The French revolution has left a lasting legacy. To this day, most Frenchmen still fondly celebrate the overthrow of their aristocracy and the newfound freedoms that were established by the revolution. The problem is, violent revolutions rarely end well. Even when the new leaders are truly visionary and bring in an era of peace and prosperity, it doesn’t last long before the rot sets in.
In Viva La Revolution, Coldplay uses this iconic moment of history to examine the nature of revolution itself. Their song takes a completely different approach to interpreting this important historical event. Instead of making the revolutionaries the good guys, they recast Louis XVI as the antagonist. By doing this, they are able to create a much more complex and thought-provoking song.
The anthem’s lyrics call on people to come out of hiding and join the movement for change. They also encourage rebels and fighters to unite with the bandits of the hills and open their minds to a free form of thinking. The final line, “dance in the streets at the carnival and drink wine from the rich man’s cask,” captures the sense of celebration that follows victory. Through this anthem, Les Ramoneurs de Menhirs have created a powerful reminder that people power can achieve anything.