My Fairy King

Songfacts®:

  • This is the song which may have inspired Freddie Mercury to change his last name. The lyrics contain a verse with the words "Mother Mercury, look what they've done to me." Brian May has said that after the line was written, Freddie claimed he was singing about his mother. Subsequently, Freddie Bulsara took the stage name Freddie Mercury. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Gian Maria - Udine, Italy
  • The inspiration for "My Fairy King" comes from Robert Browning's poem The Pied Piper. These lines are quoted directly from the poem:

    And their dogs outran our fallow deer
    And honeybees had lost their stings
    And horses were born with eagles' wings
  • In 1970 just as Queen formed, initially they had no bass player - Tim Staffell, the bassist and vocalist of Brian May and Roger Taylor's previous band Smile, had left to join the ill-fated Humpy Bong. So before they found John Deacon, they tried multiple bassists, one of whom being Barry Mitchell, who alleges that "My Fairy King" was written, or at least existed, during his short spell with the band in 1970.

    This would make it one of the very first Queen original songs written, as many songs from around this time were leftovers from Smile or Mercury's old bands Ibex, Wreckage and Sour Milk Sea.
  • This was the first track that Queen played during their debut radio appearance, a 1973 John Peel session for BBC Radio 1.
  • "My Fairy King" was the first Queen song to feature Mercury's piano skills. Guitarist Brian May said of the song's recording:

    "This was the first time we'd really seen Freddie [Mercury] working at his full capacity. He's virtually a self-taught pianist, and he was making vast strides at the time, although we didn't have a piano on stage at that point because it would have been impossible to fix up.

    So, in the studio was the first chance Freddie had to do his piano things and we actually got that sound of the piano and the guitar working for the first time which was very exciting. 'My Fairy King' was the first of these sort of epics where there were lots of voice overdubs and harmonies. Freddie got into this, and that led to 'The March Of The Black Queen' on the second album and then 'Bohemian Rhapsody' later on."

Comments: 13

  • Chloe AndersonI can’t believe they were able to fit different sections into a song that’s only 4 mins.
  • Jt from Minneapolis, MinnesotaI love this song, and March of the Black Queen. They’re beautiful and haunting, and I think they’re both stories of sexual assault covered in heavy r, (also ‘Liar’ and ‘Great King Rat’). The reference to Browning is two things, one, an allusion to childhood and two, it”s from “The Pied Piper”, who used his music to lead away the children (I.e. ‘seduce’) them. That paired with lines like ‘someone had drained the color from my wings; broken my fairy circle ring” and “Mother Mercury, Look what they’ve done to me.” A beautiful paradise (the innocence of childhood) destroy by men who “ravage in the night” and “rob like thieves and kill like knives”. I could be way off base, but this is what I believe.
  • Bill from LodiWhat great lyrics!
  • Joe from Grants Pass, OrFreddie -- Great musician all around , can't deny it !!!
  • Joe from Grants Pass, OrThat was Roger doing the opening vocals, and subsequent high vocals .
  • Steve from Hockessin, DeWithout this song & March Of The black Queen, there might not have been a Boheiman Rhapsody. MFK & MOTBQ began the experimentation with large amounts of over-dubs, the piano & guitar working in unison. Various styles & melodies combined to create one song. Simply brillant. This is a stand out on the first Queen album.
    ...Someone has drained the color from my wing, broken my fairy circle ring. Shamed the king & all his pride.
    Changed the winds & wronged the tides. Mother Mercury, look what they've done to me. I can not run, I can not hide...
    One of the best verses Freddie ever wrote. Period!
  • Blaze from Hendersonville, TnOh, Stefano, you just nailed it.... Fred's little world... How perfect.
  • Nikki from Perth, AustraliaYeah I think Freddie had been going by Mercury for a while before that song, but the line "mother Mercury" was intended to be about/directed to his mother, so just before the album was released Freddie officially changed his name from Farrokh Bulsara to Freddie Mercury.
  • AnonymousI was on a Queen pen pals list in the mid 90s and this girl from Rome always called me her fairy king. I got at lot of sh!t from my fellow band mates because of it. Lol......... Hmmm? At least I think it was a girl. Anywhoo Great song. I also like March Of The Black Queen.
  • Sneha from Nashville, TnThe beginning lyrics of this song are borrowed from the Pied Piper of Hamelin.
    "And their dogs outran our fallow deer,
    And honey-bees had lost their stings,
    And horses were born with eagles' wings"
  • Stefano from Rome, ItalySheer poetry lyrics. Several prog rock songs of the early 70s used to have fantasy subjects, and nearly all of Fraddie's lyrics of the first two Queen albums are into this attribute. You can find lands where horses bear with eagle wings, fairy tales from the kingdom of Rhye where the Seven Seas lead, his enemy Great King Rat swearing every second word and waterbabies singing in a lily pool delight. Really awesome.
  • Daniel from Springfield, MaA bit eccentric even by Queen standards, and certainly not for casual takers-in of Queen's catalog, but I have many fond childhood memories of this, and all the songs on this obscure record and now contribute this to my present insanity, and dementedness. Just imagine the effects and my naive, 7-year old mind-"My Fairy King!", "uh, yes nurse, we'll administer the Thorazine shot immediately!"Great Jam though.
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaI guess it wouldn't really make sense for "mercury" to be a last name but I always assumed it was.
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