Bohemian Rhapsody

Friday, March 27, 2015


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What is crossing your mind when you’re re-thinking about your life so far? For me, it’s the life-changing moment of my life, the moment that becomes the turning-point in my life. That ‘moment’ could be anything; having your first love, first heart-break; having an awful traffic accident, a bad disease; being accepted in certain school, or college, or even being rejected by ones; the death of someone important, a friend, a family member, a relative, a teacher; having the near-death experience yourself; or perhaps just a simple thing like watching a certain movie, listening to a certain song, reading a certain book; meeting someone, parting with someone; visiting some certain places; and the list goes on. While thinking about ‘the moment’, I can’t help but keep asking myself; did I do the right thing? Did I choose the right one? I understand that we live by, of, and for ourselves. We don’t live to please everyone, I understand, but I can’t help but wanting to make my precious ones not disappointed by me. They don’t have to be happy, but at least not disappointed. One of them is my mother. Is she proud of what I’ve become now? Does she think that I’ve lived too free-spirited so far? All I know is, I don’t care about anyone else, as long as my mother is fine about it, then I’m more than just okay too, nothing else matters.

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.” –Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody

Finally come a time for me to write a review of the most spectacular legendary hits of all time. And I proudly present it as today’s song for My Choices: Continue Living. It’s titled “Bohemian Rhapsody”, the classic epic masterpiece performed by the legendary British rock band, Queen. Released four decades ago on October 31st 1975, the song was served as the first single taken from Queen’s fourth studio album, “A Night at the Opera”. The album itself was released on November 21st 1975. “Bohemian Rhapsody” was written, composed, and arranged by Queen’s frontman, Freddie Mercury. It has a unique composition, rock ballad melody and opera-like orchestra sound, which makes this song memorable and become Queen’s signature song. For the lyrics itself, Mr. Freddie Mercury and the band didn’t reveal anything about it, and this is the point which makes me fall in love with him and this song. The late Mr. Freddie Mercury himself stated that, “It’s one of those songs which has such a fantasy feel about it. 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.” So, he had gone leaving this precious gift to the world. And me, I would be in a very pleasure to think about the lyrics and make up my mind as to what it says to me.

"Bohemian Rhapsody" single cover - source: en.wikipedia.org

“Bohemian Rhapsody” is a story, that tells about a man in the edge of life and death. He’s sentenced by death penalty because of killing a man. The time he kills the man, it’s his life-changing moment, the turning-point in his life, and I’m pretty sure that everyone must has their own ‘moment’ like that. When that kind of ‘moment’ comes, our life flashes back in our mind. And that one person comes up. The one who puts her own life on the line just to bring us into the world; mother. It’s natural for a human being to call out toward their mother whenever they feel scared, insecure, hopeless, and everytime they try to find a peaceful and safe haven. Indeed, no matter how old we are, we were just a kid once. And for a mother, no matter how old we are, we will always be their children. “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, didn’t mean to make you cry. If I’m not back again this time tomorrow, carry on as if nothing really matters.” Suddenly, we feel that sense of guilt toward our mother. A fear of having disappointing her, a dread of breaking all the hope she has toward us, a fash of making her shedding tears of sadness. “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, I don’t wanna die, I sometimes wish I’d never been born at all.”
There’s one more figure whom a human being will run toward when they face ‘the moment’; God. That’s why, from the Qur’an until the Bible, the lyrics contain of many religious terms. No matter how free-spirited life the man in this song has lived on, in the end he has to face the truth when the reality hits him really hard. “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.” However, sadness and desperation are just the first step when we face ‘the moment’. The next step is anger, and this is the hardest one. Trapped between stay and go. Stuck between remain and leave. “So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye? So you think you can love me and leave me to die? Can’t do this to me. Just gotta get right outta here.” But when you could overcome the anger, then you would reach the final step; resignation. And when you reach this, nothing really matters anymore. You can just let go, anyway the life takes you. “Anyone can see, nothing really matters to me anyway the wind blows.”

Queen on the "Bohemian Rhapsody" music video - source: americablog.com

At the time, “Bohemian Rhapsody” was the most expensive single ever made. And thanks to that, “A Night at the Opera” was the most expensive album ever made, as Queen used six different studios to record it. Queen also didn’t use any synthesizers on the album, which is something they were very proud of, and is something I’m very amazed of. The title “Bohemian Rhapsody” itself could be a genius title that not only stands for the phrase’s literal meaning but also brilliantly describes the song itself. ‘Bohemian’ is an adjective for something defying the usual or against convention and living with disregard for standards, and the song is just like that. A ‘rhapsody’ is a piece of classical music with distinct sections that is played as one movement, in which we can hear throughout the whole song. In the end, there’s nothing more I can say than that this song is an epic classic masterpiece. The late Mr. Freddie Mercury was a genius, and I can’t say enough how grateful I am that he left us this one and only “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Rest in peace, Sir.

Nothing really matters, anyone can see, nothing really matters. Nothing really matters to me, anyway the wind blows.” –Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody



“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
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, 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, (Galileo) Galileo, (Galileo) Galileo, Galileo Figaro, Magnifico
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

Nothing really matters, anyone can see, nothing really matters
Nothing really matters to me, anyway the wind blows”

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