Queen: Bohemian Rhapsody Meaning
Song Released: 1975
Covered By: Panic! At The Disco (2016), Pentatonix (2017)
Bohemian Rhapsody Lyrics
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,
A little high,little...
This song, in my opinion speaks of the suicide of the young man, says "Mom, I just killed a man, I put a gun on his head, I pulled the trigger, now he's dead", later says that it has to go, Specifies to which man he killed, he only says "to a man", then leaves an incognita of whom of the man is assassinated.
anonymous Mar 20th, 2017 3:11pm report
Okay, I've seen a lot of interpretations I believe (minus the AIDS thing because Mercury didn't have AIDS at the time and the outbreak wasn't massively in the public eye) but I believe it's not just the man who murders, not only the coming out of the closet or fighting with God and the devil but just being torn between everything in life. Mercury felt like a man being sentenced to death if he had to come out as a gay man to Mary Austin and is fighting between not coming out and living life a lie or coming out and disappointing Mary and leaving whom he is close to. When they say, "No, we will not let you go/let me go!" the judges and witnesses of the "trial" are telling Freddie (the boy/man in the story) that they won't let him come out and that they are going to kill him-or shame him in the public eye for being gay and destroy his career- and he's screaming let me go but he can't because he has to face his "sentence" of shame, disgust, and death for his "crime"-his career's destruction.
I've read some of the interpretations here and honestly think, that a lot of them are pretty good and also quite plausible after looking at the lyrics.
However I think there is more to the song...or precisely to the part, where other voices begin to join in, right after the second chorus.
Let's get down to it!
First of all, the general picture I see by looking at the lyrics is a young man, facing death because of what he did ("Mama, just killed a man"). He is basically waiting for his death penalty to being carried out.
His mother, whom he seems to be talking to, would obviously know that he is to be executed, so he's not really telling her; it's more of a sad and final reflection whilst waiting in his cell.
But after a while in which he keeps telling his mother, how sorry he is and that she shouldn't cry for him after the execution has succeded ("If I'm not back again this time tomorrow, carry on, carry on, as if nothing really matters"), he begins seeing someone in his cell who shouldn't be there ("I see a little silhouetto of a man. Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?")
Scaramouche is a figure from the italian "Commedia dell' Arte", Scaramouche meaning somehting like "loudmouth". Fandango is a spanish dance, although the word in its oldest meaning has something to do with slaves making lots of noise in the evening - those two words could stand for the tumult he's in, the conflict he has with himself.
After that, he hears thunder and is obviously frightened by it ("thunderbolt and lightning, very, very frightening me!") and he goes on, suddenly seemingly defending himself ("I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me"), obviously saying that if someone HAD loved him, he wouldn't be in this mess...or maybe that he could then afford a lawyer to bail him out. The voices which have joined him in a choir now agree with him ("He' s just a poor boy from a poor family, spare him his life from this monstrousity").
An argument seems to break out, with him and some of the voices on the one side, all the while defending him ("Easy come, easy go, will you let me go?") and other voices on the other side, demanding for him to stay and hear his sentence...demanding for him to be executed ("Bismillah, NO! We will not let you go!").
After this goes on for a while, he then suddenly loses his lethargy and starts shouting with a passionate voice ("So you think you can stone me and spit in my eyes? So you think you can love me and leave me to die?") only for dying down again in his spirit and ending the song with a few lines that repeat certain elements from the beginning ("Nothing really matters. Anyone can see. Nothing really matters...no, nothing really matters to me. Any way the wind blows")
Now here's my interpretation of that middle part:
The devil suddenly appears in front of him to promise him his freedom and that he won't be harmed, all the while arguing with another one (namely, God) about his soul, who won't let him go for he has committed a crime (namely homicide) and even goes as far as saying "Bismillah", which is arabian and roughly translates to "as God commands/wishes". The young man is tempted to leave his cell with the devil because of his regrets and his doubts for God, after he was let down like that. He also is sure that Beelzebub (another, and rather common name for the devil himself) has "a devil put aside for me" - he cannot escape his judgement and punishment. He rants against God, but also against the devil because neither of them are giving him a real choice...they both just seem to want him punished. For that reason he then decides to just give up, as can be seen in the last verses.
anonymous Sep 27th, 2016 9:55am report
Could be about someone who committed murder, and feels enough guilt that he/she wants to die. I've got a morbid brain :P.
anonymous Aug 9th, 2016 8:05pm report
What I think is that Freddie came out from the closet in this song.
He starts of question: "Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?", he doesn't know if the life he lives is true or not but he knows that there is no escape from reality and so he tells himself to open his eyes look up at the sky and see the true world with no fantasy, the world where he is not and in the fake world he's just a poor boy and now nothing really matter for him, he knows what he is and wants to be proud of it, so he tells his Mama that he had killed a man, but what I think is that he did not physically kill a man, what I think is that he killed himself but not physically, killed the man the straight man who he hated because that man was not him, basically he claims to his mother that he is gay and with his description he tells that he put a gun against his head, pulled his trigger now he is dead, he tells her that he knew something was wrong with his head as someone shot it. Then he tells her that life had just begun and now he is gone and threw it all away, he tells her that his life has just begun as he was born but now he took all the life of lies he he knew he was supposed to live and threw it all away. Then we understand that his Mama cried because of that and he tells her that if he doesn't come back this time tomorrow she should carry on if nothing really matters, he tells her that if the person she thought was her son won't come back to what she thought he truly was then she should carry on with her life if nothing really matters with the reality.
"It's too late my time has come, sand shivers down my spine, body's aching all the time" He tells that it's too late to go back, he already had told his mother about his sexuality and he feels pain because of all that and he says to the old life, his friend goodbye and that he must go to his life that he knew he should had lived as gay because then he'll face the truth, his true life, not wearing any customs of a straight man he'll live as he is and he finds leaving the old world which guided him from the truth was like dying and he tells his mother that he is afraid of that and that he wished he was never born at all so he won't have all of this.
Then he tries to go to the real world and face the truth that he is gay and go out of the closet but he starts to lose it and say weird things in many languages, talks to himself and argue with himself if to let himself go to the new life or not and at the end he does by the song and he sees that nothing really matters now, he came out by the song and fortunately no one really cares if he's gay and so now it doesn't really matter to everyone and to him.
anonymous May 14th, 2016 5:45pm report
I think it is safe to say that Bohemian Rhapsody is about Freddie Mercury's coming out on being a homosexual. Even though the lyrics may sound that he is speaking about dying (having contracted AIDS) let's not forget that Mercury had not been diagnosed with AIDS until April 1987, twelve years after he even wrote the song. Any way we want to interpret the lyrics, it will go down in history as one of the most iconic songs that will be loved by generations to come.
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