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Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen

Album: A Night At The OperaReleased: 1975Charted:
9
1
  • Freddie Mercury wrote the lyrics, and there has been a lot of speculation as to their meaning. Many of the words appear in the Qu'ran. "Bismillah" is one of these and it literally means "In the name of Allah." The word "Scaramouch" means "A stock character that appears as a boastful coward." "Beelzebub" is one of the many names given to The Devil. Mercury's parents were deeply involved in Zoroastrianism, and these Arabic words do have a meaning in that religion. His family grew up in Zanzibar, but was forced out by government upheaval in 1964 and they moved to England. Some of the lyrics could be about leaving his homeland behind. Guitarist Brian May seemed to suggest this when he said in an interview about the song: "Freddie was a very complex person: flippant and funny on the surface, but he concealed insecurities and problems in squaring up his life with his childhood. He never explained the lyrics, but I think he put a lot of himself into that song." Another explanation is not to do with Mercury's childhood, but his sexuality - it was around this time that he was starting to come to terms with his bisexuality, and his relationship with Mary Austin was falling apart. Whatever the meaning is, we may never know - Mercury himself remained tight-lipped, and the band agreed not to reveal anything about the meaning. Mercury himself stated, "It's one of those songs which has such a fantasy feel about it. I think people should just listen to it, think about it, and then make up their own minds as to what it says to them." He also claimed that the lyrics were nothing more than "Random rhyming nonsense" when asked about it by his friend Kenny Everett, who was a London DJ. The band were always keen to let listeners interpret their music in a personal way to them, rather than impose their own meaning on songs, and May stated that the band agreed to keep the personal meaning behind the song private out of respect for Mercury.
  • Mercury may have written "Galileo" into the lyrics for the benefit of Brian May, who is an astronomy buff. Galileo is a famous astronomer known for being the first to use a refracting telescope.
  • The backing track came together quickly, but Queen spent days overdubbing the vocals in the studio using a 24-track tape machine. The analog recording technology was taxed by the song's multitracked scaramouches and fandangos: by the time they were done, about 180 tracks were layered together and "bounced" down into sub-mixes. Brian May recalled in various interviews being able to see through the tape as it was worn so thin with overdubs. Producer Roy Thomas Baker also recalls Mercury coming into the studio proclaiming, "oh, I've got a few more 'Galileos' dear!" as overdub after overdub piled up.
  • Queen made a video for the song to air on Top Of The Pops, a popular British music show, because the song was too complex to perform live - or more accurately, be mimed live on TOTP. Also, the band would be busy on tour during the single's release and thus unable to appear. The video turned out to be a masterstroke, providing far more promotional punch than a one-off live appearance. Top Of The Pops ran it for months, helping keep the song atop the charts. This started a trend in the UK of making videos for songs to air in place of live performances. When the American network MTV launched in 1981, most of their videos came from British artists for this reason. In the December 12, 2004 issue of the Observer newspaper, Roger Taylor explained: "We did everything we possibly could to avoid appearing in Top Of The Pops. It was one, the most boring day known to man, and two, it's all about not actually playing - pretending to sing, pretending to play. We came up with the video concept to avoid playing on Top Of The Pops." The group had previously appeared on the show twice, to promote the "Seven Seas of Rhye" and "Killer Queen" singles.
  • The video was very innovative. It was the first where the visual images took precedence over the song. It was based on their Queen II album cover, with the four band members looking up into the shadows. Directed by Bruce Gowers, it was shot in 3 hours for £3,500 at the band's rehearsal space.

    Gowers got the gig because he was one of the few people who had experience working on music videos - he ran a camera on a few Beatles promotional clips, including the one for "Paperback Writer." The two big effects used in the video were the multiple images that appear in the "thunderbolts and lightning section," which were created by putting a prism in front of the camera lens, and the feedback effect where the image of the singer travels to infinity, which was done by pointing a camera at a monitor (like audio feedback, this is something you usually tried to avoid, but when harnessed for artistic purposes, was innovative). At the time, the video looked high-tech and futuristic. It was also the first music "video" in the sense that it was shot on video instead of film.
  • This was Queen's first Top 10 hit in the US. In the UK, where Queen was already established, it was #1 for 9 weeks, a record at the time.
  • This got a whole new audience when it was used in the 1992 movie Wayne's World, starring Mike Myers and Dana Carvey. In the film, Wayne and his friends lip-synch to it in his car (the Mirth Mobile), spasmodically head-bobbing at the guitar solo. As a result of the movie, it was re-released as a single in the US and charted at #2. "Jump" by Kris Kross kept it out of #1.
  • At 5:55, this was a very long song for radio consumption. Queen's manager at the time, John Reid, played it to another artist he managed, Elton John, who promptly declared: "are you mad? You'll never get that on the radio!" According to Brian May, record company management kept pleading with the group to cut the single down, but Freddie Mercury refused. It got a big bump when Mercury's friend Kenny Everett played it on his Capital Radio broadcast before the song was released (courtesy of a copy Mercury gave him). This helped the single jump to #1 in the UK shortly after it was released. There was a single version released only in France on a 7", cut down to 3:18, edited by John Deacon, but beyond the initial pressing of this French single, the only version recognized is the album version, at 5:55. This little-heard French single started right at the piano intro, and edited out the operetta part. Brian May admitted that there may have been additional parts for the song on Freddie's notes, but they were apparently never recorded. (thanks, Ryan - Eaton, IN)
  • Brian May recalled recording "Bohemian Rhapsody" in Q Magazine March 2008: "That was a great moment, but the biggest thrill for us was actually creating the music in the first place. I remember Freddie coming in with loads of bits of paper from his dad's work, like Post-it notes, and pounding on the piano. He played the piano like most people play the drums. And this song he had was full of gaps where he explained that something operatic would happen here and so on. He'd worked out the harmonies in his head."
  • In 1991, this was re-released in the UK shortly after Freddie Mercury's death. It again went to #1, with proceeds going to the Terrence Higgins Trust, which Mercury supported.
  • Elton John performed this with Axl Rose at the 1992 "Concert For Life," held in London at Wembley Stadium. It was a tribute to Freddie Mercury, who died of AIDS the year before. In 2001, Elton John got together with Eminem, who like Axl Rose, was often accused of being intolerant and homophobic. They performed Eminem's "Stan" at the Grammys.
  • When this was re-released in the US, proceeds from the single went to the Magic Johnson AIDS Foundation. Johnson and Freddie Mercury were two of the first celebrities to get AIDS. Rock Hudson, who succumed to the disease on October 2, 1985, was another.
  • Thanks to this track, A Night At The Opera was the most expensive album ever made at the time. They used 6 different studios to record it. Queen did not use any synthesizers on the album, which is something they were very proud of.
  • In an interview with Brian May and Roger Taylor on the Queen Videos Greatest Hits DVD, Brian said: "What is Bohemian Rhapsody about, well I don't think we'll ever know and if I knew I probably wouldn't want to tell you anyway, because I certainly don't tell people what my songs are about. I find that it destroys them in a way because the great thing about about a great song is that you relate it to your own personal experiences in your own life. I think that Freddie was certainly battling with problems in his personal life, which he might have decided to put into the song himself. He was certainly looking at re-creating himself. But I don't think at that point in time it was the best thing to do so he actually decided to do it later. I think it's best to leave it with a question mark in the air." (thanks, Callum - Bendigo, Australia)
  • A Night At The Opera was re-released as an audio DVD in 2002 with the original video included on the disc. Commentary from the DVD reveals that this song had started taking shape in the song "My Fairy King" on Queen's debut album. (thanks, nathan - l-burg, KY)
  • In 2002, this came in #1 in a poll by Guinness World Records as Britain's favorite single of all time. John Lennon's "Imagine" was #2, followed by The Beatles' "Hey Jude."
  • The name "Bohemian" in the song title seems to refer not to the region in the Czech republic, but to a group of artists and musicians living roughly 100 years ago, known for defying convention and living with disregard for standards. A "Rhapsody" is a piece of Classical music with distinct sections that is played as one movement. Rhapsodies often have themes. (thanks, George - Dusseldorf, Germany)
  • Roger Taylor (from 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh): "Record companies both sides of the Atlantic tried to cut the song, they said it was too long and wouldn't work. We thought, 'Well we could cut it, but it wouldn't make any sense,' it doesn't make much sense now and it would make even less sense then: you would miss all the different moods of the song. So we said no. It'll either fly or it won't. Freddie had the bare bones of the song, even the composite harmonies, written on telephone books and bits of paper, so it was quite hard to keep track of what was going on." Kutner and Leigh's book also states that, the recording included 180 overdubs, the operatic parts took over 70 hours to complete and the piano Freddie played was the same one used by Paul McCartney on "Hey Jude." (thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England)
  • Ironically, the song that knocked this off the #1 chart position in the UK was "Mama Mia" by Abba. The words "Mama mia" are repeated in this in the line "Oh mama mia, mama mia, mama mia let me go." (thanks, James - St Albans, England)
  • Weird Al Yankovic took the entire song and sung it to a Polka tune, called simply "Bohemian Polka," which is on his 1993 album Alapalooza. (thanks, Steph - SoCal, CA)
  • The story told in this song is remarkably similar to that in Albert Camus' book The Stranger. Both tell of a young man who kills, and not only can he not explain why he did it, he can't even articulate any feelings about it. (thanks, Bob - Santa Barbara, CA)
  • You can make the case that the song title is actually a parody, and a clever one at that. There is a rhapsody by the composer Franz Liszt called "Hungarian Rhapsody," and "Bohemia" is a kingdom that is near Hungary and was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Furthermore, "Bohemian" is an adjective for something unusual or against convention, and the song is just that. So, "Bohemian Rhapsody" could be a clever title that not only parodies a famous work but also describes the song. In a nod to the Liszt composition, Queen would go on to release a live DVD/CD package in 2012 titled "Hungarian Rhapsody," featuring their famous shows behind the Iron Curtain in Budapest on the Magic tour in 1986.
  • This song was covered by Constantine M. (featuring the cast of We Will Rock You) and also by The Flaming Lips for the 2005 Queen Tribute album Killer Queen. Another popular cover is by Grey DeLisle, who did it as an acoustic ballad for her album Iron Flowers.
  • Queen fans, and also Brian May, often colloquially refer to the song as "Bo Rhap" (or "Bo Rap").
  • The name "Bohemian Rhapsody" makes many appearances in popular culture:

    Session 14 of the popular anime series Cowboy Bebop is named "Bohemian Rhapsody."

    The Jones Soda Company has a drink named "Bohemian Raspberry" in honor of this song.

    In one of the episodes of the TV miniseries Dinotopia, a character cheats on a poem project by using the first part of the song as his entire project. The inhabitants, having never heard the song before, are amazed at the sound of it. (thanks, Jonathon - Clermont, FL, for above 2)
  • Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett used some of the lyrics in their book Good Omens. The main character (Crowley) plays it in his car all the time. They also refer to other Queen songs, but mostly "Bohemian Rhapsody." (thanks, Bella - Pretoria, South Africa)
  • The Spanish group Molotov sampled the chorus for their Spanish-language Rap version of this song called "Rap, Soda and Bohemias." It appears on their 1998 album Molomix. (thanks, Juan - Brownsville, TX)
  • In 2009, The Muppets Studio released a video featuring the Muppets performing this song. It was first web video for The Muppets, and it was extremely popular: the video was viewed over 7 million times the first week it was up. The furry ones changed the song a bit, omitting the lyrics that begin, "Mama, just killed a man" with Animal screaming "Mama!"
  • In an interview with Q magazine March 2011, Roger Taylor was asked if this seemed like a peculiar song when Mercury first suggested it? He replied: "No, I loved it. The first bit that he played to me was the verse. 'Mama, just killed a man, dah-dah-la-dah-daah, gun against his…' All that. I thought, 'That's great, that's a hit.' It was, in my head, a simpler entity then; I didn't know it was going to have a wall of mock Gilbert and Sullivan stuff, you know, some of which was written on the fly. Freddie would write these huge blocks of mass harmonies in the backs of phone books."
  • The song is one of Freddie Mercury's great mysteries - according to everyone in the band, only he knew truly how it would come together, and according to some sources, its genesis could have come many years earlier. Chris Smith, the keyboard player in Mercury's first band Smile, claimed that Freddie would play several piano compositions at rehearsals, including one called "The Cowboy Song," which started with the line, "mama, just killed a man."
  • In sharp contrast to the rest of the song's recording and composition, Brian May's signature solo before the opera section was recorded on only one track, with no overdubbing. He stated that he wanted to play "a little tune that would be a counterpart to the main melody; I didn't just want to play the melody." It is one of his finest examples of creating a solo in his mind before playing it on guitar; something he did many times throughout Queen's career. His reasoning was always that "the fingers tend to be predictable unless being led by the brain."
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Comments: 358

On December 28th, 1975, "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and on April 18th, 1976 it peaked at #9 (for 2 weeks) and spent almost a half-year on the Top 100 (24 weeks)...
On May 1st, 1976 it reached #1 (for 2 weeks) on the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart...
Also peaked at #1 in the Netherlands, New Zealand, Belgium, and their native U.K.
It re-entered the Top 100 on March 15th, 1992 and peaked at #2 (for 1 week) on May 3rd and stayed on the Top 100 for 16 weeks...
The week it is was at #2, the #1 record was "Jump" by Kris Kross...
R.I.P. Mr. Mercury, born Farrokh Bulsara, 1946 - 1991.
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
"Nothing really matters to me." Everytime I hear the end to this song I think of the video and it makes me wonder if he knew his fate?Bella Vida - Los Angeles, Ca
I was 10 years old and listened to nothing but AM top 40 radio when I first heard this song in 1975, I hated it, but it soon became one of the "top 3 at Ten PM' for about 3 weeks, and by time that was Over, I was looking at music like I never had before, not just to hum along, but to appreciate the lyrics and the imagination of the creators...37 years later I still find something new in this song everytime I listen to it...100 years from now people will look at classic rock the way we now look at Classical music of the late 19th century, and one of the centerpieces will be Bohemian Rhapsody.Gino - Trenton,nj, Nj
True genius! Who doesn't love this song, in its original, or in the many tributes/covers?Cyberpope - Richmond, Canada
Ok I think people have to keep in mind... even though Freddie claimed it was all "nonsense", he was a very modest person. People hav said that he began writing the song at Ealing Art College- which means that it was in his head and he was working on it for a decade at least. It meant something- no one can be sure of what, but it had to of meant something. You can just say it was about a simple excecution- that has nothing to do with Freddie. Maybe the outside story was about an excecution- I think that's very clear, at least in the "mama" section. But there has to be something behind that. Obviously I'm not Freddie, but I can share with you a few facts that I have researched, and they can allow one to infer the meaning of this very complex song..
Alright- if you have the patience, let's get on with it. So, it's 1975. Freddie was about 29. He had been dating Mary Austin for give or take 6 years. And they had either just broke up, or were about to. Obviously we now know that Freddie was gay, or bisexual. But at this time- as far as we know, he hadn't been in any male relationships. This already gives us so much insight into how he had been feeling. He was dating women- but on the inside, was most likely not content with his love life. As much as he loved Mary, he was gay- he couldn't deny it. There have also been claims that Freddie had an affair with a man (or men) while dating Mary. Mary and him had moved in together, and she loved him. But according to this claim, Freddie just wasn't happy. If you think about this story, and you then listen to Bo Rap's lyrics- they may tie in together. Think about it.
The "man" that is killed could represent Freddie's old, straight, innocent self who was in love with Mary. The new, gay, guilty Freddie is the one who "killed" the old him.And maybe "mama" could be Mary. So the guilty Freddie is speaking to Mary. Shall we do some line by line interpretations as examples of what I mean? Well if your still here, then here goes nothing..
"Is this the real life, is this just fantasy?"
He can't believe that he really cheated on Mary- he's questioning if the whole confusing situation is just a dream.
"Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality"
He's stuck and he can't run away from his sexual preference, or the fact that he had an affair.
"Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see- I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy"
Here he's just saying that he isn't special- he did a bad thing and no one should care about him or feel bad for him.
"Because I'm easy come, easy go. Little high, little low. Anyway the wind blows, doesn't really matter to me- to me."
He states that he is careless and full of emotions. He once stated in an interview that there's no "half measures" with him- he's either very strong or very soft. The "little high, little low" part can come into play with that quote. The "anyway the wind blows" line can also mean that he's careless, but if you look deeper into it, it may even be code for the whole gay/straight thing. "anyway the wind blows", meaning if it's men or women- it doesn't matter to him.
"mama, just killed a man. Put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger- now he's dead"
Here he can be telling Mary about the affair- but obviously very much in code. He's saying how he "killed" his old innocent self.
"Mama, life had just begun- but now i've gone and thrown it all away"
Still talking to Mary, he says how the old him was still young and he feels like he only just started dating people like Mary- but now he just threw that person away.
"Mama, ooh- didn't mean to make you cry.."
Here he's more emotional and he's trying to apologize to Mary- saying that he really didn't want to hurt her.
"..If i'm not back again this time tomorrow- carry on, carry on- as if nothing really matters"
By "i'm", he may mean his old self- the one who she loved and the one who loved her. In this case, he's saying if he doesn't come back- for her to go on and date new people and just forget about him like it doesn't even matter. This theme of no one caring about him, is not only a huge theme in the song- but also in Freddie''s real life. He didn't believe he was as special as he really was, which is very sad when you think about it...
"Too late, my time has come. Sends shivers down my spine, body's aching all the time"
Here he's admitting to himself that it's his time- he can no longer deny that he is more attracted to men. He also may mean that it's his time to make seperate ways with Mary, as much as he did love her. He also says how these difficult decisions give him chills and make him tense and scared.
"Goodbye, everybody- I've got to go. Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth."
Possibly the most intense part of the song. Freddie is saying goodbye to all of the old friends and girlfriends (like Mary) that he's had, and he is admitiing to them that he has no choice but to leave them behind and "face the truth". This "truth" of course is that he is gay. And shortly after this song was made- Freddie's lifestyle did change. And so he did "leave them all behind" for a gay lifestyle.
"Mama, ooh. I don't wanna die- I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all."
May be the saddest line in songwriting history- because it was most likely true. Freddie didn't want to be gay, he didn't want to leave Mary. Sometimes he wished that he didn't even exist- sometimes he'd rather be dead than have to live with his difficult life.
K, so after the guitar solo is the opera section. Many people take it as a complete joke and they think it was all just for fun- even Freddie admitted that it didn't make sense and it was just for fun. But I think that's what he wants people to think. On the inside, he probably knew that a brilliant man like him couldn't just write a jumble of non- related, confusing, un-heard of words- even if it was an "opera section". As the top of the page states, many of the words have to do with Freddie's culture and religion- two things he was known to hide. These religious words put into a unique context that only Freddie could understand, probably had to do with the whole gay/bisexual thing. Think about it...
Bismillah means "in the name of Allah"- so at one point he is most likely fighting with his gay self, saying, "In the name of God, let me go!" By "let me go" he probably means, "stop making me be gay, leave me alone, let me be with the one I love". If you think about this line, the whole things may start to make sense. Here let me show you..
"I see a little silhouetto of a man, scaramouche (x2) will you do the fandango?"
This is the gay Freddie speaking. He says that he sees the straight Freddie's silhouetto. He calls him a coward (roughly what scaramouche means) and asks him to do the fandango. The fandango is a dance, and sometimes dances are known to be dangerous or risky if you use it in that context. So he may be asking if he'll agree to a "dance" or fight with the gay him.
"Thunderbolt and lightning, very very frightening me"
This is probably Freddie's thought's inside his head. The thunder and lightning represent a storm, and he is afraid of the storm that the gay him can create (and has already created)
"Galileo (x5) figaro.Magnifico. I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me."
So the "Galileo's" represent the gay Freddie and the straight Freddie fighting with eachother. The "magnifico" is most likely being said by the gay Freddie- because he is happy that the straight Freddie has decided to fight. Just then, straight Freddie once again states how no one loves him or cares about him.
"He's just a poor boy from a poor family, spare him him his life from his monstrosity"
Now straight Freddie's "boys" or "backup men" agree with Freddie and they back him up by adding to his previous statement- "he also comes from a poor family. Just leave him alone from his "ugliness" (another word for monsrosity)
"easy come, easy go- will you let me go?"
This parts kinda funny just cause of the way straight Freddie asks his gay self for the first time to let him go. If you go deeper into it maybe you can infer that his "boys" made him ask, so Freddie does it reluctantly- very shy and quiet.
"Bismillah- no! We will not let you go! (Let him go!)" (etc.etc.etc.)
This whole section represents the battle between straight Freddie's "back up boys" and gay Freddie. Gay Freddie replie's to Freddie's request, "In the name of God- no! We're not gonna let you go!" And then of course the "back up boys" fight back and won't give up, asking to "Let him go!"
"No (x7)!!"
Now gay Freddie has had it with the childish games- and he puts his foot down and technically says, "NO! You ARE gay- that's it!!"
" oh mama mia(x3) let me go. Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me(x3)!!"
Now straight Freddie himself gets the last word. He stops being shy and quiet and he agrees that this is childish. Even though he knows he can't escape- he again begs to be let go. Then he goes back into the "guilty" emotion, as he mentions the devil. He is technically saying that they have a "devil put aside" for him, and he is going to hell for what he did.
Alright, so that was the opera section. After this comes the hard rock section. I feel like no one's reading this anymore, but if you are thanks for listening to what I had to say :D
I would go into the last 8 lines, but I feel like I've typed a novel- so I'll leave that open to further interpretation.
Anyways, thanks again for reading. Hope you understood my view on one of the best songs ever wriiten by the best writer of all time- RIP Freddie
Rachel - New York, Nj
Elton John & Axl Rose would make no sense in any other form.Tim - Union City, Ca
i love Freddie Mercury, i always have and i always will. i may only be 16 but he has always been a big part of my life. this song is the essence of me. its confusing and many people dont get it just like myself, i love this song with all my heart and it never fails to cheer me up when i listen to it. Freddie Mercury is the greatest stage performer of all time. and all arguments are invalid, how could you possibly disagree?! All i want to really say is, Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality.

Freddie Mercury you were a Lover of Life and Singer of Songs and we all stand behind you. All my love R.I.P x
Lauren - Fife, United Kingdom
I read that Freddie constructed this song out of fragments of several songs that never were completed, kind of like The Beatles "A Day in the Life". Regardless, I love this song for the sheer artistry of the piece AND because it's led to so many interpretations from its listeners. And now we won't forget the drunk Canadian in the back of a police car. Here come more new Queen fans.
.
Curtis - San Francisco, Ca
It's about a boy who doesn't want to fight in a war. "Scaramouche" means "coward". His "monstrosity" is his (so-called) cowardice or desertion, presumably after he "killed a man" in battle, and no longer wants to fight. But there's "no escape from reality" - that is, no escape from the war for him. He's "just got to get out, just got to get right out of here ..." But of course he can't!Kat - Adelaide, Australia
Why are people insulting Queen? I agree this isnt the BEST Song of All time (Best is a big word) But this is a Gem never the less. Stairway to Heaven and Kashmir by Led Zeppelin, Yesterday and Strawberry fields forever by Beatles and Imagine and God by Lennon and even One by U2 are certainly among the Best! As far as Queen goes March of the Black Queen is a Classic it shows Freddie Mercury's Genius.Kunal Somaiya - Mumbai, India
The song, as it says, is about Galileo. The one prosecuted by Cardinal Bellarmine. The fandango is a dance in triple metre, with the first being Copernicus, the second being an astronimer named Tadeas Hajeck who collected and published Copernicus's theory, and who is from Bohemia of all places, and Galileo, who killed off mankinds self proclaimed perception of himself {herself} as being at the center of the universe. And Galileo did this with a mere blink of the eye, that is, by looking into a telescope and observing that the moons of jupiter were not going around the earth, as they should if the earth was the center of everything, but were going around jupiter. This proved Copernicus's theory, and triggered a firestorm of religious indignation, which culminated in the trial Galileo and his possilbe execution for heresay. Bellarmines input was that no one, not even his mother, his church, his God or the devil, could save him from the gallows. So, instead of facing the truth like a man, Galileo relented and proclaimed that what he saw, he didn't see. He took the cowards way out, and lived, but in reality died as he was never the same afterward. But what the establishment did to Galileo did not matter at all, because his proof lived on until finally accepted as truth even if they spat in his eye. More importantly, who is better remembered today? Bellarmine, the religious spokesman for righteousness, or Galileo, a person then perceived as being possessed by the devil?Patrick - San Mateo, Ca
Actually, I think that Bohemian Rhapsody is about war. Think about those lines; 'Mama, I killed a man', and 'If I'm not back again this time tommorrow', those in a way relate to war, as you kill people, and get killed, and this is what Freddie is trying to tell his Mother, that he is here in the battlefield.

The lines 'Let him go!' maybe hint that he wants to leave the frontline but the commanders, who are the ones saying 'No we will not let you go' deny permission to.

'Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide,
No escape from reality.....' Also tells us about war, as, for example, in World War 1 soldiers would have to sit in filthy, awefully smelling trenches, with very loud explosions and gunfire right next to their ears, which usually resulted in 'shell shock', a condition that made the soldier go mad. Perhaps Freddie is describing the experience of a soldier in a war who is feeling miserable.

'I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy'- Relates to mass death count of soldiers whom the goverment treated as objects and would send to get killed and not even care about that.

'Too late, my time has come,
Sends shivers down my spine
Body's aching all the time
Goodbye everybody - I've got to go
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth'- Related to dying in war.

But 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- Pretty much also says the same thing; He doesn't want to fight and etc.

'So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye
So you think you can love me and leave me to die'- He is speaking to the generals; They pretend to be on his side, then send him out onto a machine gun.

'Nothing really matters'- The soldier is accepting his lifestyle, that life is useless and can be wasted, and knows he will die in this place anyway, he is a poor person with no significant role or reason to remain alive unlike someone who, for example, is a banker or a doctor. Or, perhaps, he already got shot, and is lying there, dying. And in that case you can go back to the line 'I see a little silhuetto of a man....' which means he sees an enemy appear who then shoots him. ('Thunderbolt and Lightning, very very frighting!')

All other lines are simply there for the flow.


Whatever meaning it has, and Brian May is right saying that anyone can interpet it in any way, I think it's a beautiful song.
David - London, United Kingdom
Wow. I had no idea there were so many interpretations of this song. For me it's always been clear: the song is about an execution. Please bear with me as I construct a detailed argument for this interpretation.

Here's the set-up (all of this is proven later): The narrator has committed murder. He might have done this out of malice, or self-defense, or anything in between; we don't know. The fact is that he killed someone, was caught and sentenced, and is now on Death Row. The man is not an important person, so to speak. He is not famous, nor rich, nor anything of the kind. He has no high-priced lawyers and no "connections" to help him in his plight. The narrator implies that, if he had higher social status, if he had money or fame or whatever, then he would stand a good chance of escaping death. But alas, he is merely a "poor boy" (aka ordinary person), and has no such power. His family and friends are attending the execution (or have otherwise heard about it), and are very distressed. Conversely, the family and friends of the dead man want revenge and they can't wait to see the narrator executed. The song takes place just prior to the execution, and involves the narrator talking to (or perhaps just thinking about) his mother, just before he dies.

If you're still reading, you have my thanks.
Here's the line-by-line analysis:

*We start with the narrator's thoughts:
"Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?"
*The narrator is overwhelmed by the idea that he's going to die. He almost wonders whether this is all a nightmare or something.

"Caught in a landslide, No escape from reality"
Again, he feels overwhelmed, but he can't really deny that he's about to be killed.

"Open your eyes, Look up to the skies and see,"
Looking up to heaven, wondering about life etc.

"I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy
Because I'm easy come, easy go, Little high, little low"
Here he is quoting the common perspective: he's just a poor man ("boy"), and he doesn't deserve sympathy. Much of the song is about how no one seems to care for the narrator, even though he seems mournful and regretful for his actions.

"Any way the wind blows doesn't really matter to me, to me"
Now that he's going to die, nothing more matters. He has no future, no hopes or dreams or goals. He's going to die within the hour, and there's nothing he can do about it. He feels very hopeless, and from his perspective nothing really matters.

"Mama, just killed a man, Put a gun against his head
Pulled my trigger, now he's dead"
This part is obvious. He committed murder. I don't he's confessing to his mother here, as surely she would already know by the time of the execution. I think that he's really just sadly reflecting on what he's done, and he mentions this to his mother (or perhaps he's just thinking about her)

"Mama, life had just begun
But now I've gone and thrown it all away"
He was a young man, in his 20s perhaps. He had the chance to live a meaningful life, but instead he killed a man, thus causing his own death via execution. The narrator laments, noting that he could have saved his own life by choosing not to murder. But now the deed is done, and the narrator will face justice.

"Mama, ooh, 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"
Again he's sorry for his actions, and regrets that his mother now weeps for him, as he will soon be killed. The execution will take place within the hour, so if he's not back again this time tomorrow, it will mean that the execution happened on schedule, that he failed to escape it via pardon or other means. The narrator tells his mother that, even if he dies, she should carry on living, almost as if his death didn't matter to her.


"Too late, my time has come"
The execution is imminent.

"Sends shivers down my spine, body's aching all the time"
These are symptoms of his intense fear.

"Goodbye, ev'rybody, I've got to go"
He says a final farewell to his family and friends.

"Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth"
The truth is that he killed a man, and now he faces strict justice. He will die.

"Mama, ooh, I don't want to die
I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all"
This much is obvious. He doesn't want to be killed, and indeed he wonders if it would have been better never to have been born in the first place.

A new voice starts singing; this voice represents his friends and family who are (or have been previously) protesting his execution.

"I see a little silhouetto of a man"
The narrator seems so poor and pitiful, "a shadow of what he once was", so to speak

"Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango"
Honestly, I don't know what this means

"Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very fright'ning me"
Both he and them are afraid that he'll be killed. The "lighting" part might indicate that he's to be killed with the electric chair, or it might just be symbolic.

"(Galileo.) Galileo. (Galileo.) Galileo, Galileo figaro"
Galileo was unfairly persecuted by the authorities of his time. Granted, Galileo didn't commit murder, but the narrator's advocates still draw a parallel, insisting that he doesn't deserve the punishment he's receiving.

"Magnifico. I'm just a poor boy and nobody loves me"
The narrator repeats the common belief.

"He's just a poor boy from a poor family
Spare him his life from this monstrosity"
His friends and family argue that, because he's a poor boy, he deserves sympathy and compassion, not death.

"Easy come, easy go, will you let me go"
Here the narrator pleads for his life. He basically says "You don't seem to care about me; I'm 'easy come, easy go'. You don't really care if I live or die. So, if you don't really care whether I live or die, can't you just let me live? Can't you grant me a pardon or something?"

Then the opposite group, the friends and family of the dead man (and/or the execution authorities) respond to these pleas.

"Bismillah! No, we will not let you go"
The other group wants the narrator to be executed.

"(Let him go!) Bismillah! We will not let you go
(Let him go!) Bismillah! We will not let you go
(Let me go.) Will not let you go
(Let me go.) Will not let you go. (Let me go.) Ah
No, no, no, no, no, no, no."
The two groups have a spirited argument.

"(Oh mama mia, mama mia.) Mama mia, let me go"
Here the chorus of friends and family says "let me go", but I really think they mean "let him go. Don't kill the narrator"

"Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me, for me"
Beelzebub means Satan. The narrator feels (or speculates) that Satan is out to torment him by leading him to such a sad fate. After all, it was probably a devil that tempted him to commit murder in the first place. Likewise, his family feels Satan is tormenting them as well, by killing the narrator to make them feel sad. Perhaps even the dead man's family joins in on this chorus; they feel that it was Satan who told the narrator to commit murder in the first place, and now they insist that execution is the only holy response to such a sin.

Throughout this, the narrator has been lethargic and morose. But right before the end, he has a sudden burst of passion.

"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 gotta get out, just gotta get right outta here!"
I'm not sure if he's talking to anyone specific here, or if he's just ranting with passion, screaming at everyone and everything involved.

As I imagine it, the narrator throws off his guards and fights to escape from his shackles. In the ensuing musical piece, he struggles with the executioners, knocking the room into disarray. The two families watch closely, but everyone knows it's a useless struggle; there's simply no way for the narrator to escape. And the end of the musical piece, he is beaten down and finally subdued. Once again he become morose and dispirited, and the executioners drag him to his place of death (electric chair, perhaps). In his last few moments before death, the narrator resumes his previous state of mind.

"Nothing really matters, Anyone can see
Nothing really matters
Nothing really matters to me"
Again, because he's about to die, nothing really matters to him. He has no purpose, no hope, nothing.

"Any way the wind blows..."
This is an allusion to the begining of the song, where this image was used along with "nothing really matters"

So...yeah. I think that's a pretty thorough interpretation. Bohemian Rhapsody is about a remorseful murderer as he's about to be executed.
Mariah - Fulton, Ky
I write about art.

Bohemian Rhapsody is a masterpiece. The subtleties are what make it complex. The subtleties are what make it art. Between the lines of the lyrics are three pivotal facets which are key to understanding of the true meaning of the song.

The first is the time frame in which the song was written. The second is Scaramouch. The third: Bismilah.

Some will disagree; others will have an “ah ha” moment when I tell you that this song is about The Death Penalty in the United States.

The Time Frame

This song was written in 1975. In 1972, the US Supreme Court effectively outlawed the death penalty as cruel and unusual punishment. Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238 (1972) was not reversed until 1976. In reaction to the Decision, between 1972 and 1975, 37 states passed new laws to bring back the death penalty and threatened a constructional amendment if it was not reinstated.

There was as much debate about the death penalty then as there is now about SOPA or PIPA. It was the political topic of the day.

Scaramouch.

In the novel, Scaramouch tells the story of a young attorney during the French Revolution who “also becomes a revolutionary, politician, and fencing-master, confounding his enemies with his powerful orations and swordsmanship.” Moreover, he is “forced” to change ideologies several times during the novel – which is politically expedient. (Wikipedia)

In the film(s) version, Scaramouch is buffoon who is challenged to a duel and flees because he has no fencing experience. He joins a theatrical group, takes fencing lessons and challenges his aggressor. At the end of the movie he discovers that he is about to kill his half-brother.

Bismilah

Bismilah is sometimes translated as “In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful." It is the first word of all but one chapter of the Koran. It is the first word on many Muslim gravestones.

The Story Told In The Song.

The story told in the song is about a man who just committed murder. He confesses this to his mother early on. He is remorseful for the deed. The “trial” that occurs in the song is not about whether he is guilty – it’s about the sentence.

He is facing the death penalty. The first clue is when the character says “I don't want to die; I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all.”

The second clue involves Scaramouch: “I see a little silhouetto of a man, Scaramouch! Scaramouch! Will you do the Fandango? “

The “silhouetto of a man” refers to the juxtaposition of Scaramouch as a politician who makes the laws, and Scaramouch the lawyer who make a profit from exploiting the law.

Will you do a fandango refers to the lawyer at trial. If you watched Johnny Cochran’s closing arguments at OJ Simpson’s trial, you saw a fandango. A fandango is traditionally a song and a dance. For a lawyer it includes fencing.

This segment of the song is done in Gilbert and Sullivan style operetta suggesting that the US legal system makes a mockery of itself through its own caprice. “Any way the wind blows” refers to one day State Sanctioned Murder is legal, the next it is not, the next it is …

Bismilah.

A plea for mercy: he confessed. He has remorse for his deed. He asks for his life not to be taken … in the name of the most merciful God.

He testifies at court “ I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me.” His family testify: “ He's just a poor boy from a poor family, Spare him his life from this monstrosity!”

Bismilah! We will not let you go …

Oh mama mia, mama mia, mama mia, let me go

Bismilah! We will not let you go …

He has been sentenced to death… in the name of Bismilah.

“Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very frightening” has two meanings: it refers to the Supreme Court and refers to the electric chair; the method of execution at the time. The Supreme Court hands down decisions which are published at lighting speed; many fear the effects of its decisions. Thunderbolt and Lighting also refers to the electricity used in the chair and the sounds it makes as 10,000 volts passes through a human body.

Finally, the saddest part of the song is when the character says “So you think you can love me and leave me to die?”

This is among most awesome songs ever written. It is not a political statement: it is a moral judgment. Mercury was exasperated at the hypocrisy of executions because the definition of murder is the intentional taking of human life. Executions are murder, and legally sanctioned murder in the name of justice is not a characteristic of civility.


If you believe that this song has a different meaning … viva art! You are probably right.
Dan - Los Angele, Ca
When I first heard this song I thought of it as a comedy record! It does sound operatic. Obviously some people don't know
either their musi history or world history. The song was made before anybody heard of aids.
Wendell - Milton, Pe
***PEOPLE ARE SERIOUSLY COMING TO THE WRONG CONCLUSIONS ABOUT THIS SONG SUGGESTING IT IS ABOUT AIDS*** What I am telling you here is possible for you to find out for yourselves if you wish to look into it - Freddie did NOT have HIV or AIDS in 1975! He was diagnosed as HIV positive in the spring of 1987. Aids hit the New York scene in the early 1980's, where Freddie had begun clubbing. AIDS was known as the "Gay plague" at that time by the media, as it was mainly gay people dying from it. It's extremely highly doubtful that Freddie would have even heard of the disease before it broke out, like many others. The song was certainly not about AIDS or anyone dying from it. Now, after his death, and in hindsight, the lyrics are hauntingly fitting as to how he died, also when you consider that he claimed that the lyrics "just came to him." (out of thin air) .... It was Freddie's nature to (outwardly?) be dismissive about things, like his songs, even once saying his songs were throwaway songs, like "disposable bic razors" ... but that was all part of him, and the person he was - a very humorous and intelligent man.

I have given this tune a lot of thought, and I shall now explain it as far as I can see, - although, give or take a few details in the operatic section, you can still see what it's about - which I do happen to think is pretty spot on, it's a lot better than any other description of its meaning I've ever seen.

I will leave the words, then after - *explain in these parts*




Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
*Freddie questioning the meaning of his life, as by this point, the mid 1970's, he is a well-known star, and in fact - living the rock star life as an art, hence "Is this just fantasy* -
Caught in a landslide,
No escape from reality
*The "l caught in a landslide" is what he refers to as realising he is gay (although he later had a relationship with a woman again later on in the year 1984) – in 1974/5 it would've been much harder to face/deal with than the times we live in now, plus his religious background – hence, "No escape from reality" and how he was brought up.*
Open your eyes, Look up to the skies and see,
I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy,
*A part of him is feeling sad/bad about this – terrible feelings of guilt etc, yet he wants no-one's sorrow over the matter – possibly including God - "Look up to the skies and see"*
Because I'm easy come, easy go, Little high, little
low,
Any way the wind blows doesn't really matter to me, to
me
*Freddie's nature was also quite dismissive over things – that's how he coped with life, which worked for him – he had to be that way for that matter to deal with it. He was a complex man, and this song deals with various aspects of his nature/character.*

Mama I just killed a man,
Put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger, now he's
Dead
*The man Freddie is talking about in the line "Put a gun against his head " – is his own head, after his first full on sexual activity with another guy. "now he's dead" is how Freddie feels about it – it's killed his innocence, left him feeling dead - the "he's dead" IS himself, because of his religious upbringing, which is also making him feel all these things – which takes us to the next line….*
Mama, life had just begun,
But now I've gone and thrown it all away
*I think in light of what I previously said, these lines are fairly self-explanatory, he has thrown it all away in the eyes of his upbringing/religion.*
Mama, ooh, 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
*He didn't mean to upset his mother (although it was said he never told her directly, she would've found out at some point eventually, and this is how it all plays out in his head at this point) and "If I'm not back again this time tomorrow, carry on…* - this part is about if she sees that her son has departed from her, or died, (not the son she once had, and her not being able to accept how he has turned his back on his religion and given into his sexual desires) - then he is saying she should "Carry on as if nothing really matters"*
Too late, my time has come,
Sends shivers down my spine, body's aching all the time
*His time has come for Freddie to be who he is, (remember after the release of their third album 'Sheer heart attack' (including the international hits Killer Queen, Now I'm here), Queen were hitting the big time, and he was on a rollercoaster rock star ride in life) - and with him being unable to not admit who he is anymore/become part of his art, then life is impossible for him. It wasn't just a gay act which was a fashionable way to be in the early 1970's, which even Brain May thought at first was all it was. As stated by Mary Austin, his lover of seven years , that once he finally admitted to her he was gay, he became at one with himself again, and how he then became happy again, like at the start of their relationship ("after avoiding something/avoiding her") ….. Though, he will be forever judged – and his body aches with guilt at >the point of writing this tune<, which was around the same time he told Mary Austin the truth, and they remained friends ever after. Yet, he is certainly going through the motions at this poing, and possibly always did. After all, Bohemian Rhapsody was his signature tune.*
Goodbye, everybody, I've got to go,

Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth
*This is all part of the real Farok Bulsara (his real name) becoming Freddie Merucry (His Rock star name) and the giant persona that went with it – he became Freddie Mercury, the star – including, ironically, the star who was famously known as fiercely private. He has to go and become – Freddie Mercury, (but then there's another twist/take on the matter of "leaving" everyone behind at the end of the tune – when the line "Just gotta get right out of here" )*
Mama, ooh, I don't want to die,
I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all

*In this part he is still crying out to his mother, he IS still her son , despite everything - and he doesn't want her to see him as departed from her, which takes us to the next part of the tune – the operatic part, in which the battle is more intense…


I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango
Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very fright'ning 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 him go!) Bismillah! We will not let you go
(Let me go.) Will not let you go
(Let me go.) Will not let you go. (Let me go.) Ah
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

*Freddie Mercury wrote the lyrics, and there has been a lot of speculation as to their meaning. Many of the words appear in the Qu'ran. "Bismillah" is one of these and it literally means "In the name of Allah." The word "Scaramouch" means "A stock character that appears as a boastful coward." "Beelzebub" is one of the many names given to The Devil. Mercury's parents were deeply involved in Zoroastrianism, and these Arabic words do have a meaning in that religion. Mercury claimed the lyrics were nothing more than "Random rhyming nonsense" when asked about it, but it appears once again, he was being dismissive. The operatic section, after the battles of his past/the religion and crying out for his mother who is a part of that religion, concludes with him admitting defeat, and that the Beelzebub has a devil put aside for him – no matter which way he turns. Which takes us to the next part… being the heavy rock section… building up to yet another conclusion…*


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 gotta get out, just gotta get right outta here

*This part is Freddie's anger at the battles and confusion of his inner self, as shown in the operatic sequence, and possibly the reason for Freddie never wanting to disclose the true meaning of the song is because it's pointed at those who loved him for who he was (his family, although "mama"/his mother is the only one named in the song), yet, because he held all those feelings of guilt, concern of not being genuinely accepted, and that they wouldn't be able to love him for who he really was, and even if his parents still loved him, then the religion would disagree with his lifestyle, which would then become their weight to carry, it leaves him angry and frustrated with himself, then angry at his loved ones, finally wanting to escape the whole situation and is irately leaving everyone – "Just gotta get out, just gotta get right outta here." …. With a "f--k you all," kind of attitude as almost snarled in the line on the recording… (Again, remember the line earlier "Goodbye everybody, I've got to go" - which isn't who he wants to be, or who he really is, as he just wants to be loved for who he is, under all that confusion is Farok Bulsara, not the showman Freddie Mercury, although this entire song is where they merge and become one…. Which brings us to the final part of the song…*

Nothing really matters, Anyone can see
Nothing really matters
Nothing really matters to me
*Going back to the line just before the confession to his mother that he killed "a man", as if he confesses or not – it's still the same outcome for him, it's still everything that's been said…. Taking us to the final line…*
Any way the wind blows
Will - Lonodn, United Kingdom
I think the Galileo allusion is significant in that the Galileo was unfairly persecuted by the churh for heresy, for contending that the sun and not the earth were the center of the universe. At this time, Mercury was just coming to terms with his homosexuality which at the time would have been considered a type of heresy, of going against the natural intended order of things.Tracie - Fort Worth, Tx
I think the "Galilleo!" chorus is significant because Galilleo was tried and persecuted by the church for heresy, for telling the truth, that he new the sun was the center of the universe and not the earth. Freddie's homesexuality was considered a heresy at the time, a going against the natural intended order of nature.Tracie - Fort Worth, Tx
The Porkka Playboys have an amazing video of this song recorded in a car with an interesting assortment of artists.Bruce - Boston, Ma
GREATEST SONG EVER! It's my favorite song in the entire world. I love how unique this song is. You won't ever find a song like this or more unique than it in the entire world and music history. It has no chorus, all the different types of music written into it and the fact that no one knows what is about. No one will ever write a song like this because no one else can. Only Freddie could. I actually have the lyrics 'Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see' tattooed on me in memory of my brother who died and who actually jumped start my love of this song and my love of Queen.Adrienne - Springfield, Il
Great Song, no doubt about that - Queen can owe a lot to The Sweet, that was one of the few bands where all 4 members was active on vocals ...Ole - Copenhagen, Denmark
This song brings back memories (fuzzy memories) of when I was three and living in Texas. I would always steal Mum's Queen cd's and listen to this incessantly as children will oft times do. I can't even remember a time when I didn't have this song memorized.Jessi - South Bloomfield, Oh
I feel unless one has experienced a relationship as this, they could never understand this song. He played Mama, his love; in a fantasy roll for years. His life caught up with him and he became seriously ill. He bids her fare well and tells her to carry on with her life. It speaks of dying and seeing the angels (lightening) come for him; to take him to hell.That's why nothing matters to him.... Too bad for him he didn't have a relationship with Jesus.Janice Cash - N. Ft Myers, Fl
The Most Misterious song of all time? Yes.
The Most Perfect song ever made? Yes.
The Best Song of all eternity? Absolutely.
This is God's message to us.
Kate C. - Lisbon, Portugal
Does everyone remember trying to hit all of the high notes in this song oh how i long for the days when I thought I could sing this song and thought I sounded great. As a matter of fact I think Kraeg from London Canada taught me all I know about Queen hey remember me Scott Britton?Scott - London, On
I don't know why people feel a need to put the concept of this song in a single container. Songs like this are genius in that they can encompass many concepts simultaneously. There are references to the Bible and the Koran, and many human struggles under this creative blanket of a song. Good vrs evil, right vrs wrong, heaven vrs hell as well as the possibilities of reckless living, reckless killing etc. And none of any of it matters because in the end we have no control, we go which ever way the wind blows. (like dust) there are components of this song that are simple, and components that are deep. But to limit this song to any single interpretation is sad..Many songs are culminations of emotions written down at different times, then seen together and made to fit. thats all I'm sayinKeith - Centerport, Ny
All of you who think this song is about that illness should think again. This song is written in 1975.. Freddie died in 1991........... Plus I don't think Freddie Mercury would ever write about something like that. I think it's about changes, turning a new leaf. Maybe about love. Maybe he just started it by putting a few words on paper and had no idea how it would end. It's definitely not about the illness!Robin - Tilburg, Netherlands
I find it interesting that when Bohemian Rhapsody was first released, I took the lyrics at face value. However, after decades of enjoying Queen, I have concluded that much of this is the story of his struggle with his own sexuality, his love for Mary Austin and his need to tell her the truth, thus the lyrics "just killed a man" point to never being able to be what he was to her again. The timeline certainly fits with this theory.Auntsue - Philadelphia, Pa
For those of you claiming that AIDS wasn't "discovered" until 1981, you really need to watch the HBO movie "and the band played on" (or better yet, read the book) which details the history of AIDS and HIV. It was only the term "AIDS" that was coined in 1981. Medical researchers had been studying why so many gay males were dying since the mid 70's.

It's very likely that Freddy knew -- indeed intimately knew -- other gay men who had strange flu-like symptoms that "sent shivers down [my] spine, body aching all the time". Those lyrics don't make sense unless Freddy was referring to (what we today call) AIDS. I don't think Freddy was referring to himself in those lyrics.

If those lyrics were removed from the song, than I'd agree 100% that the song was about a man who committed murder and was on death row.

The first half of the song is describing his contracting AIDS from gay sex, and coming to terms with dying etc. Then right in the middle, the song switches to his judgment with god where he's pleading his case, but god won't hear his plight. It's hard to tell, but "thunderbolt and lightning, very very fright'ning me" lyric could either be his judgment with god, or speaking to the devil. Of the two, I always thought it was his judgment. Toward the end of the song, I imagine Freddy swirling in a vortex as he's sliding downward into hell; his judgment from god having been rendered.
Richard - Coon Rapids, Mn
this actually has nothing to do with the song,
why can't i gat any lyrics from this site anymore?! i've checked like twenty different songs and the link that says 'view lyrics' is gone.
Pearl - Chino Valley, Az
I have a Queen shirt and everytime I wear it to school, these two girls start singing Bohemian Rhapsody once they notice the shirtMichael - Staten Island, Ny
Freddie's life was an unbelievable paradox. He was an extremely private person who thrust himself into an occupation, or rather recognized a vocation, that made every minute of his life public. This song wasn't about AIDS...NO ONE knew about HIV or AIDS in 1975. AIDS wasn't even identified until 1981. This freaked me out because this song seemed so clearly to be him telling his loved ones that he "gave himself" a fatal disease and he is coming to terms with it. Then I woke up. That is exactly what he was doing, but the fatal disease he gave himself was not AIDS. It was the extremes of the Rock and Roll lifestyle, which Freddie pretty much personified. He was 28 when he wrote this song. Is that number familiar to anyone?Peter - San Francisco, Ca
lol. wow. thanks for that...I was wondering what that Galileo thingy might be. You're saying Galileo was a real person? Not one of those "made up" guys like Copernicus or Stephen Hawking? Next you will be telling us that Stravinsky, or Stradivarius --you know, the fiddle guy -- was real. Did this Galileo play with Freddie or did he have a group of his own? You know, now it occurs to me that he and Freddie may have been talking about different things when they referred to the "star system."

I am truly sorry about the sarcasm. It just freaked me out that I was visiting a web page where someone believed they had to explain to me who Galileo was. Am I that far gone? Did we catch it in time?
Peter - San Francisco, Ca
This song is about satan, the devil, lucifer, beezlebub, you name it. How he was thrown away from heaven for tempting Adam and Eve. About his sadness, which he turns into energy to lure Adam's descendants to be his followers, albeit knowing that he himself will be put at the bottom of hell for it.Doni - New York, Ny
This song was always great, with or without Wayne's World. I fell in love with this song the first time I heard it (not from Wayne's World).

I heard this song on the radio the other day, and at the very end of the song they cut out the gong hit, i was really mad, because the gong hit is amazing, just like the triangle hit in Killer Queen.
Crizzle - Rincon, Ga
I loved this song before Wayne's World. You would only hear it once in a while on the radio. Then that damn movie came and it became so overplayed that it got totally worn out.Claude - Kingston, Ma
Everyone is entitled to theyre opinion, and I respect theyre opinion, but I dissagree with joe when he says that stairway to heaven is a better song than bohemian rhapsody.(stairway is a great song) bohemian rhapsody (in my eyes ) is the most unique,phenomenal,well orchestrated,and possibly the greatest rock song of all time, i love this song and I love Queen.Caleb - Springfield, Il
my fav. Queen song , LOVE ITValerie - Vancouver, Bc
ok this is my view on on the song im listing to it now (sorry if you can't understand my writing)
in the fiest few lines of the song
(Is this the real life ,Is this just fantasy)
i think this is him relising that he is gay.
(Mama,just killed a man,Put a gun against his head,Pulled my trigger,now hes dead)
this would be him comming out that he is gay, the man that he is killing is himself by telling people that he is gay.
(Too late,my time has come,Sends shivers down my spine-Bodys aching all the time)
him getting AIDS or him being at the rick of getting it.
(see a little silhouetto of a man)
the man he used to be before he came out.
(ut Im just a poor boy and nobody loves me-Hes just a poor boy from a poor family-Spare him his life from this monstrosity)
people thinking that he didnt know any better because he's poor.
(Will not let you go-let me go Will, not let you go, let me go, No,no,no,no,no,no,no)
people not liking the fact that he is gay saying its just a faze.
(Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me,for me, for me)
he is religeis(?)and know in is his heart that he is going to hell.
(So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye-
So you think you can love me and leave me to die)
people leaving him afer comming out, not accepting it.
(Nothing really matters,Anyone can see)
he doesn't care that thay are leaving him.
( Any way the wind blows....)
he is going to do what ever he likes with his life and go anywhere.
just my thorts xoxo
Kate - Melbourne , Australia
i hate it when people make assumptions about song meanings but i like to think about it as a criminal that is finaly cought and he has to leave and go to jail wich explains the line "mama just killed a man" wich would be him haveing to tell his mother he trys to comfort his mother by telling her to "carry on as if nothing really mattered" he feels remorese because it says "mama life had just begun but now ive gone and thrown it all away" and it says hes a poor boy and that nobody loves him and most criminals are people that are poor and had a bad childhood and also the line "hes just a poor boy nobody loves him spare his life from this mostrosity" wich is the defence in court trying to get him a lighter sentence and he doesnt get one so then he trys to get probation wich is the "easy come easy go will you let me go" and the "bishmila!!!" "no he will not let you go" line but he doesnt get it and at the end he calms down and exepts the fact that hes gonna die in jail also in the part where the defence speeks he repeets the im just a poor boy thing wich is him cofessingDerek - Shrewsbury, Ma
Lets just stop talking about the commotion that this song has started and listen to the music and great operatic masterpiece this is. There's no doubt that this is a great example of freddie's vocal range.Nick - Cairns, Australia
This song is the plot to "The Stranger" by Albert Camus. What could be more bohemian than an existential novel ?Ernie - Los Angeles, Ca
Besides it doesnt necessarily have to be about him having AIDS. It could be about another person or even an invented character having the disease. Id imagine that the disease was pretty big news in the gay community at that time but the lyrics are pretty clear.Paul - Liverpool, United Kingdom
I happen to find the argument that it is about AIDS convincing, though I dont think it was written consciously knowing that he had what would later be called AIDS at the time. I think he had been told he was sick with the disease that would later be called AIDS and wrote the song as a result. For everybody who says the first cases of AIDS were in the 1980s, they are wrong, see http://www.avert.org/aids-history-86.htm. The disease was known in the 1970s, it was the virus that was identified in the 1980s not the disease. In fact the first cases were detected in the mid-70s, tying in nicely with the writing of the song, especially considering that the disease was considered "gay-related" at that time. Also Brian Mays cryptic comments above "What is Bohemian Rhapsody about, well I don't think we'll ever know and if I knew I probably wouldn't want to tell you anyway.....I think that Freddie was certainly battling with problems in his personal life, which he might have decided to put into the song himself." also hint at the fact that he did know what the song was about but would rather not say. The other thing that ties in is the date of Freddys death, 9 or 10 years prior to that (incubation time for full blown AIDS in those day) is pretty close to the year that this song was written isnt it?Paul - Liverpool, United Kingdom
John - no, not the Mama, the boy. "pulled my trigger now he's dead"... he's the killer, not the Mama.Stu - Philly, Pa
Mama just killed a man and now you have exploded all away.A boy trying to support his mother after a tragic misfortune.John - Brisbane, United States
Is bohemian rhapsody about a boys murderous mother?Mama just killed a man.Her son was blamed for it.Maybe she was a prostitute who had too many men in her bed,and kild one of them.John - Brisbane, United States
I remember hearing this song after Wayne's World was released, this epic rock song could be the best of all-time. Queen rules!Theresa - Murfreesboro, Tn
tom from the uk- "music involving instruments"?! have you HEARD the guitar in this song?!! its awesome!Chloe - St. Louis, Mo
People were dying of AIDS long before 1980's, it just didnt have a name nor did anyone know how it was caused etc. So other factors were written into death certificates. Let just remember that still today people do not die of AIDS they die of the complications of AIDS because it affects the immune system. I have always beleived this song was a message to his mum about his sickness, there is a lot of references to symptoms and references to a uncertain afterlife.
Doesnt really matter what we beleive this song to mean....... It was and still is an exceptional musical work of a brilliant musician.
Kathleen - Melbourne, Australia
This is without doubt the most brilliant piece of `pop` music ever. It came out half-way through the seventies and it was way ahead of it`s time. As for it`s supposed hidden meanings, personally I have always just considered it Freddie`s attempt at a tragic opera, about a care-free young man who murders a man and then gets sentenced to die for it. It is always good to read other people`s takes on it...but that`s mine.Jude - County Derry, --
personally, i dont really think its about anything. sure, he may have put in some personal references, but i dont think it has much of a deep meaning, besides being one of the most awesome songs of all time! im in eighth grade, and everyone in my class knows every word to this song. once when we were building a set for a school play, we started spontaneously singing this from start to finish, including vocal harmonies and air guitar solos. hahaChloe - St. Louis, Mo
I myself don't like this song (Call me weird, but I prefer music involving instruments), but it definetly has a lot of meaning to it. There are all sorts of things to consider when you look at it. So, I think that though the music itself isn't all that great, the lyrics are very interesting, and deserve a read even from someone like me. Kudos to any artist who takes the lyrics and adds some actual music behind it. If you sped it up, and added fast drums and guitar, you could make a good Power Metal song out of it :DTom - Southend-on-sea, United Kingdom
There was a rumor in Korea that 'a man' killed in this song was his father. Of course, I don't agree... (30 years ago in Korea, this song was the prohibition song!) I recommend the cartoon relating to this song that was painted by 'Oculus'.Anonymous
It disgusts me when people get on to a website and completely deface what it represents. If you dislike the song, DO NOT even bother to voice your opinion on the subject. And FYI as far as the speculation on Freddie Mercury's AIDS theory goes, there is no possible way he could have known he had AIDS because the song was released at a much earlier date. HE was NOT the carrier of them so he could not have known he was dying as some people seem to believe. And as far as queen goes, I have grown up listening to it and this would have to be one of the most phenomenal, most complex songs of ALL TIME. Love it or hate it, it will not change the facts of what it was. Freddie Mercury was a terrific asset to the music industry and will be missed terribly. Queen forever :)Tahlia - Sydney , Australia
There's a Ben & Jerry's icecream named Bohemian Rasberry after this song. 10p from every tub goes to the Mercury Phoenix Trust, the charity set up in Freddie Mercury's memory.Lotte - Sønderborg, Denmark
Someone commented that the reference to Galileo may have been a nod to Brian May as he was an astronomy "buff." The idea that this may have been a reference to his interest in astonomy may very well be true--I don't know. But just for clarification May was and is much more than just a mere "buff" which would indicate an amatuer interest. In fact May was a doctoral candidate in astrophysics through much of his professional musicianship. Authoring and co-authoring numerous academic papers throughout his career with Queen, he graduated at the postgraduate awards ceremony held in the Royal Albert Hall on the afternoon of Wednesday 14 May 2008. His disertation is entitled A Survey of Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud. He is currently the Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University. He is far more than a mere astronimy buff. He is,in fact one of the leading scientists in this field and was a noted authority even during his stint as one of the most brilliant guitarists in rock and roll. I guess you can tell I am a fan!Randy - Tulsa, Ok
Whether this song was about AIDS or not, I think it's freaky that he actually kind of foretold his own future in this song. It makes me laugh at the thought of Freddie being a psychic or him traveling to the future, getting a glimpse of his life, then traveling back and writing this song, hahahah (By the way I don't think it was about AIDS, that would make it nearly impossible, unless Freddie had superpowers!). But the thought of him predicting his demise is kind of eerie though.

It's really interesting reading all the theories about this song: Him being gay, murder, AIDS, being on death row, war, religion, etc. The one that makes the most sense to me would probably be his struggle with being gay. But I particularily really like the theme of the character in his song being on death row. Whatever it is, there's something very haunting about this song. And that's part of its beauty. It is abstract art.

I read somewhere that Freddie actually did some research before coming with this song. It wasn't something he came out with "out of the blue". That article could have been lying who knows. I think it's interesting too how someone pointed out "Liar"'s lyrics and how they're similar. I hadn't thought of that ("Liar" is another one of my favorite Queen songs). Either way, I admire him deeply for his unique approach to songwriting.

Another great song (s) by Queen is "In the Lap of the Gods" (original and revisited). Beautiful songs.

By the way, check this Bohemian Rhapsody Outakes video of Freddie singing if you haven't already. It's hilarious! I Adore Freddie's voice, and this is great to listen to - mistakes and all ;D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nFFqIwnE3w
Karla - San Diego, Ca
Fantastic song, but I believe there's a suicide reference.Refer to lyrics "Mama,life had just begun,But now Ive gone and thrown it all away", signifying how the singer's life is no longer worth living.
"Too late,my time has come.......Mama ooo- (any way the wind blows)I dont want to die,I sometimes wish Id never been born at all-" seems shows suicidal intent.
Caitlin - Upper Township, Nj
I think the song is more about him killing someone, then leaving his home, then saying how he was left to die and how he has to leave. The one part he says "Momma, just killed a man, put the gun against his head, pulled the trigger now hes dead"Tom - Cleveland, Pa
I was always told this song was about the Prague Spring of 1968, and it's certainly plausible to listen to it as a sort of exchange between the Czechoslovaks and the Soviets. I guess, reading all this posted stuff, though, that that interpretation is way too deep...Steve - Binghamton, Ny
I was always told that this song was about the Prague Spring of 1968. When it was first out in the US in the mid-70's, I KNOW I read things to that effect... Has there ever been a band that just completely lost it and never got it back so suddenly as Queen? They were one of the all-time greats until "Hot Space", and never even had a passable song, much less album/CD, again. Kind of the Don Mattingly of rock...Steve - Binghamton, Ny
A Queen Fact : Freddy Bulsara (Mercury) had a stall at Portabello Road Market where he sold flowery shirts in the very early seventies. One of his customers was Noddy Holder of Slade and Freddy used to boast that he would have a bigger group than Noddy. Freddy was right !!! - from the biography of Noddy HolderPaul - London, United Kingdom
Further about this song being used in the book "Good Omens" by Prachett and Gaiman. Crowley listens to it all the time, because of the phenomenon that all cassettes that stay in a car for more than a month, will automatically transform into a "Queens Greatest Hits" album. And being a devil himself, sort of, it is just one of those things that he gets to hear it all the time.Derek - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Great song. One of my all-time faves. This song always takes me back to my mom's old convertible. She had a blue '69 Chevy Impala and because there were so many of us (six kids) my mom would almost never drive with the top down. One Saturday there was just Mom, my brother John and me in the car so we talked her into putting down the top and cruising around. "Bohemian Rhapsody" came on the radio and we cranked it up and just wailed along with Freddie with the wind in our hair.Rob - Kansas City, Mo
I think this song is about suicide. It's about a guy who just feels unloved and wants to die. The lyrics "Mama, I just killed a man/ put a gun against his head/ pulled my trigger, now he's dead" are about an attempt, maybe Russian Roulette. Part of him died when he realised that he really did want to die, so he wrote a suicide note to his mother- all of the Mama parts support this. And it's not that he wants to die, persay. He just wants it all to end. He wishes he'd "never been born at all". He's morally conflicted about his decision- part of him wants to live ("Let me go!") and part of him wants to die ("We will not let you go"). He then realises that he doesn't care, that "nothing really matters" and shoots himself.Mickey - Mars, Pa
I love the guitar riff near the end its just so awesome! I wish it would last forever!

This song isn't quite meant to make sense to us, its done in a completely different style of actually explaining something.
Mitchell - Adelaide, Australia
Altough there are many possible references to AIDS, please keep in mind the fact that this song was written before AIDS was even recognized. The dates of the discovery of AIDS and the when the song was released do not align. Sorry, but if the dates aren't right, there's almost no way this song could be about AIDS. I, personally, like to interpret it almost exactly as it sounds. A person killed a man, knows that he has nothing to live for, is caught, and, ultimately, is doomed.Phoenix - Jacksonville, Fl
You people who think this song is about Freddie Mercury having AIDS are completely ignorant! The Song was released in 1975. AIDS was first reported in 1981. Are you saying that a world famous rock star contracted a virus that no one even knew about 6 years before it was discovered? I'm sorry, but if he had AIDS in 1975, he would also go down in history as the world's first AIDS patient! Not too mention that he would have had the disease for 16 years in a pre-treatment era when patients died after 9 or 10 years of having the disease. Maybe you all think the song was "new" when it was on Wayne's World or something. Either way, you're ignorant. If that's the case, you're only ignorant in terms of classic rock, but if you think Queen released a song about AIDS before doctors even knew it existed, you're wasting precious oxygen and your supply should be cut off. As for what is IS about? Who cares?!? The surviving band members don't even know!!! It would probably lose all its magic if we knew, so lets let this one rest in peace with its author.Jeremey - Bellingham, Wa
Can't claim any absolute interpretation (who could?) - but to me Bohemian Rhapsody is the song of a man on death row. He says his goodbyes to his loved ones but also, perhaps he tries to mitigate what he's done, pointing to his circumstances (he's just a poor boy who made bad choices).

Freddie was a brilliant singer, but it's a pity that many people usually associate AIDS with him first rather than his achievements.
Kym - Yishun, Singapore
For God's sake, THIS SONG CANNOT BE ABOUT AIDS. Why? Because nobody even knew it existed until the 80's, and this song was written/released in 1975. Also, Freddie wouldn't have actually known he had the disease until the mid to late eighties.
We're not ever going to know what it means, so just enjoy the song instead of arguing about how it absolutely must be Freddie's deep confessions about his sex life, which was nobody's business but his own. Leave it alone.
Liza - Funkytown, Australia
I sadly hear it as a suicide, obviously the protagonist in the song had a damn good reason for doing it and so heaven was trying to fight for him, but the devil put aside for him due to suicide.Mitchell - Adelaide, Australia
I'm of the impression that this is the best song ever. Seriously. There's no song like it, and this - this is just - I can't describe it. Seriously. Words fail me. This was the song that introduced me to real music. Queen is my favorite band, and although A Night at the Opera isn't my favorite album (Queen II is), this is undoubtedly my favorite song. Long may the great Queen rule.Pippin - Rhye, Ca
lets put it this way...this song surely has gotten everyone to forcefully state their opinion about it's meaning and/or message after they hear what is clearly a very heavy personal puzzle. queen is one of the ten best bands of all time during the golden age of rock music 1965-1975, and anyone who thinks not is an idiot. this song, should be up there amongst the more complicated and thought provoking tunes written. i'd say 99 per cent of us either likes the way a song sounds or not.....and don't really care about it's puzzle pieces....Chuck - La, Ca
WOW, I read alot of references to Freddie singing about AIDS and himself in this song....the year this song was released in 1975...Speculation is that AIDS even in its earliest forms was not deteched until late 1976...I dont think he knew what he had in 1975...By the time these men and women dies they succumbed to opportunistic infections...Let the man Rest in Peace...Anthony - Avoca, Pa
When I get to the middle of this song I just start cracking up. It makes me laugh so much. The beginning and the end sound very deep and emotional like it's a confession.Kadie - Corpus Christi, Tx
An orchestra montage really makes this piece stand out with a perfect clash of electric guitar and piano. No other song imaginably can keep up with the intensity of this song. I repeat, it's one of a kind in my book. The melody is mesmerizing like a heavenly harmonic sound rarely heard to any person.Jacob - Pearland, Tx
The song, performance, and title, "Bohemian Rhapsody," are all mesmerizing. The genius of Freddie Mercury will stand as one of the very best of the best, a classic poem.Jim - Hemet, Ca
to ALEX from Chicago,IL..its not his duty or responsibility to unveil his privacy,to the world.If u committed mistakes (NOBODY'S PERFECT!DO U?)you will keep it in ur a***..am i right.?im not trying to be nasty here..oh yeah.When it happened he accepted the agony of dying silently,he did not bemoaned,and accepted his fate,ITs written for him to die young at the peak of his fame,..a short life,a life that been taken before time,which guarantees the fame leads to immortality.Unlike some performers,performing with the same ageing crowd of fans,so far out of touch and remembered them as FOOLS.Freddie died and gone,and the fate of heroes came upon him..the proofs here in front of your eyes these long blogs,long beyond grave and yet lives...immortalTitania - Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Josh makes a good point. Freddie did not announce that he had AIDS until days before he died and was always were secretive about it. Though Heather's detailed analysis of the lyrics opens room for speculation. For me, the line that seals it is, "Put a gun against his head (penis)/Pull my trigger now he's dead (ejaculate)". It is common for people who contract HIV/AIDS to find out after someone who they have slept with finds out that they caught it. In this way, "just killed a man" is Freddie speculating about how many people he has 'killed' with his love.

Honestly, though I know the dates don't line up exactly, for me there is no way this song is not about AIDS.
Alex - Chicago, Il
Uh, for everyone's(well, mostly the last poster's) information, Freddie contracted AIDS sometime in the mid-80's. Bohemian Rhapsody came out in I think '74, and We Are the Champions came out in 77ish(News of the World Album. So these songs were most definitely not about Freddie's AIDS. Don't mean to shoot you down... but, yeah.Josh Finch - Ashburn, Va
Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?(I imagine he went to the doc, and was told that his illness, AIDS, was in his head~or could not be identified)
Caught in a landslide,
No escape from reality.
(or perhaps he "knew" intuitively that he was dying)
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.(asking you not to mourn for him)

Mama, just killed a man,
Put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger, now he's dead.(I think this is a phallic reference about spreading a sexually transmitted disease. Most people who have AIDS also have herpes which was obviously a known disease at the time)
Mama, life had just begun,
But now I've gone and thrown it all away.(obvious..he was lamenting that he will die)
Mama, ooh, 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.(don't mourn)

Too late, my time has come,
Sends shivers down my spine, body's aching all the time.(shivers/night sweats/aching flu symptoms all aids symptoms, his time has come)
Goodbye, ev'rybody, I've got to go,
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth.(The truth is, he knew he was dying~but not what he was dying from)
Mama, ooh, I don't want to die,
I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all.(A normal reaction to grieving your own death)

I see a little silhouetto of a man,(weight loss=AIDS Symptom)
Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango.(Freddy wondering if he will be to sick to perform, or to be himself)
Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very fright'ning me.(References to the heavens/or hell/death)
(Galileo.) Galileo. (Galileo.) Galileo, Galileo(The heavens again?) Figaro (an opera. duh)
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.(AIDS=monstrosity)
Easy come, easy go, will you let me go.(Bargaining with God, also a grief response.)
Bismillah! No, we will not let you go.(The disease)
(Let him go!) Bismillah! We will not let you go.
(Let him go!) Bismillah! We will not let you go.
(Let me go.) Will not let you go.
(Let me go.) Will not let you go. (Let me go.) Ah.
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.(Literal=The Devil has a devil put aside for me. Devils also demons. Demons are illnesses/addiction. Freddy knowing he is being killed by this mystery illness that only HE had. Perhaps expressing some unfortunate guilt about his sexuality/lifestyle. The devil invented a horrible disease for him. To me, the saddest lyric.)

So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye.(judgment by the world, not by God so much)
So you think you can love me and leave me to die.(Think of how HIV is spread...at first sexually, and was known as "the gay cancer")
Oh, baby, can't do this to me, baby,(Denial, another response to grief)
Just gotta get out, just gotta get right outta here.(Running away from problems, another grief response)

Nothing really matters, anyone can see,
Nothing really matters,
Nothing really matters to me.

Any way the wind blows.

(more AIDS references in "We Are the Champions", where he seams to have come to terms with his own dying process.)
Heather - Los Angeles, Ca
Classic. Angelica you do know this was written in 1975, don't you? I have a VHS where he says he doesn't like to canvass his songs. Just like the majority of other songwriters/poets/etc.Johnny - Miami, Fl
I love this song! Its awesme,,,everything about is unique, fresh, and i get an emotional sympathetic connection to it... I wish i could get a better understanding of the lyrics though....when he said..."Goodbye, ev'rybody, I've got to go
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth
Mama, ooh, I don't want to die
I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all", was this because he knew of his AIDS virus?? Im so curious as to wat is the REAL meaning of these words! someone help me!
Angelica - Allentown, Pa
Elton John and the London Broadway made a tribute Broadway play to Queen. Its called We Will Rock You. I saw it in London, and its great. The main character's name is Galileo. It is a very funny play.
=)
Christina - Houston, Tx
"Bohemian Rhapsody" was the fourth hit in the rock era to reach the US top 10 in 2 separate chart runs with the same recording of the song. The others are: "The Twist" by Chubby Checker, "Monster Mash" by Bobby "Boris" Pickett & the Crypt-Kickers, and "Stand by Me" by Ben E. King.

-Jeff, Long Island NY
Jeff - Nesconset, Ny
I forgot to add this interesting fact. Mercury had a severe overbite. He struggled with this complexity since he was a kid. When he reached super star status, he thought about getting his teeth fixed. He changed his mind, fearing his dental work would jeopardize his beautiful voice (even though the orthodontists told him that dental work could not do that to anybody). He never again considered it.Mayra - Whittier, Ca
It has also been speculated that Mercury wrote this song in rememberence of when he first told his mother he was gay. When he says, "Mama, just killed a man, put a gun againts his head, pulled the trigger now he's dead," (so on and so forth) is really talking about himself. That's how he felt about coming out and admiting he was gay. When he gets to the part of "Bismillah, no, we will not let'em go," he is acutally quoting the words of his mother when she is surprised with the news from Mercury. In other words, it's a conversation with his mother, if you will.Mayra - Whittier, Ca
Maybe the man that he has killed is himself because he found out that he now has aids and that the person that he got it from has left him. and the begining part is him saying that he is stuck with his decision. When he says
"Put a gun against his head,
Pulled my trigger,now hes dead,
Mama,life had just begun,
But now Ive gone and thrown it all away"
he is saying he made a life changing decision. meaning he got aids...and he is telling her not to worry about him case its his fault
the he is scared to die and he is slowly getting sicker
the silhouetto of a man, is god
he wnats to except god but he thinks he isnt good enough too and that god wont take him in. Then the evil voices that wont let him go is kinda like the devil. Then he says he has to get out of reality.
then he gives up hope and just goes along with what ever happens...
sorry for the extremely long comment this all just came to me
Robby - Randolph, Me
Freddie and other Queen-members never talked about the meaning behind their songs. So every Queensong must be considered a personal secret. Brian May told this on the Greatest Video Hits 1Albert - Haaren, Netherlands
When I listened to this song in my bedroom, back in 1983, my mother said I was weird. I still love it, know the lyrics and sing and dance along!! Great song!!Montse - Verdú, Spain
this song is probably the most well-orchestrated song everTravis - Upton, Ky
My interpretation is that a man has murdered someone by shooting them, and he confessed to his mother. he leaves telling her that if he isn't back then don't worry cauz she knew this was going to happen. Then he gets aught and is ojn trial, and is let go. but then is betrayed and taken it and sentenced to death. my interpretation!Brandon Gallagher - Marysville, Sd
so its 1:59 a.m. on what is now Feb.14th 2008, and im just woundering if anyones ever thought that maybe he was a guest of a member in the Bohemian Grove???? it talking about illumati and world control. nazi like government world wide... omg! this is nuts. possibly ground breaking...Daniel - Ocean Shores, Wa
the song was created loooong before aids was epidemic but...he knew he was dying.Kelly - Nanoose Bay, Canada
The song tells the story of a man who has been arrested for murder and waiting for execution in the electic chair..... THUNDER BOLT AND LIGHTNINGKurtiz - Oklahoma City, Ok
There'a a rather ironic verse in the song:"So, you think you can love me and leave me to die?"
Perhaps, this verse is refering to his lover that has infected him with AIDS hence he was loved and left to die.
Jurry - Denton, Tx
Bianca, it's about him killing a man, the lyric says, "Mamma, I've killed a man"Lila - San Diego, Ca
my two freinds and I memorized this song, It's her favorite.
Anna, It's about his MUM who killed a man.
Bianca Sanchez - Alburquerque, Nm
i think this song is about remorses.
a young guy has killed a man. the boy is probably bohemian and he has to escape but in the end he is arrested and put to jail. his mama come to see him in prison and yell at him and now nothing really matters to him
Anna - Paris, France
it's a great great song just brilliant Basically I think it is about somebody tortured I love the line,"Mama ,No I don't wanna die but sometimes i wish I had'nt been born at all." And the Nothing really matters at the end .By the way freddie was'nt
persian.He's studied in India9The school whre he studied is close to my house
Akshay - Allahabad, India
This song is crazy! The mood changes from lamenting and woeful to rock anthem to wispy and airy. Whenever I hear this song, I think of my dad and uncle dancing like Wayne, Garth, and their friends do in Wayne's World- the headbanging always cracked me up. Great song from Queen.Meredith - Wauwatosa, Wi
Jeston from Fort Worth TX, the reason people want to know the meaning is because sometimes when you know the meaning better, you understand it and connect with it better...well that's how it is with some people.Bella - Pretoria, South Africa
Awesome song. I'll admit that my first introduction to it was from Wayne's World, but then again I wasn't even born when the original was released. I tend to like songs that switch up the tempos and have different parts to them, and this is among the best.Christopher - Nashville, Tn
First things first, perhaps the greatest songs of all time. The first time I heard it, I was amazed at how it moved almost seamlessly from one style of music to another.A pure masterpiece from 4 geniuses and I think Freddie will be long rembered for his magnificent voice. One other thing though, a bit disappointed with some of the comments throughout. Particuarly those who have chosen to waste their time debasing the song and/or Queen and/or Freddie Mercury. I would not have thought that if you do not like the song that you would seek such a site to voice your probably unappreciated opinions, opinions that only serve to piss off those that do appreciate the song and enjoy others CONSTRUCTIVE commentary thereof. Queen forever.Michael - Perth, Australia
Humans you just can't listen to the song without needing to know what it's about?? I'ts so f*ing annoying. No explanation was given, can't you just let it be?
Anyway, my fav track on the album is Seaside and Death on2 legs i don't know why but lately i'm not feeling this song that much. Maybe it had something to do with listening to this song on repeat in my ipod. lol
Jetson - Fort Worth, Tx
I love this song, but as Italian i have to say: Freddie and ABBA you're wrong, the real spelling is MAMMA MIA (mother of mine) that's a typical Italian exclamation.
As much typical is the mistake mama mia.
I think that as Brian May said, the real meaning remain in the mind's writer in his feeling experiences, in his past life, and also fantasy.
Gianni - Roma, Italy
Another tidbit that supports the autobigraphical theme of the song (Mercury struggling with his sexual orientation) is the reference to "Magnifico" ("Magnifico. I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me"). Magnifico was a major character from what was undoubtedly Isaac Asimov's most popular science fiction storyline - the "Foundation" series. In the story, Magnifico was a mutant popularly known as "The Mule", and as he hinted at the end of his storyline, he had some sexual issues, besides being physically small and unattractive (his cover for his psychokinetic abilities was as a clown). If Brian May were an astronomy buff, he'd certainly have been familiar with the Magnifico character, a magnetic but ultimately tragic figure, as was Mercury himself.Pete - St. Paul, Mn
This song is truely beast. the lyrics are awsome, too. the part with " I see a little silhouetto of a man..." was featured on the movie Wayne's World. funny, funny movie!Max - Laconia, Nh
The thing is, though so much has happened in the music industry (we're REALLY heading south) there's nothing like this song and freddie mercury could have been one of the greatest opera singers yet, and he's already one of the best vocalists of ALL TIME. Beautifully written, smooth solo on May's part and powerful, emotional instruments on Taylor and Deacon's part. Queen isnt just a bunch of gay (and some straight...) guys, theyre one of the greatest composers. All of 'em.Ozzy - Fresno, Ca
i believe he speaks of bohemian grove. which is a satanic getaway for all leaders of the world who are possessed and controlled by satan. the world we think is un-supernatural is, so look up to the skies and see, theres no escape from reality, which ultimatley is a prison society of lies. research the grove.Dane - Victoria, Australia
this song is amazing, it never gets old. its a legend.Melanie - Seattle, Wa
This song is 5:52 quite long iv'e heard a lot longer Sweet Child o Mine Guns N' Roses same length
Us and Them Pink Floyd 7:51
Stairway to Heaven 8:00
American Pie Don Mclean 8:30
Jesus of Suburbia Green Day 9:08
Homecoming Green Day 9:15
Bat out of Hell Meat Loaf 9:44
Free Bird Lynard Skynard 10:00
The longest song iv'e heard is 61:14
Jesus Of Suburbia - Frinton On Sea, Al
This is such a long song, but very popular.... i went bowling the other day and people played it like 5 times!!!! Awesome songMatthew - Calgary
I think it was awesome the way it was portrayed in "Wayne's World"!! The song was an excellent addition to it.Frank - Brampton, Ontario, Canada
The meaning of this song is obvious. This is a song about Freddie Murcury's struggle to come out of the closet about being Gay. The man he kills is the rational man inside his head that speaks about self preservation and how life would be so much simpler if he stayed closeted. His family would accept him and love him and he wouldnt betray his God or his religion. If you look at the song in this way everything shall fall into place.
What he is saying is that he has made his decision to come out of the closet and proclaim he is Gay, at least to himself.
The murder he commits is that of killing his self denial and now he is about to face the truth. In the light of fame, all lies are burnt away and his homosexuality will be brilliantly disclosed. The fandango is a portuguese dance in which two male dancers face each other, strutting their stuff; another reference to being Gay. I think Freddie Mercury was afraid of being hated for being Gay. He knew that he couldnt absolutely come out, but he realized that he would eventually have to be outed. the ultimate outing was when he died of AIDS. In that sense he is the partial fullfillment of the complete process of discovering you are Gay, struggling with it, realizing you are talented, fearing the repurcussions, but ultimately making the decision to let the truth be known, both to yourself and to others. Although Freddie in this song doesnt get to the triumphant realization, but rather is somewhat mired in shame and concludes that life is meaningless, he has come as close as he can to comming right out and saying what he is. He went so far and no further in this song. But he paved the way for others to go further, whether it be in self acceptance or otherwise.
Mitcheleisenstein - Stony Brook, Ny
When I first heard this song I though that the guy who wrote it was either high or drunk. LOL! But now that I've listened to it (I mean actually LISTEN to it)its kind of sad. Make your own meaning of it. There is no right or wrong answer. To me it kind of says don't thrpw your life away and make stupid choices that you know you are going to regret!!Rachel - Cleveland, Al
In the title, "bohemian" means,also, "a person with artistic interest who disregards conventional standards of behavior." and "rhapsody" means, "exalted or excessivly enthusiastic expression of feeling." which to me seems to go along with the song. not the meaning of the song but the song itself. p.s. to say the song has one meaning if wrong because different people see it in different ways which was Mercury's intensionJonathan - Chicago, Il
Not a big fan of Queen but i do respect what they did for music. There is no denying that this song is a masterpiece. With great music and great lyrics, this song remains to be one of the greatest rock songs written.Chris - New York, Ny
I gotta give props to this band. I always saw this song as dark and puzzling (maybe like the writer behind it?) but I loved it since i was a kid, whatever the answer behind this (Still unknown, lol?) it always rocked and still keeps rocking me!!Blake - Chicago, Il
I never could understand arguments about song likability. That's like arguing about which ice cream is better...chocolate or vanilla. If a lyric, melody, rhythm or any of their combinations moves you in a positive way, you'll like the song,if it doesn't you probably won't like it. Critics may attempt to match a song and the performance of it to some standard in a genre or a formula that's been established by other performers but that still will not effect the way individuals may respond to it. Grunge doesn't move in any way but some tortured souls love it.Mike - Houston, Tx
Simply an amazing song!Our new chorus teacher said we perform it for one of our concertsJim - Rossville, Il
However somewhat prophetic this song may be, it is so Freddie. The greatest of songs usually have very complicated and inexplicable lyrics. During the 16 years Freddie was alive after the release of this song, he never offered an explanation. Freddie himself said numerous times throughout his career he didn't want to explain his songs. He said " I don't want to ruin the images or opinions that people have already formed in their minds of my songs. That's not my job." (laughs)
Go to "Youtube" and you can see countless interviews with Freddie for yourselves.
Becky - Locust Grove, Ga
uk dj kenny everett was acknowledged as being behind the success of this great hit as he championed the song on his radio show back in 1975,also if you break down the song words you'll find at least 30 uk top 75 song titles enclosedJeff - Liverpool, England
I think it is wrong to say Queen started a trend of sending videos instead of performing live on TV. I am pretty sure Beatles started it in mid 60's with songs like Rain for Ed Sullivan show.Iztok - Kranj, Europe
When I first heard this song, I thought it was a joke. But I enjoyed what seemed to be its campiness, and there was certainly some fine instrumentation. Later, I actually listened to the song itself. I think it is about a struggle with the self (which, by the way, is what I've always thought about "The Stranger" by Camus). In struggling to become our true selves and realize a dream, we sometimes have to "kill" something or someone, which can be an illusion we've accepted or a story we tell ourselves. Others won't understand why we do that, which is exactly the reason we can't explain it. And as for "Mama, I don't want to die:" For most gay people, one of their most anxiety-producing experiences is getting ready to tell their parents. It's scary because life as you knew it up to that time is over, and parental support or rejection can determine a lot about the rest of your life. Trust me, I've been there, done that.Musicmama - New York, Ny
Queen done alot for Rock history they provided a unique sound wich has set the base for many classic rock songs th classic beat to another one bites the dust has constantly been refered to in multiple song! awsome bandBobby - Sydney, Australia
I've not enough time to read all your comments, but one point is clear enough. It looks like there are people whose main mission in life is deleting Queen from the history of Rock. Most of them criticise this group only on the base of ideological reasons, and the few times they try to articulate a more consistent argument (see Carolyn below), "forget" to mention facts against their thesis, even if they are related to arguments they consider.
When you write about link with classical music, wouldn't you mention that London Symphony Orchestra have recorded a wonderful tribute to Queen, and that they have collaborated with Royal Philharmonic? When you write about polls, would you forget that Guinness World Records claimed just this song as the British favourite of all time? When you write about charts, wouldn't you mention their several records? To say nothing about those who deliberately lie and say - not here - that "all the group's members are gay", others who try to deny their ability as musicians or their creativity as composers.
To all those people, I say: Queen are worldwide considered as one of the greatest rock groups of all time, and your efforts won't hide a single bit of their excellence.
Stefano - Rome, Italy
I had no time to read all the comments heres mine:
this song is about demonic posseesion, at one point this man with all the demons in his head realizes that he cant get ride of them any how, and the names Freddy claims to be just "Random rhyming nonsense" (see songfacts)are actually demon names, I dont expect you to back me up if youre not a believer. And yes, the song its not about Freddy himself, he was a grat poet and songwriter. One of my favorit artists
Barabay - Laredo, Tx
i don't know what all you people are on. the song's about absolutely nothing according to the guy who wrote it. also, it's way too painfully slow. i can't stand it. sickening.Achory - Warner Robins, Ga
this song may be about...nonsense, but that doesn't matter! brian may's talent is definitely heard here, and freddie...[why did you have to go!?] is...wow.he can sing up to 4 octaves almost and this song doesn't hide that. freddie is overall one of the greatest singers of all time and a brilliant composer. this song is gold like stairway and is irresistable to sing along toOzzy - Fresno, Ca
the best performance of this song is in the movie waynes world when they sit in the car and sing alongFelix - Stockholm, Sweden
people who hate Queen are entitled to hate them, but i just wanted to say that i used to hate queen untill about a year ago, when i i finally sat down and really listened to them. freddy`s voice is absolutely amazing, brian may brings the guitar to life and the distinct and unique sound and lyrics of this amazing band make them them one of the greatest bands of all time.Andreas - Melbourne, Australia
Everytime I hear this song (which is a lot, trust me), I can't help but see a striking resemblance to Albert Camus's "The Stranger".
Although it's redundant at this point... I love this song.
Kimmie - Dallas, Ga
And just what we need and want an obnoxious,overblown annoying,bombastic bad imitation of opera into rock music! NOT!!!!Lucyinthesky - Philadelphia, Pa
Shirley from New Jersey you are so right about it being an established fact that John Lennon and Paul McCartney are generally recognized as brilliant composers as Mozart and Beethoven. Infact on a 1995 Nightline Beatles tribute show classical violinist Izak Perlman said he plays his children Bach Beethoven and The Beatles! And on the same show Brian Wilson was on and he played With A Little Help From My Friends on the piano and he said he just loves this song. He then said he feels that Sgt.Pepper is the greatest album of all time and that John Lennon and Paul McCartney were the 2 greatest song composers of the 20th century! Brilliant classical composer and conducter Leonard Bernstein said this about them also. And on a 1991 CBS morning news show Elton John was asked who he musically admires. He said you can talk about your Rogers and Hammersten but for the quanity of quality songs John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote in such a short period of time,they were the 2 greatest song composers of the 20th century! Even Ozzy Osbourne said in a 2002 online Bender Magazine interview that Paul McCartney is a musical genuis and The Beatles Are The Greatest Band To Ever Walk The Earth! He's been a huge Beatles fan since he was a teenager and he says not loving The Beatles is like not loving oxogen. Most music artists want to belive and want the public to believe that *they* are the greatest so when they say it about other artists it really means a lot! Bohemian Rhapsody is no way even equal much less better to Strawberry Fields Forever,In My Life,Yesterday,Imagine which has John's typical beautiful singing voice,pretty melody,and piano playing and wonderful message in the lyrics not some extremely annoying nonsense, Scaramouche Scaramouche will you do the fandango Galileo Galileo Eleanor Rigby,Hey Jude and A Day in The Life! The Beatles are the most covered music artists of all time with everyone from classical,rock,pop,jazz,motown,and even heavy metal artists recording their great timeless music! There was even a heavy metal Beatles tribute album out last year called,Butchering The Beatles. Many music professors are teaching college courses at good universities on what brilliant song composers John Lennon and Paul McCartney were including award winning music professor and composer Dr.Glen Gass at Indiana University. He's been teaching a course on rock music and The Beatles since 1982. On his web site for this course it says the main purpose of this course is to get students to have a better appreciation of this extraordinary group and their amazing recordings. Dr.Gary Kendal's Beatles course is the most requested at North Western University,and University of California also has a Beatles course. And a professor by the last name of Heinonen at JYVASKYLA university in Finland also teaches a Beatles course. I'm not aware of any music professors teaching colege courses on how "brilliant" Queen were! As The All Music Guide says in their excellent online biography of The Beatles ,that "So much has been aid and written about The Beatles and their story is so mythic in it's sweep that it's difficult to summarize their career without restating cliche's that have already been digested by tens of millions of rock fans." "To state the obvious,they were the greatest and most influential act of the rock era,and introduced more innovations into popular music than any other rock band of the 20th century. Moreover,they were among the few artists of *any* discipline that were simultaneously the best at what they did and the most popular at what they did."Lucyinthesky - Philadelphia, Pa
Thank you Gordie! This song like every other song I have heard from Queen except Your My Best Friend,is the most obnoxious annoying bombastic garbage put on record! I have always hated Queen since We Will Rock You We Are The Champions came out when I was 12. I hated them then and had to turn off the radio as soon as they were on as I do now! And this song has the most annoying,obnoxious lines sung by Freddie in the most annoying obnoxious way, Scaramouche Scaramouche will you do the fandango,and then he sings in an more annoying even louder higher pitch repeatedly Galileo,Gelileo Gelielo figara-magnifico!!!! I would rather be passed out unconcious then be subjected to hear this atrocity!

It's so mindboggling how anyone can tolerate this much less so many like and love it! Or most of Queens songs for that matter! On Acclaimed Music.net which compiles many different rock reviews by all different rock music critics from decades,Queen are justfiably # 113 but The Beatles are rightfully # 1! And The 1992 Rolling Stone Album Guide gives Queen a poor review and rating and says they were tasteless,theatrical,and bombastic schlock rock that could only have happened in the 70's! They only give 3 Queen albums a 5 star review every other album they only give 2 stars! They also say that people should use caution in buying any of their records because even their greatest hits sound dated! The popular online music reviewers Wilson and Alroy and Mark Prindle don't even bother to review Queen at all!
Lucyinthesky - Philadelphia, Pa
I agree wit derek..to add..bohemians musicians challenged social norms thru their music..he was challenging the norm of hetrosexuality,particularly his cultured family norms as persians who saw homosexuality as disgraceful and dirty.he is upset that he cant be a normal son.the man he killed is the man his family thought he was.he is speaking to his mother because she is more understanding.life had just begun..thrown it all away refers to throwing away his cultural pride and identity.didnt mean to make you cry..he is sad that he cannot be what his family expects him to be..if im not back tomorrow carry on,means that he doesnt think he wil ever be who they want him to be and that they should accept it..and live without him cos he's joined the world of fame fortune and homosexuality...Billjay - Sa, Mi
My interpretation of the Lyrics...Its about Freddie's struggle with being gay. The beginning of the song is like his personal struggle with being gay, he is asking himself questions about who he is. The next verse that begins "Mama, just killed a man" is probably his confession to his mother that he is gay. "Killed a man" is saying he has killed a part of himself. Maybe he took part in gay sexual acts that brings the lyric line "life had just begun, But now I've gone and thrown it all away" he knows it's wrong but he did it anyway. The next verse "Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth" just screams that he is coming out of the closet! The following verse (the one with the weird words and "let him go" shouts) is his judgement with the rest of the world. Its like some people are condemning him and others are asking for sympathy ("let him go"). The next verse "So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye" is freddies retaliation. He is pissed off and has had enough. This is probably in reference to his mother who disagred with his choice. The song its as if he doesnt care what the world or his mother thinks. He is just going to be who he is and everyone has to accept that.Derek - Bowling Green, Ky
This is a great mix of opera and weird stuff!! It rocks!Bobsaget - Bellville, Sd
That's ridiculous. A true fan wouldn't say that this is the bands best song. I suppose these people have not heard of White Queen/March of the Black Queen,Innuendo,etc..GReat song, but not their finest!Mecc - Alberta, Canada
this song rocks. they sang this in wayne's world at the beginning of the movie. this is by far queen's best song.Billy - A Place, Al
I consider that this song is about the following things:
1)Life does not last forever and from the first breath we take we are destined to perish someday.
"Mama, ooh, I don't want to die,
I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all."
2)Life is inevitabely made of "Little high, little low"'s.
3)The protagonist of the song seems sad and thinking about dieing, and he sings about his thoughts regarding his life and the consequences of a possible suicide act ("I see a little silhouetto of a man, [...] Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me, for me."
4)Some love issues, regarding the posibility that the one you love can hurt you and heshe may leave you when hard times come: "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 gotta get out, just gotta get right outta here."

Just some thoughts of mine...nothing very imp. :)GREAT SONG, indeed

Other interesting things about the song:
"Bohemian Rhapsody"

My dad would listen to Queen over and over and over again when I was younger. One day, after listening to it for the upteenth time, I thought the song was about a guy who had just given up...who was caught. So I heard the song like "little high, little low, hit me where the wind blows...doesn't realy matter to me.." I, in my mind, was all, "He's such a depressed, sorry shell of a git, that it doesn't matter to him weather or not he gets b**** slapped!" I am of course a fan of Queen now. ;} "
source: http://www.amiright.com/misheard/stories/story_q.shtml
and also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bohemian_Rhapsody
Matt - Timisoara, Romania
Beach Boy Brian Wilson said the first time he heard the song it was so great it "scared him".Bill - Downers Grove, Il
The Arabic phrase Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim is a beautifully poetic expression which offers both insight and inspiration. It has often been said that the phrase Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim contains the true essence of the entire Qur'an, as well as the true essence of all religions.Stephen - Claymont , De
It was an absolutly brilliant live performance of this tune by Elton John & Axl Rose at the Freddie Mercury Tribut Concert in London's Wembley Stadium in April of 1992. Elton took the stage alone and sang most of the song in kind of a mellow & traditional way until the guitar solo part when fireworks went off all around the front of the stage, and Axl came sprinting out wearing a black #22 "Mean Machine" football jersey just like the one Burt Reynolds wore in the origanal "The Longest Yard" movie and sang the powerful chorus with the crowd going wild before joining Elton and finishing the song together as a duet.Michael - San Diego, Ca
Nice interesting song, got to be one of my favorites! Sally from PA; Curtis Mayfield's got there first with 'Freddie's Dead' |-)Lolee - Tonopah, Nv
This is definitely my most favorite song and one of my favorite bands. Queen has a way with music and it shows.Mike - Quakertown, Pa
This song is AMAZING...one of the best ever. The Wayne's World skit of this is hilarious. An all around masterpiece.Tim - Philadelphia, Pa
This song is not about AIDS. AIDS was discovered in 1981. This song was written in 1975. Unless Freddy was a psychic, this can't be about AIDS.Sally - Shavertown, Pa
Thankfully Mercury didn't tell us the meaning, because that would definitely kill the song; since it's got the mysterious thing going on), it wouldn't be as interesting to know the meaning! Wow! Here we are, 32 years later STILL stumped over it! Bravo FreddieJ.s. - Columbus, Oh
The narrator has killed a man and confessed to the crime, but is trying to gain the mercy of the court by making himself sound like a victim. The opera section depicts a debate with the jury or judges. In the heavy metal section, the narrator lashes out at the court, and then the song slows down as he mournfully accepts his fate. (We have the sense that he keeps saying "nothing really matters" to steel himself for what awaits him.) I believe there is a deeper religious meaning to the song, but the murder trial is the most obvious interpretation.N.i. - Baltimore, Md
I believe Freddie was writing about realizing his sexual prference and it becoming public and how he would be judged when it became public.Manuel - Wappingers Falls, United States
I don't believe it is about AIDs. AIDs wasn't really recognized as a disease until 1986 when two (or three?) practicing homosexuals died of it in California. But who knows? Maybe he did.Jim - Bloomington, Il
The song truthfully about Freddie sufffering with Aids and then just a bunch of random rhyming period.Gio - Miami, Fl
From what I was told and have thought about myself as being the meaning of this song is that it's a struggle between Freddy and himself about his bisexuality.Josh - Boce Raton, Fl
Man a man....It is zo obvious what this song is about. Freddy sings about suïcide and how his feelings are fighting inside. In every section of the song you can read he wants to go or gotta go. For example:

section 1: This is the version with the side of Freddy that wants to die.
Section 2: (opera): But a second person (also freddy but his other side) is trying to stop him from doing this (let me go...Don't let you go NONONONO etc.)
Section 3: The inner-fight between these two sides of Freddy is on, he talks to himself as baby.

The ending is a conclusion: in the end Nothing really matters..he goed where the wind blows

You all must agree with this, this is the only logical explanetion of the lyric. Never thought about why Freddy didn't want to explain: ITS TO PERSONAL!
Maddog - Tilburg, Netherlands
Yes! A great classic for sure! and now you can hear it performed in all your favorite, and not so favorite voices all at once! heres a linky for ya! http://my.break.com/media/view.aspx?ContentID=164247Carl - Sarasota, Fl
I heard that he wrote this song right after he learned he had AIDS. Which makes the lyrics much more depressing but more meaningful as well for instance, "mama I don't wanna die." makes it very sadKai - Idledale, Co
I dont care what you people say what its meant to mean or what it is rated or how people got AIDS it doesn't matter because this is a place to out our feelings about the songs not the facts you know or think you do know its not a place to have a conversation! So in conclusion i feel like this is song is one of Queens best songs. And i feel like Bohemian Rhapsody is an era of music it makes me feel a little happier when the day starts to piss me off.Elizabeth - Sydney, Australia
I actually know what it's about! How did I do it? Listen to the lyrics, and maybe even read them! The Song is about a poor boy who is charged with murder, and is afraid to die. At his trial, there is a huge debate over whether or not to execute him. He is apparently stoned, but is defiant anyways, then finally accepts his death. THAT'S what the song's about! Jeez! It's actually pretty easy to figure out IF YOU LISTEN CLOSELY!!!Dee - Northfield, Il
Oh what a riot! I believe this song is just all random things thrown in, maybe there is no explanation to this song? Why do people :need: to find an answer to what Bohemian Rhapsody is about? Just enjoy it dammit!Mike - Itasca, Il
I do not really care what the song is about. I concentrate on how voice and melody sounds together and do not even try to understand anything. I can go through a song and thing its great without remembering a word said. Anyway, this is what I think the song is about. The song came out in 1975, so it had to be written before. How long we don know. So it was not possible that it was about aids. Even of Freddie somehow had it, since aids was not a known disease, how would he know he is dying from it? I think the song is about him fighting with himself about changing teams. His new self has killed his old self. But he knows that the new ways are not good, as as far as I know all religions say that (and its obvious he used a lot of koran references) and that resulted in operatic bit. All the wrong that comes from being gay is trying to take him over and kill the rest of good (straight). on the rock part he revives, how can you stop him and spit in his eye....leave me to die... tied up to his (at the time) female lover (mary austin) he says that he would be unhappy and stay straight just because of what may be expected of him, or what changing teams might bring on. and anyway the wind blows... he is exhausted by now, and he cannot make the decision and just says - anyway the wind blows (straight or gay). its just me, but i think thats what it might be. i am not gay and i dont really want to be thinking of that when i listen to my favorite song of all times. so i just enjoy the song. thank youMatija - West Chester, Pa
Have to agree with Ray, definitely a tongue in cheek song ....so good that its one of my favorites!Mike - Itasca, Il
this song was played at my schools homecoming dance and all teh guys were just singin their hearts out to this song. it was amazin. I LOVE THIS SONGBennett - Kansas City, Mo
Total tongue-in-cheek song. Does anyone really take this seriously? Fav Q song: "Crazy Little Thing Called Love". Good honest rock-a-billy tune.Ray - Memphis, Tn
"for those of you arguing about AIDS...the asymptomatic period of HIV can last 8-10 years, or sometimes even longer, so it is possible that Mercury had it for that long. And AIDS was first discovered in 1981."

"According to the book Mercury and Me by partner Jim Hutton, Mercury was diagnosed with AIDS in the spring of 1987"
Jack - Chicago, Il
My brother is a total moron.
He thinks that Bismillah is Hezobollah because of what went on with Iraq at that time...
I had to explain to him that the song had absolutely nothing to do with that and he still thinks its Hezbollah.
Bob - Rio Vista, Ca
Love this song, Mercury sometimes segued "Mustapha" before the into to this in concert. Anyways, it's just great.Jonathon - Clermont, Fl
Any better song been recorded than this...... I dont think so. Freddie at his best, and whether you agree or not... the bench mark for all songs. Opera into pop, then back into Opera then straight into rock then back into pop. Wonderful.Horatio - London, England
I like this song. I think it is one of the best songs ever to be preformed. I think anyone who dose not like this song is mentaly retarted, and should be put in the cucu hut.Rabecka - Juneo, Egypt
thanks for the info on the song! i was looking around for it for a school project. i love this song and thanks again!Maddy - Lancaster, Canada
Absolutely The Greatest Song of All Time. Freddy's Talents are off this planet. This Song is amazing and will never in History or the future ever be beaten. It is a MASTERPIECE!!! Bohemain Rhapsody all the Way!!!Jackson - Wellington, New Zealand
I know what that part that goes "Sent shivers down my spine, but he's aching all the time" You might not believe me but think of it this way.
Sent shivers down my spine-- kind of obvious not really important, lets check out what the next one could be interpreted as.
Butt is aching all the time
Mercury was gay so this is not totally impossible
John - Topeka, Ky
Note to the first post: This song would have been successful regardless of one friend giving it extra radio time. It was played on hundreds of radio stations and took the world by storm - this can be attributed to the song's greatness, not the extra 14 plays it got from a friend's radio station.Guitargod - Melbourne, Australia
I do not know, but I felt the same dizzy response to this song that I felt to the first opera that I saw as a young girl. Nothing made much sense, but it was the most beautiful thing I had heard in a long time. Take it for what you will.Cyn - Fairfield, Ca
This is the first song i ever memorized, its one of (if not thee) greatest tunes of all time. Its very popular at my school.Floyd - Cf, Ia
If you speak Spanish you should listen to Mexico "Molotov" and their particular cover of this song... really funny! appeared at the latin Queen tributePibe - Lima, Peru
I've always considered this to be a pretentious and overrated tune. I've never been a Queen fan so I suppose I have a biased opinion. However I cringe when I hear this on the radio.Barry - New York, Ny
This one of the greatest songs ever. Everybody knows it, but there are some you don't know who sing it. Everytime I hear though I think what most people think "Wayne's World". This song signifies that when you are in a car and it is playing, the only thing you can do is sing and rock out to it. It is an amazing song. The best!Jammie - No Where, Mi
this song is about a man who kills another man is confessing to his mother that he has ruined there new settling in anew country so I guess you could say that freddie had some feelings that he was surpressing when he moved from India to England. It Is then that the boys mother turns him in for murder and he escapes and tries to escape and it means he cant go home and i guess he feels that his parents never really were truthful ( freddie might feel betryed by his parents for moving to england without asking him ) In the second part it starts off by him finding a soldier and getting captured by the police his trial then starts. ( Freddy might have had a big blowout with his parents about moving to England ) He then asks to be let go by the jury who are about to kill him for murder. He then starts begging them to let him go but they refuse and then they kill him.

In the third part the charachter has gone to hell. He starts saying that he wants to get out of here and the ones who he is saying the lines " so you think you think you can stop me and spit in my eye" and " so you think you can love me and leave me to die " are obviously his parents and the third part is the move to england because hell represents england.He then grows to dislike it right away and quickly wants to get out of hell.( just gotta get out, just gotta get right out of here. )

The last verse is obviously him excepting everything he has hated in the song itself. he is excepting england his parents and even the reason he is here. that is what makes agreat song song and oh yeah, whatever jack off said freddy was getting a blow job by dude can go screw them selves and freddy wasnt bi until the eariy 80s. plus there was a whole bunch of experementing going on in the 70s and 80s so I bet even Robert Plant( zepplin rules!!! ) had probably tried it once or twice.
Jessica - Orangeville, Canada
the two word needed to explain this song are "custom design" it fits so many ideas but i doubt its about AIDS cos even if he did have it like 26 years before he died their would have been little known about it and he couldn't have been very sick so you'd think he'd be hopeful they could cure him AND he would have been (if he had it wen this song was written)amoung the first ppl to have AIDS and wouldn't have known how seriously ill he wasStacey - Someplace, Australia
This is one of the best songs Queen has ever done.The name doesn't make much sense, though!Caitlin - Upper Township, Nj
One time I listened to this song 47 (seriously, I'm not joking) times in a row while on the road. I think that's a record. This is about a young man who kills a guy, then commits suicide after pleading with his conscience. Just listen to the lyrics and you'll see. Amazing song.Mitchell - Redding, Ca
Its is really amazing how they could pull that off. It really started something new. Its a really great song, up at the top for me,and everytime i hear the beginning, I go into this trance and I have to finish the rest. Freddie did really good in this song. Josie, if you ever read this, thanks for giving it to me :)Lola - Chapel Hill, Nc
I heard somewhere they were gonna make this song into an opera or a musical or something. That would be totally weird.Shay - Davis, Ca
overrated...my opion, not one of queens greatest..somebody to love is betterJames - Toronto, Canada
A great instrumental version of this by 'the California Guitar Trio.Rob - Vancouver, Canada
John looks funny in the video :) oh yeah its the best song ever!!Amy - Dallas, Tx
Rolling Stone magazine is embarassing. A waste of poor trees on such trash.
By the way, Bohemian Rhapsody is one of the ten most well-known songs in the world..so i don't what the hell those people are talking about when they say 'its crap'
Its THE best.
Lena - Somewherein, Wy
Simply the best Queen song. Period.Joost - Utrecht, Netherlands
BEELZEBUB IS the suggestive name for the devil. Another way to say it is "Lord of the Flies," as in the book .
And by the way, I think you're right Matt(Australia) that Bohemian Rhapsody is the suckiest song ever, but what's with the dancing ballet?
Novella - Houston, Tx
Rolling Stone, in their Top 500 albums list, placed "A Night at the Opera" at 230. That's a freakin' crime, if you ask me. It should be in the top 25, or at least the top 50.Ash - Charleston, Wv
Hey Jordan from Aberdeen, Scotland
Freddie Mercury's sexuality did not swing until early 1978 during the album "Jazz" you know about his sexuality if you listen to the lyrics of his song don't stop me now the lyrics " I wanna make a supersonic man outta you" still good song
he was straight when writing Bohemian Rhapsody which was on the 1975 album "A Night At The Opera"
Nathan - L-burg, Ky
It sounds to me like the character in the song has murdered somebody (put a gun against his head) confesses to his family then runs away to try and escape but gets caught and sentenced to the death penalty with the middle of the song being his trial argueing whether or not he was guilty (let me go we. will not let you etc). He tries to escape again at the end but is caught and punishedMark - Doncaster, England
It's a story, a painting, an opera...

Basically a big, pretty mess. I really love this song. <3
Kate - Charlotte, Nc
Freddie was to write a song for another song for A night at the opera he wrote a song called "We Are The Champions" but he didn't think that it would work for "A night at the opera" so he wrote "Bohemian Rhapsody" probably about his life and leaving his homeland Brian wondered about the song and Freddie had already knew how it would turn out . In 1977 Freddie pulled out "We Are The Champions" to use in "News To The World"Nathan - L-burg, Ky
Hey. I just want to point out that on the "A Night at the Opera" album they clearly boasted that there were no synthesizers used, so if anyone was wondering.. this is al the real stuff. queen didnt mess with any really fancy equipment or anything for this song
anyway, I am 13 and ever since hearing bohemian rhapsody on the radio when i was five i wanted to know who wrote it. about two years ago i finally bought myself queens greatest hits cd to see if all theyre songs were this good.. now im obssessed! i think my favorite song may be white queen.. i love the sitar or any sitar sounds
peace out
Gnome - Hollywood, Fl
Horribly, many ignorant people confuse this masterpiece of being sung by The Styx.Juan Loire - Vallarta, Mexico
Andrew it sounds to me like they say "As the wind blows". I'm not sure though. I could be completely wrong.Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
Max. I would be surprised to see how many people agree with you. It seems as you are the one who needs to get a little taste. What other songs do you like. If I agree with those choices, then I won't be as harsh.Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
Travis. The song was released in 1975, and Freddy Mercury died in 1991. He couldn't have had it that long. That's 16 ywars.Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
How can anyone like this song? This song is one of the most corny ever to reach #1.

Its called taste people. GET SOME!
Max - Sydney, Australia
In the part where he stops talking to his mother and the police or somebody takes him away, the silhouette part refers to either a lawyer or a policeman taking him to court.
Scaramouche is a reference to the play (or book, I forget which) in which he kills a man in a crime of passion. When he says that and Galileo (who was imprisoned because of his controversial views), he's trying to make it appear like he's this misunderstood man who killed someone righteously.
The crowds buy it ("let him go!") but the jury/judge does not ("Bismillah, we will not let him go!"). Incidentally, Bismillah means "in the name of Allah". I got most of this from Queen's website.
So apparently he's being led away to be executed, and at first he's furious ("so you think you can stone me and spit in my eye") but in the end he's resigned to his fate ("any way the wind blows..."). Awesome song, though it sucks that it never talks about the guy he KILLED.
And that's all I've got to say. Sorry for the lengthiness.
Casey - Chatsworth, Ga
Just want to correct an earlier contributor who said Freddie recorded all the vocals on this tune. Though he did record the bulk of the vocals, any Queen fan can recognize Roger Taylor's high falsetto (a big part of the Queen sound) which can be heard throughout this song. Best example--before the last movement, the highest "for me" is clearly Roger.Ira - San Francisco, Ca
Bohemian Rhapsody is actually an opera, with many elements used in opera such as comedic relief between dramatic scenes. The "Scaramousche" is a common type of character who is usually used in this type of comic relief. the Scarmousche being adressed says "I see a little sillhuetto of a man-o" and the Chorus says "Scaramousche! Scharamousche! Will you do a Diminuetto?" (Or something along those lines). The chorus basically tells the little man to buzz off using a foreign idiom.

More Opera elements include fast, non-dramatic singing used to advance the plot, and slower, more dramatic singing to emphasize an emotion.

Yet more opera elements include a sad ending. At the beginning, the boy tells his mother that if he doesn't return tomorrow, she should carry on "like nothing really matters." At the end of the song, the singer says "nothing really matters, no nothing really matters, to me."
Fred - New York, Ny
Did you know that Freddie recorded all the lyrics hymself? Every vocal heard is his. Amazing!Kathryn - Portland , Or
The only record in the UK to be #1 in four different years - 1977/78 and 1991/92, I think.Bethan - Somerset, Uk.
"Scaramouch" may in fact mean "a stock character that appears as a boastful coward"; however, "SCARAMOUCHE" (note the 'e' at the end) was the title character in an adventure novel by Rafael Sabatini -- who also gave us Captain Blood and others. This book has been made into movies several times; the best, IMHO, was the 1952 version. I believe that this character was the inspiration for the line.Bill - La Crosse, Wi
If you pause the music video a split second before the riotous guitar solo kicks you can clearly see an image of Freddie Mercury dressed like the devil. Subliminal like.Ginny Fred - Westward Ho!, England
for those of you arguing about AIDS...the asymptomatic period of HIV can last 8-10 years, or sometimes even longer, so it is possible that Mercury had it for that long. And AIDS was first discovered in 1981.Travis - Phoenix, Ny
Listen people: its NOT about AIDS or drugs. Its about Freddies past, his family etc. NOT AIDS OR DRUGS. We will NEVER know the meaning of Bohemian Rhapsody, only Freddie and theres been a rumour for years that Roger knows it. Why would you want to know whats it about? It would ruin the song. Just Enjoy It.Amy - Dallas, Tx
Just caught the Flaming Lips perform this at Vegoose. I never particularly liked the song but I had chills during the performance. Just frigging awsome. As all truly great songs (and poems for that matter), the meaning is fluid and connects with the audience on many levels. Too bad the great artists seem to die young.Marcus - Las Vegas, Nv
Regardless of whether this really was the most expensive album ever made, it was certainly the most expensive to buy. My big brother gave me £2 to go and get it for him on the day it was released, as he was at work. I queued for it, but returned empty handed. It was £2.50, unlike other albums which in 1975 were £1.99!Stu - Fife, Scotland
Talking about AIDS. I highly doubt that Matt. This song came out over a decade before he died so as I hav said before, he couldn't have survived with it that long. I'm stickingto the theory that it could be about a murderer who has killed somebody and has to face what he has done.Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
the part in the song where it goes

"Too late, my time has come,
Sends shivers down my spine, body's aching all the time.
Goodbye, ev'rybody, I've got to go,
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth.
Mama, ooh, I don't want to die,
I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all." i think he is talkin about dying from AIDS
Matt - Kansas City, Ks
A lot of people seem to be wondering about Beezlebub.

If anyone has read Paradise Lost by John Milton, they would recognize Beezlebub as one of the fallen angels sent to hell eternally. Beezlebub acts as the Devil's second in command.
Brant - Ocean City, Nj
To the person who wanted to know what they really sing that sounds like "any way the wind blows" during the second time they sing the chorus, it IS "any way the wind blows." And please tell me that was a joke about this song being in a Viagra commercial. I know "We Are The Champions" was in one, but not this song, please!!!

I think by "Bohemian" Freddie just means the laid-back and casual "Bohemian" lifestyle, not the region in the Czech Republic, hence the "nothing really matters to me" line.

And also a lot of people think that the lyrics are said like there should be an 'I' between "Mama" and "just killed a man," as if whoever the song is about is confessing to his mother. So "pulled my trigger" I think just refers to the trigger on his gun. Nothing more. There's a user at songmeanings.net called pkjun who wrote a really detailed interpretation of this song... it's on like the 2nd or 3rd page of comments.
Katie - Somewhere, Nj
obviously the greatest song ever writtenRick - Humboldt, Ia
I see what you mean Jordan. i feel like it's more important to draw your own meaning from music, because even though othey people may have other intentions int he song, if that doesn't strike you first, or help or effect you in life, it's not really improving you at all, therefore take from a song what you and only you take from it, and that's more important than actually udnerstand what anyone else takes from it. although it's interesting to know what other people get from music, if it effects you thatmuch,k you're probably not strong in your opinion and feeling about the music.Kika - Nyc, Ny
So when you don't take songs just for their "face value," doesn't that mean you're really searching for some inner meaning (which is done by analyzing the songs' lyrics and music, and understanding who the artist is, where he was coming from, and his thoughts at that point in time)? Otherwise you just listen to the song for its pure emotional impact, the imagery you get from how the words are pronounced and flow together, and the feelings that emerge in you that are provoked by the music. Neither is right or wrong - they are both different but nevertheless suitable ways of appreciating music. Artists obviously use metaphors within songs that are meant to challenge the audience's thought process, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy music solely for the sound it produces.Jordan - Wv
I don't think you can take this for face value, because it clearly has inner meanings, and it doesn't really have a constant and understandable meaning, if that makes sense?Kika - Nyc, Ny
I feel that the earlier Queen is so much better in quality than the later more poppy stuff. This song is the perfect example of that. I love this song, it's so fantastic, but so is Queen, really being the best and most talented because of thier working in the studios and such. So amazing, you don't get anything like it in any other band.Kika - Nyc, Ny
Alfred, Well said. Freddie never wanted people to figure out this song. Its a mixture of things.... What I wanted to say is that Freddie enjoyed it when people would use their own imaginations to interperet the song. Finding out the true meaning would make you lose your visions of what you think the song means. I personally made peace with that, and honestly like it better this way. Its a beautifully composed song, and love to pieces. We should leave it the way it is, instead of missing out on true feelings for it by just anilyzing it. I bet if you would just sit there and bask in the moment listening to the song, you'll come out with changed emotions. Freddie was indeed the best song writer, and always will be. I admire his poetic charm. ITs just wonderful.Alicia - Tamaqua, Pa
Freddie once said when asked about the meanings of his songs, "If you see it, darling, its there." He didn't feel the need to explain all that he let out in his amazing music, but allowed us each a personal experince within it. Still, I don't think any of us can help but wonder about the song. It Truely was Freddie's baby-- and it wrote it in a time of his life where he was reportedly going through a lot of hard things in his own life. Dispite the way he would often push aside the thought that his songs where anything more than what was seen on the surface, Freddie did care about his music, and what he gave us was incredible. He was bursting with life and color and talent-- and Bohemian Rapsody seems to be timeless, each hearing of it taking us on a soul shaking journy from his own. We may never know what it was all about. Freddie had an odd writing style and could be a bit crazy but keep the passion intact for us. He was amazing. And its songs like this... that make sure we'll never forget him.Alfred - Sidmouth, Co
I just learned this on the piano over the past week. It's terrific! Oh, and every song doesn't have to have some deep, inner meaning or hidden metaphor within the lyrics or music; just take them for their face value ... in this case the different thoughts and emotions a man goes through after committing a murder. The longer an audience has to analyze a song - or any piece of art for that matter - and the more effort it takes to find the "true" message that the artist was trying to communicate, the worse job the artist did in expressing her true feelings, emotions, or intent. This does not mean songs that are easily understood, such as "Fat Bottomed Girls" or "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", are better written or composed, since you have to take into account the subject matter of the song and the particular feelings, emotions, and intent the artist tries to convey to his audience. OK that's enough, I'm not writting a friggin' essay here.Jordan - Wv
the line in this song, "so you think you can stop me and spit in my eye" is one of the greatest lines in any song ever. i freakin love it! mercury is a great singer.Andy - Tualatin, Or
Motley Crue wrote in their biography that execs at Elektra records and Roy Thomas Baker told them that Freddie Mercury wrote Bohemian Rhapsody sitting at RTB's Plexiglas piano while people were doing lines of cocaine.Mleissa - Wasaga Beach, Canada
I like how this song is set up. It's like a giant story. Mercury's a true Rock'n Roller and his best song Bohemian Rhapsody is truly magnificent. With that said the weird voices in the middle of the song get slightly out of hand, but three out of four of the sections in this song are truly classicDan - Lee, Nh
Has anyone with experience ... sorry that I mention this here .... ever thought that this song is dealing with (psychological long-term consequences) of childhood abuse?? I know many persons who have unfortunately made this disgusting experience - survivours. The world which is desribed in this song is rather identical! Freddy´s skills, his way of living is also a very strong indicator! Nothing really matters to them ... even though most of them are incredibly sensitive ... a loose loose position if no help is accepted ...Miginukido - Vienna, Austria
I think this song was a little too complicated to "backmask" it. They had several tracks put together to make a curtain sound. Like when they sing "thunderbolt and lightning very very frightening me!" They used 3 tracks of them singing in different ways then put them together to get the sound they the now have in this song on the album.Alicia - Tamaqua, Pa
Yes, they did. It says, "Quit listening to music backwards, you crazy b*st*rds!"Randall - Dallas, Tx
My favourite song! :D

I wonder if anyone has 'backmasked' this song, like they did with Another One Bites the Dust.
Stephen - Altamont, Il
THANK YOU DEAR!
I'll be blowing out candles in his place!
Im excited, Fred is grumpy cuase hes turning into such a geeser.
lol, just kidding.
We love and miss you Freddie, with all our hearts!!!!!!!
Freddie - Orlando, Fl
Yea I agree Freddie, Orlando, FL. That DVD did leave me with unanswered questions, but did inform me on a lot I never would have known if I hadn't watched it. That is a detail that I left out about Mercury being his ruling planet... sorta forgot to add it, but the whole changing his name came about when he wrote that song "My Fairy King" (when he finally decided to actually change it) ..... And yes, I thought freddie looked gorgeous in this video. He had a mystique something about him.. I can't really explain it in words, but was not scary at all.... I first saw that video when I was 5y/o and had no affect on me except the startum of my infactuation with him and the band. But I guess it just affects people in different ways at different ages. Helen, I know that is your opinion but, this song just touched a lot of people in many different ways emotionally. Thats why it was soo popular. Its just a fasinating song that people just want to hear over and over. Like I said, you have your opinion about it and I'm happy you expressed it. This song seems like it didn't affect you in ways it affected other people.

HEY FREDDIE, Olando, FL, Your birthday is this monday! Happy BIRTHDAY in advance!!! I'll be sure to wish Freddie M. happy birthday aswell... Can you believe he would be 59? I seriously can't imagine him that old....lol
plus in Nov. he'll be gone for 14yrs.... can't believe its been that long. But like it has been said, he lives on though his music and as long as we keep listening to it, it would be as if he never left us.....
Alicia - Tamaqua, Pa
Queen are great but this song isn't, i like it... but it isn't great. I can't believe it was number one on virgin radio's top 500 classic rock anthems. That is a joke.Helen - Oxford, England
The great thing about this song is that the many wide-ranging interpretations work so well with it. It's even interesting at the thought of it being completely about nothing. I especially find the 'heaven vs. hell' or 'God vs. Satan' ideas ingenious. haha... I remember as little kid, when I heard this song I imagined a crew on an old-fashioned sail-ship, where a young boy working killed an evil crew member and they were deciding whether or not to throw him overboard. Half of the crew would say, "He's just a poor boy" and the other half wanted him dead. I recently bought a painting of an old fashioned ship on the sea, and nobody understands why it reminds me of Bohemian Rhapsody. :) Anyway, I think it's kind of funny that people join a discussion about a song to suggest that people shouldn't be discussing it. If you ask me, hearing alternative interpretations allows people to experience a song in completely different ways. However, I will say this: (Although the topic has been beaten to death) another reason it isn't about AIDs is that, even if miraculously he was experiencing symptoms 26 years before he died, there is no way he would have known he was dying at the time and written the song about it.Kim - Calgary, Canada
I've got "The Untold Story" aswell. Its a sweet one. But there were a lot of holes, i think. it was definately not "the complete story" in my opinion, but it was good.

As for his last name, Mercury is also Freddie's ruling planet, as Brian once noted. And I kindof already knew that, because by some twist of fate he and I were born on the same day: September 5.

And who was it that said he looked scary in the video? I dont think Ive ever seen him more beautiful. This song and this man are closer to my heart than i could ever say.
Freddie - Orlando, Fl
Freddy's lyrics rock. he made a whole plot and a song special to anyone because of its many possible meanings. I am listening to the song now and have been over, and over. Only truly great songs never get boring and incline you to listen again and again. I just started to try to understand the lyrics yesterday and today I noticed It's almost custom design. With the many meanings it can mean anything to many people. however your life has been and what you've learned will probably reflect into your meaning of the song. Freddy, u rock and I love you! I don't care if he's dead, hes still a very special person to me.
~Nikki
Nikki - Portland, Or
Umm...
Bismillah is an Islamic verse: By the name of God [Bi-ismi-Allah] [Freddy Mercury is said to be a muslim, i dunno if this is true]
BUT it might be used by arab christians too because the word Allah means God in arab, NOT the name of the Muslim god.
Johan - Subang Jaya, Malaysia
Song is a lil scary and so is Freddy in the video, but anyway someone asked the question how Brian may gets his sound on his guitar,Brian May has a very distinctive sound because the guitar he plays was hand made by him and his father who made the guitar from this beautiful old wood they found in a fire place,im not sure about what he put in it for electronics, but i think his sound is all his own and could possibly be immitated but never duplicated! Brian your my favorite part of Queen and you and your father kick some ass by making a one of a kind guitar with a one of a kind sound!Jeremy - Warren , Ri
After carefully disecting the lyrics, i have come to the conclusion that the song may be about war. "I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me" "If i'm not here by this time tomorow" "Mama i don't wanna die" it may be about s young kid apprhensive about going to fight in a war, perhaps scared of dying.Steve - Centerville, Oh
Great song. Great album. I remember the song when it first appeared on tv. Took me a few plays before got the full appreciation. Was a lot to take in all at once as most songs on the mainstream pop shows at the time werent as complex. What initially hooked me was, May's nice little touches, Mercury's flamboyance and the multi layered band scenes in the clip.Dan - Renmark, Australia
The last part of this song always gets me. I mean after the song rocks out it slows down and touches the heart-strings, with the somber notes from the guitar along with the "nothing really matters..." lyrics. Such a classic!Keith - Kyle, Tx
This song is supreme that includes all rock and opera motives in the same body describing Mercury's himself. Rhapsody is telling the story of Freddie. He was a "poor" boy,
and too much love killed him, unfortunately.
Koksal - Istanbul, Turkey
this song parralels to Albert Camus' The Stranger in which a man commits a murder and is sentenced to death by hanging. As he realizes his impending death he begins to contemplate whether he believes in religon and whether he is going to go to heaven or hell. This is apparent in the "We will not let you go, let him go!", part of the song. As the song and the book ends, the man comes to realize that he is going to die either way so nothing really matters whether he believes in religon or not hence the "Any way the wind blows...nothing really matters to me."Drew - Washington, Ma
Alicia, be my friend.

Freddie is so very close to my heart now, I feel like Ive known him a very long time and that in funny ways, hes always been there for me. I love his fire, his spirit, his heart. I truely believe he had such a good heart inside of him. He had such a personality, but he also put on this little show to cover up a lot of scars and a very sensitive shy person. And I love that person and I miss him.
He WAS beautiful. When I look at him, when I listen to him, something inside me shifts, something just profoundly impacts me. I love him so much for so much.
Freddie - Orlando, Fl
I find this song extremely moving. Everytime I listen to it and when its over I have to take a deep breath and let it out as if I was holding it for the whole time it was playing. Freddie has the most increadible voice ever. You just get drawed into a whole new place. This song was never meant to be figured out obviously. It has been around for quite sometime and someone has yet to figure out the true meaning. Freddie was one of a kind and no one can ever measure up to him. No matter how good their talents are. My opinion to this song, I don't know. I have mixed emotions of what it means. But thats what the song so great. Freddie had great talents for writing. The best in my opinion. He was a beautiful man with a beautiful voice, spirit, and charisma. Now that he is gone he lives on through his music to which I enjoy with great satisfaction. I felt a little betrayed that Queen got a new front man, but I havent' heard any of their music recently. I don't think I'll ever let my self do that. I feel Queen isnt' Queen without Freddie. Eventhough Brian May and Roger Taylor are great aswell. Homosexual, Bisexual, whatever the case, Freddie was an all around wonderful person. I read soooo many biographies about him. To which all stated and gave great details of his personality. He was such a character you wouldn't believe. His sense of humor was electrifying. I would love to actually have a friend that was somewhat like Freddie. Caring, devoted, and generous in every which way and form. But sadly to say, there's no one like him. He was a one of a kind.Alicia - Tamaqua, Pa
It seems on the outside that this song is about killing someone in a crime of passion. Though I feel Freddy was probably making a bigger statement about responsibility and coming to terms with one's own mistakes.Nathan - Defiance, Oh
Perhaps scaramouch does mean "a stock character that appears as a boastful coward" now, as a colloquialism. Scaramouch was a character in the play who was a bosdtful coward.Kayla - Buford, Ga
Weird Al did a parody of this. It's called "Bohemian Polka", and is basically the same song set to polka music, thus making it much more upbeat and funny.Melissa - Happy Place, Ks
to all of you who think this song doesnt have a point or a hidden meaning your wrong. im not sure of what it is but thats why its hidden. every song has a meaning behind it. that aside this song is great it is quite possibly my favorite song ever written.Calvin - Kyle, Tx
"Does it mean this, does it mean that, that's all anybody wants to know. F**k them, darling. I say what any decent poet would say if you dared ask him to analyse his work: If you see it, dear, then it's there."
- Freddie Mercury

Perhaps this means you're all correct?
Alex - Somewhere, Nj
It's About Mortality. It's about not wanting to die , but how it doesn't raelly matter.Cody - Fremont, Ca
Maybe we aren't really meant to know what it's about. But I simply reckon it's a rock opera piece where we follow a guy through the phases of one place in his life that scares him. We all take our own from it but I think it's his feelings of alienation in some situation that he finds scary. What that situation was I don't think we will know. (It could be murder, being gay, depression, feeling unloved/alone??) but hey - he expressed it in a phenomenal way, the world seems to agree, and we can rock on to the truly extraordinary form of art it is.Elysia - Hamilton, New Zealand
i love this song, it is awesome, i think there probably is a meaning or meanings, but freddie mercury is the only one who would really know, and he can't exactly tell anyone can he? just listen to the music and take what u take from it.Ashley - Auckland, New Zealand
The note hit by Roger Taylor at "for me__" is a high B flat (the B flat immediately above middle C). Sit in front of a (remotely tuned) piano and see how far out of a mere mortal's range that is. Has any other man, ever, been able to sing that high?
BTW greatest song ever.
Rattus - Adelaide, Australia
it's sad because at dances when people mosh to this, they don't even know who Freddie Mercury is or even who Queen is. They just love the whole "mama mia" thing. Queen rocks.Matt - Millbrae, Ca
how is this song the greatest song of all time it doesn't even make sence its unbeleivable how it has been voted the greatest song of all time so many times really what does bismillah mean? freaky.Ben - Manchester, England
This is one helluva song and with so much meaning in it(Depends on how it affects you personally when you listen to it). It really moves me everytime I listen to it. I think Freddie performed such a marvelous feat by wrtting this song, that his legacy will never die and would continue to live on in all his fans, including everyone here..posting comments.Brad - Singapore, Singapore
Ok. I've restrained saying what I think about this song for a while now, but whatever. Heres the best thing I've been able to come up with. my interperatation is really close to what I read about with Randall.... I believe. The man whos been killed is Freddie himself...And in those beautiful melancolic verses with piano, hes already dead. you know, "Momma just killed a man," "life had just begun but now I've gone and thrown it all away" He didnt mean to make her cry, but he has, hes dead. He won't be coming back again tomorrow, hes gone. but he wants her to carry on.
"Too late. my time has come." ...yeah, self explanitory... "goodbye everybody, I've got to go... gotta leave you all behind and face the truth!" hes... look at it! hes saying his goodbyes, its his time. Its like hes floating in this sad farwell right after hes died... hes scared-- "Momma! I don't wanna die! Sometimes... I wish I'd never been born at all!" wouldnt it have been easier that way? but then comes the fire-- the trial. Heaven and Hell fighting over his soul. he pleads- "I'm just a poor boy... nobody loves me..." and heaven replies like, "Yes! hes just a poor boy! Please, spare him his life from this monstrosity!" (the higher operatic bit) so Freddie turns to the hellish said as id hes saying, "well, is that ok? will you let me go?" and they reply, "Bissmillah! (which is the equivalent of 'In the name of GOD!')
NO! we will not let you go....." heaven says: "Let him go!!!" "In the name of God...." "let him go!" "WE WILL NOT LET YOU GO!" never, never never let you go..... and it becomes clear hell is winning. the conculsion is made. Beeulzibub, (satanic soemthing or someone) has been set aside for him by the devil, and his sould is damned. Now, thats a lot to think about but it really makes sence. AND even more so if you consider other lyrics that Freddie wrote which were simliar but clearer-- take for example "Liar". He begins with a heart full of Guilt: "I have sinned you father, father I have sinned. Try and help me father, won't you let me in?" and hes met with the harsh accusation-- LAIR! no matter how much he apologizes and begs, "father please forgive me" or "please will you diretct me in the right way" it turns out that hes conndemed. very simlair to the "never let you go" hell bit was the taunting "Liar, Lair, never ever let you. Liar, liar, everything you do is sin-- Liar. Nobody believes you." Its like he was overwhelmingly troubled by guilt and felt the way he lived his life was unforgivable by God or any higher power he might have been speaking to. His heart was broken and he was scared, petrified it seemed. and that..... breaks my heart, really.
Freddie - Orlando, Fl
We cant say "there is absoluetly no meaning to Bohemian Rhapsody", Jude, because quite simply, you have no way of knowing that. We also can't say, "There is definate meaning". We have to stay away from speaking what it IS in such certainty, as if we knew for sure. Youre not Freddie. It did seem to me however, that the song, as all of his songs,was very precious to Freddies heart, dispite the way he would try so hard to brush it off and have people restain from looking beyond the surface. Freddie had a lot going on in his life personally at the time, it was a difficult time for him, and he was changing a lot. Brian let us in on some of this... and it always seemed like there was a meaning Fred denied us. thats the way it was played out. Not that it didnt exist, you see. Its so doubtful to me. ok.... wiat I'm gonna get a new post box i dont like how we cant change paragraph here.Freddie - Orlando, Fl
There's absolutely no hidden meaning to the song. It was made long before we even knew there was any such thing as AIDS. If you LISTEN to the song, if you LOOK at the video, this is Freddie having fun with words and notes. He is obviously enjoying himself immensely. Freddie was blessed with a great vocal range and he;s showing all of us "Look, this is what I can do! Don't you love it?" Why can't we just revel in it the way Freddie does and not try to find a bunch of hidden meaning in it? It's only operatic rock n roll, y'all!Jude - Thomasville, Ga
I think Bohemain Rhapsody is about Freddie and his inner turmoil, his sexuality. It's a very clever song that's full of analogies. The man that he's 'killed' is his old self and here he is, in front of his family and so-called 'peers' feeling judged by it all. Although Fred ended the song with 'Nothing really matters...to me', the rest of the lyric betrays just how much he cared and how 'guilty' he was feeling at the time, for 'coming out' and also having to admit to Mary Austin that they couldn't carry on as they had been for the last few years. One of the handful of songs, that truly is the work of a genius.Also boasts one of the best guitar solos ever.Luke - Sheffield, England
Highly doubtful. Fred was going to through a lot in his own personal life at the time, (reference Brian in "Queen Greatest Video Hits 1" Inside the Rhapsody)and as he put it, he might ahve fpund it easier to just put it into song. The lyrics do string together quite meaningfully if you let your mind think of it.... there was a meaning. Freddie just wanted you to have your own, and not his, as to not destroy the imgae one has in their own mind. He didnt want o take away from the magic it had on you persoanllly. That doesnt mean it didnt have meaning to have come from his heart.Freddie - Orlando, Fl
Some songs don't really have meanings... did anyone stop to consider that Bohemenian Rhapsody is just a bunch of catchy self-contained lines written with no real intent?Dan - Jefferson Township, Nj
Roger. Roger Meddows Taylor. haha- he always did have the girlie voice of the bunch, and hit all the really high operatic bits. And thats what Im saying-- theres no way it was about AIDS, guys. AIDS was irrelevant to Freddie before he had it, and he definately DIDNT have it that long. he had it like, 7 years.Freddie - Orlando, Fl
Guys, guys, I hear theories about the meaning of the lyrics that are as far-fetched as saying the song is about a lamppost and a spoon falling in love!
The song is from 1975, Freddie died in 1991. NOBODY has AIDS or any noticeable symptoms due to AIDS and lives on for almost three decades. Get yourselves together.
Having heard the rest of the album I agree with those who say it's part of Queen's very own opera.
All of you who are planning to ask/tell who Beelzebub is, please don't. Take the effort to scroll down. Also, we now all know what Bismillah means, so cut that out too.
I myself like the song even though I never saw Wayne's World, but surely I should. Ever.
I have heard several times this song was the great pride of Freddie Mercury, and possibly their biggest hit written by him but I'm not sure about that.
One question that remains, though, is the following:
Who can tell me which band member is the one singing so incredibly cosmically near-to-impossibly high?
I know it's not Freddie, I suspect it's not Brian. Who is it?
Daan - Tegelen, Netherlands
: "Bohemian Rapsidy" doesn't strike me as a sexual song. Frankly, I just like the song and think it's one of the best songs in rock n' roll wver written. Who cares what it's about.Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
Well, Freddie, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but statistics are statistics is all I was saying. Individually is the spice of live. Mozart was a hoot (saw it years ago) as was depicted in Amadeus. Operas originated from classical composers dating back to the 1200s which, without, Queen would have nothing to base their operatic tragic rhapsody on. I will never argue, however, that it is a true classic.Shirley - Ocean, Nj
I can darn well say they were the greatest because frankly, no matter how you go down in history.....Queen made me love them. so to me, thats it. None of the other greats you mentioned effected me so personally. But that Mozart, what a character, huh? (sidenote I know) rent Amadeus for a weekend you'll see what I mean.Freddie - Orlando, Fl
People: Can't we just accept this as a classicly fun song and stop looking for a deep meaning. Come on now, it has nothing to do with HIV or Aids; probably not even suicide, and even if it did, SO WHAT. Queen was great, but to say they were the greatest is pushing the envelope. The greatest? Who else?, The Beatles, of course. John Lennon and Paul McCartney have all ready gone down in history in the same category of composers as Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach, etc. That's a fact, not just an opinion.Shirley - Ocean, Nj
Theres really no need for all the fuss about if the song is about AIDS or HIV or whatever-- because Freddie didnt HAVE HIV when he wrote the song. He wrote as a part of "A Night at the Opera"... what, in 1975, I believe it was? Well, he died in 1991 and only had about 8 years of living with AIDS.... so if we do the math......Freddie - Orlando, Fl
Andy in London - Glad to see you correcting confusion between AIDS and HIV, and pointing out that sex isn't the only way to get the disease.
Here's some more info from my immunology and epidemiology classes which should explain why Bohemian Rhapsody can't be about Freddy having HIV (if anyone doesn't want to deal w/ medical mumbo jumbo, you can ignore my post. If anyone has better info, please correct me):
HIV infection is symptomless (except during the first 3 weeks when u might have flu-like symptoms that aren't that bad and are prolly missed by pretty much everyone. This is referred to as seroconversion illness). Afterwards, until your CD4 T cells hit low enough levels, u do not get sick with greater than normal frequency. When you actually get to the point where you have AIDS, you will be getting illnesses that most people do not get when they are healthy. I'm not talking an increase in the number of colds or flus you get. I'm talking rarer diseases you would end up going to hospitals for: shingles, Kapposi's sarcoma (hope I got spelling right), and PCP, a type of fungal pneumonia. It would be blatantly obvious if Freddy Mercury had these illness in the 70s, because they are not common at all (with the exception of shingles, which normally wouldn't strike someone young).

Furthermore, AIDS cases were not evident until 1981, when small clusters of PCP and Karposi's sarcoma cropped up in communities SF and NYC. It only took 5 cases of PCP in an entire city to get it first reported to the CDC. (before they even knew what AIDs was).

So it is safe to say that this song isn't about HIV or AIDS.

As for surviving 26 years, maybe with today's treatments, which have almost made HIV a chronic and not terminal illness. But the general timetable of the disease that I've learned would have a 10 year asymptomatic phase followed by 2-3 years of AIDS.
Brian - New York, Ny
Freddie once said when asked about the meanings of his songs, "If you see it, darling, its there." He didn't feel the need to explain all that he let out in his amazing music, but allowed us each a personal experince within it.

Still, I don't think any of us can help but wonder about the song. It Truely was Freddie's baby-- and it wrote it in a time of his life where he was reportedly going through a lot of hard things in his own life. Dispite the way he would often push aside the thought that his songs where anything more than what was seen on the surface, Freddie did care about his music, and what he gave us was incredible. He was bursting with life and color and talent-- and Bohemian Rapsody seems to be timeless, each hearing of it taking us on a soul shaking journy from his own.

We may never know what it was all about. Freddie had an odd writing style and could be a bit crazy but keep the passion intact for us. He was amazing. And its songs like this... that make sure we'll never forget him.
Freddie - Orlando, Fl
Just a couple of comments to people who seem to be small minded. Before I rant I would like to point out that I do not have an opinion of the meaning of this song and believe you should not try to analyse such a great song, and I am not saying whether this song is about HIV or AIDS or not. But some people here seem to have some funny ideas about what AIDS is.

CORY in Boonville - just because someone is saying the song is abuot AIDS, why have you said thats a sexual thought? Sex is only one of the ways people contract HIV, which leads to AIDS, but that doesnt mean AIDS is a sexual thought. Hopefully this was justa bad choice of words. But then again it would not be surprising if the song was about AIDS. Freddie Mercury died from AIDS after all - so why would that be so strange.

Thomas in Rochester who seems to think he is setting people straight - why couldnt Freddie Mercury have had AIDS or HIV in the 1970's?? I am not saying this song is abuot AIDS, but you claim that if he had it in the 1970's people would have noticed, and also tht he couldnt have survived 26 years. Let me put you straight: Even without todays complex combination therapies, Freddie Mercury could still have survuived 26 years. People first get HIV, which does not always lead onto AIDS, or if it does it can happen many years later.

Rant over.. for now.
Andy - London, England
I think you're totally right! i never looked at it like that before! Thank you!!!Amelia - Kremmling, Co
I'd like to set a few people staight about some of their theories. Firstly, it was performed in the October of 1975. Secondly, it was not edited in anyway, something Queen is very proud of as people thought their 6minute opera would never be a hit as it was to long. Apparently they were wrong as it was a UK no. 1 for nine weeks. Thirdly, Bohemian Rhapsody couldn't possibly about Freddies decent into AIDs for two different reasons. One, AIDs weren't even a recognised disease until the 80's and two, if he did have it, it would mean he managed to survive with AIDs for 26 years. Unlikely. Furthermore, his health was clearly degenerating shortly before his death in 1991 so someone could've seen if he was suffering in the mid-70's. Anyway, my rant over. I believe the song is about this man murdering someone, possibly his father, and his descent into madness because of guilt. I also think this man may also be killed by his mother, because of the line: 'mama mil let me go', followed by 'Belzebub has a devil put aside for me'. Suggesting you don't need to kill me, the devil already dealt with me. Thats what I think anyway.Thomas - Rochester, England
This song is 30 years old, and at a school dance just two weeks ago, this got the biggest mosh pit you have ever seen. They played it over again so that people could get up from the people they were layin on top of. Then at the slow part at the end, everyone grabbed their cell phones, lit them up, and waved them like candles. It was breathtaking (literally, I was at the bottom of a mosh pit).Matt - Millbrae, Ca
I love this song. Infact i think that my favorit version of it is on the live wembly stadium album of 1986. This concert was actually performed in front of 150,000 people. That is a hell of a lot of ppl. And if u blast it in surround sound it is awesome. You hear all the fans singing along and they all go crazy at the climax of the song. it is just an amazing experience and infact i get chills every time i hear the song, especcially this version.Max - Manalapan, Nj
So many times i have seen 'bohemian rhapsody is the greatest song in the world'. I think that sentence has lost all meaning to me. i am fifteen years old and i deperately wish that the music produced today could be atleast half as good as anything queen wrote, sadly i dont think that this is ever going to happen. i am annalysing bohemian rhapsody for an english assignment and though there will never be an acurate explanation of this song i beleive that it was written about a murder. I love queen with a passion so strong and out of all their amazing hits my favourite is '39. Its simply beautiful and a tribute to the soldiers and volunteers of WWII. And would people please stop saying that it was about AIDS coz it wasnt! the song was written in '75 not when AIDS was undiscovered. Thats all i have to saySarah - Sydeny, Australia
I don't know much about Queen or its members but I do know this song is great and I don't care what it is about its like trying to figure out what the Wall is about who cares! leave some mistory(spelling sorry) in music thats what makes it great. But I will say I feel alot better on knowing some of the words meaning they where starting to drive me crazy!Erica - Hampstead, Nc
Every time i play this particular song my emotions run high and i get goose bumps because it was performed to such a flawless standard and it captured my imagination immediately.in my opinion, rock bands of today's era are so far behind the talent,class,energy,dedication and invention of lyrics performed by queen. just listening to the qualities they possess during the song it just transforms my mood and temperament.Tom - Horncastle, England
One vision is an absolutely fantastic song, which is demonstrated by an ingenius and marvellous performance by all four members of the band.in my opinion this is quite possibly the best group ever. Anyone who thinks otherwise needs their head seriously examining.Tom - Horncastle, England
I love how each time I listen to it I can hear it a little differently than the last time; so it never gets old.Amelia - Kremmling, Co
i agree with "blah" 100%. I was thinking of that earlier. I have heard soooo many times that it ws about freddie having aids it cant be but the song still is the best song in like the whole world!!!!!!!!!!I love it!Brandi - Enon, Oh
relax, you don't dead tyo analyise a song to enjoy it, anyway i think if we new what is was about it might ruin it. though i need to add one thing, to be honest i think it's a load of crap that it's about Freddie having aid's because a) aid's wasn't even discoved till later and b)if Freddie wrote it in the late 60's and it was about aids then that would mean he would have had aids for what more than 20 years? come on who survives with aids for 20 years? oh and one more thing it is Freddie not Freddy. thank you for letting me have my rant. also i think you are quite right in saying it's one of the best ever songs written it truly is.Blah - London, England
The reason they made the video for top of the pops was because they were busy touring, so wouldn't be able to appear on the show. also the drummer, Roger Taylor, is apparently the only person who was told what the song means by Freddy Mercury himself.Dave - Edinburgh, Scotland
i think it's about a man on trial. maybe i'm not looking at it deeply enoughGabby - Barrington, Il
Bohemian Rhapsody has been my all time favorite song since I was first introduced to it Waaaaayyy back in 1978 and my sister brought home the album 'Night at the Opera'.... I consider myself most fortunate to have been able to have actually seen 'Queen' (with Freddy Mercury) in concert in L.A. back in 1982 where the group performed 'Bohemian Rhapsody'... of course, all of the operatic parts were on tape but they totally rocked the rest of the song with Freddy wearing his signature tights with the 'v' cut down to his navel (which IF I was a guy and I was gay like many of the concert goers that night, that comment would probably mean something completely different... I just thought he looked cool!)... The most outstanding part of the song was the finale when Mercury sings "Anyway the wind blows..." followed by the smash of the gong at the end... You could've heard a pin drop before the wild applause that followed.... Ahhh, sweet memories... Sure as heck beats todays Britney Spears's and Ashley Simpson's!Margie - Baltimore, Md
A "rhapsody" by definition, is a series of musical pieces, not necessarily related, to make one larger, disjointed musical piece. None of the parts in the song appear to be related, except for the "Nothing really matters" and "any way the wind blows" lines. Hence, a rhapsody.Jim - Oxnard, Ca
It was also #3 on VH1 top 40 of all time. Michael Jaksons Billie Jean was No1. I think bohemian rhapsody should be champion though.James - Manchester, England
The extremely high note hit at the end of the operatic section was most likely Roger Taylor, who had one of the highest ranges in the business.Kent Lyle - Palo Alto, Ca
A great song, one of the best in the history of rock music, especially the way they combine classical influences making it sound like an opera. There's just one thing that puzzles me. Why was it called "Bohemian Rhapsody"? Bohemia is a historical region in present-day Czech Republic and there's nothing in the song about it, Czech Republic or former CzechoslovakiaFilip - Nova Gradika, Croatia
frist of all Ffreddie is clearly coming out of the closet in this song. for example when his mother is not accepting him for who he is, and she is basically excluding him for his behaviour. and then later on when he is talking about God and satan he knows that it was wrong at theat point in time. but this song is certainly not talking about having aids, why? Because aids didn't really become known till the early 80's and this song was written in the late 60's. BUT QUEEN TOTALLY ROCKSMelissa - Anaheim, Ca
this is the best queen song ever to be written, hands down. freddie mercury has the best voice ever. and he wore the chillest outfits ever.Keanna - South Hero, Vt
i think that the song is about suicide. it starts with the philosophical question of what life is about, the search for the answer could have caused a depression in the character of the song. the line moma just killed a man doesn't apply to another man but rather means mama just killed myself -(but thatwould sound silly) "if i'm not back again this time tommorow, carry on, carry on as if nothing really matters" he won't be back tommorow because he's dead and nothing really matters realtes back to the characters depression. the line i've got to go, gotta leave you all behind and face the truth is the moment when he is about to kill himself. th eoperatic section may be the gods or god and Satan arguing over what to do about this character bismillah- beelzebub has the devil put aside for me etc...
however this is all speculation as i am unsure what the song means, this is just my interpreatation, i don't see how the last section(the headbanging part) realates to the suicide bit though, but some people do say that rock is the music of the devil.
Randall - Birmingham, England
how does brian may get the guitar sound for the solo. If anyone here knows anything about brian may and his effects.. please speak up.. His sound on this particular solo is one of my fav guitar sounds ever. so a comment would be appreciated.. thxDave - Winnipeg, Canada
..at the beginning doesn't he say "put a gun against his head".... i think that's a pretty straightforward statment.. lol ruling out any other explanantion for this song. (im not sure though maybe u guys are right)Dave - Winnipeg, Canada
it makes sence that bismilah means in the name of God, maltese (my home language) is quite similar to arabic, its the only arabic language in the world written in latin letters

Bismillah

in maltese: B'Isem Alla


which literaly translated means
with the name of God

and in maltese and the one used in the song its almost the same word

and please, dont try to pronounce the word in maltese, you'll butcher it, you must have a certain feel which an arab person understands you

b'eesam aalla
i tried to write it in a way you can pronounce it
say it quickly

if you cant manage its your fault
Chris - Gzira, Europe
Be esmeh Allah literally translated from Farsi means "in the name of God". That fits given that Freddie was from a Zorostrian family. I didn't get those lyrics until I was listening to the song with my Persian girlfriend and she said, "Hey Freddie's speaking Farsi"Bill - Los Angeles, Ca
If Freddie had AIDS in 1975, he would have been dead before 1982. Bohemian Rhapsody had nothing to do with his health. The song was actually different songs Freddie was writting and he molded them into one. Its one of those songs only he can understand. Most of his earlier songs were even more bizzare then Bohemian Rhapsody...try listening to his genius epic, the March of the Black Queen.Kevin - Bridgeport, Ct
this song is credited as having THE first vid clip. other songs had been recorded live, but for different purposes. really, without this song, mtv probably wouldnt exist 2day....GO QUEENSam - Sydney, Australia
I once heard a guy on the subway singing this song. Man New York is odd.Ian - New York, Ny
this song is about a man who is confused in life and murders someone and is afraid of what is goin to happen........when it gets all wild(i see a little silhoueto...) thats when hes in court being judged and he is condemned to be killed....then we the song starts rockin out(so you think you can stone me...) thats when he tries to run away and get free......then when the song slows down he has gotten caught and accepts what he didSam - Valdese, Al
first of all, freddie was bisexual, not just homosexual :P. second, in interviews, freddie said it meant nothin, just phrases of operas, but later brian may said it showed freddies approach to life, and i agree. that would be part of psychoanalysis if you think about it:P. anyway, freddie was a genius, hes a legend and bohemian rhapsody is, if not the best, one of the best songs ever.Juan JosÃ? - Lima, Peru
This is by far the most uplifting and inspirational song ever, the lyrics are extremely thoughtful and Freddy could possibly be the greatest entertainer this world has seenTim - Liverpool, England
"Bohemian Rhapsody" is an excellent song, certainly among the best. I'd never consider any song the "best song in the world" or "best song of the millenium", but one thing is sure:

This baby is extremelly enthusiastic, it's uplifting, fun, touching, powerful.

Freddie singing "BEELZEBUB HAS A DEVIL PUT ASIDE FOR ME" will be stuck in my head forever.
Philip - Coimbra, Portugal
And in addition; i think too that Bohemian Rhapsody is about Freddy's desiese, don't matter if he knew that it was AIDS. He is a cunning man, and i think he wrote the song when he had just think that he's in trouble with a desiese, to be said ;a last good-by to everyone in his life in a way. And i hink this is the one, you can get it too, try to feel it in the song. Don't just hear the song, listen it guys, His sadness can be felt in his voice, coz i think he knew that he was slowly dying... He wrote a song like this, cause he doesn't see himself just a man, he was a legend man to himself as we call him too. So a dead of a Legend-man must be like this.It's his last good-by to all that he leaves behind, before he leaves the life he lived. Maybe, we will never know what he exactly told in some parts of the lyrics but ,i'M sure that, he felt somethings so strong that he wrote this song to us; Bohemian Rhapsody!...Bora - Istanbul, Turkey
I wish that Freddy live and would explain the fact about The Bohemian Rhapsody to the world one-day. I think, only a Legend like him could make us wonder this much... He was a legend,a matchless man in the Rock history! "Wish You Were Here Freddy":(Bora - Istanbul, Turkey
I know that AIDS was not officially recognised until the early 80's and this song was released in 1975 but i feel sure that Freddie must have been aware of his failing health even then. The words to this song are chilling - 1. put a gun against his head, pulled MY trigger nows hes dead, 2. i see a little silhoutte of a man, 3. Bismillah, let him go, etc. It seems like he knew something was wrong with him but he just didnt know what it was at the time. Only food for thought but when he said it was just rhyming nonsense this seems to much of a brush off to the best song he ever performed. Anyway peace to all.Dannyboy - New York, Ny
When I was about 5 years old, this song was horrifying to me, and I really don't know why, because it is one of my favorites of all time. But when it first came out, they would play the album version, which was alot more mystical. To me this song is trying to tell us that Freddy realized his ultra super stardom and carefree lifestyle of drugs, and promiscuous sex, and that he felt that he would ultimately have to pay in the end just like all other rockstars before him. You play now, and pay later type of philosophy. Any way the wind blows... great song. Listen to the album version whenever possible. It's better on vinyl!!! JJosef - Corpus Christi, Tx
This is a better song than Imagine for one reason: Imagine is about a eutopia. One that does not exist. Lennon played it on a piano that cost more than the average house. It's easy to say, be nice to each other, sitting in your Ivory tower.

I think the "any way the wind blows" is a referance to freddie being Bisexual. (metaphore, like "you bat for the other team".
Nick - Cambridge, England
I agree with Jon about the opinion thing it is what turned religions against each other. BTW you're favourite song may be Stairway to Heaven but try listening to other Led Zeppelin songs then make a another desician about you're favourite.Nathan - Brisbane, Australia
According to Freddie, the lyrics were just "rhyming nonsense." But it still gets my vote as best song ever.Fred - Indianapolis, In
i never assumed this was about homosexuallity until all you people at songfacts said it was, before, i had assmed the lyrics: mama just killed a man and pulled the trigger now hes dead. was:mama just kill me now cause i've gone against my head, pull the trigger till im dead. as in my life sucks so i want to commit suicide. so i guess the song is about aids. i wander if the band ever "folled around" with freddie, even though they were probably stright. regardless, Queen Rocks!Charlie - Thomaston, Dc
I always thought their was a line that said The(an) Albatruss had/has a devil for a sun... i dunno why..Jacquie - Somewhere, Canada
I've been thinking about this for a while. The folks who say that there really wasn't any meaning behind the lyrics to this song could be right, but, to think that such a compelling song was just gibberish is disappointing at best.
I'm with the folks who say that it wasn't about AIDS since the disease wasn't actually discovered until later years.
Ponder for a moment the type of torment that a person goes through prior to coming out of the proverbial closet. I can only imagine the way that a homosexual person feels since I'm heterosexual. I'm sure Freddy worried about being accepted by his family and for all we know, maybe they weren't that accepting of his lifestyle. Sometimes, when families are let in on this type of secret, they'd just as soon cut their "gay" family member off and consider them "dead" to them because they'd rather have a dead child than one that behaved in such a manner.
That type of thinking is horrible and wrong, but, that is just the way things are sometimes. I think that this song was born out of this type of anxiety and inner conflict, but, then, everyone has their own opinion. Queen rocks, regardless.
Deborah - Robstown, Tx
A great song that I think was immortalized for the wrong reasons. Two words: Wayne's World. The other day, I saw these five guys were emulating the scene in the car, complete with the tiny drunk guy. People think of Wayne's World when they see hear this song, not Queen.Alex - Las Vegas , Nv
oh. and lord of the flies sorta got its name from that. In the book a pig is killed and its head is put on a stick. The children call it the lord of the flies due to its surroundedness (is that a word?) by flies. That night, Simon, a christ character (sort of) is losing his sanity, and the head starts talking to him, saying his friends are bad and such. this, in the book, represents the temptation of christ by satan during his fast. My interpretation, take it or leave it. i hate to analyze stuff though.C.j. - Tunkhannock, Pa
This is one of the CONSENSUS (meaning agreed upon by all) greatest songs ever made. That's not my opinion. Everyone loves this song. Everyone.
Secondly, Wayne's World both glorified and ruined this song for me. I can't help but think of that scene when listening to this song, which is good and bad.
C.j. - Tunkhannock, Pa
Anyone who thinks this song has ANYTHING to do with AIDS...uhhh no..this song came out in 1975..nobody even knew what AIDS was until 10 years later..Nick - Arlington Heights, Il
I dunno if this is true, but I seem to remember reading somewhere that the lyrics for Bohemian Rhapsody are totally meaningless.

Apparently, all the lyrics in the song were pinched at random from various plays and operettas that Freddy Mercury had performed in as an amateur before he was the lead singer in Queen.
Jonno - Sydney, Australia
BH represents Freddie's HIV status. He he speaking of Bizmillah (Islamic faith)and asking for mercy from Beelzebub who is a demonic lord of the flies and disease. I think he wants to be rid of the disease but he knows it is too late and that he is gonna die.Dan - New Haven, Ct
all of you are like "this is the best song ever" "no its not this is the best song ever" hello... its called an opinion. one person may think it is the best song to them while others may think imagine or stairway is they best. i personally think that shine on you crazy diamond by pink floyd is the best but that only means my personal opinion is that it is the best. dont intrude on other peoples opinions, thats what turns religions against eachother.Jon - Frederick, Md
Could it be that freddy knew, or had just found out that he was HIV positive when he wrote this song? 'mama just killed a man', by lifestyle? and 'I dont want to die?'. It sounds like the song of a dying man to me.Chris - Pocatello, Il
I'm not sure if this is true, but I read somewhere that "Bohemian Rhapsody" was inspired by the 10CC song "Une Nuit a Paris (One Night in Paris)".Joel - Chicago, Il
If you are really paying attention. It is about the different emotions that a person goes through we they have done a crime like murder. The fist part of the song is about the regret of the killing. The second part is him being scared and not want to go to jail and loose his life. The third part is his anger and how he thinks it is unfair and can't except what is happening. The last part is the acceptance stage. That is what I think it is about. It is one of the most cleverly written songs and if you listen to it that way you will get it.Francesca - Folsom, Ca
Oh and another thing, Freddy was gay. He also says this in the song with 'easy come easy go', another way of saying it at the time he wrote the songKt - Palmerston North, New Zealand
First of all, great song. But just a few things. This song can't be written about aids as it was discovered in 1984 or something and this song was written in the late 60's, early 70's.
And in several interviews when asked Freddy said that he didn't really know what the song was about. Aparently another band member once commented that it was on a past relationship Freddy had
Kt - Palmerston North, New Zealand
the line "beezlebub has a devil..." means that Satan has a demon or a place in hell ready and waiting for him.Rob - Castaic, Ca
Ok, obviously he's not homosexual "Mama, just killed a man" because the next lyric reads "Put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger now he's dead!" Secondly, the Beelzebub IS a name for the devil, but it's from a broadway play. ALL THAT CRAZY PART ARE LINES FROM BROADWAY PLAYS! Hellooooooo....Caroline - Chatham, Nj
As for the meaning of the words, I agree with Glenn that the lyrics shouldn't be taken too seriously, any more than Death on Two Legs, '39, The Prophet's Song or the other material from Night at the Opera. As for the greatest song of all time, please. I have listened to this album since I was a kid and really like it, but even I don't think that. It's a great song, but it doesn't hold up with comparisons to Stairway to Heaven (or a number of other songs).Joe - Miami, Fl
Beelzebub is another word for the devil. Making it ironic that Queen states that "beelzebub has a devil put aside for me..."Daughter Of Fenris - N/a, Wa
Whenever I listen to the words of this song I think it is about suicide. Being executed for actually killing a man, which would make sense and seems more obvious, actually never crossed my mind. Does anyone else think that suicide may be a possible meaning for the lyrics?Leah - East Bank, Wv
I love this song. When I first heard it my uncle told me to listen to the lyrics carefully... After that I couldn't get them out of my head... To me so far it talks about a kid who screwed up and effected someone in the process. He gets caught dies in the electric chair and thenstarts pleading for his life.
Also Beelzebub is the devil or satan
Letizia - Woodland, Wa
I'd say that this is probably the most popular song in the world ever. I mean, everyone knows the words to it (except Elton John!)and no one can possibly have a bad word to say about it. Whether your 6 or 66, you can't resist singing along, acting out every line and headbanging to the solo. if you're only ever going to like one rock song, then this would have to be it. Freddie Mercury is a legend.Tom - Trowbridge, England
Just wanted to clear one misunderstanding. "Bismillah" is not a reference to devil or anything like that. It's an Arabic word which means "In the name of god".Ebi - Toronto, Canada
This is definitely the best Queen song. but how is it a love song, like george, iasi, romania said?Will - Portland, Or
That's disgusting, Elton John, of all people, not knowing the words to Bohemian Rhapsody; everyone knows the words to Bohemina Rhapsody! He should be blasted into the cold vacuum of space for his crimes against music and indeed life as we know it!Tom - Trowbridge, England
It must be said that this song is a part of "A Night at the Opera," refering to the fact that that album is a mock-opera. The song is the apex of that "Opera," being sung last, just prior to the closing credits of "God Save the Queen." In that same light, this song, and all the various references, are nothing but mock-operatic banter. The meanings are irrelevant, and the section with Beezlebub and Scaramouche are lines from that "Opera," whatever the plot is meant to be. I am not bashing this song, I love this song. Just be assured that this song and this album were written to be "A Night at the Opera."Glenn - Mildenhall, England
I think that Peter from San Antonio is wrong about this song. I think this because this song was written 10 years before the AIDS virus even existed

Lisa, Chicago, Illinois
Lisa - Palatine, Il
First of all, hats off to Freddie, so he was gay, he was incredible. Find a copy of Barcelona, and you'll soon agree. Oh, and no one mentioned the Mountain Dew spoof on the song/video; funny, and dopey. Finally, all of those references: Beelzebub, Bismillah etc are various references to the Devil. As for Scaramouche: according to Merriam Webster...A Scaramouche is a character in the Commedia del'Arte, but in usage is a cowardly buffoon...not sure what it means in the song, but I thought I'd throw it out. Oh BTW, I have at least 5 different covers of Bohemian Rhapsody... from the London Symphony to some odd female rocker. --------BbrotherIra - Milford, Ct
I have three interpretations of this song:


This selection is about a young man (possibly 18-25) ruining his life. You might say that many have said this before, so here is where it gets interesting. The young man is homosexual, and he has AIDS. He has just givin' aids to another person (Mama, just killed a man...). This song is full of metephors. His reference to Beelzebub shows only that he aknowledges that he will be eternally damned to hell.

Secondly, it might be about a man who actually put a gun against someone's head and pulled the trigger. Depression in the first part, crime and apology in the second, in the third he is caught and is fearing death, the silhouetto of a man is the exocutioner, thunderbolt and lightning is the electric chair, he pleads guilty and throws himself on the mercy of the court, Bismilah is the Judge, the no's are exclaimed by the jury, his references to Beelzebub show that he has been convicted, he is angry, then accepts his fate.

I also have a reason why the previous explanation is incorrect... Lethal Injection was how the death penalty was performed when the song was written.

The third reason, as a friend of mine pointed out, is simply that "Quite frankly, I think he was stoned out of his mind and also didnt know what the h*ll he was writing about".
Peter - San Antonio, Tx
Theres a word in the song that is "beelzebub", this is a Hebrew word for "The Lord Of The Flies", or the devil. Thats where the book "the lord of the flies" gets its name. A lot of symbolism.Iggy Leney - Detroit, Mi
Bohemian Rhapsody was remade by a Hip Hop/R&B group called The Braids. It was released on the soundtrack for a movie called "High School High" which starred Jon Lovitz & Tia Carrere about a white teacher attempting to make a difference in an inner city school (comedy).Gwendolyn - Jacksonville, Fl
This is one of the greatest songs of all time. The first time I heard it was on Wayne's World. Ever Since then, everytime I get in a car, and that song comes one with people who know it we have to sing it. This is one of Queen's songs that will last forever. You can't go to a football game, and not hear We Will Rock You or We Are The Champions. God Bless Queen.Brett - Moore, Ok
in the very start of his career, freddy mercury said "i won't be a rock and roll star, i'll be a legend." and he was right.Jacqui - St Clair Shores, Mi
I have Wayne's World to thank for letting me hear this song. Even now when it plays on the radio me and my friends do the same thing that probably most you do...rock out just like in the movie. Awesome song!Chris - Victoria, Tx
It is also the only record that has been at No 1 in the UK in four seperate years by the same artist, as both times it has been number one, it has been from December to January:1975-76 and 1991-92Jed - Somerset. Uk, England
Bohemian Rhapsody is the song of the millenium and always finishes in the top places in "best songs ever" polls in the UKMissael - San Mateo, Ca
Nicoletta, I would say that who commits murder is the boy, and then he is sent to the electric chair (thunderbolt and lightning, very very frightening) and then there's a discussion whether he should go to heaven (I'm just a poor boy, from a poor family) or to hell (Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me).Cristiano - Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
If Freddy had heard Elton John and Axl Rose Butchering his song he would have died again.Mel - Hokitika, New Zealand
it is based on an italian opera about a mother who commits murder, and as karma, the devil takes over her son's body, who in return kills himself from the possession.Nicoletta - Bronx, Ny
A remake of this song was made but in a more contaversial way. Its is sang in spanish and English by Molotov.This is a rock/rap version and is excellent.But it is called Rap Soda y Bohemia. Worth downloading!Julio - El Paso, Tx
It was on the first place in vh1 top ten love songs, and so it should remain.George - Iasi, Romania
when Elton John sang his part of the tune on the special, he head the lyrics taped to the floor in front of him. He was obviously reading it as he sang.Joe - Bellingham, Wa
The success of the song was largely due to DJ and comedian Kenny Everett. Everett was a close friend of Freddy's and played the single 14 times in one day on the radio station that he worked for. Freddy also appeared in several of his tv sketches. Everett too, was a homosexual and also died of AIDS years before Freddy.Roddy - Southampton, England