Viva La Vida by Coldplay: Lyrics with Guitar Chords (Easy Version)

Coldplay’s Viva La Vida is the second most successful song from the band, just after Paradise. This song was featured on their 4th studio album titled Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends and it is probably the kind of song that you want to add to your guitar repertoire.

You can learn to play the complete Viva La Vida song with guitar chords, lyrics and a strumming trainer directly in the Uberchord app.

In an age where music doesn’t enjoy as much commercial success as it did before the internet, this single has managed to sell an impressive 7 million copies worldwide. Guitar geeks will know how the song got Coldplay into a feud with famed virtuoso Joe Satriani, due to the similarities between Viva La Vida and “If I could fly” by Joe Satriani. The controversy made people question whether there is absolute originality in music, as the melody in the chorus of Viva La Vida sounds very similar to the main theme of Satriani’s track. Here is a comparison video from YouTube.

The song features a syncopated rhythm on synthesized cello against a steady 4/4 beat, as well as a string background and synth pads to create a soothing atmosphere. The sonic textures most likely influenced the sound of later British acts such as Bastille.

Key of the Song: F minor

The key for Viva la Vida is F minor, which to my knowledge is rather uncommon in pop music. This is a great opportunity to get acquainted with a key in which you’re likely to use lots of barre chords. Although you can always make use of a capo.

Common chord progressions in the key of F minor are:
i – VI – VII
Fm – Db – Eb

The chord progression for most of the song is basically a IV – V – I – vi in the Key of Ab major.

Viva La Vida Chords

This song requires either a solid bar chord technique or a capo. In case you wish to learn more about capos check out our post on All You Need to Know About Guitar Capos. You may use a capo on the first fret to fret the following chords:

C, D, G, E minor, B minor

Otherwise, you’re stuck with:

Db Eb Ab Fmin

There is a part where you alternate back and forth between Dbmaj and Fminor, with a Ebmaj thrown in there.

Viva La Vida – Video Lesson

This is the most comprehensive tutorial I found:

Viva La Vida – Chords & Lyrics

Intro

C-D-G-Em 
C-D-G-Em 

Verse
              C           D
I used to rule the world
                    G                              Em
Seas would rise when I gave the word
                                  C            D
Now in the morning I sleep alone
                 G                        Em
Sweep the streets I used to own

C-D-G-Em
C-D-G-Em

Verse
                C           D
I used to roll the dice
               G                            Em
Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes
                      C                  D
Listen as the crowd would sing
               G                           Em
"Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!"

               C        D
One minute I held the key
                 G              Em
Next the walls were closed on me
                          c          D
And I discovered that my castles stand
           G                        Em
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand

Chorus

   C                       D    
I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
G                       Em
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
C                          D
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
     G                         Em
My missionaries in a foreign field
C                             D            
For some reason I can't explain
G                                   Em
Once you go there was never
                C           D
Never an honest word
                     G                       Em
And that was when I ruled the world

Instrumental

C-D-G-Em 
C-D-G-Em 

Verse
                                   C      D
It was the wicked and wild wind
                        G                      Em
Blew down the doors to let me in
                                             C            D
Shattered windows and the sound of drums
             G                                  Em
People couldn't believe what I'd become
                 C       D
Revolutionaries wait
            G                        Em
For my head on a silver plate
                               C        D 
Just a puppet on a lonely string
                         G                      Em
Oh who would ever want to be king?

Chorus

  C                        D        
I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
G                     Em
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
C                           D
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
G                               Em
My missionaries in a foreign field
C                             D
For some reason I can't explain
G                                    Em
I know Saint Peter won't call my name
C                   D
Never an honest word
                     G                        Em
But that was when I ruled the world

  C                        D
I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
G                       Em
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
C                             D 
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
        G                         Em
My missionaries in a foreign field
C                             D     
For some reason I can't explain
  G                                  Em
I know Saint Peter won't call my name
               C           D  
Never an honest word
                     G                       Em
But that was when I ruled the world

Bridge

C - D - G - Em   
Ohhhhh Ohhh Ohhh
C - D - G - Em   
Ohhhhh Ohhh Ohhh

Chorus

  C              D
I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing 
G             Em
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing 
C                D
Be my mirror, my sword, and shield 
   G                 Em
My missionaries in a foreign field 
C                 D
For some reason I can't explain 
  G                     Em              
I know Saint Peter will call my name ,
   C            D 
never an honest word
              G                               Em 
But that was when I ruled the world  

Outro

C - D - G - Em
and fading.