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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    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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    Jun 13th, 2012 6:11am report

    Freddy Mercury has left his female partner for his first homosexual affair at the time he was writing the song. The man killed in the song is a metaphor, it is the death of the straight man he was. He has to "face the truth" and cries for "spare him his life for this monstrosity", that is his sexual choice that is seen as deviant for others. "mama mia, let me go" : might refer to his woman, not his mother. Please let me go, carry on if I'm not back this time tomorrow. It's a farewell song.


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    Jun 12th, 2012 6:14am report

    (English isn't my mother tongue)
    In my opinion, it's about a man writing a letter to explain his suicide:

    "Mama, I just killed a man,
    Put a gun against his head"

    Notice the way he kills the man, 'against his head', common way to commit suicide

    "Pulled my trigger, now he’s dead"

    Notice the possessive adjective 'my trigger', he's hidding the true meaning out of modesty, but he's subtly giving hints

    "Mama, life had just begun,
    But now I’ve gone and thrown it all away"
    Mama ooo,
    Didn’t mean to make you cry-
    If I’m not back again this time tomorrow-
    Carry on,carry on,as if nothing really matters"

    By the time she read this, he'll be dead

    "Too late,my time has come,
    Sends shivers down my spine-
    Body’s aching all the time,
    Goodbye everybody-I’ve got to go-
    Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth-
    Mama oooo- (any way the wind blows)"

    That's the end of the letter. No idea if he commits suicide or not, what comes after is ambiguous.


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    May 21st, 2012 5:12pm report

    this bohemian rhapsody is all about faruk turning into freddie, dont forget where freddie came from,turkisch ,means moslim, so mamma i killed a men,means that he´s not man anymore cause he is homosexual and that is forbidden by his mothers religion and in gods eyes,he is what he is and he is fighting whit his consience,he just wanted to be exepted for what he is and tha family around him want except it and let him go scaramouche is freddie whit his moustachedancing naked the portugese fandango


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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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