Monday, July 17, 2017

"Bohemian Rhapsody"

As 65,000 Green Day fans eagerly waited their appearance at London’s Hyde Park on July 1, the stadium blared out Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody on the speakers. The inevitable happened - all 65,000 fans passionately broke into song, matching Freddie Mercury’s voice note for note. The best part is, many of the audience even hummed out the guitar solo.

Someone commented, “Only Queen can rock an entire stadium without even being there.”

Here are the lyrics if you'd like to sing along and have forgotten some of the words:

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, everybody, I've got to go,
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth.

Mama, ooh (any way 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.
(Galileo) Galileo.
(Galileo) Galileo,
Galileo Figaro

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 let you go (Never, never, never, never let me go)
Oh oh oh 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.

(Ooooh, ooh yeah, ooh yeah)

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

Any way the wind blows.

In 1988 Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé sang Barcelona, a song he wrote for the opening of the Olympic Games in 1992. It's an amazing performance. Freddie Mercury died in 1991.


Lindsay Byrnes said...

Hi Susan,
Freddie Mercury certainly had a very wide vocal range to go with the beautiful voice of opera star Montserrat Caballe – indeed a great song he composed but the mix doesn’t quite fit to my ear. Much better suited in my view to just Freddie or Caballe, who overpowered him at times when they sang together. Queen had a great sound and good to see the audience rocking along but they did sound a bit off key. Difficult to hear a melody I guess when one is accustomed to all those exquisite harmonies by Queen.
Best wishes

susan said...

Hi Lindsay,
I don't think the venue was especially conducive to the quality of either of their vocalizations when Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé sang Barcelona. Their duet was likely more harmonious in a studio setting.
My point in posting the videos was in how they capture the joy and spontanaeity of a moment in time. That 65,000 people sang "Bohemian Rhapsody" so well together when they'd come to listen to a contemporary band was amazing to see and hear.
All the best

Sean Jeating said...

On the risk of being a wee off topic: Why would I, whenever thinking of fireworks think of light pollution?

Lindsay Byrnes said...

Hi Susan,
It seems it’s not necessary to pay for a supporting opening act when all you need to do is to play a recording of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. But what a huge change we have seen since it was first recorded over 40 years ago – mainly to do with an ageing demographics to reverse the high growth, high inflation and record oil prices of that era to now head in the opposite direction. Did you know Queen spent far more on the single than most bands spent on an entire album? And the operatic section, which was performed by A Capella choirs and final wrap up involved another intensive 3 weeks of 12 hour days with hundreds of retakes before it was all finally musically arranged.
Best wishes

susan said...

A few fireworks are the least of the problem when it comes to light pollution, Sean.

susan said...

Hi Lindsay,
The July 1st concert at Wembley was a festival event featuring a number of bands besides the headliners - Green Day. It appears the audience sang the lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody during the group's sound check. I still think it was a most delightful few minutes and something that is increasingly rare. When I was young there were a number of performers whose shows were largely singalongs (the Kinks, for instance) and the bands themselves beloved for their unique points of view as well as their skill.
No, I didn't know about Queen having spent so much time, energy, and money on the original Bohemian Rhapsody, but it's not much of a surprise either. Thanks for finding it.
All the best