“I think this song has something to do with Jesus Christ. Jesus was referred to as the “King of the Jews” and they mention the word “king” several times in this song.
“Long live the king!” is what the soldiers said when they were whipping Jesus Christ (remember when he got crucified, he got beaten with nasty whips, a crown of thorns placed on his head, and he has to carry the cross?). from Song Meanings.
“I know Saint Peter won’t call my name.” refers to when Jesus said to Peter that Peter would deny him three times before the cock would crow twice, and this happened, because Peter denied Jesus three times before the cock crew twice.
“Revolutionaries wait for my head on a silver plate.” refers to when John the Baptist got decapitated.
Jerusalem is where the temple Jesus was in and is present in the Bible many times.”
“pillars of sand” is a reference to the biblical
given by about the fool who built his house on sand, and the wise man who built it on solid rock, while “pillars of salt” is a reference to , who was turned into a pillar of salt.
“I know won’t call my name” refers to the popular tradition of St. Peter guarding the gates of Heaven. He is often depicted in art as holding the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven per the and the Biblical reference in Matthew 16:19. He is also commonly depicted with the book of life reading off the names of those individuals who had believed in Jesus Christ as per Revelation 20. The term “… my head upon a silver plate” refers to the when demanded his . from Quora.com,
Our own beloved crooner Chris Martin explained what this song meant and it was his way of tying the band’s music to sanctification. “Chris Martin told The London Times November 28, 2008, he saw this song about a deposed dictator reduced to “sweep[ing] the streets I used to own” as being “really positive.” He explained that he saw it as “more like a turning-over-a-new-leaf kind of song.” Martin added that its like I’ve messed up, “and I don’t mind being punished, but I can get redemption.” from Song Facts.