October 7, 2010
From Protest to Peace
In Coldplay’s “Violet Hill,” an anti-war theme unfolds along with opposition of political and social issues. From a relatively obvious perspective of a soldier to subtle remarks regarding modern media, Coldplay pieces together a protest song that steadily speaks out against the flaws of the American government. Quite similarly to Green Day’s “American Idiot,” the concept of a nation being persuaded by mass media and entertainment is heavily focused on. Coldplay effectively attacks the imperfections and controversies of the American government through their protest song “Violet Hill,” while providing lyrics that are relevant to the majority of Americans. “Violet Hill,” released in 2008 during the second term of President George W. Bush, is a protest against both war and the media’s failure to allow individuals to think for themselves. No particular war is explicitly addressed here; however the media is illustrated as modern, so the meaning can be applied toward the Iraq war. A large portion of this song contains implicit lyrics, which must be analyzed to determine possible implications. The way in which this song perceived is not directly affected by the lyrics, as the majority of the lyrics are implicit; this requires a more in-depth analysis of the lyrics in order for the perception of the song to be changed. One of the most fundamental pieces of a protest song is its effectiveness, namely how it is taken in by its audience. Coldplay, a British pop group formed in 1997, has released songs that have topped the charts, specifically “Viva La Vida,” released on the same album as “Violet Hill” in the summer of 2008. By virtue of being on an album that was such a hit and coming from a group that is world-renowned, “Violet Hill” has been able to reach the audience of young adults all the way to middle-aged citizens. Since the release of “Violet Hill” release in 2008, thousands of...