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Coldplay’s Viva la Vida: Chords, Meaning, Lyrics, and producers behind it


Coldplay, one of the most popular and successful British rock bands of all time, has a vast discography that has resonated with millions of fans worldwide. Among their numerous hits, “Viva la Vida” stands out as an iconic song that captivated listeners with its memorable melody and meaningful lyrics. In this article, we will delve into the chords, meaning, and lyrics of “Viva la Vida,” as well as explore the talented producers behind this remarkable track like Coldplay’s producer Rik Simpson who reveals the production and mixing secrets for the first time on this exclusive masterclass.

Coldplay: A Brief Overview

Before we dive into the details of “Viva la Vida,” let’s take a moment to appreciate the band behind the music. Coldplay, formed in 1996 in London, consists of lead vocalist and pianist Chris Martin, lead guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, and drummer Will Champion. With their unique sound blending elements of rock, pop, and alternative music, Coldplay has garnered an immense following and achieved remarkable commercial success.

“Viva la Vida”: An Iconic Coldplay Song

Released as the second single from their fourth studio album of the same name in 2008, “Viva la Vida” quickly became a global sensation. The song’s distinct and catchy melody, coupled with introspective lyrics, struck a chord with listeners around the world.


Watch Viva la Vida’s co-producer Rik Simpson discussing the creative process behind it:

Download the 11 commandments used while producing the album ‘Viva la Vida’

Get Brian Eno’s 11 commandments, used by Coldplay, Brian, Rik and co-producer Marcus Dravs while producing the legendary album “Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends” among Rik.

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The Producers behind Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida”: Rik Simpson, Brian Eno, and Markus Dravs

Music is a powerful medium that can captivate our hearts and transport us to different realms. Coldplay, one of the most beloved bands of our time, has created numerous iconic songs and albums. Among their discography, “Viva la Vida” stands out as a masterpiece that solidified their status as musical visionaries. Behind the scenes, three talented producers played a pivotal role in shaping the album’s unique sound and artistic direction. We will delve into the contributions of Rik Simpson, Brian Eno, and Markus Dravs, and explore the captivating journey of “Viva la Vida.”

Rik Simpson: The Sonic Architect

Coldplay's producer & mixing engineer Rik SimpsonRik Simpson is a renowned music producer known for his exceptional talent in creating sonic landscapes. With a vast experience in the music industry, Simpson brought his expertise to the production of “Viva la Vida.” Collaborating closely with Coldplay, he helped shape the album’s overall sound, ensuring each note resonated with passion and precision. Simpson’s attention to detail and meticulous approach infused the tracks with an undeniable depth and richness.

By working closely with Coldplay, Simpson seamlessly integrated their creative vision with his own, resulting in a perfect symbiosis of artistry and technicality. The sonic palette of “Viva la Vida” was expanded and enhanced under his guidance, elevating the band’s sound to new heights. His expertise in mixing and sound engineering allowed the album’s songs to come alive, filling every corner of the listener’s imagination.

Brian Eno: The Master of Experimentation

Coldplay's producer for Viva La Vida: Brian Eno
Brian Eno, a legendary figure in the music industry, joined forces with Coldplay during the production of “Viva la Vida.” Eno, known for his boundary-pushing approach and unconventional soundscapes, brought an avant-garde touch to the album. His collaboration with Coldplay allowed them to venture into unexplored territories, crafting a sonic landscape that was both familiar and groundbreaking.

Eno’s contribution to “Viva la Vida” cannot be overstated. His experimental mindset and willingness to take risks infused the album with a sense of adventure and artistic freedom. The tracks embraced a fusion of genres and incorporated unique textures, resulting in an immersive listening experience. Eno’s presence pushed Coldplay beyond their comfort zone, unlocking new depths of creativity and pushing the boundaries of their musical identity.


Markus Dravs: The Creative Navigator

Coldplay's producer Markus DravsMarkus Dravs, an exceptional producer and sound engineer, played a pivotal role in shaping the creative direction of “Viva la Vida.” Known for his ability to bring out the best in artists, Dravs worked closely with Coldplay to help refine their ideas and translate them into musical brilliance. His keen sense of melody and structure allowed the band’s vision to flourish.

Collaborating with Dravs, Coldplay embarked on a transformative journey. His insightful guidance and creative input encouraged the band to explore new musical avenues, resulting in the evolution of their sound. Dravs’ role in “Viva la Vida” was instrumental in capturing the essence of Coldplay’s artistry and crafting an album that would resonate with millions of listeners worldwide.

Coldplay Vida la Vida Chords and Lyrics

Verse 1:

[C] I used to [D] rule the [G] world

Seas would [C] rise when I gave the [D] word

Now in the [G] morning, I sleep [Em] alone

Sweep the [C] streets I used to [D] own


[C] I used to [D] roll the [G] dice

Feel the [C] fear in my enemies’ [D] eyes

Listen as the [G] crowd would sing [Em] “Now the old king is dead, long live the [C] king”


[G] One minute I [D] held the [Em] key

Next the [C] walls were [G] closed on [D] me

And I dis[C]covered that my [G] castles stand

Upon pil[D]lars of salt and [Em] pillars of sand

Verse 2:

[C] I hear Jerusalem [D] bells a-[G]ringing

Roman [C] cavalry [D] choirs are [G] singing

Be my mir[Em]ror, my sword and [C]shield

My mis[D]ssionaries in a [G] foreign field


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

Once you’d [G] gone there was never

Never an [Em] honest word

And that was when I [C] ruled the world


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

Blew down the [C] doors to let me [G] in

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

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

Revolution[D]aries [Em] wait

For my [C] head on a silver [G] plate

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

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


[C] Oh, oh, [D] oh [G]

[C] Oh, oh, [D] oh [G]

[C] Oh, oh, [D] oh [G]

[C] Oh, oh, [D] oh [G]


[G] One minute I [D] held the [Em] key

Next the [C] walls were [G] closed on [D] me

And I dis[C]covered that my [G] castles stand

Upon pil[D]lars of salt and [Em] pillars of sand


[G] I hear Jerusalem [D] bells a-[Em]ringing

Roman [C] cavalry [G] choirs are [D] singing

Be my mir[Em]ror, my sword and [C]shield

My mis[D]ssionaries in a [G] foreign field

Coldplay Vida la Vida Meaning

The lyrics of “Viva la Vida” delve into themes of power, fame, and the pursuit of success. The song is said to have been inspired by historical events and figures, particularly the French Revolution. It explores the concept of a fallen king and reflects on the fleeting nature of power and the consequences of ambition.

As the chorus resonates, “Viva la Vida” means “Long live life” in Spanish, emphasizing the importance of cherishing and embracing the beauty of life despite its transitory nature. The lyrics are poetic, introspective, and thought-provoking, inviting listeners to reflect on their own aspirations and the impact they wish to leave behind


“Viva la Vida” by Coldplay remains an enduring masterpiece that has touched the hearts of millions. From its captivating chords and progression to its profound lyrics, the song continues to inspire and resonate with listeners. Additionally, the contributions of producers Rik Simpson, Brian Eno and Markus Dravs, added depth and creativity to the track, elevating it to new heights.

In essence, “Viva la Vida” represents the power of music to evoke emotions, provoke introspection, and create a lasting impact on our lives. It stands as a testament to Coldplay’s artistry and the collaborative efforts that shape extraordinary musical compositions.


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Essential concepts you must know

If you’re looking to keep learning more about the music industry, there are certain essential concepts you need to know before moving forward with the rest of the article. These concepts are used by Grammy-winning producers, industry professionals, and the best artists in the business. Whether you’re a musician, producer, engineer, or simply a music lover, these 50 tips will help you develop a solid base of knowledge and skills. From understanding the importance of rhythm and melody to improving the art of mixing and mastering or learning how to market yourself. So, if you’re serious about your music career, make sure to go through this list and start building a strong foundation for your future success.

May 26, 2023
By Aulart Team
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