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

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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,
A little high,little...


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    Sep 25th, 2012 9:39pm report

    "Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango"
    A scaracouche is a "boastful coward or buffoon." The fandango is a spanish dance or it is also a term for foolishness...so, the line can be interpreted...
    Fool...will you do the foolishness. You might also look at it from the perspective of death being a seductive dance and the coward one of the dancers.

    As for, ""Bismillah! No, we will not let you go" The term is used in the Qur'an meaning "In the name of Allah." So..."God, we won't let him go...God let him go."

    So, now you know. :)


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    Sep 21st, 2012 9:51pm report

    Not sure when the singer contracted aids but the part about just killed a man and send shivers dwn my spine bodys aching all the time may mean aids or withdraw leanin more towards aids and he killd the mAn by giving him aids


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    Sep 17th, 2012 9:02pm report

    Frank Zappa, another wordsmith of acrobatic abilities, memorably warned that most of his lyrics were intended only to trick people into listening to his music, which is what really mattered to him. For the most part, said Frank, "my lyrics are not to be taken internally."

    As I understand it, Bohemian Rhapsody began as a little cowboy song Freddie toyed with for a couple of years. Like most gifted musicians, he would play with the melody, trying it in different genres. One day while playing for a friend he stumbled into a quasi-operatic styling, getting more and more dramatic as the friend egged him on, laughing, turning a 3-minute C&W tune into a 6-minute exploration of theatrical music forms. The result is lots of fun to listen to but too obviously over the top to be taken seriously.


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    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.


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    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.


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    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.


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    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.


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    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.


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    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.


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    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.


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    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


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    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.


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    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.


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    Jul 9th, 2012 7:16pm report

    Scaramouche disguised himself as a clown to avenge a murder, its an old movie-


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    Jul 7th, 2012 7:59am report

    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.

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