I don’t really have strong feelings about Coldplay one way or the other. I’m not a fan, but I don’t hate their music either. I am mostly ambivalent about them. I will admit to really liking “Viva La Vida”, their big hit from 2008. The same can probably not be said about our friend Mary, who famously hated the song, probably largely from overplay if I recall correctly. So many great songs have suffered the same fate – death by overplay.
The song was always one that I enjoyed. It even made made my best of 2008 year-end list. But that’s not the reason that Heidi thought I should blog about “Viva La Vida.” Last night was my daughter’s orchestra concert and “Viva La Vida” was the first selection that they played. She was nervous going into the concert because she thought they were going to sound bad. She even told me that the first song was one that they had an especially hard time with. I assured her that she and her fellow orchestra members were likely the only ones that would notice. That’s what you always say in situations like that because most of the time, it’s true. To the untrained ear, a mistake is much harder to identify.
In this case, I would be wrong.
It’s not that they were bad – on the contrary, they weren’t, at least not any moreso than any other middle school orchestra – it’s just that whenever you pick a song that is so familiar, even people that don’t know a thing about music performance are going to be able to notice the mistakes, the wrong notes, the spots where they don’t play together. And there were quite a few of those last night. Even though that was the case, I couldn’t help but enjoy it. We certainly never got to play current songs when I was in high school band! And surely they were familiar with the origins of this song.
You have to know that you’ve arrived when they’ve arranged your song for middle school orchestra. But if it’s ok with everyone else, I’ll just stick to the Coldplay version.