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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    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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    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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