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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    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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    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..


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    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.


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    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.



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    Jun 16th, 2012 6:34pm report

    Most people are taking the lyrics to the song literally.
    "just killed a man" - I shot somebody.
    "my time has come" - Im going to die.
    "goodbye everybody" - See you later.

    I don't think that works out so well when you look at the song as a whole, not just individual lines.

    I believe that to draw meaning from this masterwork, we must look beyond the literal, and try to understand what he means figuratively. This is of course remembering that even Mercury wasn't sure on the meaning.


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    Jun 16th, 2012 6:26pm report

    Dear kamododude,

    I do not intend to be impolite, but I feel this comment necessary

    As the meaning of this song was deemed ambiguous by its composer, please kindly stop berating people for suggesting the song is about AIDS.

    Yes, I agree it's the wrong time period.
    Yes, I agree it doesn't make sense.
    But it's one of thousands of possible interpretations. Please have some respect for people's ideas, even the ones that don't make sense.


    P.S. You may wish to consider improving your spelling/grammar. Doing so results in more people taking you seriously.


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    Jun 16th, 2012 6:18pm report

    In response to the top rated response it should be noted that the chromaticism in the base line of the song denotes an orpheus like descent into hell, and coupled with references to beelzebub most likely means that the operatic section is literally about hell. This can mean that the narrator is merely pleading in his mind with whatever demons, internal wrongdoings or judges to "let him go". I doubt the

    The line "Scaramouche! Scaramouche! Will you do the fandongo?" is difficult to explain within the rest of the song's meaning, (assuming your meaning to be correct) but a Scaramouche was a type of theatrical character in 16th century italy. He was the roguish clown the audience loved. (think somewhat like Puck from A Midsummer Night's Dream)

    He would often dance, hence the fandango. As to what that means I am not sure.

    Freddie Mercury himself said that he doesn't like analysing his own songs, and that he himself doesn't know all of the meaning of the song in it's entirety. Freddie explained it only as “a personal song about relationships” (which is also meaningful in itself), but when looking closer into its lyrics you can see that it is the most complex and multifaceted song he ever wrote, and is capable of thousands of possible different interpretations.

    There has been endless speculation about the meaning behind the evocative lyrics: some say the song is about a trial or about a suicide; there are also interpretations that “Bohemian Rhapsody” could be a song “in which a Faust-like character commits a sin, sells his soul and ultimately redeems himself”.

    Brian May, however, confirms suggestions that the song contained veiled references to Mercury’s personal inner life. “Freddie was a very complex person. He never explained the lyrics, but I think he put a lot of himself into that song.”

    He says of Freddie’s typically obscure writing style: “Freddie’s stuff was so heavily cloaked, lyrically. But you could find out, just from little insights that a lot of his private thoughts were in there, although a lot of the more meaningful stuff was not very accessible.”

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