What does Bohemian Rhapsody mean?

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Queen: Bohemian Rhapsody Meaning

Song Released: 1975

Covered By: Panic! At The Disco (2016), Pentatonix (2017)

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Bohemian Rhapsody Lyrics

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...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Jan 4th 2007 report

    Wow. I had no idea there were so many interpretations of this song. For me it's always been clear: the song is about an execution. Please bear with me as I construct a detailed argument for this interpretation.

    Here's the set-up (all of this is proven later): The narrator has committed murder. He might have done this out of malice, or self-defense, or anything in between; we don't know. The fact is that he killed someone, was caught and sentenced, and is now on Death Row. The man is not an important person, so to speak. He is not famous, nor rich, nor anything of the kind. He has no high-priced lawyers and no "connections" to help him in his plight. The narrator implies that, if he had higher social status, if he had money or fame or whatever, then he would stand a good chance of escaping death. But alas, he is merely a "poor boy" (aka ordinary person), and has no such power. His family and friends are attending the execution (or have otherwise heard about it), and are very distressed. Conversely, the family and friends of the dead man want revenge and they can't wait to see the narrator executed. The song takes place just prior to the execution, and involves the narrator talking to (or perhaps just thinking about) his mother, just before he dies.

    If you're still reading, you have my thanks.
    Here's the line-by-line analysis:

    *We start with the narrator's thoughts:
    "Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?"
    *The narrator is overwhelmed by the idea that he's going to die. He almost wonders whether this is all a nightmare or something.

    "Caught in a landslide, No escape from reality"
    Again, he feels overwhelmed, but he can't really deny that he's about to be killed.

    "Open your eyes, Look up to the skies and see,"
    Looking up to heaven, wondering about life etc.

    "I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy
    Because I'm easy come, easy go, Little high, little low"
    Here he is quoting the common perspective: he's just a poor man ("boy"), and he doesn't deserve sympathy. Much of the song is about how no one seems to care for the narrator, even though he seems mournful and regretful for his actions.

    "Any way the wind blows doesn't really matter to me, to me"
    Now that he's going to die, nothing more matters. He has no future, no hopes or dreams or goals. He's going to die within the hour, and there's nothing he can do about it. He feels very hopeless, and from his perspective nothing really matters.

    "Mama, just killed a man, Put a gun against his head
    Pulled my trigger, now he's dead"
    This part is obvious. He committed murder. I don't he's confessing to his mother here, as surely she would already know by the time of the execution. I think that he's really just sadly reflecting on what he's done, and he mentions this to his mother (or perhaps he's just thinking about her)

    "Mama, life had just begun
    But now I've gone and thrown it all away"
    He was a young man, in his 20s perhaps. He had the chance to live a meaningful life, but instead he killed a man, thus causing his own death via execution. The narrator laments, noting that he could have saved his own life by choosing not to murder. But now the deed is done, and the narrator will face justice.

    "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"
    Again he's sorry for his actions, and regrets that his mother now weeps for him, as he will soon be killed. The execution will take place within the hour, so if he's not back again this time tomorrow, it will mean that the execution happened on schedule, that he failed to escape it via pardon or other means. The narrator tells his mother that, even if he dies, she should carry on living, almost as if his death didn't matter to her.

    "Too late, my time has come"
    The execution is imminent.

    "Sends shivers down my spine, body's aching all the time"
    These are symptoms of his intense fear.

    "Goodbye, ev'rybody, I've got to go"
    He says a final farewell to his family and friends.

    "Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth"
    The truth is that he killed a man, and now he faces strict justice. He will die.

    "Mama, ooh, I don't want to die
    I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all"
    This much is obvious. He doesn't want to be killed, and indeed he wonders if it would have been better never to have been born in the first place.

    A new voice starts singing; this voice represents his friends and family who are (or have been previously) protesting his execution.

    "I see a little silhouetto of a man"
    The narrator seems so poor and pitiful, "a shadow of what he once was", so to speak

    "Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango"
    Honestly, I don't know what this means

    "Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very fright'ning me"
    Both he and them are afraid that he'll be killed. The "lighting" part might indicate that he's to be killed with the electric chair, or it might just be symbolic.

    "(Galileo.) Galileo. (Galileo.) Galileo, Galileo figaro"
    Galileo was unfairly persecuted by the authorities of his time. Granted, Galileo didn't commit murder, but the narrator's advocates still draw a parallel, insisting that he doesn't deserve the punishment he's receiving.

    "Magnifico. I'm just a poor boy and nobody loves me"
    The narrator repeats the common belief.

    "He's just a poor boy from a poor family
    Spare him his life from this monstrosity"
    His friends and family argue that, because he's a poor boy, he deserves sympathy and compassion, not death.

    "Easy come, easy go, will you let me go"
    Here the narrator pleads for his life. He basically says "You don't seem to care about me; I'm 'easy come, easy go'. You don't really care if I live or die. So, if you don't really care whether I live or die, can't you just let me live? Can't you grant me a pardon or something?"

    Then the opposite group, the friends and family of the dead man (and/or the execution authorities) respond to these pleas.

    "Bismillah! No, we will not let you go"
    The other group wants the narrator to be executed.

    "(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."
    The two groups have a spirited argument.

    "(Oh mama mia, mama mia.) Mama mia, let me go"
    Here the chorus of friends and family says "let me go", but I really think they mean "let him go. Don't kill the narrator"

    "Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me, for me"
    Beelzebub means Satan. The narrator feels (or speculates) that Satan is out to torment him by leading him to such a sad fate. After all, it was probably a devil that tempted him to commit murder in the first place. Likewise, his family feels Satan is tormenting them as well, by killing the narrator to make them feel sad. Perhaps even the dead man's family joins in on this chorus; they feel that it was Satan who told the narrator to commit murder in the first place, and now they insist that execution is the only holy response to such a sin.

    Throughout this, the narrator has been lethargic and morose. But right before the end, he has a sudden burst of passion.

    "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!"
    I'm not sure if he's talking to anyone specific here, or if he's just ranting with passion, screaming at everyone and everything involved.

    As I imagine it, the narrator throws off his guards and fights to escape from his shackles. In the ensuing musical piece, he struggles with the executioners, knocking the room into disarray. The two families watch closely, but everyone knows it's a useless struggle; there's simply no way for the narrator to escape. And the end of the musical piece, he is beaten down and finally subdued. Once again he become morose and dispirited, and the executioners drag him to his place of death (electric chair, perhaps). In his last few moments before death, the narrator resumes his previous state of mind.

    "Nothing really matters, Anyone can see
    Nothing really matters
    Nothing really matters to me"
    Again, because he's about to die, nothing really matters to him. He has no purpose, no hope, nothing.

    "Any way the wind blows..."
    This is an allusion to the begining of the song, where this image was used along with "nothing really matters"

    So...yeah. I think that's a pretty thorough interpretation. Bohemian Rhapsody is about a remorseful murderer as he's about to be executed.

    Questions? Comments? Did anybody even read all that?


    #2 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Dec 27th 2005 report

    The song is about of course about murder, and the consequences of your actions. I think Freddie used the five stages of grief for the verses 1. Denial/ Isolation "goodbye everybody-I've got to go" 2. Depression "sometimes wish I'd never been born at all" 3. Bargaining "I'm just a poor boy.. will you let me go?" 4. Anger "so you think you can stone me and spit in my eye.. just gotta get right out of here. and 5. Acceptance "any way the wind blows"


    #3 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Jul 19th 2005 report

    Sorry, but you're all wrong!

    Well Freddie Mercury said in an interview that “it's just a bunch of rhyming nonsense” but I think it is about a poor boy killing a man and confessing it to his mother.

    The 4 different styles of the song represent what he is going through after the murder. The 1st deals with him being in shock of the crime he just committed, (Is this the real life, is this just fantasy?). The second is when he confesses to his mother, (Mamma, just killed a man) but his mum doesn’t want anything to do with him so he ends up killing himself. The third part is when heaven and hell are fighting over him trying to decide where he will be sent. In the song it states “Bismillah no! We will not let you go”, Bismillah means in the name of Allah which means God so It means in the name of God, no! We will not let you go. He ends up losing and is going to hell (Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me). The fourth part of the song has a heavy metal sound to which I think he is telling them what he thinks of life, hell and everything, (so you think you can stone me and spit in my eye, love me and leave me to die). He asks for a second chance to go to heaven but god rejects him again. So now he loses hope and faith and it goes back to the slow part of the song at the start. Nothing really matters, anyway the wind blows.

    Some of the unusual names in the songs actually have meaning believe it or not! “Scaramouch” according to the dictionary it means “a stock character who appears as a boastful coward”. “Fandango” is a Spanish dance done in triple time. “Beelzebub” is one of the many names given to the devil.

    the song has nothing to do with him having AIDS the song was written 11 years before he even got AIDS!!

    This is only my opinion of the song, no one really knows the real meaning of it only Freddie Mercury will know.

    Any way the wind blows!!

  4. NoleIncumbe
    click a star to vote
    Oct 14th report

    For me this is Freddy’s confession to Maria of his sexuality. " Mom I killed a man, put a gun to his head, pulled the trigger and now he’s dead". For me it clearly speaks of someone who gave him oral sex and freddie came in his mouth. Freddie feels guilty but has to tell Maria and the narrative speaks of the decency of a person to hell after that situation, although in the end it says "Nothing really matters" idk maybe I have a dirty mind, but I think that’s what it means.

  5. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 10th 2022 report

    Let me stop all you idiots right here. None of you are correct. This song is about masterbation with a penis only ..no other kinds of genitals, sorry genz... And YES it is linked to 38 special's Hang on Loosely

  6. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 7th 2022 report

    This is a great song it’s like a rock opera, and there are so many interpretations but this is mine:

    It is about a depressed man who loves opera and murders his boyfriend for breaking up with him.

    The a cappella part, “Is this the real life, is this just fantasy” until “No escape from reality” signifies how depressed this guy his, he feels that there is no escape from life, and is having an existential crisis. In “open your eyes…” he is telling other people to look around and see that the world is not real and nothing matters. From there till “to me, to me…” he is describing his own life, how he is poor, but needs no sympathy, describing his mood swings and how whatever happens to him, he doesn’t really care.

    The next part is like a fast-forward to him killing his boyfriend (will explain how it is about his boyfriend later), and expressing regret, for how his boyfriend’s life was over so fast, regret that he killed him, regret that he’s thrown his life away because he will be locked up in jail. From here to the “carry on” part, he is contemplating suicide and telling his loved ones that if he decides to kill himself to just move on.

    From “too late” to “never been born at all” he is now contemplating suicide more seriously, and this is the part where he actually does kill himself. The guitar solo is the transition from his dying moments to another world.

    The entire opera section is about his judgement, the beings deciding if he should go to heaven or hell, and since he is morally ambiguous, they put him in purgatory. The first thing he sees when he wakes up from the transition is a silhouette of a man, revealed to be Scaramouche. Scaramouche was a morally ambiguous trickster, and he is in purgatory with the narrator. The rest of the section is the gods bickering about putting him in hell, letting him pass into heaven, or making him stay in purgatory. They decide to put him in hell, hence the “Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me, for meeee” part. Beelzebub is Satan, and the narrator is singing his realization that he will be going to hell.

    The heavy metal part is him in hell, and him expressing anger towards his boyfriend who he killed, and blames for this.

    The ending part is him reconciling internally with his feelings, his boyfriend, and himself, and coming to acceptance that nothing really matters.

    However, maybe, like Freddie Mercury said in his interview, it’s a bunch of rhyming nonsense.

  7. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 5th 2022 report

    I think the songs inner meaning is about Mr.Freddie Mercurys depressed state and side. When he was at a lower point in life. He truly was probably thinking about the negatives and how people were treating him. And also him not know what to do in life if he would come far in life or not. Or if this is what was meant for him.

    We miss you Freddie!
    You made it to heaven

  8. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 6th 2021 report

    queen: this is NOT what my song means wtf is wrong with y'all?!

  9. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 20th 2021 report

    Confused about his bisexuality

    Is this the real life?
    Is this just fantasy?

    Really? Is it true? I can’t cope but’ll go with the flow

    Caught in a landslide

    It’s real being gay but rather it wasn’t

    No escape from reality

    Come on! Open eyes to the truth of it all

    Open your eyes

    Pray to God

    Look up to the skies and see

    Explanation of innocence ...

    I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy

    Because I’m gay

    Because I'm easy come, easy go ...gay

    Hate it

    Little high, little low


    Any way the wind blows...bi

    Easy either way ...bisexual
    Doesn't really matter to me, to me

    Reluctantly, confession he’s gay.
    He’s now committed metaphoric suicide

    Mama, just killed a man
    Put a gun against his head
    Pulled my trigger, now he's dead

    Life was good but I’ve ruined it

    As a straight man

    Mama, life had just begun

    Will never have kids

    But now I've gone and thrown it all away

    Has gay affair. No way back to Mary

    Expressive ooh. Mary is mama
    Mama, ooh

    Sorry for hurt I've been unfaithful

    Didn't mean to make you cry

    You won’t want gay son

    Be prepared I prefer being gay

    I’ll sleep on it and try to be straight ...but might not succeed

    If I'm not back again this time tomorrow...still gay

    It’s fine you’ll forget me soon I beg you

    Forget you had a son

    Carry on, carry on as if nothing really matters

    Reality set in he’s not going back to Mary. Slept on it but now an affirmed gay

    Too late, my time has come

    Really scared. I will miss you ...old carefree life

    People will judge ...

    Sends shivers down my spine

    Hopeless fretting about leaving Mary, as still in love ...

    Rue the devision

    Body's aching all the time

    It was once great

    Goodbye normalcy

    Goodbye, everybody, I've got to go

    I’ll miss you greatly

    I brought it on myself only me to blame but needs to set free

    I’m gay gay gay

    Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth...properly gay

    Expressive ooh

    Mama, ooh (Any way the wind blows)

    Sad in turmoil about starting gay encounters

    Don’t want to be gay...

    I don't want to die

    Better to not have lived ...if not a straight guy

    I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all

    Scaramouche is an imp to get you out of trouble

    I see a little silhouetto of a man
    Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?

    Dance a gig perhaps it’ll help to make me forget

    Because you have a bad feeling facing electric chair or the devils curse

    Thunderbolt and lightning very, very frightening me


    (Galileo) Galileo
    (Galileo) Galileo



    Magnificent man


    Pardon me I was just stupid

    I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me

    Family pleads

    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?

    Please God

    Bismillah! No, we will not let you go (Let him go!)

    Please God

    Bismillah! We will not let you go (Let him go!)

    Please God

    Bismillah! We will not let you go (Let me go!)
    Will not let you go (Let me go!)
    Never let you go (Never, never, never, never

    let me go)
    Oh oh oh oh

    No, no, no, no, no, no, no

    Please help, anyone?

    Oh, mama mia, mama mia (Mama mia, let me go)

    Eeek, Satan it’s a sin to be gay

    Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me, for me

    Ranting at perceived injustice. He’s simple shouldn’t be judged

    Gays are stoned to death in Iran

    So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye?

    Once we’re friends but now turn back on him

    So you think you can love me and leave me to die?

    Lovers ...too

    Oh, baby, can't do this to me, baby

    How can I escape ...

    Try not to be gay ...?

    Just gotta get out, just gotta get right outta here

    Ooooh, ooh yeah, ooh yeah
    Subdued fate awaits
    Nothing really matters
    Anyone can see
    Nothing really matters
    Nothing really matters to me

    As at the Beginning is it real?

    Any way the wind blows.

  10. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 15th 2020 report

    The song is most certainly about Freddie Mercury’s coming out. Freddie wrote these lyrics ( Bohemian Rhapsody) 10 years before he made the decision to present it to, and explain the meaning behind the lyrics to his band. I watched lead guitarist Brian Mays in an interview and he spoke of this very thing.

  11. Cosmic_Bibek
    click a star to vote
    Jun 7th 2020 report

    It is really simple. He is understanding the life and like we say "oh god help me. he is using the Mama in this sense..
    Oh Mama help me .. i am now understanding life.. it seems hard.. help me in my way.

  12. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 2nd 2020 report

    So basically, this song is about Freddie coming out. sure, it seems weird, but bare with me.

    the ‘mama’ he’s referring to in the first part of the song would be his girlfriend at the time. the man he kills is his old self. the life that’d just become was his future with her, but then he went and threw it all away by having a homosexual affair. everything else, i got no fucking idea, that’s just kinda what i’ve always thought.

  13. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 21st 2020 report

    Having heard the song and read the lyrics numerous times, I think it's talking about suicide. It's a letter to his mother telling her to forgive him for taking a man's life, his own. What led me to this conclusion is the overall aesthetic of the song. I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me, he feels lonely. It is a goodbye letter. He doesn't want to die, he didn't want to be born at first place. Also suicide is considered a sin, thus Beelzebub has also prepared a personal demon for him to torment him in hell. Just gotta get out of here means his need to escape reality.

  14. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 8th 2020 report

    Put a gun to his head, pulled the trigger, now he’s dead”

    I believe he is confessing not only that he is gay and has aids, but that he has infected someone and that they have died from it.

  15. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jan 5th 2020 report

    Yep. It's Freddy's coming out 'hidden' confession. Some members of the band & a close friend of Fred who, I think was the producer(not absolutely sure) stated this the case. Fred as much as admitted it to his friend, but kept quiet around everyone else. It was very private to him & even the band members didn't talk about it or ask any questions. The lyric "pulled my trigger now he's dead" is Freddy's admission to killing his old self.

  16. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 11th 2019 report

    It’s a great interpretation of queen’s bohemian rhapsody... which I believe is a song about fame and different ways to become famous “is this the real life or is this just fantasy caught in a landslide no escape from reality “ a lot of people long to become famous, then once they are famous they realize it’s nothing like they imagined. “Open your eyes look up to the skies and see I’m just a poor boy , I need no sympathy “ the boy is praying to become famous . “Easy come easy go .....nothing really matters “ poor people come and go but rich people is all that matters “any way the wind blows “ whatever path you may take . “Mama just killed a man” a man was a famous killer ... and in the “easy come, easy go , will you let me go bismillah no “ that is him trying to get his soul back from the devil ...

  17. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Nov 24th 2019 report

    I feel as he's questioning in the beginning, "real life or fantasy" as though he's about to tell a story.
    Also by saying "no escape from reality" "open your eyes" "look to the sky" is a msg of awakening from the matrix. Lol I'm sure I sound crazy :D

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  18. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 3rd 2019 report

    The narrator,while walking to the place he will commit a murder for someone else is questioning his reality and rethinking his actions in the Intro.In the end he murders the man.

    Then,he sadly confesses to his mother about the deed and tells her to not feel sad.In the next part,he is executed after saying goodbye to his family and friends.

    The rival fractions in Hell fight over the narrator soul to claim it either to let him go or to torment it.

    He then breaks out of Hell after learning about the betrayal he suffered and then breaks out of the prison.

    He then takes his revenge on the one he killed the man for and then chooses to leave it all behind and do something good with his life as “Nothing Really Matters”.

    I hope you read all of it,it the most probable I think so and it fits the tune and the guitar solo perfectly.
    Thanks for reading

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