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The Show Must Go On by Queen
Album: InnuendoReleased: 1991Charted:
Guitarist Brian May wrote this while lead singer Freddie Mercury was dying of AIDS. It was Mercury's last official album with Queen, and when it was released, very few people knew he had the disease.
The lyrics are about the need to press on and make the most out of life while you can still enjoy it. It is inevitably a comment on Mercury's worsening condition, and his attitude towards life - May noted his incredible courage in the Days of our Lives documentary. "He never moaned, he never said 'my life is s--t, this is terrible, I hate it,'" said May. "He had an incredible strength and peace."
The song's placing as the final track on Innuendo is notable, as it's likely that the band thought that this might be the last album Mercury would be healthy enough to perform on before his death. In the sessions, he made enough recordings to provide the band with material to release the posthumous 1995 album Made In Heaven.
This was used in the movie Moulin Rouge
. It is performed in an operatic style by Jim Broadbent and Nicole Kidman in a scene that sets up the climax of the movie.
In a 2005 poll by digital TV channel Music Choice where 45,000 adults across Europe were asked which song they would like played at their funeral, this was the favorite.
The video is mainly just clips of old Queen videos and a few live performances, but it is so cleverly edited and spliced together that it works as a video of it's own.
This song was performed in dramatic style in 1997 with Elton John on guest vocals with an Italian ballet trope. It would be John Deacon's last performance with the band, and last public appearance - he retired from music after the performance.