Viva La Vida Meaning and the Story Behind Coldplay Famous Song

Viva la Vida skyrocketed British rock band Coldplay into superstardom. Learn the meaning of this song and the inspiration behind it now.

Browse Music

Story Behind Coldplay Famous Song

British rock group Coldplay was founded in London in 1996. Chris Martin on lead vocals and piano, Jonny Buckland on lead guitar, Guy Berryman on bass, and Will Champion on drums make up this influential ensemble that managed to gain dedicated fans from all around the world. Despite all members’ having their distinctive roles in the band, the songwriting and creative process for Coldplay is a collaborative effort between all four members. Coldplay is renowned for their strong sense of camaraderie and collaborative approach to music-making. 

The songs of Coldplay are characterized by bringing together elements of rock, pop, and alternative music. The discography of the band consists of nine studio albums: Parachutes (2000), A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002), X&Y (2005), Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008), Mylo Xyloto (2011), Ghost Stories (2014), A Head Full of Dreams (2015), Everyday Life (2019), and Music of the Spheres (2021).

This English rock band is known for their very catchy tunes, passionate and evocative lyrics, and anthemic sound. British indie rock was a significant influence on the band's early songs, such as Yellow, Trouble, The Scientist, Fix You, Life in Technicolor, and Cemeteries of London. Yet their subsequent albums took a turn towards pop and electronica genres.  

Coldplay is considered as one of the best-selling British music bands of all time. The ensemble has sold over 100 million records worldwide. Parachutes, A Rush of Blood to the Head, and X&Y albums made to the 50 best selling albums of the UK history, hence giving Coldplay the title of the band with most appearances in the list. In addition, Coldplay received countless honors and awards for their music including nine Brit Awards and 30 nominations, seven Grammy Awards and 39 nominations, NRJ Award of Honour, ASCAP London Song Music Award, Ivor Novello Award, NME Award, two American Music Awards, seven Billboard Music Awards, seven MTV Video Music Awards, and three Juno Awards.

"Viva La Vida," "Paradise," "Fix You," "Clocks," and "The Scientist" are some of Coldplay's most well-known and well-liked tracks. The group has performed in numerous countries and is renowned for its upbeat live shows.

One of the most successful and popular albums of the group is their fourth album titled Viva la Vida or Death and all His Friends. Released in 2008, this album brought the band worldwide recognition and passionate fans all around the world, in addition to many awards and honors. The album has a very distinctive cover art: A portion of the renowned French painter Eugène Delacroix’s 1830 painting was used. Titled Liberty Leading the People, this painting depicts French revolutionaries. 

Inspired by the French revolution, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends tells the story of French revolutionaries and King Louis XVI from a compelling perspective fired by deep emotions. Title track of the album, Viva la Vida, was very quick to top many charts worldwide. After more than a decade, Viva la Vida still manages to get millions of listens from fans of Coldplay and solidifies its place in modern music history. 

If you want to know more about the meaning of this song and expression, you are in the right place. Keep reading our in-depth analysis to discover many layers of Viva la Vida.

If you are looking for songs like Viva la Vida to use in your streams without violating Twitch music rules, don’t forget to visit our non copyrighted music library where you can find thousands of high quality songs.

What is the meaning behind Viva La Vida?

The British rock royalty Coldplay released the song "Viva La Vida" in 2008 on their fourth studio album titled Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends. The song's title, Viva la Vida, is a Spanish saying which can be translated as "long live life" or "live the life." The very emotional and poetic lyrics of this popular song are heavily inspired by the life of French King Louis XIV.

Without mentioning King Louis XIV, the lyrics of Viva la Vida describe the tale of a king who has lost everything, including his kingdom. Now he laments the transient nature of wealth and power while feeling powerless, upset and defeated. The lyrically powerful chorus expresses a wide range of emotions felt by the dethroned king:
"I used to govern the world
Seas would rise when I gave the order
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own"

Lyrics of the song skillfully refer to historical events like the French Revolution and King Louis XVI's execution while taking the listener on a sentimental journey.

Despite having a very somber subject matter, the song has an upbeat and rather joyful melody and has grown to be one of Coldplay's most famous and enduring songs. It has been covered by a variety of various musicians and included in a huge number of motion pictures, TV series, and commercials. Viva la Vida has quickly become a fan favorite and a modern pop music classic because of its message in favor of perseverance and skillful ability to emphasize the value of living life to the fullest.

If you want to use Viva la Vida in your YouTube video or Twitch stream but are afraid of violating the copyright policies of these social media platforms, take a closer look at our non copyright music archive where you can find thousands of high quality royalty free songs. You can use non copyright songs in your personal and professional projects without getting in trouble with copyright policies and laws.

Why is Viva La Vida a Good Song to Wake up to?

Coldplay’s massive hit "Viva La Vida" is an excellent song to wake up to for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, it has an energizing and catchy melody that can motivate you to leave your bed while helping you to get started with your day. The fast tempo and driving beat of this pop masterpiece make it an excellent choice for a morning wake-up anthem.

Secondly, the opening part of the song has very strong beats accompanied by instrumental music, which makes it sound like an alarm tune in the best, most artistic way possible: Imagine being woken up by a gentle alarm clock with the velvety, emotive voice of Chris Martin –That is exactly what first 20 seconds of Viva la Vida accomplishes.

Furthermore, the lyrics of "Viva La Vida" are very inspiring. Waking up to hear a message that practically says “Live life to the fullest,” can and will surely assist you to set a positive tone for the day. 

Finally, "Viva La Vida" is a well-known chart topping song that many people know by heart and enjoy every time they listen to it. Kicking off the day with a song that you know, enjoy and like can help you embrace the new day with love and enthusiasm while also putting you in a good mood. 

Overall, opting for using a bright and inspiring song like "Viva La Vida" as an alarm tune will fill you with excitement for the new day and put you in a fantastic mood. 

You can also use short intro music as your alarm tone to start your day with uplifting and happy tunes. Take a closer look at our archive now to discover hundreds of non copyrighted intro music that you can use in your YouTube videos, Instagram posts, TikToks, podcasts and more.

Why is it called Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends?

The fourth studio album of Coldplay is often called Viva la Vida yet the full title is Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends

As its album art highlights, Viva la Vida is deeply influenced by the French Revolution which is characterized by people’s passionate desire to break free from the ruling monarchs in a search of freedom and equality. During the revolution, many lives were lost. That is why it is a rather bloody and dark period of French history despite its positive influence on French people and democracy. 

As a result, Coldplay’s album aims to reflect this duality with a title like Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends. It is a metaphor about life's choices and the repercussions of those decisions. It implies that life is a war between life and death forces, and seemingly negative processes can yield positive outcomes and vice versa.

Overall, the title "Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends" is an emotionally charged and artistic choice that reflects the theme of the album. If you want your music album or video to feel as artistic as Coldplay’s masterpiece, don’t hesitate to use open source music and sound effects (see our What are SFX guide to learn more). With open source tracks and high quality SFX, you can create an immersing atmosphere that will leave your viewers and/or listeners mesmerized.

Is Viva La Vida a Saying?

Yes. Viva la Vida is a Spanish saying that translates to “long live life” or “live the life.” In Spanish speaking regions, it is often used as a cheer or a cry to inspire people to embrace life and make the 
It is frequently used as a rallying cry or a cheer to inspire people to embrace ups and downs of life and enjoy it to the fullest.

Viva la Vida is frequently uttered to express a happy and joyful mood.

Is Viva la Vida Spanish or Italian?

Viva la Vida is a Spanish expression. Coldplay’s song titled Viva la Vida is, on the other hand, has English lyrics.

If you are looking for Spanish or Italian songs that you can use in your social media posts, advertisements, streams and more, take a closer look at our open source music library now.

What inspired Viva la Vida?

French Revolution and King Louis XVI are the inspirations behind Coldplay’s record breaking hit Viva la Vida.
YouTube, Instagram, Twitch, Facebook or Podcast. You’re ready for take off

YouTube, Instagram, Twitch, Facebook or Podcast
You’re ready for take off

Try For Free