Frontman Chris Martin told Rolling Stone that he christened this song and the album "Viva la Vida" - meaning "long live life" or more literally, "the life lives" -[after he saw the phrase on a painting by the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Referring to Frida Kahlo's strength, enduring polio, a broken spine, and a decade of chronic pain, he said, "She went through a lot of [things], of course, and then she started a big painting in her house that said 'Viva la Vida', I just loved the boldness of it."
She painted "Sandías con leyenda: Viva la vida" (literal translation: "Watermelons with legend: The life lives") in 1954, shortly before her death
The Mexican artist Frida Kahlo:
The movie Frida, starring Salma Hayek, is about her life.
The song was released on 13 June 2008 as the album's second single, debuting to critical and commercial success. "Viva la Vida" reached the top spot of the UK Singles Chart and Billboard Hot 100, becoming the band's first number-one single in both the US and UK. The song won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year at the 51st Grammy Awards in 2009. The song became the sixth song in digital history to reach the 4 million mark in paid downloads. It has sold 5.2 million copies in the United States by November 2011, becoming the third best-selling song by a British act in the digital era.
SEE THIS "VIVA LA VIDA" ARRANGEMENT FOR STRING QUARTET: