It was about 10 years ago. I was a teenager attending secondary school and was bored after the whole day of classes. I switched on TV and started watching MTV. And suddenly I saw them. He was dressed in weird white clothes and had weird teeth. But the music he was playing on piano was astonishing. After hearing the song I’d noted down the title – “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Then I launched KaZaA and downloaded the song (it was era of dial-up modems, also there was nothing like YouTube). Downloading with speed 3 kilobytes/s had taken ages, but finally I’d got it and was listening to the song for several days.
I was wondering what is this song about. At that time I didn’t know English so well that I could understand lyrics. But after years the question has come back.
Freddie and other members of Queen during various interviews as well as fans have given many different versions:
– it’s about Freddie’s personal feelings and memories
– it’s about young man, who killed someone, sold his soul to devil and then was possessed by demons
– it’s simply a collection of random rhyming words
For me the first version is the most convincing. The song was entirely written by Freddie. At the age of 8 “The King of Queen” had to move to India (in order to start education at high school) and left his parents and sister in Zanzibar. Several years later, when the revolution in Zanzibar started, the whole family ran away to England because of safety reasons. I think that “piano part” of the song reflects this events. The title of the song “Bohemian Rhapsody” also support this version: “bohemian” means “gypsy-like”. Gypsies are a nomadic people originated in northern India, from there they have scattered across whole Europe.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” is very ambiguous and surely there are no “correct” interpretations.
Anyway, it’s a very beautiful song and I wish it could be the last piece of music I hear before my death.