Freddie Mercury ‘came out’ in his baffling lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody. 40th Anniversary Bohemian Rhapsody Freddie’s coming-out song, released on October 31, 1975,
For 40 years, it has been one of the world’s favourite rock songs –while baffling its millions of fans with its wilfully obscure lyrics. Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, released on October 31, 1975, has consistently featured at the top of ‘all-time greatest’ song lists, and sold more than 2.5 million records in the UK alone – twice reaching No1. But Queen’s frontman and songwriter Freddie Mercury steadfastly refused to explain his lyrics to the song. His only utterance was that it was ‘about relationships’. His band mates, too, have remained tight-lipped. But now, on the its 40th anniversary, Mercury’s biographer Lesley-Ann Jones has revealed its hidden message – a confession by Freddie that he was gay.
Lyricist Sir Tim Rice knew Freddie well and he agrees with her explanation. ‘It’s fairly obvious to me this was Freddie’s coming-out song,’ said Sir Tim. ‘I’ve spoken to Roger Taylor [the band’s drummer] about it. There is a very clear message in it. This is Freddie admitting that he is gay. ‘In the line “Mama, I just killed a man” he’s killed the old Freddie, his former image,’ says Sir Tim. ‘With “Put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger, now he’s dead” he’s dead, the straight person he was originally. He’s destroyed the man he was trying to be, and now this is him, trying to live with the new Freddie.
‘“I see a little silhouette of a man” – that’s him, still being haunted by what he’s done, and what he is. ‘Every time I hear the song I think of him trying to shake off one Freddie and embracing another – even all these years. Do I think he managed it? I think he was in the process of managing it rather well.
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,
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.
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,
Sent 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, ooh (anyway the wind blows),
I don’t wanna 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 frightening me.
I’m just a poor boy, 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
Never let me go, oh.
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.
(Oh, yeah, oh yeah)
Nothing really matters,
Anyone can see,
Nothing really matters,
Nothing really matters to me.
Anyway the wind blows.