Viva La Vida meaning and the story behind Coldplay famous Song

viva la vida meaning

Meaning of viva la vida

“Viva la Vida” (Spanish for “Long Live Life”) is a modern classic song by British rock band , Coldplay. It was written by all members of the band for their fourth album ” Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008)”. The central idea of the song and album is a retelling of the French revolution and the death of the domineering King Louis XVI… It is about life, death, war, and change.

There is a story that when Louis XVI was walking up to be publicly executed via guillotine, he tried to give one final speech to his people but the drums’ sounds and people’s screams were too loud so no one could hear him. Coldplay’s song “Viva La Vida” is an interpretation of king louis’s last words before his death. The song is written through King Louis point of view, as he apologizes to his people, accepting his fate. It demands sympathy for the overthrown king.

The album cover features a rendition of French artist Eugène Delacroix’s historical painting known as “Liberty Leading the People”, which commemorates the French Revolution of 1830. The art piece is depicting French revolutionaries marching and waving the French flag, led by the human manifestation of Lady Liberty.


“Liberty Leading the People” painting


Song and album title “Viva la Vida” was inspired by “Sandías con leyenda: Viva la vida” painting (literal meaning: “Watermelons with legend: The life lives”) by 20th-century Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Farida started a big painting in her house that said ‘Viva la Vida’, after she went through a difficult life. She painted it in 1954, shortly before her death. Any way,  the title doesn’t appear in the song’s lyrics, the lyrics are about cavalries, missionaries and kings.

Download Viva la Vida violin sheet music

“Sandías con leyenda: Viva la vida” painting


David Garrett “Viva la Vida” is one of the most beautiful covers for this song. In this colourful film below, German violinist David presents instrumental version of the successful Coldplay Song “Viva la Vida” in his own special way, included on his 2012 album “Music”.


Who is David Garrett?

The long-haired violin virtuoso, David Garrett, was born on September 4th 1980 in Aachen, Germany to an American prima ballerina, Dove Garrett, and a German jurist, Georg Bongartz. He adopted his mother’s maiden name as a pseudonym, as “it was more pronounceable”.

From very early on, David Garrett exhibited his passion and deep love for music. He began learning the violin at age four. A year later, he took part in a competition and won first prize. By the age of seven, he studied violin at the Lübeck Conservatoire, and by the age of 12, he began working with the distinguished Polish violinist Ida Haendel and had recorded two full-length CDs of violin music.

Garrett joined the Royal College of Music in London when he was 17, but he left after the first semester. In 1999 he moved to New York to study at the Juilliard School as one of the first students under the legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman. While at Julliard, He won the school’s composition prize with a fugue composed in the style of Johann Sebastian Bach In 2003, and graduated in 2004. Over the years, Garrett has recorded core classical works, as well as arrangements of rock anthems, for violin, band and orchestra. He’s currently single with a net worth of $2 million.




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