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Bohemian Rhapsody

Queen

Bohemian Rhapsody Lyrics

[Intro]
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality
Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see
I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy
Because I'm easy come, easy go, little high, little low
Any way the wind blows doesn't really matter to me, to me

[Verse 1]
Mama, just killed a man
Put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger, now he's dead
Mama, life had just begun
But now I've gone and thrown it all away

Mama, ooh, didn't mean to make you cry
If I'm not back again this time tomorrow
Carry on, carry on as if nothing really matters


[Verse 2]
Too late, my time has come
Sends shivers down my spine, body's aching all the time
Goodbye, everybody, I've got to go
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth
Mama, ooh, (Any way the wind blows)
I don't wanna die
I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all

[Verse 3]
I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?
Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very fright'ning me

(Galileo) Galileo, (Galileo) Galileo, Galileo Figaro magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me
He's just a poor boy from a poor family
Spare him his life from this monstrosity
Easy come, easy go, will you let me go?
Bismillah! No, we will not let you go
(Let him go!) Bismillah! We will not let you go
(Let him go!) Bismillah! We will not let you go
(Let me go) Will not let you go
(Let me go) Will not let you go
(Let me go) Ah
No, no, no, no, no, no, no

(Oh mamma mia, mamma mia) Mamma mia, let me go
Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me, for me!

[Verse 4]
So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye?
So you think you can love me and leave me to die?

Oh, baby, can't do this to me, baby!
Just gotta get out, just gotta get right outta here!


[Outro]
Nothing really matters, anyone can see
Nothing really matters
Nothing really matters to me
Any way the wind blows

About “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Widely considered to be one of the greatest songs of all time, “Bohemian Rhapsody” was the first single released from Queen’s fourth studio album, A Night at the Opera. It became an international success, reaching #1 in five countries and peaking at #9 in the United States. Seventeen years after its initial release, “Bohemian Rhapsody” re-entered the pop charts in the US, peaking at #2 after being featured in the 1992 hit movie Wayne’s World. In 2002, the song was listed at #1 in a Guinness World Records poll as Britain’s favourite single of all time—ranking higher than four Beatles tracks and “Imagine” by John Lennon.

Complex and operatic both musically and lyrically, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (like Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and The Eagles“Hotel California”) has attracted endless fan theories and commentary. The surviving band members have claimed that the narrative is based on the Faust legend; critics have found possible sources in opera and Freddie Mercury’s personal biography; but like any good piece of art, it’s open to interpretation.

The word “Bohemian” in the song title seems to refer not to the region in the Czech Republic, but to a group of artists and musicians from the 19th century, known for defying convention and living with disregard for standards. Meanwhile the term “rhapsody” (derived from the Greek: ῥαψῳδός or rhapsōidos for a reciter of epic poetry, or a rhapsodist) is a piece of classical music with distinct sections that are played as one movement. Rhapsodies often feature dense themes or narratives.

  • Where does "Bohemian" come from and what does it mean?

    A “bohemian” is an unconventional artistic free spirit who lacks anything tying them down. It can also refer to the Kingdom of Bohemia, now part of Czechia. It became associated with that sort of lifestyle because the French thought that was where travelling Romani communities came from.

  • What does Bismillah mean?

    Read the annotation – there is an excellent explanation there!

  • Was he gay?

    Despite this editor’s finding the given question irrelevant or overly simplistic, it may not be irrelevant with regard to the song addressed herein, given some find the cryptic lyrics to obtusely address Freddie’s struggles with his sexuality.

    To provide both a narrow and broad response, re-phrasing the question may prove more informative, contextually:
    Was Freddie Mercury, i.e., at the time during which the subject here, Queen’s lead blockbuster song from their 1975 fourth album, in fact, openly gay?

    Answer: No.

    During this time period, when Queen grounded their megastardom worldwide, Freddie was not openly gay, i.e., he was NOT OUT (as in “out-of-the-closet”). An openly gay rock star, especially in the United States, would have been the kiss-of-death if the fate of New York City’s glam-rock overtly gay artist Jobriath gives any clue.

    During this time Freddie was, in fact, in a relationship with a woman, his common-law wife, who would (arguably) become his dearest human loved one, period: Mary Austin. Mary was at his bedside shortly before he passed away the evening of November 24th, 1991. She was the one who notified Freddie Mercury’s parents of the sad news; after all, they viewed her very much as part of the family.

    An extended summary retrospective of Freddie’s relationship with Mary Austin is documented well by Magda Origjanska in an article dated Jul 18, 2017, for The Vintage News :

    there was one woman in his life who suggests a different perspective. Her name is Mary Austin and she is known as Freddie’s muse with whom he had a serious relationship in the early 1970s. She inspired him to write the ballad “Love of My Life” from Queen’s 1975 album A Night at the Opera …
    In the 1970s the band started to become popular, their income growing so much that the couple moved in together. Freddie and Mary spent at least seven years living together and, reportedly, he said that she was the only person he truly loved and took home to meet his parents, declaring her as his “common-law” wife.

    Queen achieved an unprecedented level of fame and fortune and Freddie quickly decided, sometime after 1976, to keep his private life quite private, and, in fact, was advised by Queen’s management to avoid interactions with the press, not that it took much to convince him.

    His ultimate reclusiveness galvanized the English paparazzi who were downright cruel during this period, roughly taking place sometime before his initial diagnosis, and to the point where the official announcement of his disease, a press release confirming his illness, late November 22, 1991. Slightly over one day after the public statement, Freddie passed away November 24th, 1991, in his mansion in Kensington.

    Towards the end of the article quoted above, to perhaps (vulgarly) substantiate just how dear Mary Austin was to Freddie, some more factual words from The Vintage News :

    Freddie Mercury’s will dictated that Mary was left with the better part of his wealth, more than $10 million, as well as his large mansion. His mother reportedly approved his decision, stating that Mary was like a family to her.

    1975 was the crucial year for Queen: it marked the point where the band went from a famous but financially impoverished band before this song and its album catapulted them into extreme rock stardom, fame and fortune included.

    This author is certain all four members of Queen, from the success of this album’s first single and album, marked almost immediately upon the release of each, became quite gay (as in “happy”), not merely over fame and fortune (with a bit of vengeance at previous management), but more given the newly rolled-out red carpet, i.e., a confirmation of the viability of their music, and for their future efforts in continuing to do work they were passionate about. Queen loved creating music and putting on shows for fans on their own (often lavish) terms.

    Years later Freddie feverishly seized upon creating as much music as he could withstand, including when he could no longer stand, after news of what was essentially his death sentence. For someone so sick, he sang rather well (or exceptionally well, per many opinions) on what would become the band’s final album before Freddie’s death, Innuendo. As in “Hint, I’m about to DIE, people!”, perhaps, as interpreted by the person writing this, obviously a biased Queen fan. Freddie also recorded vocals for future postmortem, post-Innuendo Queen releases.

  • How was the making of this track?

  • Translations:

  • Is "Bohemian Rhapsody" about a murder and an execution?

    The most sensible literal reading of the song is that the narrator confesses to a murder, is put on trial, and either escapes or gets executed. Figurative readings—like interpretations that it is an allegory for Freddie’s struggles with his sexuality—are also possible, but harder to support.

  • Do you believe the characters like Galileo for instance were about Brian May

    There is nothing connecting any of the characters in the song to Freddie’s bandmates. Indeed, he started writing the song before he met them. Some argue that “Mamma” is Mary Austin, Freddie’s long-term partner. A year after the release of “Bohemian Rhapsody”, Freddie confessed to her that he was bisexual and their relationship ended.

  • Is the whole band dead?

    No, as of 2018, there are three surviving original members.

  • How did they make the music video?

    According to officialcharts.com:

    ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is responsible for the modern music video. The video for the track was recorded on November 10, 1975. It took just four hours to film and another five to edit, at a total cost of £4,500. It was aired on Top Of The Pops for the first time on November 20 of that year. When other artists and record labels saw how effective a promotional video could be, they all climbed on the bandwagon—the music industry has never been the same since!

    As for the visual effects, the Music Video Wikia page for “Bohemian Rhapsody” describes them as such:

    The video opens with a shot of the four band members in near darkness as they sing the a cappella part. The lights fade up, and the shots cross-fade into close-ups of Freddie. All of the special effects were achieved during the recording. The effect of the face zooming away was accomplished by pointing the camera at a monitor, giving visual feedback, a visual glare, analogous to audio feedback. The honeycomb effect was achieved by using a shaped lens.

  • How come the song about 6 minutes long?

    Because the lyricist could not sqeeze the lyrics into a shorter version…

"Bohemian Rhapsody" Track Info