Only 2 days before the new year and, thus, the irritating sound of fireworks shot off by people too drunk to feel how cold it is outside at midnight, I prefer to think about some other topic — any other topic — than the fact I’m going to be another year older in a few months.
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So…Instead of expounding on the wonders of another D@*%ed year,  I’m going to shoot from the hip and discuss the importance of drive-by research.
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Among the emails I receive from family, this song arrived at my in-box:
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 Since I’m entirely inept at adding a URL, here’s the link to the video:

The song, by Coldplay, sounds like it could’ve been written in 1978, not 2008.  The first time I heard it I thought, “This is a great cure for insomnia.”
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After listening to it twice, I read some of the remarks below the video.  “It’s about the French Revolution”  “No, it’s about Christ.”  “No…”
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And the debate raged on.
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Instead of speculating the ways in which the French Revolution might be like Jesus, my first reaction was a bit less cerebral.
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“What the hell?”  I muttered with a bitter laugh.
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I did what any self-respecting social media addict would do.  I went straight to Wikipedia for the answer.
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It’s easy to see why there’s such confusion when the band members have differing opinions of what it’s about.
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Martin (singer):   ‘I know St. Peter won’t call my name’ “It’s about … You’re not on the list…”
Berryman (lead guitar)   “It’s a story about a king who’s lost his kingdom… (and guerillas)” 
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This, I  lifted straight from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viva_la_Vida:
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During the album’s production, “Viva la Vida” was one of the songs that had polarized each member’s opinion over which version they should choose. In an interview, vocalistChris Martin recalled: “We did quite a few different versions and went round the houses a bit and eventually settled on those treatments for it.”
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 What a wondrous story!  If only we knew what inspired them to write this musical equivalent of a quilt, and why.
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So, I looked up information about the Album on Wikipedia.  where Martin explains that the song takes its name from a Frida Kahlo painting.
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All right.  Who the hell is Frida Kahlo?  Some 20th century artist from Mexico.
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Now I’m getting somewhere!  (I think).  It would’ve been nice to see a picture of the painting and discover the richness of the art, the vastness of inspiration.
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Inspiration, my sprained ankle!  The poor woman was in constant pain for years, had one leg amputated below the knee in the 1950’s and completed her inspirational  painting about The Day of the Dead,  8 days before her death. 
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To recap:
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This is why some people think it’s about the French revolution.
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Coldplay’s Album Cover (from Wikipedia):  
 Viva_la_Vida_or_Death_and_All_His_Friends
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Frida’s painting:
watermelon

Viva la Vida, 
Watermelons – 1954

She wrote her name, date, and the year on the melon’s red pulp, adding the title “VIVA LA VIDA – Coyoacán 1954 Mexico”

When I understand what the French Revolution, Christ, and watermelons have in common, I’ll let you know. All I can say is that after this un-depth research, I’ve come to one conclusion.  

Poetic license is a state of mind that doesn’t have to make sense to anyone who enjoys the result.  

 

 

 

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