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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    May 8th, 2012 5:33pm report

    "Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango" can be translated as "Oh boastful coward, oh boastful coward, will you dance the fandango(a Spanish dance done in triple time(to lazy to xplain what triple time is. look it up yourselfs.))"

    Any way i'm making no assumption as to the meaning behind it. that's for you ppl to do. iv'e done my part, time for ya'll ot do yours ^_^. GOOD LUCK!!!

    P.S i loved it if ya'll could interprit that line for me. all i did was translation. THANKS


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    May 1st, 2012 5:55pm report

    Perhaps "pulled my trigger now he's dead" is a metaphor for a homosexual transmission of the Aids virus. His confession of guilt for a murder that he feels he caused (and yet was unaware of) to a trusting maternal figure is magnified by the knowing that he is also condemned to die, without clemency, to this horribly cruel disease. Heroically, he never makes reference to his receiving the virus by another, but shares with us his remorse for the death sentence he inadvertently gave to someone that he had once been close to.


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    Apr 23rd, 2012 4:14pm report

    its about him being gay and no accepts him he thinks he is going to hell for being gay


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    Apr 16th, 2012 4:50pm report

    well i read it, and i have no idea how u came up with all that. but great job! i would have never thought of that... :p


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    Mar 28th, 2012 3:16pm report

    Dude, IT DOESN'T MEAN ANYTHING! Bohemian means artistic, rhapsody means a disconnected series of statements composed under excitement. It is supposed to be random!


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    Mar 9th, 2012 3:24am report

    The song, as it says, is about Galileo. The one prosecuted by Cardinal Bellarmine. The fandango is a dance in triple metre, with the first being Copernicus, the second being an astronimer named Tadeas Hajeck who collected and published Copernicus's theory, and who is from Bohemia of all places, and Galileo, who killed off mankinds self proclaimed perception of himself {herself} as being at the center of the universe. And Galileo did this with a mere blink of the eye, that is, by looking into a telescope and observing that the moons of jupiter were not going around the earth, as they should if the earth was the center of everything, but were going around jupiter. This proved Copernicus's theory, and triggered a firestorm of religious indignation, which culminated in the trial Galileo and his possilbe execution for heresay. Bellarmines input was that no one, not even his mother, his church, his God or the devil, could save him from the gallows. So, instead of facing the truth like a man, Galileo relented and proclaimed that what he saw, he didn't see. He took the cowards way out, and lived, but in reality died as he was never the same afterward. But what the establishment did to Galileo did not matter at all, because his proof lived on until finally accepted as truth even if they spat in his eye. More importantly, who is better remembered today? Bellarmine, the religious spokesman for righteousness, or Galileo, a person then perceived as being possessed by the devil?


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    Feb 29th, 2012 2:19am report

    I have done a pretty thorough examination of this song "Bohemian Rhapsody" and I must say that it is quite rich with symbolism. Having said that, my theory as to what this song means will more then likely sound the most crazy of all but please bear with me--and as always...do your own research.

    So...where to begin?

    Well...with the beginning...

    "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth..."

    When Freddie released his album in Persia, he included a leaflet which introduced the band, had a Persian translation of Bohemian Rhapsody, and in the synopsis for the song, he basically stated that "Bohemian Rhapsody is about a young man who had accidentally killed someone and, like Faust * and sold his soul to the devil. On the night before his execution, he calls on the God of the Muslims, (Bismillah), and with the help of angels, regains his soul from Shaitan (satan)."

    So, in essense, Bohemian Rhapsody is a religious song about a man who escapes death.

    So far, here is my interpretation of the song:

    1. While Scaramouche is a jester/joker, he is also the personification of death and if memory serves, is often portrayed as a dark, ominous silhouette (and as we all know, life and death is what's most talked about in the Bohemian Rhapsody song.)
    2. When you analyze the song, you notice that it has a structure to it even though it doesn't make a bit of sense; now, in referencing the thunderbolts of lightning, I think he is associating them with the courtoom of god, Scaramouch, or Galileo.
    3. While Galileo was condemned unfairly by the Catholic church, he was also an astronomer and studied the heavens; and as for Figaro, he is a character in a play who was a gardener and helped a count woo and marry a woman (there are THREE PLAYS associated with Figaro). Magnifico of course, means "magnificent."
    4. An argument ensues where the poor soul pleads for mercy and some of the counsel say "yes" and others "in the name of god (bismillah)--NOO!" How the rest of the story ends should be pretty obvious.
    5. Finally..."open your eyes, look up to the skies and see"--this is a veiled way of saying "If you really want to know what this story is about, look up at the sky and you'll see..."

    ~ ~ ~

    "I'm going to shatter some illusions, it was just one of those pieces I wrote for the album...there were a few contenders – we were thinking of [of calling it] The Prophets Song at one point – but then 'Bohemian Rhapsody' seemed the one."

    "Bohemian Rhapsody" didn't just come out of thin air. I did a bit of research although it was tongue-in-cheek and mock opera."


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    Feb 10th, 2012 2:45pm report



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    Jan 24th, 2012 1:20pm report

    The song is NOT about aids. Freddy Mercury got diagnosed with aids in the spring of 1987. The song was written in 1975!!!! For all of you who can't count, that's 12 years difference!! Bohemian Rhapsody was written 12 years before he was diagnosed!!!


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    Jan 14th, 2012 1:36am report

    I know the year of the song's release and Freddie Mercury's untimely HIV-related death don't make sense chronologically, but I've always been intrigued by the parallels fortold by the song and how his life later tragically played out.

    When I hear the song, I picture a young man who just embarked on an adventurous, nontraditional life - I see this as the ultimate Bohemian. Questioning reality itself, morals, standards, living in the moment and then out of nowhere he realizes that he has crossed paths with some sinister life-changing force that (for a few lines) seems to drain all resolve and hope from the protagonist. He seems to have accepted death in its cruel inevitability, and resigned himself to the fact that this disease/hardship/cessation of his lifestyle will mean his soul will cease to exist and there is no use in resistance.

    Then the beat picks up as he lifts his head to ask: Why should I give up now? Who is ever defeated that never admits or acknowledges his defeat? And the listener is ecstatic to realize that whatever this unnamed evil is, he will fight it with every cell in his afflicted person! As the electric guitar soars with his spirits, he gives it his all and stares death in the face and screams I am not afraid. And it seems to work, until the lights begin to dim with the track, back into the mindset that "Nothing Really Matters".

    It might seem that this man has been fundamentally, unavoidably beaten. But the stunningly beautiful theme of the song is the concept of immortality. The true Bohemian celebrated a nomadic, noncommittal existance to begin with. He defies reason and conventionality, and therefore as long as his ideas/art/music persevere, he cannot die. The song comes full circle just as does life.

    That's always been my take on it, anyway.


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    Jan 1st, 2012 1:26pm report

    i think it means all the above. heck it changes to how you are feeling. i first heard it and thought it was random. Heard it again thought it was about a murder. then I sined badly and it had the meaning of giving up. Later i was suicidal I thought it was about that. The best thing is this song saved me so Its just amazing.


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    Dec 29th, 2011 12:24pm report

    People analyze this sort of thing too much. Bohemian Rhapsody was a song written for the sake of writing a song. Which worked fantastically. Freddie Mercury himself admitted that it was basically random, rhyming nonsense.

    However, I do think the song is similar to Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin in structure:

    1. Both songs start of slow and mellow. Bohemian Rhapsody takes more after a ballad and Stairway to a folk song.

    2. The start of the second verse of Bohemian Rhapsody becomes slightly more intense than the first. In Stairway to Heaven, it is after the second verse that the song starts building intensity and speed.

    3. The operatic section is the next part where the song intensifies. For Bohemian Rhapsody it is the harmonized vocals which add intensity whereas in Stairway to Heaven it is the introduction of the drums.

    4. Both songs become rockier in their final parts. The only difference is that in Bohemian Rhapsody the guitar solo occurs after the verse "so you think you can stone me" whereas in Stairway to Heaven the guitar solo comes before.

    5. Both songs return to the mellowness of their introductions.

    Just listen to both songs back to back and you'll see what I mean.


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    Dec 18th, 2011 12:58am report

    long and short of it, my belief is that Bohemian Rhapsody is about freddie coming out of the closet to his mother as bisexual and she disowns him as her son. allow me to set this up.

    "Is this the real life-
    Is this just fantasy-
    Caught in a landslide-
    No escape from reality-"

    opening stanza introduces freddie's own acceptance of his lifestyle and his carefree ability to tell those he loves that he is not ashamed of it. realizing the success he has had with queen, and all the gay innoculations he makes in public, he knows he must tell his mother (whom was devout into her Zoroastrianism) about his lifestyle and its potential for being called sin.

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

    1st verse has freddie imagining his mother literally disowning him as her son, and he is devistated. he knows his life has taken full stride, but may become empty without his broken-hearted mothers support. no matter what her response is, freddie will continue to live the life he has grown into. at this point, freddie becomes nervous about telling her.

    "Too late,my time has come,
    Sends shivers down my spine-
    Body’s aching all the time,
    Goodbye everybody-I’ve got to go-"

    2nd verse comes the actual moment of truth where his mother finds out through interviews and public appearances. freddie cant look back and must confirm his lifestyle to her. he knows that (almost like a form of suicide) he must confront the fear of what her reaction will be. he does not want to "die" in her mind, but he knows she will be disappointed in him.

    "I see a little silhouette of a man,
    Scaramouch,Scaramouch will you do the fandango-
    Thunderbolt and lightning-very very frightening me-"

    The middle 8th is a basic transcript of the moment at hand. she sees him off in the distance and already knows something isnt right. she feels God's presence warning her of potential danger and sin. he tells her of his lifestyle, and she immediately believes he is possessed by the devil and the sin at hand. After the initial shock wears off, she develops the fear that she has lost her son. she takes freddie and holds him in her arms, crying her eyes out. ("oh mama mia let me go.") he knows by God's Will he is sinning and accepts the potential of sin from God.

    "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-"

    the final verse confirms freddie's fears at the time to be true. his mother openly berates him later of his sin and starts every possible attack on him to see if he can change his ways. the love for her son has turned into rage, deceit, and betrayal at this point. no matter what, her attempts must fail when Freddie, in haste, must walk away with whatever pride he has left.

    "Nothing really matters,
    Anyone can see,
    Nothing really matters-,nothing really matters to me,
    Any way the wind blows...."

    The final exiting stanza confirms that Freddie is just as devistated of his mother's reactions, and knows without his mother's love, he is nothing. he could swoon over the world, but if he cant make his mother smile, everything will be for naught. he knows that the winds of time must guide him to wherever he needs to go next, regardless.

    The actual title in itself, wikipedia describes Bohemianism as "the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people, with few permanent ties, involving musical, artistic or literary pursuits. In this context, Bohemians can be wanderers, adventurers, or vagabonds."
    To Freddie, he knows that he must walk the Earth alone knowing he doesnt have his mother's support; he doesnt have a psychological place to call "home" (like his mother's heart) to live and be alive in.


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    Dec 15th, 2011 12:56pm report

    Ultimately, it is part tribute, part parody of Opera, infused with rock overtones. Murcury was always curious about other music forms, having grown up in India and Zanzibar, an Indo-Persian Parsi of the ancient Zoroastrian faith. Moving to London as a teen, European culture, both traditional and modern, enthralled the young man. Although his writing mostly focused on straight rock, Bohemian Rhapsody was his experimentation with blending two seemingly incompatable music genres, Classic Opera and Hard Rock. Mercury understood otherwise, that if he blended the two skillfully, the result would be blow-away awesome.

    The first third of the song is rather straightforward and obvious. It is the opera-like tale of a poor man having killed another and is about to face the punitive consequences. He laments his grief and fear to his mother. It is sung as a modern slow ballad.

    The middle section is where Mercury has a lot of fun creating a hallucinatory operatic mishmash. As a musical piece, it is one of the most brilliant of the 20th Century. He infuses operatic musical structure with lyrical themes and various operatic references. The "thunderbolt and lighting" aludes to Wagner, "Figaro" to Mozart, Scaramouche, the clown of Italian opera, the Fandango, classic Spanish dance, Bismillah and Beelzebub, God and the Devil, Good and Evil, classic themes of Opera. He ties it all to the story of the remorseful murderer, trying to flee, the authorities capturing him, the peasants trying to protect him, all rising to some kind of hallucinating, orgasmic dream.

    It is then that the song breaks back into the 20th Century with an intense rock riff of defiance. It is as though the young murderer had just dreamed his life and his calamity was merely an 18th Century Opera. Waking from the "dream", he has a renewed strength to be defiant.

    Alas, his "dream" was not real, his crime was the reality. His punishment awaits him. He is to be put to death. Resigned to his fate he dismisses, "Nothing really matters, anyone can see, Nothing really matters to me. Any way the wind blows..." The final crash of the cymbal is the moment of his execution. He is no longer.


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    Nov 16th, 2011 11:47am report

    he was singing to his lover who at the time was a woman, "mama". he was telling her he needed to let her go and face himself (he was gay). the end.

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