Viva La Vida | Coldplay |Guitar Chords | Lyrics |Meaning

Promotional graphic featuring the band Coldplay with the text 'Viva La Vida' Guitar Chords, Lyrics, Message Behind It.

Guitar Chords of “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay

Verse1

[Em]I used to [C]rule the [D]world 

Seas would [G]rise when I gave the [Em]word 

Now in the morning I [C]sleep al[D]one 

Sweep the [G]streets I used to [Em]own

Interlude

[C]  [D]  [G]  [Em]      x2  

Verse2

[Em]I used to[C] roll the [D]dice 

Feel the f[G]ear in my enemy’s [Em]eyes 

Listen as the [C]crowd would s[D]ing: 

“Now the o[G]ld king is dead! L[Em]ong live the king!”

On[Em]e minute I [C]held the [D]key 

Next the [G]walls were closed on [Em]me 

And I discovered that my c[C]astles st[D]and 

Upon [G]pillars of salt and p[Em]illars of sand 

Chorus

I [C]hear Jerusalem [D]bells are ringing 

[G]Roman Cavalry [Em]choirs are singing 

[C]Be my mirror, my [D]sword, and shield 

My [G]missionaries in a [Em]foreign field 

[C]For some reason I [D]can’t explain 

[G]Once you go there was [Em]never, never an [C]honest [D]word

That was [Bm]when I ruled the [Em]world 

Interlude

[C]  [D]  [G]  [Em]      x2  

Verse3

[Em]It was the wicked and[C] wild [D]wind 

Blew down the [G]doors to let me [Em]in. 

Shattered windows and the [C]sound of [D]drums 

People [G]couldn’t believe what[Em] I’d become

[Em]Revolutio[C]naries [D]wait 

For my h[G]ead on a silver [Em]plate 

Just a puppet on a [C]lonely [D]string

Oh [G]who would ever want to be [Em]king? 

Chorus

I [C]hear Jerusalem [D]bells are ringing 

[G]Roman Cavalry [Em]choirs are singing 

[C]Be my mirror, my [D]sword, and shield 

My [G]missionaries in a [Em]foreign field 

[C]For some reason I [D]can’t explain 

I [G]know Saint Peter won’t[Em] call my name , 

nev[C]er an honest [D]word

But that was w[Bm]hen I ruled the w[Em]orld  

Interlude

[C]   [Em]   x3  [D]  x2  

[C](Oh[D]hhh[G]h O[Em]hhh Ohx2hh)

Chorus

I [C]hear Jerusalem [D]bells are ringing 

[G]Roman Cavalry [Em]choirs are singing 

[C]Be my mirror, my [D]sword, and shield 

My [G]missionaries in a [Em]foreign field 

[C]For some reason I [D]can’t explain 

I [G]know Saint Peter won’t[Em] call my name , 

nev[C]er an honest [D]word

But that was w[Bm]hen I ruled the wo[Em]rld  

Outro

[C]Ooo[D]ooh[Bm] Ooo[Em]ooh Oooooh  

Lyrics of “Viva La Vida” By Coldplay

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

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 and pillars of sand

I hear Jerusalem bells a-ringin’

Roman Cavalry choirs are singin’

Be my mirror, my sword and shield

My 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-ringin’

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 Saint Peter won’t call my name

Never an honest word

But that was when I ruled the world

Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh, oh

Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh, oh

Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh, oh

Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh, oh

Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh, oh

I hear Jerusalem bells a-ringin’

Roman Cavalry choirs are singin’

Be my mirror, my sword and shield

My missionaries in a foreign field

For some reason I can’t explain

I know Saint Peter won’t call my name

Never an honest word

But that was when I ruled the world

Meaning & Explanation Of “Viva La Vida” By Coldplay

The lyrics you’ve shared are from the song “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay. This song is part of their fourth studio album, “Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends,” released in 2008. The title “Viva La Vida” translates from Spanish to “Live the Life.” The song achieved widespread acclaim and success, winning the Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 2009.

“Viva La Vida” is known for its historical and religious references, and it paints a picture of a fallen ruler reflecting on his past glory. Let’s break down the meaning and explanation of each stanza:

  1. First Stanza
  • The opening lines introduce a narrator who was once a powerful ruler, commanding nature and society. The imagery of seas rising at his command and sweeping the streets he once owned conveys a dramatic fall from power.
  1. Second Stanza
  • The narrator reminisces about his days of gambling (“roll the dice”) and the thrill of power, symbolized by the fear in his enemies’ eyes and the adoration of the crowds. The reference to “the old king is dead, long live the king” suggests a sudden and inevitable change in leadership, reflecting on the transient nature of power.
  1. Third Stanza
  • This part discusses the ephemeral foundations of the narrator’s power (“pillars of salt and pillars of sand”), indicating that his rule and accomplishments were ultimately unstable and unsustainable. The mention of “Jerusalem bells” and “Roman Cavalry choirs” evokes historical and biblical imagery, suggesting a grand yet doomed empire.
  1. Fourth Stanza
  • The lyrics here convey the narrator’s isolation and the loss of divine favor (“I know Saint Peter won’t call my name”), indicating a sense of unworthiness for salvation. Despite his longing for a legacy (“never an honest word”), he acknowledges his time of rule is over.
  1. Fifth Stanza
  • The repetition of the chorus with Jerusalem bells and Roman Cavalry choirs, alongside references to being a mirror, sword, and shield, and missionaries in a foreign field, symbolizes the narrator’s desire for protection, reflection, and perhaps redemption through spreading his influence or beliefs, despite his fall from grace.
  1. Bridge
  • The bridge reflects on the unexpected nature of the narrator’s downfall (“wicked and wild wind”) and the public’s reaction to his change in status. The imagery of revolutionaries waiting to put his head on a silver plate evokes the French Revolution, further emphasizing the theme of the fleeting nature of power and the risk of downfall for those who wield it.
  1. Conclusion
  • The song concludes with a repetition of the chorus, reinforcing the themes of reflection, loss, and the quest for redemption. The narrator’s acknowledgment that Saint Peter won’t call his name, paired with the recognition of his past rule, creates a poignant end to the song, underscoring the permanent consequences of his actions and the irreversible nature of his fall from power.

“Viva La Vida” is celebrated for its introspective lyrics, stirring orchestration, and the universal theme of the rise and fall of power. It captures the listener’s imagination with its vivid imagery and emotional depth, making it one of Coldplay’s most memorable songs.

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