.com, Martin said, "I'm not agnostic, because I definitely believe in God." But he went on to say he doesn't necessarily believe in a specific religion, and added this bizarre observation: "There's some powers around, whatever they might be. I mean, if there's human beings who can stare at goats and make them die, then there's big forces out there somewhere. You know what I mean?"
http://www.christianitytoday.com/music/glimpses/2005/xandy.html
 

the_escapist

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if there's human beings who can stare at goats and make them die, then there's big forces out there somewhere

LOL....Why Chris has always to be so funny? He's one of the funniest guy on earth and I think that's a fact!
 

ricardo

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yeah, I think that it is about Jesus too, but I hear "Saint peter won't call my name" referring to the fact that Saint Peter denied him 3 times
 

"*"*Claire*"*"

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No I don't think they are catholic they are just religious, I suppose.. howewer thank you for the interpretation :)
 

Darlene_Ihnfsa

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i think you are right that is about jesus christ, but you are judging it wrongly the escapist... the correct is to say that is a a Christian one, you obviously say that is a catholic one because you have been grown as a catholic, am i right?

the religious differences are not that distant imo, but the correct is to say christian and more that the song is speaking about jesus christ.


and i like that they do it, if the album is about rebelion an social movements, out of being or not a christian or a believer, just taking into account jesus from nazaret as a human being, he was a revolutionary man, that's why he was accused and sentenced, romans feared his powers, his human powers of make many people follow and do what he thinks.

recently i've been thinking that the heroe for any social movement, the first one should be Jesus of Nazaret, no matter of the religious side, i think he would had been an interesting person to meet just for this rebel thing he did.

i'm glad that at least a band recognize it. :)
 

FedEx

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Biblical References do not equal being deluded/religious (synonymous).

They are populist ways of getting across a point.

In 'Viva La Vida' the point is that power and control corrupts.
You hit the nail on the head.
 

participlesnake

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The song seems to me to be about the Roman conquest of Jerusalem more than anything. Perhaps Chris is writing the song from the perspective of a Roman emperor during this time period. Also, I think the song could also be alluding heavily to the Crusades.
 

Darlene_Ihnfsa

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The song seems to me to be about the Roman conquest of Jerusalem more than anything. Perhaps Chris is writing the song from the perspective of a Roman emperor during this time period. Also, I think the song could also be alluding heavily to the Crusades.
you are also right... i think that 3 interpretations can be correct, them all are related in some way...

jesus christ was in times of Roman Empire, and later his movement, did the crusades, so anyways the connection is Jesus Christ, as the beging and the end... before him was the roman empire, after him were the crusades :)
 

the_escapist

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how do you get to the name "Viva La Vida" from all these meanings?
 

Knotty

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I'm still adamant he says "will call my name".

Why would you not be able to explain non-admission to Heaven, after not speaking an honest word?
 

ricardo

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now, the line of the revolutinoaries makes me doubt that it is about Jesus, because jesus was the one who wanted the change
 

Hotplay007

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All that you said was IMO very true. Catholic? Well maybe. But more on the religious side I guess. I'm Christian and we talk about much of that so I guess not totally Catholic. GREAT reinterpretation. :Thumbsup:
 
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