Friday, December 7, 2012

Dissecting Bohemian Rhapsody #by Márcia Schwarz Perel

 I am one of those people that analyze the lyrics to songs. I wonder what the writer wanted to express, and IF he wanted to tell something. Albums and CDs usually came with a lyric insert and it allowed you to explored the between the lines in your imagination.  In a world of ITunes and Google, it is much easier to find out any information about an artist or a song. Of course that the VH1 Behind the Music and Storyteller shows helped too. Don McLean was once asked what did he mean by writing American Pie and he replied: It means that I do not have to work ever again.

I always wondered what Freddie Mercury meant when he wrote Bohemian Rhapsody. It was called by Tommy Vance (one of the biggest names in rock broadcasting): “The rock equivalent of the assassination of JFK.”  I came across articles speculating the song, but nothing definite. After reading Freddie’s bio by Lesley-Ann Jones, I found out, what that operatic rock and roll Wayne’s World song was all about and it is awesome ….  To Queen Geeks like me and also mere mortals.

Mama, just killed a man. Put a gun against his head. Pulled my trigger, now he’s dead.   Freddie was admitting his bisexuality to himself and to the world by default. He killed the straight person he was originally.

Mama, life has just begun, but now I’ve gone and thrown it all away … Freddie trying to live his new life.

I see a little silhouette of a man …   That’s Freddie still being haunted by what he has done and what he is. That one day he has to come open and explode.

Thunderbolt and lightning, very very frightening  Freddie frightened by the consequences of coming out as a bisexual man.

Galileo, Figaro, Scaramouch – Classical references that Freddie loved, represented by the members of the band. They were surrounding him and protecting him from the outside world. Scaramouch actually means a character that seems to be a coward.

Bismillah! No! We will not let you go! Let him go!   Bismillah is actually the opening word of the Koran and it means In the Name of Allah.

Belzebub has a devil put aside for me.  Belzebub is actually one of many names given to the devil.
So is Freddie tormented by the devil inside him? Did he feel the pressure of the society, for not being “normal”? Will fame still continue after his sexuality is exposed to the world?

All I know is that Bohemian Rhapsody contains some of the truth, but who am I to know for sure? It is a magnificent piece of work in music. “Magnificent assembled, it resulted in a three- piece suite of different time signatures and moods that approximated the great classics. In a pop sense, it worked in a way that no one had experience ever before.” *

Maybe, as Freddie once said about it, when asked for the millionth time about the true meaning of his songs:

 “Fuck them, darling. I will say no more than what any decent poet would tell you if you dared asked him to analyze his work: if you see it, dear, then it’s there.”


             Bohemian Rhapsody YouTube Video + Lyrics

*= Frank Allen, musician
Source: Lesley-Ann Jones Freddie Mercury Biography.
by Márcia Schwarz Perel

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