Forums > Queen - General Discussion > The meaning behind the lyrics of Bohemian Rhapsody.

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rhyeking user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 20 Jul 11, 20:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Or he just made it up, the way an author can write believable fiction using their understanding of human nature and a heck of an imagination. Employ some cryptic imagery, use a "first-person" narrative and clever arrangements and you get people trying to figure out a non-existent riddle for 36 years and counting. No offense, it's just my opinion.

Freddie said he didn't know what it was about and I believe him. I know many documentaries analyse it and discuss it and there are soundbites aplenty connecting his personal life to its lyrics, but I feel its much more evocative if it doesn't have an autobiographical answer. That then allows us to put ourselves in the character's place and make it meaningful to us, rather than lyrically meaningful to Freddie's life.

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Posted: 20 Jul 11, 21:06 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Good song, who gives a fuck what the lyrics mean.


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Posted: 20 Jul 11, 22:33 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

rhyeking wrote:

Freddie said he didn't know what it was about and I believe him. I know many documentaries analyse it and discuss it and there are soundbites aplenty connecting his personal life to its lyrics, but I feel its much more evocative if it doesn't have an autobiographical answer. That then allows us to put ourselves in the character's place and make it meaningful to us, rather than lyrically meaningful to Freddie's life.

This is true as well as people did not even know there was AIDS in 1975.

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Posted: 20 Jul 11, 22:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

We know now from the recent doc that the opening lines may have predated the mid 70's period of personal transition by a few years in the form of 'The Cowboy Song'. Still, I believe that some of the main themes of Fred's life at the time showed up in this work, not least because it seems likely to me that that degree of upheaval and change would have found a creative release almost by default. He certainly composed and performed autobiographically both before and after that, and over both greater and lesser things. At no point would we have ever expected him to say 'Oh yes, that was my coming out song darling.', so what he did or didn't say about it doesn't mean that much for any theory one way or the other, particularly since he made a point of saying he liked people to find their own meaning in songs generally and likely would have avoided a detailed explanation no matter what it was about.

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Posted: 21 Jul 11, 00:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Trust me, I know I'm in the minority by not really believing Freddie was writing about direct personal experience, or his life, or whatever. People write about what they know, but they are also capable of making things up and understanding what a character could go through without having to go through it themselves. I guess my biggest issue with the claims that it was about Freddie's own life is that I feel it underestimates Freddie's ability to create a character in a situation of emotional pain and Freddie's ability to invoke imagery for abstract dramatic effect. 

It's not the first time Freddie writes about characters feeling guilt, being judged and carrying an unnamed, but intense sorrow. Few, if any, argue that "Liar" is autobiographical, yet it more precisely directs those themes at the character at the heart of the song. 

Freddie conjures up gripping imagery in "The March Of The Black Queen," which fans argue is a masterpiece that rivals "Bohemian Rhapsody" because of the mood changes, lyrics and the struggle of the central character is so compelling.

"Rhapsody" combines the most successful elements used in those two works (and others), harnessing all the drama, intensity and grandeur in order to fire our imaginations and create an epic masterwork. It was the next step in the refinement of his writing in using those ideas and really the last time he'd get that close to magnificent desperation on such a scale until the Barcelona album (particularly "The Fallen Priest"). 

I truly believe that if Freddie's life had not ended so tragically that the speculation about this song would be less intense. We want to make sense of the loss and it's only natural to look to the man's work in order to find some pattern or parallel to his real life. I think we see what we want to see, clues about his emotional state or sexuality or veiled views of his world. 

Again, just my opinion.

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Posted: 21 Jul 11, 00:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

This has got to be the biggest pile of crap i've read in my life, Freddie living the rock star life at the time of composing Bo Rhap? What on 20 quid a week?
 Freddie wanted a bit of drama/bombast and whacked this one out with relish. Simple as.

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Posted: 21 Jul 11, 00:58 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

rhyeking wrote: Trust me, I know I'm in the minority by not really believing Freddie was writing about direct personal experience, or his life, or whatever. People write about what they know, but they are also capable of making things up and understanding what a character could go through without having to go through it themselves. I guess my biggest issue with the claims that it was about Freddie's own life is that I feel it underestimates Freddie's ability to create a character in a situation of emotional pain and Freddie's ability to invoke imagery for abstract dramatic effect. 

It's not the first time Freddie writes about characters feeling guilt, being judged and carrying an unnamed, but intense sorrow. Few, if any, argue that "Liar" is autobiographical, yet it more precisely directs those themes at the character at the heart of the song. 

Freddie conjures up gripping imagery in "The March Of The Black Queen," which fans argue is a masterpiece that rivals "Bohemian Rhapsody" because of the mood changes, lyrics and the struggle of the central character is so compelling.

"Rhapsody" combines the most successful elements used in those two works (and others), harnessing all the drama, intensity and grandeur in order to fire our imaginations and create an epic masterwork. It was the next step in the refinement of his writing in using those ideas and really the last time he'd get that close to magnificent desperation on such a scale until the Barcelona album (particularly "The Fallen Priest"). 

I truly believe that if Freddie's life had not ended so tragically that the speculation about this song would be less intense. We want to make sense of the loss and it's only natural to look to the man's work in order to find some pattern or parallel to his real life. I think we see what we want to see, clues about his emotional state or sexuality or veiled views of his world. 

Again, just my opinion.

He didn't write the lryics to The Fallen Priest......but i get what you're saying...guide Me home/how Can I Go On are pretty deep lryically.....i'm one of the people that think the ballad parts and the heavy bit having some meaing to his personal life.  freddie changing his name, and the guilt he might have felt towards his mother.  "Mama just kiiled a man"   also,  coming to terms with his sexuality.  I think the middle section has no meaning..........  i think roger said in an interview that freddie once told him what the song was about, but promised he would never tell....

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Posted: 21 Jul 11, 01:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

True, Tim Rice wrote the lyrics, though Freddie and Mike Moran were creating a Wagnerian (or Rachmaninovian, if you will :-) composition before his involvement. The instrumental on the box set doesn't lose much power without the vocals. The album as a whole is easily the spiritual successor to Freddie's work in the first half of the '70s.

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Posted: 21 Jul 11, 02:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It's just a narrative about a man who has killed someone. 
Why do people seem to think someone can not create something without it being related to their life.
The only section to me that is hard to interpret is the operatic part but I believe it is him either on trial for killing or himself trying to deal with the terrible crime he has just committed.
"I'm just a poor boy, from a poor family, he's just a poor boy...etc' has always conjured up images of the man in a court room with his defence council arguing against his incarceration.
'We will not let you go!' meaning he is going to prison.
Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me' meaning he feels he will also be going to hell for his crimes.

Either way..I feel Freddie was just making up a story!


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Posted: 21 Jul 11, 03:37 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

rhyeking wrote: True, Tim Rice wrote the lyrics, though Freddie and Mike Moran were creating a Wagnerian (or Rachmaninovian, if you will :-) composition before his involvement. The instrumental on the box set doesn't lose much power without the vocals. The album as a whole is easily the spiritual successor to Freddie's work in the first half of the '70s.

My favorite work of his since A Day At The Races......

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Posted: 21 Jul 11, 05:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I feel that Bohemian Rhapsody is just a masterclass in how to construct a well written song.It tells a great story.

However i feel that Freddie's greatest song may have come an album later in The Millionaire's Waltz.

Only my opinion.


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Posted: 21 Jul 11, 07:42 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Genius.

Can you explain why they headbang to the rock section in Waynes World?

How about why Brian wears clogs?  That's one that hasn't come up for a while.

What about why the water spins 'round the plughole as it goes down?  My little boy has been struggling with that one for ages.

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Posted: 21 Jul 11, 10:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think it means whatever you want it to mean. After all, that what most songs are like.


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Posted: 21 Jul 11, 13:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

hey chek this out!!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnTZmurpawQ

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Posted: 21 Jul 11, 18:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well, Roger has claimed that it is about something Freddie was dealing with at the time, and that he knows what it is about, but will never tell.
And I can remember speculating with friends about what the song was about long ago, when it was playing on the radio, when Freddie was very much alive and kicking!  None of us really had an answer, though there were plenty of flawed theories floating around, none of which involved him being gay. We were, afterall, twelve.


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Posted: 21 Jul 11, 20:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

... I agree it was something Freddie was dealing with at the time.

He was dealing with all these great tunes in his head that he wanted to get out and though...

Fk it... Ill put them all one song...

  End of story

......But for fans out there who like to break it down...   its each to there own, and I dont see why they should be shot down for wanting to come to a place like this and have a chat about it..


...
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Posted: 22 Jul 11, 02:58 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I reckon Freddie went to a futune teller who told him whats going to happen 
And with the lyrics Aids kill for one and he didnt wanna die from it!!! 
I know that may seem stupid and all but everyone can have their own say and thats mine


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Posted: 22 Jul 11, 17:28 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

i_wuv_my_freddie_fruit wrote: I reckon Freddie went to a futune teller who told him whats going to happen 
And with the lyrics Aids kill for one and he didnt wanna die from it!!! 
I know that may seem stupid and all but everyone can have their own say and thats mine

.................a futune teller????


...
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Posted: 27 Jul 11, 06:42 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Oops it was meant to be Fortune :/ 
Typo BIG TIME.....


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Posted: 19 Sep 11, 07:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I agree, there is probably an element of the personal in Bo Rhap...but more than anything else I  feel Bo Rhap was less about the lyrics and more about an experiment to see how he could manage to get three diverse musical styles to flow seamlessly together. The words came a close second as such, and were developed along the  way. Not to say that his personal life had NO bearing at all  in it,  but I guess it wasn't as much that as a terrific idea he decided to develop.