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Bohemian Rhapsody cover art. Gary Langan helped create the original recording of Bohemian Rhapsody
Bohemian Rhapsody is Queens most iconic hit (Picture: Gary Langan)

Queens hit Bohemian Rhapsody is, without question, their most iconic tune.

In fact, its one of musics most iconic tunes.

But what does it actually mean and what is the story behind it?

Freddie himself declared that the interpretation of the song is all down to the individual.

Its one of those songs which has such a fantasy feel about it, he once said.

I think people should just listen to it, think about it, and then make up their own minds as to what it says to them…

Freddie Mercury wanted fans to interpret Bohemian Rhapsody in a way that suited them (Picture: Paul Natkin/WireImage)

Bohemian Rhapsody didnt just come out of thin air. I did a bit of research although it was tongue-in-cheek and mock opera. Why not?

Freddie had a piano he used as the headboard for his bed and when he woke in the middle of the night with a eureka moment, hed jump on the piano and begin writing. It was with this piano that he wrote Bohemian Rhapsody.

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When they came to record the song, Freddie uses the same piano used in Paul McCartneys Hey Jude.

Having started it in 1968, it was finally finished in 1975.

Queen fans will be well aware that the band have always been protective over the lyrics of the song, acknowledging they are very personal to Freddie.

(NETHERLANDS OUT) NETHERLANDS - MAY 17: AHOY Photo of QUEEN, Freddie Mercury and Brian May performing on stage (Photo by Lex van Rossen/MAI/Redferns)
Freddie Mercury and Brian May (Picture: Redferns)

Brian May once said: Freddie was a very complex person: flippant and funny on the surface, but he concealed insecurities and problems in squaring up his life with his childhood.

He never explained the lyrics, but I think he put a lot of himself into that song.

Released on Queens A Night At The Opera in 1975, it was at the time Freddie was in a relationship with Mary Austin.

It is well documented that he had cheated on her with someone who worked in a record company and he revealed the affair to her the following year.

Some have speculated that this may have been the inspiration for the track Bohemian Rhapsody.

Freddie Mercury of Queen, 1982 Tour at the Various Locations in Oakland, California (Photo by Steve Jennings/WireImage)
(Picture: WireImage)

Other have suggested that it was Freddies way of coming out to his fans.

However, in November 2015 Queen guitarist Brian May denied these reports.

Biographer Lesley Ann-Jones has previously suggested that the lyrics, including the line, Mama, just killed a man / put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger, now hes dead were a metaphor for the death of Freddies heterosexuality.

But Brian and Roger Taylor have revealed that no-one knows and will ever know what he song was truly about.

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Whats it about? None of us know. Freddie never talked about it to my knowledge and didnt want to and thats the way it should be, Brian told the BBC.

He had something in his mind and he loved to spin these little pieces of magic, he continued. A little bit of reality and little bit of fantasy.

Brian also suggested that its pointless for anyone to try to unravel the meaning behind the lyrics: Theyll never manage it because theyll never know what went into those lyrics.

Roger added: What does it mean? I get asked that all the time and I have no answer.

While some cant find any meaning to the song and believe Freddie made every single word up, theyre not quite right.

Scaramouche has a meaning – its a character in a 17th century comedy show called Commedia dellarte. It was a buffoon who always managed to work his way out of any tricky situation at the expense of someone else.

Bismillah also isnt gibberish – its the phrase used by Muslims in the way Christians might say Grace. It means in the name of Allah.

Bohemian Rhapsody lyrics

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
Im just a poor boy, I need no sympathy
Because Im easy come, easy go
A little high, little low
Anyway the wind blows, doesnt really matter to me, to me
Mama, just killed a man
Put a gun against his head
Pulled my trigger, now hes dead
Mama, life had just begun
But now Ive gone and thrown it all away
Mama, ooo
Didnt mean to make you cry
If Im 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
Bodys aching all the time
Goodbye everybody Ive got to go
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth
Mama, ooo (anyway the wind blows)
I dont want to die
I sometimes wish Id 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 Im just a poor boy and nobody loves me
Hes 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, cant 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
Songwriters: Freddie Mercury

Interestingly, the operatic parts in the song took around three weeks to record and Queen never performed them live as they were too difficult to do justice, so they rocked out to a recording for those parts instead.


The video for Bohemian Rhapsody was also the very first music video – it was made for Top Of The Pops because they didnt want to go on and perform.

Bohemian Rhapsody spent nine weeks in the number one spot in the UK before being knocked off by Abbas Mamma Mia.

The song turned 40 in 2015 and it went on to become the UKs third best-selling single of all time as well as remaining one of the few songs guaranteed to get an entire crowd on their feet belting out the lyrics

The hotly anticipated Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody has finally hit cinemas after years of being in the works.

Here's everything you need to know about the upcoming movie…

When is Bohemian Rhapsodys release date?

Bohemian Rhapsody will hit UK cinemas today, on Wednesday 24 October.

Bohemian Rhapsody (Picture: Twentieth Century Fox)
Rami Malek plays Freddie Mercury in the biopic (Picture: Twentieth Century Fox)

What is it about?

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The film promises to trace the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound, their near-implosion as Mercurys lifestyle spirals out of control, and their triumphant reunion on the eve of Live Aid, where Mercury, facing a life-threatening illness, leads the band in one of the greatest performances in the history of rock music.

The synopsis adds: In the process, cementing the legacy of a band that were always more like a family, and who continue to inspire outsiders, dreamers and music lovers to this day.

Bohemian Rhapsody (Picture: Twentieth Century Fox)
Caption: Bohemian Rhapsody (Picture: Twentieth Century Fox)
Provider: Twentieth Century Fox

Producer Graham King also said the film will fulfill audiences expectations: This is a story that has something for everyone. Freddie Mercury connected like only a handful of performers have ever done. I am so humbled to be part of Queens legacy.

Whos in the cast?

No Tabloids/Just Released, Beverly Hills, CA -20181008 - Press Conference for Bohemian Rhapsody -PICTURED: Rami Malek -PHOTO by: MUNAWAR HOSAIN/ This is an editorial, rights-managed image. Please contact Startraks Photo for licensing fee and rights information at or call +1 212 414 9464 This image may not be published in any way that is, or might be deemed to be, defamatory, libelous, pornographic, or obscene. Please consult our sales department for any clarification needed prior to publication and use. Startraks Photo reserves the right to pursue unauthorized users of this material. If you are in violation of our intellectual property rights or copyright you may be liable for damages, loss of income, any profits you derive from the unauthorized use of this material and, where appropriate, the cost of collection and/or any statutory damages awarded
Rami becomes Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody (Picture: STARTRAKS PHOTO)

The Mr Robot actor has stepped into the shoes and onto the world stage to portray the late Queen singer and its a movie that will surely divide longtime fans of the iconic British band.

In fact, Rami, 37, described taking the role as one of the scariest career choices hes had to make yet.

In an interview with The Guardian, Rami recalled his first thought when offered the role of Freddie, stating: I must do this.

Freddie Mercurys life is portrayed in the Queen-produced biopic (Picture: Twentieth Century Fox)

The TV star continued: [Its] kind of a gun-to-the-head moment. What do you do? And I like to think if its a fight or flight situation, Im going to fight.

The scariest endeavours that Ive chosen to take in my life have been the most fulfilling and rewarding. And this has proven to defend that equation.

Keen to do the coveted role justice, Rami had an intimate dinner with Queen guitarist Brian May and Kinks singer Ray Davies, to get to know his character better. Needless to say, Rami was told some brilliant anecdotes about the late musician while also getting to know a softer side to his personality.

Rami said of the meeting: The one thing that kept coming up was how generous he was. How he could make you feel you were the most important person in the room.

The film also stars Gwilym Lee as Brian May, former EastEnders star Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor, and Joe Mazzello as John Deacon.

Bohemian Rhapsody (Picture: Twentieth Century Fox)
Caption: Bohemian Rhapsody (Picture: Twentieth Century Fox)
Provider: Twentieth Century Fox

What about Sacha Baron Cohen?

Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen was initially on-board to play Freddie but dropped out in 2016 due to creative differences with Queen, while Brian Singer was reportedly fired as director when filming had already started.

And director Bryan Singer?

The film had been shooting in London but on December 1 Fox confirmed that due to the unexpected unavailability of Singer, the production had been put on hold. It is thought that the decision reflected a growing clash between Singer and actor Rami Malek and was caused by Singers being missing from the set.

Dexter Fletcher later took over from Singer, although the latter has still been given a director credit on the movie.

Bryan Singer
Bryan Singer was sacked from Bohemian Rhapsody (Picture: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

What is its Rotten Tomatoes rating?

At the time of writing, the Rotten Tomatoes rating for Bohemian Rhapsody is 54%.

As the score is under 60%, the overall rating is considered rotten as opposed to fresh, which is reserved for reviews over 60%.

What have the reviews been like?

With so much controversy surrounding the movie, Ramis performance will no doubt be scrutinised to the last move but, fortunately, the actor has received rave reviews already.

One critic at the New York Times, said Rami tackled the role with incredible gusto while another at Us Weekly said his performance turned Bohemian Rhapsody from an ok movie into a good one. Rebecca Lewis gave the film 3* and said –

With a magnetic screen presence, Malek becomes Freddie so fully that by the end of the film youve forgotten youre not watching the original Live Aid performance as Freddie prances around Wembleys stage, with the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand – and you eating out of Maleks hands as well.

To read full review, click here

What about the premiere?

The premiere of the new Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, was held right next to where one of their most famous performances took place at SSE Arena in Wembley.

The arena sits right next door to the stadium, which stands on the ground of the original stadium where the Live Aid concert of 1985 was held. The original stadium was demolished in 2002.

Bohemian Rhapsody premieres in October (picture: Fox)

Queen played for 20 minutes during the charity gig, which was dubbed the bands finest moment, and saw them perform a blend of Bohemian Rhapsody, Radio Gaga, and Hammer To Fall, among others.

They were watched by 72,000 fans at the time, while 6,200 will attend the premiere at the smaller venue of the Arena.

Were delighted to be at The SSE Arena, Wembley giving Queen fans the chance to share in what is going to be a fantastic event, said Foxs managing director U.K. Chris Green. The venue is perfect for showcasing the show-stopping performances in the film.

Rami Malek attends the World Premiere of Bohemian Rhapsody at The SSE Arena, Wembley (Picture: Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage)
Actors Gwilym Lee, left, and Rami Malek arrive at the World premiere of the film 'Bohemian Rhapsody' in London Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)
The stars of the film arrived in style on Tuesday night (Picture: Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)
Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Rami Malek and Joe Mazzello attending the Bohemian Rhapsody World Premiere held at the the SSE Arena, Wembley, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 23, 2018. See PA story SHOWBIZ Rhapsody. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Rami Malek and Joe Mazzello aka Queen in the movie (Picture: PA)

Okay, time for a trailer

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This first trailer relies heavily on Queens iconic music and also shows glimpses of the recording process as the band made the ground-breaking six-minuter long song, the titular Bohemian Rhapsody.

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MORE: Rami Malek says taking Freddie Mercury role in Bohemian Rhapsody was gun-to-the-head moment

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