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Coldplay - Viva la Vida - Lyrics Meaning

"Viva la Vida," the second single off Coldplay's fourth album Viva la Vida, or Death and All His Friends (2008), rapidly became the band's most successful song ever. It was their first number one single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US, and won the Grammy for Song of the Year in 2009. The title, which translates to "long live life," comes from a painting by Friedo Kahlo, a Mexican artist who lived in the early half of the 20th century. "Viva la Vida," which is filled with religious and historical references, tells the story of a king who loses his kingdom and depicts the pain that accompanies the loss of status. Religious references in the song include the Biblical story of Lot ("pillars of salt"), the tale of John the Baptist ("my head upon a silver plate"), the widespread Catholic belief in St. Peter and the heavenly gates ("I know St. Peter won't call my name"), and Moses parting the Red Sea ("seas would rise when I gave the word"). Hypotheses abound about who or what is the subject of the song - Napoleon, Caesar, the French Revolution, Christ, the Crusades - but the band has yet to confirm any theories.

Meanings of other songs by Coldplay:
The Speed of Sound
Fix You