Queen: Bohemian Rhapsody Meaning
Song Released: 1975
Covered By: Panic! At The Disco (2016), Pentatonix (2017)
Bohemian Rhapsody Lyrics
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...
Let's take Freddie at his word about there being no meaning to the lyrics. It doesn't mean there is no thought. W.S.'s purpose in Hamlet's soliloquies was not to present "This means That" literary equations about suicide, but like impressionist art, to offer thoughtful considerations serving to set sail to a listeners own thoughts.
The author contracted AIDS years later and so is just an unfortunate abstraction.
I'd like to block the situation with a few of my own ideas. Freddie was born into a family of middle-east (possibly Iranian) origins where his homosexuality was an almost lethal force in their relationship. This is not so much about homicide but probably more about how compelling a suicide option might be to a gay son born into such a family situation - so much so that family expectations are severe enough to make suicide and homicide almost synonymous.
The confusion comes as Freddie sings both his own and his mother's lines. Freddie absolves his mother's guilt as he easily offers himself to the ("easy come easy go")winds of fate.
This is where we are invited to draw a parallel between suppression and denial of sexuality as a life force and the Scaramouche character in teh "We Will Rock You" story about the suppression of art - the idea being that both are equally dangerous to the soul to the point of being lethal.
The Arabic term from the Koran "Bismillah" (in the name of God)may have been often used by his mother like a western mother exclaiming " Oh, my God" as the family confronted the idea of a son's scandal.
When I overlay these ideas on the lyrics - the whole thing begins to make sense at least to me. So, that's my two cents.
anonymous Aug 29th, 2011 8:39pm report
I think this is a song about a guy expressing himself and his musical genius in a fantastic work of musical art that will be remembered through the generations......
musically_inclined Aug 20th, 2011 8:58pm report
oh geez...some people need to do some f*ing research before posting idiotic posts...
1) Freddie was BISEXUAL.
2) AIDS was not discovered until 1980. He was diagnosed until 1987. This song was written in 1975.
3) He was Zoroastrian! NOT MUSLIM!
I am with the majority on this- the song is about someone who committed murder ("Mama, just killed a man") and is possibly contemplating suicide because of it ("Sometimes I wish I'd never been born at all" "If I'm not back at this time tomorrow"). That's the first part.
The rock opera part is him and his friends and family arguing about his death. He's starting to have flashbacks about it ("I see a little silhouetto of a man"). His friends then start, in a way, taunting him. Scaramouche is coward. Since most people think suicide is cowardly, they are calling him a coward and asking him to dance (fandango is a type of dance). As a result, he's feeling very depressed ("I'm just a poor boy/Nobody loves me") and he and his friends start arguing and eventually they win, despite his closing argument about being on his way to hell ("Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me!") He then is stung by their hypocrisy and is unhappy. At the end of the song, he is resigned to the fact that he has to live as punishment and the song ends on a melancholy note.
anonymous Aug 7th, 2011 8:07pm report
A quick note on the line "Scaramouch, Scaramouch will he do the fandango?" refers to when someone is hanged and they kick and jerk at the end of the rope, they are said to be "doing the Fandango". A very crude reference to a dance move.
Also, for what it's worth - this song is the result of someone of Queen's incredible talent doing their version of what a classical music/opera would sound like if done by true modern rock musician's. It's as if to say "We can produce an operatic masterpiece to compete with anything offered up by the masters of the classical era". I don't care if Freddie said it was nonsensical. I resectfuly disagree - this song really was a rock masterpiece that told a great story with incredible talent and musicianship.
anonymous Aug 7th, 2011 8:29pm report
I think this song was written as a reflection of Freddie's feelings when he found out he was HIV positive and was caught in the landslide, couldn't escape death, sorry mom, sorry other dude....
anonymous Aug 4th, 2011 8:58pm report
I Believe that it deals with the Singer's feelings of being gay.
His mother is either his real mother, or actually the woman he has been loving for all this time, and is wishing that she would carry on without him.
He comes to deal with his own judgement inside his head, trying to deal with the ideas of his society condemning his sexuality and how the devil will look for people like him.
His accusations soon point towards the 'angels', or friends who don't want to be seen with him because of his sexuality. They promised to love him, and yet they leave him to deal with these feelings.
he then comes to accept it, realizing that it never really mattered in the end of it.
anonymous Jul 23rd, 2011 7:29am report
I agree with the top rated interpretation but I think it's more than what he says on the song. I think it's about him saying goodbye to his mom and fans and his suffer of aids!!!! has anyone ever stop to compare aids/hiv (and dieing from this bad disease) to what is said on this song? having hiv/aids esp. In those times was a death sentence kind of like being on death row. "send shivers down my spine body aching all the time" my unlce died of aids/hiv was always cold cause you lose so much weight hand yeah hid body always ached. When he said "just killed a man" I think he is talking about himself when he realizes or found out he has hiv and he knows he is gonna die from hiv/aids. When he says mom didn't mean to make you cry if i'am not back this time before tomorrow, carry on carry on. Cause when you have this disease you don't know when you will die, and telling him mom to "carry on" keep living..."sometime wish I wasn't born at all" he regrets getting hiv/aids and it's so much that if he would have rather not be born. I think the part towards the end when the song gets hyped up he is trying to waken himself up and shake off the disease and the thoughts of dieing from hiv/aids trying to fight back and motivate himself....but towards the end..again reality sets in..."nothing really matters, anyone can see" reality has set in and in the end "nothing really matters to me" your dieing of hiv/aids what does matter to anyone dieing from this awfull disease nothing at all..."anywhere the winds blow" to me it's like after he dies his legacy his work he himself will be everywhere like the wind cause the wind blows everywhere..! again I agree with the top rated interpretation but I think it's more than what he says on the song. I think it's about him saying goodbye to his mom and fans and his suffer of aids!!!!
anonymous Jul 4th, 2011 7:20am report
'Fandango' refers to the 'hemp fandango' - the kicking and jerking done by an individual who is hanged
anonymous Jun 29th, 2011 6:38pm report
For me it is confession of a man committing suicide in liminality between life and death.
anonymous Jun 22nd, 2011 6:04pm report
I agree with some of the observations but unfortunately had no other way to add my thoughts except to write the whole thing
IN HIS CELL
Is this the real life-
Is this just fantasy-
Caught in a landslide-
No escape from reality-
(To here he is just stating his disbelief of his situation that he cannot escape)
Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see-
(Looking for intervention from god)
I’m just a poor boy, I need no sympathy-
(I did it so I don’t expect sympathy)
Because I’m easy come, easy go,
I came into the world without note and will leave the same way)
A little high, little low, (I have good and bad moments)
Anyway the wind blows, doesn’t really matter to me,
(Its not important whats happening as I cant affect it)
Mama, just killed a man,
Put a gun against his head,
Pulled my trigger, now he’s dead,
Mama, life had just begun,
But now I’ve gone and thrown it all away-
(A young man must be over 18 who will never live up to his and his mothers expectations)
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-
(If there is no stay of executions I wont return from the executioners room, try to forget me and the disgrace I have caused and continue without me)
EN ROUTE TO THE EXECUTION CHAMBER
Too late, my time has come,
Sends shivers down my spine-
Body’s aching all the time,
(suffering with the effects of panic and nervous his muscles are contorted all the time making them ache)
Goodbye everybody-I’ve got to go-
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth-
Mama oooo- (any way the wind blows)
I don’t want to die,
I sometimes wish I’d never been born at all-
carry on, carry on, as if nothing really matters.
(Saying his last goodbyes and wishing that he had not been born, done a murder and put the family and himself in such shame, repentant as he actually does not want to die)
IN THE ELECTRIC CHAIR, A BATTLE IN HIS HEAD BETWEEN THE EVIL PART CAPABLE OF MURDER AND HIS CONSCIENCE
I see a little silhouette of a man, (Good Side saying how pathetic am I)
Scaramouch, Scaramouch will you do the fandango-
Thunderbolt and lightning-very very frightening me- (Evil Side wanting to see this arrogant man dancing as the electric passes through him like being hit by electrical storm)
Galileo figaro-magnifico- (Evil Side trying to justify itself in a comparison with Galileo who was misunderstood and considered evil for his experiments)
I’m just a poor boy and nobody loves me- (Good Side)
He’s just a poor boy from a poor family-
Spare him his life from this monstrosity- (Evil Side)
Easy come easy go-,will you let me go-
Bismillah!We will not let you go-let him go-
Bismillah!We will not let you go-let him go
Bismillah!We will not let you go-let me go (In the name of god ‘arabic’ we will fight it)
Will not let you go-let me go
Will not let you go let me go
Oh Mama mia, mama mia, mama mia let me go-
Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me, for me- ( I have to go Satan has assigned me my own devil)
ANGER AT THE REASON JUST BEFORE DYING
So you think you can stop 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- ( a new idea here as to why he is so angry, the man he murdered was a lover of his girlfriend and her action caused him to snap and kill her new man)
Just gotta get out-just gotta get right outta here-
QUIET REFLECTION AS HIS BODY SUCCUMBS TO DEATH LIKE THE EFFECTS OF DRUGS MAKING YOU SLEEP IN AN OPERATING THEATRE
Nothing really matters,
Anyone can see,
Nothing really matters-,nothing really matters to me,
Any way the wind blows....
anonymous Jun 17th, 2011 6:34am report
This song is very clever and very literary. It is an allegory. If you simply read the lyrics, it is about a man who is being put to death for murder. However, if you consider that Freddie Mercury was homosexual and died of AIDS, you can read another meaning into the lyrics.
In my interpretation, the song is about killing a man with AIDS and then dying of AIDS himself. The words "...put a gun to his head, pulled my trigger, now he's dead..." can be interpreted in two ways. Literally, the singer shot a man in the head. Or, allegorically, the man gave his gay lover AIDS and is now dying from the disease.
As I said, it's a very clever and literary song.
anonymous Jun 9th, 2011 6:18pm report
I think you are probably correct, one I think of as the most sensual interpretations I heard. I think the "Scaramouge" part is them asking the guilty man if he will fess up or if he is willing to apologize, based off of the fact posted by someone else on this page about the name Scaramouge.
anonymous Jun 5th, 2011 6:45am report
Ok. Confusing song but, if you listen, I think you will find that he's a transvestite. He kills himself to become a her !!
The murder is killing the boy in him to become the person he wants to be ... There was a death, of a boy and the birth of a girl ......!
anonymous May 31st, 2011 5:32am report
As far as I'm concerned, it's about murder by shooting your diseased man-love-bullets into his head.
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