Did you ever hear the song Viva la Vida by Coldplay? It’s one of my favourite songs by the world famous British rock band. One of the reasons I love it so much is because of the amazing story it tells.

Imagine yourself… You are the king, the king of your castle. The world lies at your feet. Your citizens adore you and your enemies abhor you. You are so powerful, you feel like the seas would split at your command. Life is going well.

How you got to power, you ask? Well, definitely not in quite the right way. The king was suffering. Sleeping. You waited for just the right moment and bam! There you came, barging in. Blew down the doors to let you in, shattering windows on the sound of drums. The old king is dead, long live the king.

“The old king is dead,

long live the king.”

Things are really going well. You’re doing the things you love most. You have the people you care about close at heart, and your castle is truly yours. You’re often out in your kingdom to do the things you love. You turn those who only consider intervening, into your very prey.

What you may have known is that opposites attract, but they also seem to empower each other. Your biggest strength also turns out to be your biggest weakness. Your lust for power turns into arrogance.

Very suddenly, you discover that your castle seems to stand upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand. In the corner of your eye, you see the revolutionaries wait for your head on a silver plate.

“Your castle seems to stand upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand.”

Now you wake up alone. You’re not even allowed in the streets you used to own. So much has gone wrong in so little time. The way the story started, turns out to be also the way it ends. You wonder if you’ve ever felt so powerless.

It’s the beginning of a dark time. Winter is coming, and that’s not all. The many things you had are all crushed under the feet that ran you over, and for long, you keep being shocked day by day how easily everything had collapsed.

What do you do next? You try not to look back in anger. While you may seem to have lost everything, eventually you realize that the rubble under your feet is nothing but the mere foundation of your new empire. It takes ever so long to get over it, but afterwards you realize that the new life you have built suits you way better than the old one did.

Where once you ruled your castle up high in the sky, now you are down in the streets and you found new joy in the freedom you have. Even though you had a lot of wealth in the past, you realize now how little of it you actually need.

And only now you’re finally able to hear how the Jerusalem bells are ringing and how the roman cavalry choirs are singing.

Jerusalem Bells and Cavalry Choirs

Viva la Vida

Songwriters: Christopher A. J. Martin / Guy Rupert Berryman / Jonathan Mark Buckland / William Champion
Lyrics to Viva la Vida: © 2008 Universal Music Publishing Group
Viva la Vida (Jerusalem Bells ‘Remix’): © 2019 by Hemmo de Vries
Images:
Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany – Public Domain
Agrabah – Ⓒ2019 Disney’s Aladdin.

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