Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida” is a retelling of the French Revolution | by Jaebin Yoo


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Jaebin Yoo

Though Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida” could also be thought-about a contemporary traditional, the underlying themes of the French revolution could also be misplaced in it’s melodic strings. Even if “Viva la Vida” is Coldplay’s highest charting single, many followers fail to acknowledge the central thought of the track and in the end the album. “Viva la Vida”, the track and album, is a retelling of the French revolution and the dying of King Louis XVI.

First to dissect is the album cowl. Coldplay’s fourth studio album, “Viva la Vida or Demise to All His Buddies” typically easy known as “Viva la Vida”, includes a rendition of the 1830 historic portray often known as “Liberty Main the Individuals”. The artwork piece was painted by French artist Eugène Delacroix, depicting French revolutionaries marching and waving the French flag, led by the human manifestation of Woman Liberty. The portray serves to painting the revolutionaries in a heroic mild, complementing the Album’s themes of life, dying, battle, and alter.

Now, to research the album’s foremost track, “Viva la Vida”, a bit background in regards to the French Revolution should be offered. — By the ultimate programs of the French revolution, King Louis XVI’s monarchy was lastly overthrown and the King was imprisoned by his personal folks. What adopted was a swift trial which promptly determined the destiny of the previous monarch. King Louis was to be publicly executed by way of guillotine. On the gallows, as the previous king shuffled his strategy to meet dying, he stopped to provide one closing speech to his folks. Nonetheless, as he started to talk, the ever so passionate french lots started to scream and boo, enjoying the executioner’s drums louder to drown the sounds of his phrases. The French lots cared not what their former ruler needed to say and cued for the executioner. As so, earlier than King Louis may end his speech, his captors compelled him down onto the guillotine and the previous king was executed. His speech, now misplaced endlessly.

Coldplay’s track “Viva La Vida” is an interpretation of king louis’s misplaced final speech earlier than his dying. The track is written by King Louis perspective, as he apologizes to his folks, accepting his destiny.

“I used to rule the world Seas would rise after I gave the phrase Now within the morning, I sleep alone” — King Louis led one of many world’s strongest international locations, he commanded a whole bunch of ships together with his merely phrases. Nonetheless, now he was lowered to sleeping alone in a jail cell.

“Pay attention as the gang would sing: “Now the outdated king is lifeless! Lengthy dwell the king!” — King Louis XVI succeeded the throne after his grandfather had handed. Following the dying of the beloved king, Louis XV, Louis XVI held a lot potential in his folks’s eyes. Many celebrated his rise to kingship.

“Shattered home windows and the sound of drums Individuals couldn’t consider what I’d change into.” — Though his folks noticed a lot potential within the new king, they had been left disillusioned. His early reign was that of reform and success, nevertheless, as time grew and guarantees had been left unfulfilled, the French lots demanded a brand new order.

“Revolutionaries look forward to my head on a silver plate. Only a puppet on a lonely string. Oh who would ever need to be king?” — Louis acknowledges that revolution was now in full swing and that no quantity of reform will help him now. Though Louis accepted his Kingship in eagerness, he seems to be again at his powers as a burden. He admits that the ability he thought he needed was not the identical when he held it.

Oddly sufficient, the track calls for sympathy for the overthrown king. Coldplay depicts the King’s closing speech as not a plea for assist or cry of damnation, however an admittance of remorse. This remorse humanizes the King, displaying understanding that he had in the end failed his folks. As soon as a revolutionary himself, the primary a part of his reign was that of enlightenment reform, nevertheless, alongside his kingship he had overlooked his values. Retreating to the comforts of his palace quite than going through his issues. The songs reveals the remorse of a person who as soon as promised a lot extra however delivered none, accepting his destiny as he is aware of it’s properly deserved.

Though King Louis is commonly characterised because the enemy of the revolution, the track performs a special sentiment. As a substitute of portraying King Louis because the one dimensional evil tyrant, Coldplay performs the track by the perspective of the King, watching helplessly because the revolution destroys his kingdom. This can be a full dichotomy from Delacroix’s “Liberty Leads the Individuals”, which reveals the revolutionaries as heros. This distinction is a deliberate alternative to bolster the album’s theme of change. With the revolutionaires fierce march and the King’s introspective assessment, the listener is just not put onto a single aspect. As a substitute, it permits the listener to course of each views, permitting a very new view of the revolution.

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