The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke

Album: Queen II (1974)
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Songfacts®:

  • Freddie Mercury wrote this song after seeing a painting by the same name and an accompanying poem by Richard Dadd. Queen's song makes reference to the characters in the poem, which follows the medieval theme of the album. Like the painting, Queen's production is similarly complex on this song. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Scott - O'Fallon, MO
  • The recording features producer Roy Thomas Baker playing castanets, and Mercury playing a harpsichord. Roger Taylor called the song Queen's "biggest stereo experiment."
  • The song wasn't played live that often, only a few times on the Queen II tour - including at the famous Rainbow Theatre show in 1974, which is soon to be released as a live CD/DVD package in September 2014, thus giving us a live released version of one of Queen's rarest songs.
  • Regarding the use of the word 'Quaere' in the repeated lines "What a quaere fellow," Roger Taylor stressed that it was not related to Freddie Mercury's sexuality.
  • "Where the hell did that come from?" was Roger Taylor's first thought when told Freddie Mercury brought in the song. Taylor told Mojo magazine: "It was full of these mystical references. I was always reading - Lord Of The Rings, of course, Heinlein, Asimov, CS Lewis's adult sci-fi. But I never once saw Freddie with a book. But he had all these words about this painting. Fred was like a magpie. He had this very sharp brain but he was not what you'd call a well-read man."

Comments: 2

  • Alan Theasby from UkSurely not a QUEER fellow as spelt in the lyrics, but a *queare (Anglo-Saxon cwēr) one, quaere (Latinised) or quaire ("Irish")...?
  • Justin Sullivan from Rochester NyWhere else was it played
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