Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Bijou

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MmP user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 15 Sep 09, 22:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Such a beautiful song. To me one of lasts trully Queen gems.
I'd like to ask you guys if the lyrics are dedicated to someone in particular?
I know that Queen lyrics are not usually dedicated or based on something real in the life of the composer but coming from an album as biographical as Innuendo I can't help to wonder if the lyrics are dedicated to Mary Austin.

You, and me
We are destined...
You'll agree
To spend the rest of our lives with each other
The rest of our days
Like to lovers
Forever, yeah
Forever
My bijou.

I read a lot about this song. Some said that actually Freddie took care of the musical part, singing to Brian and he composed it in guitar. Another version said that Brian wrote the lyrics Other that the song it's 100% Freddie.

Any addiotinal info?



I have a man-crush on Brian's solo on Delilah
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Posted: 16 Sep 09, 03:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Enjoy Dr Bri play Bijou in Liverpool 2008-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zye_cnUTn0g


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Posted: 16 Sep 09, 11:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote


It´s basically a Brian piece, inspired by his mother and a bluebird (or something like that) that used to fly and stand near to her house in the country... in Allerton... one afternoon Brian went to visit her and she said: "look... there is Bijou..." and the bird standing in a tree... singing...

Seriusly!... Brian commented that in his soapbox a few years ago...




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Posted: 16 Sep 09, 12:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It's NOT basically a Brian's piece, but a piece by Brian AND FREDDIE, the latter being mostly responsible for the guitar lines, while the former had a lot to do with the vocal lines.



John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
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Posted: 16 Sep 09, 12:27 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Bijou was one of Freddies' Cats....

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Posted: 16 Sep 09, 13:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote


NO, a bird... named BIjou by Brian´s mother, Ruth.


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Posted: 16 Sep 09, 14:06 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Theoretically, a band member can have a cat named Bijou and at the same time another band member's mum can have a bird referred to as Bijou. The universe won't explode if that happens.

Still, there are several misleadings:

* Circa 10 years ago, a website on Queen had claimed one of Fred's cats was named Bijou (or maybe it was the namesake DB that said so). Still, it's never been officially confirmed AFAIK - for instance, it's not listed by Fred in 'Bad Guy' or Freestone's book.

* Brian commented about his mum's bird as a SIDENOTE, he NEVER said or implied that it'd been the inspiration for the song and he ALWAYS cleared up that it was written by him AND FREDDIE, the latter being mostly responsible for creating the guitar parts.

* Both Phoebe and Richards have said the title came from Freddie. No feline creatures were mentioned though.

The song was inspired by Where Were You, which was also composed by a guitarist + a pianist (Jeff Beck and Tony Hymas, respectively).





John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
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Posted: 16 Sep 09, 15:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



A quote from his Soapbox letters page, via Queenvault.

Brian May: "Bijou was written by Freddie and I together - it was really inspired (in us both!) by Jeff Beck .... I don't know if you realize already, but the song has an unusual format - we wanted to make it a song "inside out" (with its heart on its sleeve). The main parts of the song are played on guitar instead of being sung, and in the middle, where the guitar solo would normally be, appears the short vocal section. The vocal is a succinct and very precise little verse, a little gem, a "Bijou" - a jewel buried at the heart of the piece: hence the name of the song. Each bit of the melody was alive in our heads and "hummed" before it was played - Freddie coming up with the beginning line which started us off on the trail. Those days were very creative - good times.... !"

He doesn't mention cats or birds.



I think the lyrics are like most of their other songs, writing from a fictional point of view, as a character. Not every love song is autobiographical or about a specific person (or animal...).

"Delilah," on the other hand, is undoubtedly about his cat. 



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Posted: 16 Sep 09, 15:31 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



rhyeking wrote:







He doesn't mention cats or birds.






He does (a bird, that is): http://www.brianmay.com/brian/brianssb/brianssbfeb04.html, 4th February.

Nothing like getting to the primary source rather than a transcript.



John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
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Posted: 17 Sep 09, 01:42 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It's true what Sebastian said, even the transcript link you put up he never referenced directly that Bijou is related to that bird...however..it's kinda certain that if her mum had a bird named Bijou, and he was responsable for the lyrics that probably the song is referenced to his mum's bird. Also, to me the guitar notes are bird tweets, or at least they sound as them. Don't you think?

I always wanted/want to believe that Freddie kinda wrote the lyrics to Mary Austin...

Again such a beautiful song.



I have a man-crush on Brian's solo on Delilah
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Posted: 17 Sep 09, 01:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



MmP wrote:

It's true what Sebastian said, even the transcript link you put up he never referenced directly that Bijou is related to that bird...however..it's kinda certain that if her mum had a bird named Bijou, and he was responsable for the lyrics that probably the song is referenced to his mum's bird. Also, to me the guitar notes are bird tweets, or at least they sound as them. Don't you think?

I always wanted/want to believe that Freddie kinda wrote the lyrics to Mary Austin...

Again such a beautiful song.




why would the song be about mary?.....freddie and Jim were together at the time.  Not every love song freddie wrote was about mary.  The man was gay, you know that right?




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Posted: 17 Sep 09, 02:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I still prefer Bijou to the Jeff Beck piece, if only because I heard Bijou first.  They're both marvellous tracks .... I can't overstate how great they are.


"Your not funny, your not a good musician, theres a difference between being funny and being an idiot, you obviously being the latter" - Dave R Fuller
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Posted: 17 Sep 09, 07:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It's never been confirmed that Brian wrote the lyrics. He had a lot to do with the vocal melody, but not necessarily with the words. Maybe he wrote them, maybe Fred did.

As for hearing the guitar as 'bird tweets', I suppose it's a matter of retrospective bias... we could also say they sound like Montserrat's voice, for instance.



John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
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Posted: 17 Sep 09, 08:37 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

On a slightly unrelated note, harking back to the "See What A Fool I've Been" thread, the same link Seb posted leads us to Brian's formal recognition of the fan who discovered for him Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee's "That's How I Feel." It's the entry right above the "Bijou" entry Seb cited.

Back to "Bijou," I'm still not convinced Bijou = Mum's Bird in this case. Yes, they share a name, and perhaps naming the character was meant to invoke the same emotion in the audience as the bird did for her (her little jewel), but that's a far my interepretation can take me.

I'll admit, though, that I'm a little biased against assuming songs have only one literal meaning. I prefer subtext, layered interpretation and keeping some things mysterious or oblique in art. That isn't to say there aren't great songs which are literal ("I Want To Break Free," "Spread Your Wings," "I Want It All" etc), but when it's not explicit, I think it allows the song greater impact for the audience, who can apply lyrics to their own lives and imaginations. After all, the album is called Innuendo, which, if you consider an album a single piece of art (rather than just a collection of songs) allows for the implication that nothing is entirely literal on the album.

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Posted: 17 Sep 09, 17:03 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



mike hunt wrote:



 



MmP wrote:



It's true what Sebastian said, even the transcript link you put up he never referenced directly that Bijou is related to that bird...however..it's kinda certain that if her mum had a bird named Bijou, and he was responsable for the lyrics that probably the song is referenced to his mum's bird. Also, to me the guitar notes are bird tweets, or at least they sound as them. Don't you think?

I always wanted/want to believe that Freddie kinda wrote the lyrics to Mary Austin...

Again such a beautiful song.





why would the song be about mary?.....freddie and Jim were together at the time.  Not every love song freddie wrote was about mary.  The man was gay, you know that right?



Yes of course I knew that. It's just my interpretetation of the song, tha's just what it is.
Freddie and Mary shared a great relatonship even after they broke up. And even Freddie said he considered her a wife, excluding the sex part of course. So I thought it could be a nice gift for Freddie to write a real nice song. Which it became a stonger theory for me after knowing that Freddie took care of the musical part.








I have a man-crush on Brian's solo on Delilah
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Posted: 18 Sep 09, 00:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The song was about Brian's mom's bird named Bijou.

One day, Freddie came over with Delilah to have an afternoon milkshake with Mrs. May.  While stirring in the chocolate, somehow Delilah opened the bird cage and all hell broke loose.  We all know that Freddie isn't too athletic, but Brian's Mom is very hard to knock down.  Unfortunately, seconds before tackling Delilah, Bijou became a mid-day snack. 

Thus, the song is really about Delilah AND Bijou.  And that's why they're back-to-back on the album.
It's clear in the lyrics:

You and me (Delilah & Bijou) we are destined you'll agree
To spend the rest of our lives with each other. 



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Posted: 18 Sep 09, 10:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

the guitar sounds like it was written by brian and lryics by freddie.  it's funny how it's the oppossite.

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Posted: 18 Sep 09, 10:16 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



mike hunt wrote:

the guitar sounds like it was written by brian and lryics by freddie.  it's funny how it's the oppossite.

Lyrics could be by Freddie. Brian's confirmed as composing the melody, but not necessarily the words.

And it's not 'funny' - in fact, many great guitar lines have been composed by people who didn't master the instrument themselves. Same for lyrics, melodies, cello parts, flute parts, clarinet parts, etc.



John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.