"Great King Rat" as written by and Freddie / Mercury....
Great King Rat died today
Born on the twenty first of May
Died syphilis forty four on his birthday
Every second word he swore
Yes he was the son of a whore
Always wanted by the law

Wouldn't you like to know ?
Wouldn't you like to know people ?
Great King Rat was a dirty old man
And a dirty old man was he
Now what did I tell you
Would you like to see ?

Now hear this
Where will I be tomorrow ?
Will I beg ?, Will I borrow ?
I don't care, I don't care anyway
Come on, come on the time is right
The man is evil and that is right
I told you ah yes I told you
And that's no lie, oh no no

Wouldn't you like to know ?
Wouldn't you like to know ?
Wouldn't you like to know ?
Great King Rat was a dirty old man
And a dirty old man was he
Now what did I tell you
Would you like to see ?
Show me

Oooh oooh oooh oooh
Wouldn't you like to know ?
Wouldn't you like to know people people ?
Great King Rat was a dirty old man
And a dirty old man was he
Now what did I tell you
Would you like to see ?

Hit it

Now listen all you people
Put out the good and keep the bad
Don't believe all you read in the Bible
You sinners get in line
Saints you leave far behind
Very soon you're gonna be his disciple

Don't listen to what mama says
Not a word - not a word mama says
Or else you'll find yourself being the rival
Sure, the great lord before he died
Knelt sinners by his side
And said you're going to realise tomorrow, oh woh oh woh oh woh

No I'm not going to tell you
What you already know
'Cause time and time again
The old man said it all a long time ago
Come on come on the time is right
This evil man will fight
I told you once before

Hear it

Wouldn't you like to know ?
Wouldn't you like to know ?
Just like I said before
Great King Rat was a dirty old man
And a dirty old man was he
The last time I tell you
Would you like to see ?

Lyrics submitted by DB0ne

"Great King Rat" as written by Freddie Mercury

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Great King Rat song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentPippin the Mercury...when Freddie says, "don't believe everything you read in the Bible", no truer words have ever been written about the Bible...why? Because it was written by men and men are not perfect. God's "words" can be found inside everyone, if you look hard enough, not just words in a book.

    If you are a Bible reader("offended christian"), do you not remember when God told Moses not to use cutting tools on the altar for God? Why? Because it was to be known as "God's Alter" and anything known as God's cannot be touched by man's tools...that includes writing tools. People who LIE and title the Bible "God's Word" are insulting God's perfection.

    The reason preachers and religious leaders brainwash their followers to believe God's word is whatever particular version of canon(insert any religion's handbook) is so their rules aren't questioned...it's a control tactic that's been used dating back to the era of the first recorded language. Look it up.

    Freddie obviously believes there is a God at this point in his life, but is unsure what to believe. Fortunately, he knows enough not to believe EVERYTHING he reads...you live, you learn...research helps.


    "Don't listen to what mama says" is probably because "moma" is still clinging to what her pastor tells her...like a good little sheep...

    Truth hurts,"in the beginning"(Genesis 1:1), until you can "put away childish things"(1 Corinthians 13:11)...like old "Jewish myths"(Titus 1:14)...unless you ENJOY being made a spectacle of(1 Corinthians 4:9).

    That's what Freddie meant when he wrote "Or else you'll find yourself, bein' a rival".
    spicyfloon July 17, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is epic, didn't really like it at first until I listened to it over and over. Genius lyrics, really makes you think about yourself. Talk about a message in the music. Strange that Freddie did die around 44 from a similar fate. Looking back too many of his songs lyrics were so prophetic to be coincidental. Absolutely love Queen, their intellect matched their talent, no other group like them.
    Queenforever13on April 26, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI don't believe this is metaphor at all. The King Rats are one year tenure leaders of the Grand Order of Water Rats, which is a charity group of theatre people, and I believe the lyrics refer to one of these who is obviously not named for legal reasons. There is a list of them on some websites with the years they were "king" for. All you need to do is go through these...
    rocker115on April 28, 2018   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis first album took me quite a while to come around to, but i love it now, not that its my favorite, but this song is up there with some of my favorites, it seems to be about some power being revealed as 'evil' perhaps the devil, or 'Angra(of Zoroastrianism)'.
    Italian Phaethonon May 23, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is actually one of the best things in classic rock like Queen or Bob Dylan: The lyrics aren't always crystal clear. Think about it, you have bands like Linkin Park or Creed, who express their feelings or critizism openly. The lyrics are quite blunt. Personally, I just get depressed when listen to Creed...
    Coyote_FHon July 03, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is obviously about someone, just read the first verse! For some reason Al Capone crops up but i doubt its him.
    Ben2k9on January 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLove this song. Love this song. Love this song. lol it kinda sounds to me like a nursery rhyme in the chorus, really innocent, but the lyrics seem to be about a drug dealer...that's just a theory...
    mercury_girl86on March 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI noticed the date and it reminded me of this song.

    I've always liked the faint sound of chains and how I never even heard them until I listed to it with headphones.
    bmrhyeon May 21, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFirst time i heard the lyrics i was quite shocked: "What? What kind of a song is this?" -and i should add that as a queen fan i know that their songs are everything but ordinary- And the second time i listened to it, it became one of my favourites. The lyrics don't have a clear meaning, that's right, but let's say we can expect everything from a man like Freddie...
    whitehazeon July 03, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentnow i'm gonna tell you that this song's really good time and time again you already know.
    qdbacon September 23, 2005   Link

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