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...
anonymous Sep 8th, 2012 9:37pm report
Guys go back to my Aug 6th interpretation and think. When did Freddie Mercury write the song? 1975. When did he find out he had AIDS? Technically 1987, but he knew he was sick before that. I believe, and people can correct me, that it was in 1984 that he started having symptoms. Being tired on tour and started to get coughing fits. Also, it was during this year he told Barbara to stay away from him after he cut himself.
In addition, it was during this time that more and more gay men were dying of AIDS. My understanding is HIV was officially discovered (labeled in 1983) and until that time there was this sense of puzzlement in the gay community, and I assume they talked amongst each other.
So, Freddie could of no way, I repeat there is no way Freddie Mercury wrote this song about AIDS.
Again, it his coming out song.
anonymous Sep 8th, 2012 9:35am report
this song is actually about Freddie Mercury and his fight with AIDS.
the line "Mama, just killed a man
Put a gun against his head
Pulled my trigger, now he's dead"
as mentioned Freddie was gay.
Aids is a STD and he gave it to another man the gun being the Aids and you can figure out the rest
the line "Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me"
Beelzebub means "the devil" this shows he is feeling guilt for giving this man AIDS.
the line "Too late, my time has come
Sends shivers down my spine
Body's aching all the time"
is telling you about the AIDS.
in the line "Oh baby - can't do this to me baby"
this shows his pain when the other man gets told he has AIDS and he feels guilt for it.
in some ways this about murder but not in the traditional meaning he blamed himself for the death of this other man.
anonymous Aug 22nd, 2012 8:55pm report
Wow, if you all are right then I guess I'm way off, but
I always imagined that we was singing about himself when he found out that he had Aids. I think one person mentioned him saying in an interview that it wasn't meant to mean anything, but I think that's the point!
He's spouting off about something that he doesn't want anyone to know about. How else to do that then make a song?! Everyone expects practically nonsensical lyrics from him so he can exaggerate his emotions as much as he wants and no one will take him seriously.
"Is this the real life or it this just fantasy?" because he is shocked. He can't really grasp onto the idea of dying. He doesn't want to believe it.
He says "I'm just a poor boy nobody loves me" because he feels sorry for himself. He is wondering why it had to happen to him. Many parts of the song are kind of slow and dreamy and kind of sad.
"Mama, I just killed a man..."
I personally love this part because I feel like it's telling a story. I always thought that Freddie was saying that he killed himself. He felt that he brought his death upon himself by not being careful and that was the reason that he really felt the need to bring his mother into the song at all. He was guilty because he knew that it would hurt her the most among anyone else and was apologizing to her through the song. I also think that the part "Mama, I killed a man; put a gun up to his head, pulled my trigger now he's dead" was partially just theatrical as well as symbolizing killing himself. Even when putting a hidden message in a song, you still have to mix it up a bit, tell a story so that your own is a little more vague.
"Too late my time has come," he is thinking ahead and foretelling his own death. The suddenness of finding out about a killing disease (which back then had much less medications to slow the effects) was very scary I'm sure. He felt the need to say goodbye to everyone. If the song was about his feelings then he might as well tell the whole story as he might not have a chance later. "Sends shivers down my spine." He is very scared.
The next part is the Freddie Mercury signature. His lively, creative accent to the piece as well as to continue conveying the story. He talks about a man enticing him to dance although (you can almost imagine the scene in a play) an ominous thunderstorm warns him of danger in doing so. He is talking about a man tempting him whether or not he felt it was a safe thing to do. He is being convinced to do something that could be dangerous and the thunderbolts and lightning are foreshadowing to contracting AIDS.
I imagine that he accepted the invitation because suddenly it seems that he is taken captive. Let me go he begs. He wants to take it back; for someone, anyone, to have mercy on him because why should he be punished?
He feels betrayed, lastly. He feels that he is not the only one who is contributing to wards his death. He asks "so you think you can love me and leave me to die"? He sings this part rather emotionally perhaps imagining the person hearing him and feeling guilty for having persuaded him to partake.
As he says "nothing really matters" at the end he is dying and reflecting on how his life was so short and without much reason. And just like that it was over. In the end nothing mattered.
anonymous Aug 11th, 2012 8:43pm report
It is about the gene for homosexuality being passed on by the mother. "Ma Ma you just killed a man" - him as he was born gay and drawn into the life of homosexuality. He contracted aids and died of pneumonia which is / was a major cause of death amonst gays.
anonymous Aug 9th, 2012 8:28pm report
This song is really about him just dying as a man and becoming himself because he was known to be straight and then just went completely and utterly Gay.
anonymous Aug 6th, 2012 8:10pm report
Ok guys read Lesley-Ann Jones biography about Freddie. Its clear this is his coming out song. He was in love with Mary and at the time of the recording the Night at the Opera, he was exploring his sexuality. In short he was screwing around with men, while Mary had become not only his female lover but a surrogate mother.
"Any way the wind blows" Freddie was hyper sexual.
"Life has just begun" Queen really hit the big time with Sheer Heart Attack.
"Now I've gone and thrown it all away" he's gay.
"Send shivers down my spine, body's aching all the time" if anybody knows about Freddie's sexual appetite, the dude was unsatisfied.
"I see a little silhouette of a man" this if Freddie as well as Scaramouche.
"Spare him his life from this monstrosity" being gay.
Without a doubt, 1000% his coming out song.
anonymous Jul 28th, 2012 7:37pm report
well to the theory that he killed a man:
i believe his mother killed another man and used his gun and he already was going to die so he might as well be held accountable. He of course had to take responsibility of his mother crime if this is the case because it was under his name.
anonymous Jul 19th, 2012 7:35am report
The song is about the hero of the story just killed a man
He gets fought by the authorities
When he is about to die he sells his soul to the devil (beehazubub?)
But wants redemption from god
In the end he gives up hope on god and life
anonymous Jul 18th, 2012 7:05pm report
I think everyones interpretaions are good and interesting. I know i am wrong with my opinion, but this song has been my favorite since i was a kid. I have a few family members who have struggled with drug addiction. And thats what the song reminds me of. " mama, just killed a man" i think of his first time trying drugs and knowing what the effect is. "Put a gun against his head pulled my trigger now hes dead" that reminds me of the syringe being used on the body. "Sends chivers down my spine, bodys aching all the time" that is how the pain feels when a person needs a fix or trying to quit. I feel a battle with himself wanting to stop knowing its wrong but the devil has control of him now with the addiction. It is my favorite song but reminds me of bad times i think thats why i like it. I know its not the truth behind it, that is the beauty of music. no matter what the real meaning a song can touch a person in different ways. Depending on what they have been through or what is currently going on in thier lives. You make it your own. And just because an artist sings about certain things its not always about themselves.
anonymous Jul 15th, 2012 7:33pm report
To tell you the truth, that was a very good interpretation but I might have a more understandable reason for why he is going to die. When Freddie Mercury wrote this song he was facing tragedies such as him being diagnosed with AIDs. This song was about how his parents, specifically his mother having trouble accepting the reality that his song was in fact a homosexual. He was given 2 years I believe to live. This song has impacted me in way that makes me very discouraged. The man was phenomenal.
anonymous Jul 9th, 2012 7:16pm report
Scaramouche disguised himself as a clown to avenge a murder, its an old movie-
Taking Freddie's own views into account, I believe it is for the listener to decide. I think the narrator is really crystal ball-gazing and intends shooting himself, not someone else (sublimnal reference to homosexuality in straight society - hence title 'Bohemian'). Its not the lyrics though that give this song its meaning, its form in 4 or more segments. I have to go left-of-centre here and compare it to The Erl-King by composer Schubert in 19th Century. Originally the song may have had a special meaning but its true meaning comes through its musical conveyance. Death here means 'final end of anything' even of inspiration itself. Many rock songs in that period of 1970s (The Who "teenage wasteland" etc) dealt with this reaction to the end of the swinging 'Sixties and beginning of the sedentary 'Seventies.
anonymous Jun 29th, 2012 6:56pm report
well, this could seem stupid, but I think he isn't murdering, but more, committing suicide because nobody cares, because he is "just a poor boy" and nobody loves him. maybe he is thinking of his mother as he dies, I don't know really.. just what I think..
anonymous Jun 27th, 2012 6:13am report
Scaramuccia, also known as Scaramouche, is a roguish clown character of the Italian commedia dell'arte who wears a black mask and, sometimes, glasses. He entertains the audience by his "grimaces and affected language". Salvator Rosa says that Coviello (like Scaramouche) is "sly, adroit, supple, and conceited". In Molière's The Bourgeois Gentleman, Coviello disguises his master as a Turk and pretends to speak Turkish. Both Scaramouche and Coviello can be clever or stupid—as the actor sees fit to portray him.
The name was that of a stock character in 17th-century Italian farce, Scaramuccia (literally "skirmish"), who, attired usually in a black Spanish dress, burlesquing a don, was beaten by Harlequin for his boasting and cowardice.
Scaramouche is one of the iconic characters in the Punch and Judy puppet shows (a performative art with roots in commedia dell'arte). In some scenarios, he is the owner of The Dog, another stock character. During performances, Punch frequently strikes Scaramouche, causing his head to come off his shoulders. Because of this, the term scaramouche has become associated with a class of puppets with extendable necks.
anonymous Jun 23rd, 2012 6:54am report
He killed someone, knows he's gonna be put to death, and knows he has no hope, yet at the same time (near the end of the song), he wants to escape it. I think he did it out of self defense by the way the song goes, but that's just the way I see it. Thanks to everyone who has read this.
More Queen song meanings »
Submit Your Interpretation
Related Blog Posts
|38 Years Old||sethwudel|
|In Cold Blood||anonymous|
|A Woman in Love (It's Not Me)||anonymous|
|Knockin' on Heaven's Door||anonymous|
|A Little More Love||anonymous|
|Not To Touch The Earth||anonymous|
|If I'm James Dean, You're Audrey Hepburn||anonymous|
|This Love, This Hate||anonymous|