Thursday, December 2, 2010

bohemian rhapsody

Thirty five years ago this mock opera dominated the airwaves and the charts. Executives refused to release it as a single until the band leaked it a disk jockey and it started getting airplay and interest before the album was even released. It made it to number one twice in the UK (in 1975, and again in 1991 after the death of Freddie Mercury), has won numerous awards, and has been named as the top British single of all time.

It still sends shivers down my spine.

"Scaramouch" is a roguish clown character of the Italian commedia dell'arte, a stock character who appears as a boastful coward.
"Fandango" is a Spanish dance done in triple time.
"Galileo" was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer and philosopher who played a major role in the "Scientific Revolution."
"Figaro" is the fictional barber of Seville; majordomo, servant and confidant of the Count; a man formed by worldly experience and events.
"Bismillah" is the opening word in the Koran and literally means "In the name of Allah."
"Beelzebub" is one of the many names given to the Devil.

The band has said the song is about a young man who has killed someone and sold his soul to the devil. On the night before his execution, he calls for God in Arabic, "Bismillah", and with the help of angels, regains his soul from Shaitan.

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 (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 has 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, oooooooh (Anyway the wind blows)
I don't want to die
Sometimes wish I'd never been born at all

[Guitar Solo]

I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouch, Scaramouch, 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 (Will not let you go) (Never, never, never, never)
Let me go, o, o, o, o
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
(Oh mama mia, mama mia) Mama Mia, let me go
Beelzebub has the 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

[Guitar Solo]

(Oooh yeah, Oooh yeah)

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

Any way the wind blows...

The song made it to number nine in the US in 1975. When it was included in the movie Wayne's World in 1992 it re-entered the charts and made it to number two.

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