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This was the last song Freddie Mercury recorded. May explained in the Days of our Lives documentary that "Freddie would say 'give me words, I will sing' so there I was writing on scraps of paper these lines of 'Mother Love.' I would give him a line, he would sing it, then sing it again, then sing it again - so we only had three takes of everything. After he'd finished the second verse, he said 'Oh I don't feel too well, I'm going to go home and we'll finish it tomorrow'... and he never did. That was the last time I saw Freddie in the studio."
The final verse was written and sung by Brian May a couple of years after Mercury died in November 1991. (thanks, Kyle - Dallas, TX)
Roger Taylor is a particular admirer of this song. He notes in the Days of our Lives documentary: "I'm hearing the voice (Freddie's voice) getting... weaker. But I mean he still hits all the notes. There's an absolutely spine-chilling note in the middle of "Mother Love" ("out in the city, in the cold world outside, I don't want pity, just a safe place to hide") which is just a great bit of singing."
The lyrics were co-written by Freddie Mercury and Brian May. It is one of the few times in song that Mercury seems to admit his inner pains and struggles of dealing with AIDS ("I'm a man of the world and they say I am strong, but my heart is heavy and my hope is gone") - the other key one being "The Show Must Go On
The random bursts of sound throughout the song and the strange end sounds are small segments of every Queen track ever recorded sped very fast through a tape machine and mashed together. They combine at the end with samples of Mercury's famous 'deh-doh!' vocal interludes with the crowd from Live at Wembley 1986, the synth intro to "One Vision," and a sample from his very first single, "Goin' Back" in 1972, which he performed vocals on under the pseudonym of Larry Lurex. In the context of the song it is obviously meant to show the cyclical nature of life and death, and a man looking back across the entire spectrum of his life and career.
dUg Pinnick of King's X
dUg dIgs into his King's X metal classics and his many side projects, including the one with Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam.