Vinyl

My favorite song is “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay. Most of the music I listen to was introduced to me by my dad; classic and alternative rock, heavy-metal, etc.

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
Listened 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 a-ringing
Roman cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
Missionaries in a foreign field
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

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
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 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

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

Each member of the band contributed to the writing of this song. Chris Martin, the lead singer said that the title of the song is taken from Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s artwork of the same name. Martin said he loved the boldness of the name which means “long live life” or more literally, “the life lives.” The album this song was produced on, also Viva la Vida, was a hallmark for a new era of Coldplay. The majority of the tracks on this album shared a similar theme of “trying to remember what’s important in your life, rather than being carried away by the trappings of other things.”

I am able to connect with the song because of the loss I have already begun to experience in my life. Even as I write this post, my grandfather is being torn apart by one of the most vicious cancers–pancreatic cancer. After he is gone, I hope to cherish the memories he left behind, and not dwell on his passing. The song itself is about a king who has lost everything, yet calls for the word of God despite knowing his denial into heaven. Many of the lyrics of this song have biblical references. For instance, “pillars of sand” refer to the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders. The parable is about two types of people and how their hearts are revealed through their actions. The lyric about St Peter refers to St Peter guarding the gates of heaven and the king’s denial to pass due to his deeds during his kingship. The “mirror, sword and shield” are references to the Bible itself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvgZkm1xWPE

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One thought on “Vinyl

  1. Listening to this song, I listened to it like any other song. It’s like one of those songs that you listen to over and over again and you know the lyrics to perfectly but you don’t really KNOW what the lyrics are, like I even played this song in band over and over again during football season.
    I never really KNEW what these lyrics meant and never knew all of the thought that went into this song. And your post about it really opened my eyes to it.

    Like

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