Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > What is BohRhap about?

forum rss feed
Author

Isle0fRed user not visiting Queenzone.com

Bohemian: 143 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 13 Oct 10, 04:46 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

When i was in college, my Musical "Commercial Bitch" Theatre teacher said the song is about a person who kills another and has to deal with the consequenses.

How i see it. The best way to find the meaning of the song is to look at the date and time the song was written and by whom wrote it.

Doing a Film Making Course at Uni helps me explain the meaning of the song in more deatail.

Firstly the lyrics
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
Little high, little low
Any way the wind blows
Doesn't really matter to me
To me

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
Mama
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

Too late, my time has come
Sends shivers down my spine
Body's aching all the time
Goodbye, everybody
I've got to go
Got to leave you all behind and face the truth
Mama
I don't want to die
I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all

I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouche, Scaramouche
Will you do the Fandango?
Thunderbolt and lightning
Very, very frightening me
(Galileo) Galileo
(Galileo) Galileo
Galileo, figaro
Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy and nobody loves me
(He's just a poor boy from a poor family
Spare him his life from this monstrosity)
Easy come, easy go, will you let me go
Bismillah!
No, we will not let you go
(Let him go!)
Bismillah!
We will not let you go
(Let hime go!)
Bismillah!
We will not let you go
(Let me go!)
Will not let you go
(Let me go!)
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
Oh, mama mia, mama mia
Mama mia, let me go
Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me
For me
For me

So you think you can stone 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
Just got to get out
Just got to get right out of here

Nothing really matters
Anyone can see
Nothing really matters
Nothing really matters to me
Any way the wind blows...

Onto the meaning.
What i conclude is that, the song is about "coming out"
at this time Fred was exploring his sexuality and was going out with Mary Austin (LOML) then there was some manager problems holding Fred (and the band) back (deathO2L)

Mama Just killed a man; is a a metaphor himself. he just come out. during this period (70s) homosexuality was one of those things people looked down on you as people said "it was bad for business" or "a shame to our society". Coming out then would thoreticly ruin (Freds) career esspaily at a time they were very venrible (killer Queen ripple affect). 

BohRhap is about coming out. just look at the words and compare them 

Mama, life had just begun
But now I've gone and thrown it all away

"I'm now myself and i can be who ever i want to be", then you relise society

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

this is very self explainorty. "once your out, you can never go back in"

the whole third verse is facing society
the opera section is the strugles of keeping a massive secreat that makes you who you are
the rock section is "all bark and no bite" thinking you can challenge society
ending with the verse is metaphor of dying. the longer it is kept secret, the more it hurts

the song is not in order and is all told with an unreliable narrator and all parts of the song differ in theme

the first and last verse "is this the real life...anyway the wind blows" is about keeping a secret
second and third is a deam like state of a ripple effect of coming out
the oprea like i mentioned before is a internal sturugle
and the rock section is a polictical statement

THis is what i think BohRhaps about

What do you think.

and yes i'm aware of my spelling errors

Markman38 user not visiting Queenzone.com

Bohemian: 295 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 13 Oct 10, 16:17 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well what you decribe has been my idea about the song for years and years, we can only guess but it would make sense

Jazz 78 user not visiting Queenzone.com

Bohemian: 502 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 13 Oct 10, 17:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It's about Freddie coming to terms with his sexuality. It's becoming more common knowledge now. People can disect this song to death but even Peter Freestone has been quoted as saying as such.

rhyeking user not visiting Queenzone.com
rhyeking
Royalty: 1566 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 13 Oct 10, 19:33 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

If Freddie repeatedly said he didn't know what the song was about, I'm not inclined to put my own meaning to it and I feel it's WAY to simplistic to say it's about Freddie's sexuality. I think it has no deeper meaning than it's form being defined by, say, Wikipedia:

Rhapsody (music),
an enthusiastic instrumental composition of indefinite form
A work of epic poetry, or part of one, that is suitable for recitation at one time, such as a book of Homer's Odyssey.

Freddie sort combined those two ideas and came up with something which *sounds* awesome and deep and meaningful, but really isn't much more than the equivelant of musical LEGO pieces mashed together.

Certain words have a great sound, including the two words in the title, and using them fires the imagination, which is WAY more compelling than the song needing to be *about* something.

No, in my humble opinion, the song has no meaning and is evocative because of the wordplay, the language and different styles.

jamster1111 user not visiting Queenzone.com
jamster1111
Bohemian: 844 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 13 Oct 10, 20:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

How about who cares?


It's late, but it's time to set me free

It's late, yes I know but there's no way it has to be

Too late, so let the fire take our bodies this night

So late, so let the waters take our guilt in the t
GratefulFan user not visiting Queenzone.com
GratefulFan
Deity: 3776 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 14 Oct 10, 00:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

While I think it was very important to Freddie that his audience be able to find their own meanings in his songs, I'd bet everything I own on the fact that it was inspired by and closely tracked his coming out  -  to himself primarily, and to Mary  secondarily.  Both Brian and Roger have confirmed this in roundabout ways, multiple times.  Roger in particular has stated directly that he knows what the song is about and that he thinks it's 'pretty clear' or 'self explanatory' at least twice in filmed interviews. Both Brian and Roger have referenced 'things that Freddie was going through at the time' [paraphrased] and Brian said that Freddie 'put a lot of himself into the song'. I think there is virtually no doubt that it is heavily autobiographical.

*goodco* user not visiting Queenzone.com

Royalty: 1128 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 14 Oct 10, 09:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

To steal a line, it's about 5:55 to 5:59, depending on the CD or LP issued.


"Discretionary posting is the better part of valor." Falstaff
Graeme Arnott user not visiting Queenzone.com

Bohemian: 112 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 14 Oct 10, 12:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I tend to think that the operatic section is a reference to how Freddies religion views homosexuality.

Thistleboy1980 user not visiting Queenzone.com
You wanna ring the bell?
Thistleboy1980
Deity: 3053 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 14 Oct 10, 17:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

My god, this debate again.  I think it may be possible that Brian and Roger just gave in to what the media and everyone else who tried to find a meaning in the song wanted to hear.  Personally, I think it was a drug induced dream that Freddie remembered  vividly and put to paper.  When the song was re-released in 1991, I heard people say that it was about him having AIDS, with the lyrics "send shivers down my spine, body's aching all the time" as their justification.  Obviously, it could never have been, but it is an example which shows that people are over-willing to put their own meaning to the song.  It is, musical brilliance taken out, just a mish-mash of complete and utter nonsense he had a dream about.


It ain't about how hard you can hit, it's about how hard you can get hit: how much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!
matt z user not visiting Queenzone.com
this is not my display message
matt z
Deity: 2803 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 14 Oct 10, 20:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

To me it's simply about his growing up...leaving the nest...without acceptance from the family.

This is who i am, this is what i'm doing...

and yes, the man he killed... was his former self.

The "civil" life.... mundane... school, work, "career" wasn't for him... so he "threw that all away"

...

the last lyrics probably came about as a reflection of his elder self addressing HIMSELF...

probably cause by the time the rest of it came together, he had a mindset to make it HORRIBLY ...incomparably epic and dramatic in scope ...(but also in a mockish sort of way)...

Hence... the drama of "LET ME GO!"

shouts of the family, critics... diverging perspectives (represented by combating voices)...

parents saying "we've given you ALL THIS and you're going to "spit in our eyes??"

that's all what it meant to me. And i'm not projecting MYSELF into it... but it seems that this would be very likely the "meaning" behind the song. I'm also sure that Fred would have decided to keep some things cryptic... who knows what the original complete lines may have been.

I'm getting sick and tired of people listening to it and saying... "how sad, it was about him giving AIDS to his lover"...

god, i heard that at a party a month ago from this girl, who said her father told her that...

kinda makes me feel disgustipated...but then again... it's in the literal sense...ignorance.

i refuted it first logically by the conception date... (1974-75)... YEARS before the AIDS virus was .....(well it may have been created even around this time)...but WAY before it was publicly recognized...

and on the second refutation point...i just said... YOU'RE A MORON!

;-) juuuuuuuust kidding.

But that's been my take on the song for years.

-Matt


"Come tonight! Come to the Overbite! Come See Freddie rock Toniiiiight!"
LittleSilhouetto user not visiting Queenzone.com

Champion: 64 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 15 Oct 10, 05:13 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Just to practice my Spanish, I translated Bo Rap into Spanish. Yes, I know, I need to get out more!  As it can't be translated literally, I had to really think about what it was trying to MEAN. As a result, I discovered the beauty of the English words. It has a sort of natural poetry. And I became absolutely certain that  it was about Freddie realising he was gay and dealing with the emotional consequences. He couldn't tell anyone about his emotional turmoil, so he expressed it in the way he did things best - through music.
Incidentally, I have also studied a poem by the Spanish poet/playwrite Garcia Lorca who was also gay. He expressed his tribulations through poetry. And one of his poems about his sexuality was called "Suicide...." He too used the metaphor of death and also wrote of "shivering" and "aching" in his poems. That was back in the 1920/30s.

thomasquinn 32989 user not visiting Queenzone.com
thomasquinn 32989
Deity: 6256 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 15 Oct 10, 08:37 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Boh Rhap is about six minutes.


Not Plutus but Apollo rules Parnassus

GratefulFan user not visiting Queenzone.com
GratefulFan
Deity: 3776 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 15 Oct 10, 10:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thistleboy 1980 wrote:My god, this debate again.  I think it may be possible that Brian and Roger just gave in to what the media and everyone else who tried to find a meaning in the song wanted to hear.  Personally, I think it was a drug induced dream that Freddie remembered  vividly and put to paper.  When the song was re-released in 1991, I heard people say that it was about him having AIDS, with the lyrics "send shivers down my spine, body's aching all the time" as their justification.  Obviously, it could never have been, but it is an example which shows that people are over-willing to put their own meaning to the song.  It is, musical brilliance taken out, just a mish-mash of complete and utter nonsense he had a dream about.
===========================

Yeah!  If it was a dream about profound life changes and the emotional impact of a accepting that you're a gay man.  ;) 

What is your evidence that "Brian and Roger just gave in to what the media and everyone else who tried to find a meaning in the song wanted to hear".  Have they done this sort of thing before? Where did that come from?

kosimodo user not visiting Queenzone.com

Bohemian: 554 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 15 Oct 10, 12:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It is a good question tho....

Thistleboy1980 user not visiting Queenzone.com
You wanna ring the bell?
Thistleboy1980
Deity: 3053 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 15 Oct 10, 16:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

GF, just my theory - I'm not saying I'm correct or that it's based on hard evidence, it's just my theory.  It's all open to interpretation, but if I was asked the same question day-in-day-out for about six hundred years, I'd eventually just say "yeah, you're right" just for a quiet life.  People will take what they want from a song - It may be about his sexuality, it may be an elaborate piece of fiction or it may be a vivid recollection of a dream.  Either could be correct, but we'll never know for certain.  personally I think it's been over-analysed.


It ain't about how hard you can hit, it's about how hard you can get hit: how much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!
Dan C. user not visiting Queenzone.com
Dan C.
Royalty: 1544 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 15 Oct 10, 22:31 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

ThomasQuinn wrote: Boh Rhap is about six minutes.

============

ZING!


"The tri-tone is the Devil's interval, and he demands resolution." - Richard Lloyd
MercurialFreddie user not visiting Queenzone.com
old fashioned dandy
MercurialFreddie
Bohemian: 823 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 17 Oct 10, 09:48 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well what I know from the interviews is that Roger claims that he knows what the Bohemian... is about and regarding Freddie, he said that he didn't like to be asked about the meaning. I will post the video sources later.

GratefulFan user not visiting Queenzone.com
GratefulFan
Deity: 3776 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 20 Oct 10, 12:13 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thistleboy 1980 wrote: GF, just my theory - I'm not saying I'm correct or that it's based on hard evidence, it's just my theory.  It's all open to interpretation, but if I was asked the same question day-in-day-out for about six hundred years, I'd eventually just say "yeah, you're right" just for a quiet life.  People will take what they want from a song - It may be about his sexuality, it may be an elaborate piece of fiction or it may be a vivid recollection of a dream.  Either could be correct, but we'll never know for certain.  personally I think it's been over-analysed.
================================

I don't think they are in fact asked the question day in an day out, and the statements they have both made on the song are not of the 'yeah you're right' variety anyway.  They're actually pretty deliberate, not always in response to any particular question and sometimes a little coy. It's clear that they believe they know what was on Fred's mind, and though they don't want to directly break any trust around the song, they're also comfortable facilitating the fairly obvious conclusion for people.  This is particularly true for Roger. 

Nobody more than Fred would want people to take away whatever they wanted from the song. Like many great songs it seems structured to do just that.  But like Roger I think it's self evident that among the stories the song could tell was Freddie's own, perhaps told for himself or told for posterity for another time.

Holly2003 user not visiting Queenzone.com
Hot Buttered Soul
Holly2003
Deity: 4706 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 20 Oct 10, 14:08 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I always think Roger is being a bit mischievous when he talks about the meaning of Bo Rap, as if there is no real meaning to it, and he's having a bit of a laugh at our expense. When it was named Song of the Century, there was a docunntary about it wherein a group of English Literature academics pondered the meaning of the song. They said, basically, the lyrics had no consistant meaning. I tend to agree, although the first sections can be read as a commentary on 'coming out' and discovering his sexuality. The best chance of making sense of it is to find some interviews from 1975-76, when the band might have been a littke less guarded about what it means.


"With a population of 1.75 million, Northern Ireland should really be a footballing minnow. Instead, they could be better described as the piranhas of the international game" (FIFA.com)
vadenuez user not visiting Queenzone.com

Bohemian: 263 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 20 Oct 10, 14:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

If you want to know about the meaning of lyrics, just watch the Making of One Vision video and you´ll find out that on many ocassions it's just the band sitting on a desk throwing out random ideas and filling gaps with poetic licenses.

Freddie: I'm stuck. Got the line 'send shivers down my spine' and what else?
Brian: How about 'feeling crazy all the time'?
Roger: or 'holding titties with my hands'?
John: or 'body's aching all the time'?
Freddie: Bingo!

And that's that. No more mysteries. It's not about the meaning that the author wanted to give to the song but the meaning the listeners actually hear. That's why sometimes the writer himself ain't sure about what he wanted to say. But fans are always hunting hidden messages here and there. It keeps the magic up. The day Freddie (or anybody else) gives out the definitive meaning on BoRhap, that'll be the day it'll stop appealing new listeners. Nobody pays the magician to see a trick they already know.