Violet Hill

Album: Viva la Vida (2008)
Charted: 8 40
  • Lead singer Chris Martin told Entertainment Weekly that this was Coldplay's first attempt at a protest song. He added that the song is a nod to The Beatles, and Violet Hill is a street near Abbey Road.
  • After this song was offered as a free download for a week on in April, such was the demand that the site crashed. The week after this song was made available free for download, it still sold sufficient copies for it to debut at #8 on the UK chart and #40 on the Billboard Hot 100.
  • Drummer Will Champion told Q magazine about this song's bluesy Lennonesque sound: "We really tried to make it sound like this great big machine that was slightly knackered. Something that's slow and grinding. I'm sure people won't get that! A psychedelic title? Violet Hill is a road in St John's Wood (North-west London)."
  • Chris Martin revealed to Rolling Stone magazine that this was inspired by self-proclaimed "traditionalist" political commentator Bill O'Reilly. He said: "The first line in that song is the first line of any song we ever wrote. Years ago, when Guy [Berryman, bassist] heard that first line and that first little melody - 'It was a long and dark December' - he said, 'OK, I'll join the band.' But we just didn't have the other 49 lines until last year. And then one day I was watching Bill O'Reilly, and I was like, 'I know how to finish that song.' My best friend, Tim, he's a musician in a band called the High Wire, but he also has to work in a bar. He was having trouble with his boss, and it made me think that so many people spend their lives being told what to do by people that they just don't like. So it was that idea, and watching Bill O'Reilly, and all these words just came out."
  • Guy Berryman explained to MTV News how this came close to being left off the album: "It was one of the older songs we had been working on, and we had sort of moved it to one side from the list of songs that were going to be on the record. And there's this secret fifth member of the group, [manager] Phil Harvey, and he really championed it, as well as a few other people, so quite rightfully so, we dragged it back into the short list."
  • Two videos were made for this song. One of them, which was filmed on top of Mount Etna in Sicily was the first promo ever to receive a simultaneous premiere on VH1, MTV and The N. The other alternative video (named "Dancing Politicians") was described by Chris Martin to MTV News as "our favorite video we've ever made." He added: "We just thought it was funny that in the run-up to elections, everybody dances. And we thought, 'Wouldn't it be great to make a video of just politicians dancing?' So we did."
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Comments: 16

  • Channing from Marion, NcI think that this is a great song and does in fact have a great feel to it. I think that the meaning can become more personal depending on how each person interprets it. Great song!
  • Megan from Stevenson, AlI love this song so much! Amazing! I love EVERYTHING about this! WOW!!!
  • Gabriel from Saint Sebastian, Puerto RicoGREAT SONG... as mentioned the voice does sound like "In The Air Tonight"... as well as the music after the chorus (the 8 BANGS) sound like "Dream On" by Aerosmith... overall the song sounds ery Beatles, but in the end, it's simply a very great song that openly shows the influences of the band
  • Danae from Boxford, MaMy second favorite coldplay song. Very serious sounding. Great lyrics though!
  • Emma from Adelaide, AustraliaIt might be just me, but I think Chris Martin's voice sounds a little Phil Collins "In the Air Tonight."
  • Leeza from San Antonio, TxColdplay is one band that my 18 year old son and I can agree on. Their sound is more sophisticated than most, and easy to listen to. Turn it up!
  • Leeza from San Antonio, Tx
    Rather than try to explain the lyrics, I'll post something I found from the Library of Congress website.

    Second Commanding Officer, Violet W. Askins, aka Violet Hill Gordon, served in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps during the second world war.
  • Mike from Long Island , NyFirst of all it could mean anything..but this is what i got..

    "was a long and dark december,from the roof tops i remember there was snow,white snow..
    Clearly i remember,from the windows they were watching while we froze,down below"

    Possibley reffering to End of the world,"doomsday" Dec 22 2012 comes to mind.
    An Impact creating Planet Polar shift,causing more snow than imaginable..
    And the prophacy's claiming only a certain amount will survive or be told the safe place..Meaning only the elites and chosen ones will go,because They feel we are too many and getting harder to enslave with the fake buck,lol..

    "When the future's architectured
    By a carnival of idiots on show "O'Reily"
    You better lie low"

    Meaning there sceaming to hatch something big,and they got the circus entertaining and lying to us..
    "News/TV/jobs/fake money/religion and education" to stupify,enslave and ultimatly distract us while they run away to safety..So,
    if you love me,woln't you let me know?? lol

    And the parts about banks becoming cathedrals,because they are specificly designed to feel spiritual..
    That way you feel good about leavin money..
    and the churches,dont get me started,lol..

    im gonna stop here, i could analize the whole song but ill be writing another book..
    its just my view on a great song filled with alot of parables..
    Have fun with it..

  • Kaiti from Cornwall, OnIs it just me, or does the beginning of this song sound a little bit like (or reminds me of)California by Phantom Planet?
  • Ann Marie from The Middle Of Nowhere, KsFor me, this song has more of a historical meaning. Though that might be because I just finished this subject. Anyways, it reminds me of 'Bleeding Kansas'. Kansas was becoming a state, and there was controversey about whether or not it'd be a free state or slave state, and people from Missouri called 'border ruffians' would go to Kansas and either terrorize towns or vote illegally. People would send guns and ammunition in crates labeled as books or bibles--remind you of this song? 'Priests clutched onto Bibles/Hollowed out to carry rifles', that's one connection I made. Also, 'It was a long and dark December'--Kansas was finally entered into the Union as a free state in January. Everything else kinda fits in, without any real historical reference. But, that's just what I got out of it.
  • Andrea from Sønderborg, DenmarkI've only just found out what the lyrics are. Weird, but wow! It's fantastic.
  • Jess from Foster, Australiathis song is very strange but it makes you think
  • Emma from Palm Beach, --I find this song to be reminiscent of a 17th century folk song. I love it, and I'm not a huge fan of Coldplay.
  • Dani from Boulder, CoI love the feel of this song. It rough around the edges, and we have to decide what it means to us.
  • Mitchell from Adelaide, Australia This song isn't as great as their more famous songs and not better than Viva la vida.

    Its just me though, personally it doesn't seem to contain the same heart as their other songs, I can't relate to it.
  • Jackie from Knightdale, NcThe longer they exist, the better their music gets... I'm floored and in love all over again.
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