"Bohemian Rhapsody" as written by and Freddie Mercury....
Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality
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
A little high, little low
Anyway the wind blows, doesn't really matter to me, to me

Mama, just killed a man
Put a gun against his head
Pulled my trigger, now he's dead
Mama, life had just begun
But now I've gone and thrown it all away
Mama, ooo
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

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
Mama, ooo (anyway the wind blows)
I don't want to die
I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all

I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouch, scaramouch will you do the fandango
Thunderbolt and lightning very very frightening me
Gallileo, Gallileo,
Gallileo, Gallileo,
Gallileo Figaro - magnifico

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
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 (never)
Never let you go let me go
Never let me go ooo
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

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

Ooh yeah, ooh yeah
Nothing really matters
Anyone can see
Nothing really matters nothing really matters to me

Anyway the wind blows


Lyrics submitted by kevin, edited by bucketzombie

"Bohemian Rhapsody" as written by Freddie Mercury

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

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Bohemian Rhapsody song meanings
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  • +18
    General Comment"Bismillah" is the opening word in the Qu'ran (Koran) and literally means "In the name of Allah."
    "Scaramouch" according to the dictionary means "a stock character who appears as a boastful coward."
    "Beelzebub" is one of the many names given to the Devil (yes, it is spelled this way-not as above).
    "Fandango" is a Spanish dance done in triple time.
    askewchanon January 09, 2002   Link
  • +14
    General CommentWant my overanalyzed take? It's pretentious, silly and yes, overanalyzed, and completely destroys the entire song! It turns a cool song into another piece of dirt and manages to be glaringly wrong in the way!

    Okay, let's make it the classic stages of acceptance after a shock. He just killed someone. Duh. It's in the lyrics.

    First comes shock. Note the 'is this the real life / is this just fantasy' it opens with and the dreamlike tune it's in.

    (from this point on, it's all within his head. All of it.)

    Note also the 'I need no sympathy' melodramatic nobleness he takes on in a play to get sympathy.

    He comes back to the world, and immediately tries to turn to the childhood source of sympathy, his mother. He tries again to act like a hero, telling her 'nothing really matters' (in his mind, of course. it's all in his mind.)

    The chill of what he has just done rips across him, and at the first glimpse of pain he immediately goes into the classic 'I wish I was never born!'-type complete theatrical show, hoping once again for sympathy.

    Now comes the weird (albeit exceedingly cool) part.

    The trial.

    First his 'judges' (representing the severity and harsh reality of the consequences) come forth, half-threatening him with taunts of "scaramouche / scaramouche / will you do the Fandango" (it's defined above)

    He crumples, first expressing shock. Then, he twists his earlier defeated hero's claims to say "I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me" in a direct appeal to reality.

    His other side, however, rushes in to try to save him from himself, begging the judges to release him.

    He appeals, and is rejected.

    His consul appeals several times in turn to allow him to stay in his own dreamlike state of deconnectedness.

    The judges continue to strike down his pleas, growing more and more forceful, until he finally realizes that he has lost. First is a generic "well, I lost. I'm going to hell, and I've got a demon with my name on it" first realization.

    Then comes the anger phase. He strikes back at the world and himself with guitars in the background (note the playing of a much stronger version of the theme from the opening "mama" part) . He then tries to escape outright, claiming he's "just gotta get out / just gotta get right out of here".

    However, after a crecendo, he realizes that he's not about to win anything or survive anything, so he simply resigns. It's very similar to the opening sequence--although instead of a dream, he seems much more lucid in this state. He repeats much of what he's said earlier, only now he either believes it or has no choice but to accept it.

    There. I think it's an interpretation of the process gone through after a shock. It's quite obviously wrong, but I can't help but thinking it.

    Besides, it's my favorite song. Let me warp it however I want ;)
    pkjunon April 23, 2002   Link
  • +7
    General CommentI finally got it! My father told me it was based on Albert Camus' novel, The Stranger and suddenly it all made sense! (Great song AND book).
    The book is an existentialist novel. This relates to the first lines and can especially be seen in the line "Nothing really matters to me"
    In the first part of the novel, the main character, Meursault, isn't fully conscious of the life around him. He doesn't even cry at his mother's funeral. He just goes through life living day by day. Until he murders a man. Just as he truly began to live, he was imprisoned.

    "Mama, just killed a man
    Put a gun against his head
    Pulled my trigger now he's dead
    Mama, life had just begun (This line especially emphasizes this)
    But now I've gone and thrown it all away"

    The second part of the novel covers Mersault's time in prison and in court. Which is the second part of the song,

    ", we will not let you go
    (Let him go!)
    Bismillah!
    We will not let you go
    (Let hime go!)
    Bismillah!
    We will not let you go
    (Let me go!)
    Will not let you go
    (Let me go!)
    No, no, no, no, no, no, no"

    At the end of the novel, he is sentenced to death. And again, he goes back to his old way of thinking. NOTHING MATTERS.

    It has NOTHING to do with Freddy's battle with AIDS. They didn't know what AIDS was until the 1980s.
    idkdontaskon July 21, 2011   Link
  • +5
    General CommentIt's difficult to analyze a song who's writer refused to analyze it himself. The band doesn't even know the true meaning, to this day. It is claimed to be just a tongue in cheek mock opera- just for fun. There are countless theories but that is one I just can't allow myself to believe. Freddie went through too much, he was too complex, too mysterious, too talented, to just write a song this amazing about nothing.

    I'm all for having an open mind, but the AIDS interpretation is also impossible. Freddie didn't even really know what AIDS was until shortly before he was diagnosed. This song was written in 1975- and it may have been started even earlier. I'm sorry- but AIDS became a thing in the 80's- at least the late 70's- in New York- not 1975 in England.

    Suicide can definitely have an involvement in the song, as well as his struggle with his sexuality, his rocky relationship with Mary at the time, his relationship with his parents, with himself even. I believe that a number of events and emotions and struggles were all stuffed down the throat of this song. There were some intense feelings going on in that young, confused 29 year old's mind- that's for sure.

    I think that, just because this was during the exact time Freddie had an affair and was feeling guilty and was extremely confused with his sexuality- the gay thing could absolutely play a major role- if not the entire role- in the song. I'll explain with a few examples...

    "Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality". Freddie was stuck in a scary, awkward, confusing spot. He was in a 6 year long relationship with his best friend Mary Austin- yet he was having an affair with this man. He hated himself but he couldn't help himself at the same time. He didn't understand his feeling and he couldn't escape the situation. The guilt.

    "I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy". When looking back on the end of their relationship, Mary said that Freddie seemed extremely upset with himself. He felt this overwhelming feeling of guilt. This plays into the whole song. He feels like such a low form of humanity that he constantly puts himself down throughout the song. Going against himself. Telling himself that he has not been a good man and therefore deserves no sympathy or love.

    "Anyway the wind blows doesn't really matter to me". This could actually be playing onto the bisexual thing. Whether he is loving a man or a woman- it doesn't matter. He doesn't care.

    "Mama just killed a man...". Okay so these "Mama" verses may actually be Freddie speaking- not to his mother- but to Mary. He used "Mama" throughout the years in plenty of songs- so you can't take it literally- as if he is talking to his actual parent. The "man" in the story could be seen as himself. Yes, you can take the suicide route here and look into that more- but I prefer the idea that the man is not just him- but it is the him that everyone knew at that time. The straight Freddie Mercury who had a girlfriend. The guilty, bisexual Freddie is one speaking. So if you understand these roles you can understand it all from that point of view. The guilty Freddie killed the innocent Freddie by sleeping with a man and questioning his sexuality. The innocent Freddie had just begun his life- everything was going great. Freddie and Mary could have gotten married. But the gay Freddie threw it all away. Now, the "Mama oooh's" are sung by the straight Freddie. You can tell because there is more emotion there. You can hear the cry for help. The straight Freddie doesn't want to die- he doesn't mean to make his mother cry by going against their beliefs and being gay. I could go on forever.

    Just by reading the lines as these roles- you can understand. You can see the struggle between two sides. This plays a major role in the opera section. I don't want to type a novel, but it is quite simple to go deep into the song and untie every knot and see what's underneath. Again, there's no proof that any of what any of us are saying is even remotely true- because unfortunately Freddie is not here to unleash the secret of Bohemian Rhapsody.

    All we know is that it was a groundbreaking song with a groundbreaking video and a groundbreaking meaning- somewhere deep down. RIP Freddie Mercury- the most amazing, talented song writer, pianist, singer, and person to ever walk the earth. I love you so much and I really do hope that my analysis of your masterpiece was at least a small step toward the true meaning. Thank you for this song and for all of your songs. Because without them I'd be in the same place as you right now. LOVE YOU

    PS thanks to whoever read this bible of a comment ;)
    readyfreddieon June 14, 2013   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI think it's doubtful that it's to do with his battle with aids considering he wrote it ten years before he found out he had aids :)
    paulothemanon February 18, 2002   Link
  • +4
    General Commenta controversially great song.. from my perspective anyway. among the best alongside led zeppelin's immortal "stairway to heaven".
    azizulon April 18, 2002   Link
  • +4
    General CommentAIDS. I bow my head in respect for the memory of Freddy Mercury and others who died from AIDS, especially within the first 10 years after it was recognized in 1981-1982.

    Having lived through the 1980s (and earlier), I remember clearly how puzzled we all were by news reports about something killing homosexual men in North America in the early 1980s. AIDS was not even named until September 24, 1982. Yes, please note that Bohemian Rhapsody was written well before that, in 1975.
    AstaToneon May 04, 2012   Link
  • +4
    General CommentTo the guy who links this song to AIDS...End of story? You couldn't possibly be more ignorant! First, and really the most important FACT, Bohemian Rhapsody was written by Freddie Mercury in 1975, a full 7 years BEFORE the virus that causes AIDS was discovered. If you can't figure out that the lyrics couldn't possibly have anything to do with AIDS then......
    RUSH7874on August 28, 2012   Link
  • +4
    My Interpretationthis song starts as a kind of vague question, as the singer has found himself caught in an unescapable series of events and can't believe it's actually happening.
    he tries to kid himself that he doesn't really care
    next we move to his prison cell where he's explaining to his distraught mother that he has killed someone and as a result, thrown his own young life away, as he is going to be executed within 24 hours.
    he then explains that it's too late for any kind of reprieve, and that he feels physically sick at the thought of what is about to happen. he cries that he doesnt want to die and wishes he'd never even been born
    then the interesting bit:
    he goes into a kind of daydream, reverie, whatever where a kind of operatic drama is taking place in his head between him, the poor boy who has got himself into a terrible situation in a moment of madness, the chorus who are pleading for clemency, and the authorities who are legally bound to execute him. there's lots of cod-italian images, which i think is Freddie having a really good time writing.
    at the end of this bit he pleads to be released as he feels that the devil, beelzebub is going to punish him enough.
    we then move into the hard rock bit where his mood changes and he starts to feel angry that anyone has the right to do this to him and is despeately looking around for a way to get out, no matter what.
    this doesn't last long, however, and he soon runs out of energy and lapses into acceptance of the unchangeable situation.

    i believe this is the greatest song ever written. it's like the mount everest of popular music, as beethoven 5 is the everest of the classics. mercury was known as a great showman, but people forget that he was a great musician and composer. up there with lennon mcartney, buddy, dylan, hendrix, sting etc etc.
    the role of the rest of the band is undeniable, notably brian may's amazing guitar. second only to hendrix and the equal or better of knoplfler, clapton, gilmour, beck etc IMHO.
    there is just so much attention to detail it feels like it must have taken years to compose and execute
    some songs just cannot be topped, good vibrations, whiter shade of pale, i'm not in love, i will survive, numerous beatles come close but this is is perfection!
    musicAlgarveon January 29, 2013   Link
  • +3
    General CommentStupid "publishing block." I was about to do a long analysis. Oh well, here's the lyrics in case the block isn't lifted anytime soon.

    Is this the real life?
    Is this just fantasy?
    Caught in a landslide,
    No escape from reality.
    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.

    Mama just killed a man,
    Put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger, now he's dead.
    Mama, life had just begun,
    But now I've gone and thrown it all away.
    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.

    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 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.

    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.

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

    Any way the wind blows.
    EnduringChillon July 06, 2012   Link

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