Saturday, July 16, 2011

Viva la Vida vs. the Sun King.


You all know the song. You've heard it a thousand times. You know you love it.
But do you really understand what they are talking about?

*disclaimer. this is MY INTERPRETATION. not from internet. just from what i learned from 4 years of taking French and going to France more than once and hearing the history there.

Behind this song is an entire history; one that really happened.
It's called a little man named...

KING LOUIS XIV. (The Sun King.)
He built for himself and reigned from a little teeeny tiiiiny palace called..

yeah no. try 15,000 acres. originally. now a bit smaller.

yet still. that is 24 SQUARE MILES.


here's a little history of King Louis XIV.
He was called the Sun King for a few reasons. Number one. Everything had to revolve around HIM. Number two. He liked to be SEEN by the people. Number three. The sun symbolizes power, which he was.
He is an extremely HUGE person in French history. I will not bore you with an entire personal history on him.

"Now what does this have to do with Viva la Vida??!"

I'm getting there.

First verse: Talks about someone ruling the world; in command of everything, under his word.
Historical connection: Louis XIV was the most important ruler of all of Europe; he controlled every other empire. Louis XIV and the French empire could NOT BE BEATEN AT THIS TIME. They really did rule the world; all under one king.

Second verse: "Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!"
HistoBoldrical connection: This is actually a phrase used by the French when a king would pass away. It symbolized that even though the past king has died, a new one is already in place through inheritance, and so the reign of France can continue onward in a never digressing fashion.

Third verse: Things take a turn for the worse; he realizes that not everything is going the way he plans.
Historical connection: The people were becoming very upset with Louis XIV, and they wanted him out. Versailles was built from the taxpayers money and they were soon sick of paying the King for his own personal pleasures.

Later in the song it talks about him denying the church because he was king, and needed to please himself. And then his downfall of his corruption. It talks about the Revolutionaries waiting for his head on a silver plate, which literally was what happened. The French Revolutionaries killed King Louis XIV and overthrew his later successors. Everything he did lead to the Revolution.

This is just a small portion of the whole song. But, I have no time to type the rest out as I am leaving to the airport in a few minutes.

What I find so interesting about this, though, is the fact that it is from Louis XIV perspective, or what it may have been.

I realized the importance of this connection while I was walking around the beautiful palace of Versailles, and saw in front of my eyes only what I had learned about in a French History class.
It was inspiring. Maybe that is where Coldplay got their inspiration as well.

This is my last post. I leave for Africa in a half hour.

10,000 miles away from home.

No posts for two weeks. For reals.

So, farewell, my friends!

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